When children learn to read, they need to understand;
- sounds are represented by written letters
- how to blend the sounds to make words
This is called synthetic phonics and it has been proven to be the best way to help a child learn to read when entering full-time school. Good synthetic phonic programmes teach children the essential skills of segmenting, blending and phoneme manipulation.
When children sound out words, they slowly say each sound in a word (h-o-t), and then squash the sounds quickly together to “read” the word (hot). This is called blending because sounds are being blended together. Blending (combining sounds) and segmenting (separating sounds) are skills that are necessary for learning to read.
What are Decodable Readers?
These are books that children can read (sound out) independently. They usually include simple words like ‘hot’ ‘cat’ ‘fin’ and other words that contain 3 letters that can be blended together. As children gradually learn more spelling rules such as ‘ch’ as in ‘chop’ or ‘ai’ as in ‘train’ the books incorporate this new knowledge.
There are lots of decodable readers to choose from including;
- Sounds-Write Series
- Songbirds by Oxford Reading Tree
- Little Learners Love Literacy
- Dandelion Readers
- Pocket Rockets
- Fitzroy Readers