Fun with Phonics

Phonics: The skills of segmentation and blending and a knowledge of the alphabetic code

Learning Objectives:

Stage 4

  • To be able to blend and segment cvc words

  • To be able to hear, read and write the medial phoneme

Stage 5

  • To know the consonant digraphs and trigraphs

  • To be able to blend and segment words with more than three phonemes

Last term Miss Woodcock spent a day in Napier at a course about phonics (a definition of phonics terms can be found here). Her learning was about teaching phonics for reading and writing.

Our new learning practice for phonics (rhyming, reading and writing) everyday. Most of the time we practice on whiteboards. Sometimes we record our learning in our Phonics book so that we have a record of our work. We are able to look back through our book to see how well we are progressing.

This is what we do during our phonics learning:

  • Miss Woodcock introduces the word of the day (pet, dash, hill), then we brainstorm words that rhyme. This is always fun and we surprise ourselves with how many words we know.

  • We use Robot arms to segment (break down) these words into phonemes (sounds) we hear.

  • To practice reading a new sound or digraph, word cards are shown. The words we read focus on the new sound - when learning the consonant digraph ‘sh’ we read words like ‘flash’, ‘crash’,  thrash’, ‘dash’. Miss Woodcock flashes the cards faster and faster which helps us recognise and read the words quickly.

  • We use our robot arms again to segment the words before we use our grapheme knowledge (written letters) to write down the dictated words.

The favourite part of phonics is writing silly sentences. Here are some examples of the sentences we have written:

The bug had a rat and the rat had a mug on the rug.

Then the ten pigs had fun in a pen with a bug, a fat red dog and a man in his big van.

Get the bug to sit on the red mat with a pig that had a fig and a dog that did not have a chip.

A big push that made a splash and in a flash it went up.

We have the sentence dictated to us. Miss Woodcock has noticed that we are listening to the sounds better and that we are writing the correct sounds we hear, instead of guessing the letter. We are also getting faster at writing during dictation. We have noticed that we are getting better with lots of practice and we are very proud of ourselves and each other, especially those of us who have struggled with our writing and recording sounds.

We enjoy the challenge of the sentence being dictated to us before we have read it. When we have finished writing, we read the sentence out loud together. Miss Woodcock thinks that we are ‘tuning’ our ears in to the sounds in the words well.

Some of us now want to try writing and dictating our own silly sentence for a buddy to read then write. This will be a fun ‘can do’ activity.

Here is what Room 13 think about their phonics learning:

Victoria: “I like that I can write really fast and that I am getting better at listening to the sounds in words. I like that I can help other people”.

Nathan: “I like writing the silly sentences. I haven’t done this before and now I am getting better at writing”.

Amelia: “I like practising our sounds using our robot arms. It helps me know how to spell the word by listening to all of the sounds”.

Trend: “I like to do phonics because it’s fun and I’m learning to write my words better by listening to the sounds and writing the right letter”.

Lachlan: “It’s incredible because we are learning about how to write words”.

Emily: “I think I’m getting better at writing my words because I am learning to listen carefully to the sounds and to use my robot arms”.

Molly: “I like learning words. I like writing funny sentences in my book. I can write lots of words now”.

Isla: “I like learning how to write lots of words on my own”.


Amaya writing her consonant digraphs and trigraphs


Emily and Victoria choose where they practice writing their phonics


Isla practising her consonant digraph sh


Lucy loves writing silly sentences


Nathan works hard at writing his words


Pippa works hard at recording her silly sentence


Riley s segmented consonant digraphs


Robot arms help us segment our sounds


Te Ramaroa loves practising his phonics


Tessa has segmented her consonant digraphs


Tom very proud of his effort


Victoria s segmented phonics


We like to choose what we practice writing our phonics on


working hard at learning consonant digraphs

working hard at learning consonant digraphs