We’re on a mission to help support learning phonics at home, keep children’s brains engaged, and develop skills in important learning areas. We’ve teamed up with Kerri Hibberd, a teacher and phonics coordinator with over 10 years experience, to find out more about phonics and how to support this area of learning at home.
Download your free Hot Dots printable worksheets on our home learning page.
What is Phonics?
Words are made up of small units of sound called phonemes. Phonics teaches children to listen carefully and identify the phonemes that make up each word. This helps children learn to read and spell words. As the English language is so tricky and complex it could be referred to as a code. Phonics teaches children how to break this code by learning the easier bits first, before progressing onto the more complex phonemes and sounds.
There has been a huge shift in the past few years in how we teach reading in UK schools. This is having a significant impact and helping many children learn to read and spell. Phonics is recommended as the first strategy that children should be taught in helping them learn to read. It runs alongside other teaching methods such as guided reading and shared reading that help children develop all the other vital reading skills, while hopefully giving them a real love of reading.
What is blending?
We teach children to read by teaching them how to blend. This is when children say the sounds that make up a word and are able to merge these sounds together until they can hear what the word is. This skill is vital in learning to read and is the skill that is tested during the phonics screening test at the end of Year 1 at school.
How can I practise phonics with my children at home?
The best way to practise phonics with your children at home is to make learning fun and ensure they know and can pronounce all their phonemes and sounds correctly. Learning Resources have some fantastic products to support learning through play that I myself am using with my own daughter. Hot Dots Let’s Learn! Jolly Phonics Set is a self-checking activity that your child can use independently.
What is Hot Dots?
Hot Dots is a unique self-checking system designed to build children’s confidence and support classroom learning. Sets cover maths and phonics. Just press the Hot Dots pen to the answer dot on the activity card for an immediate response including colourful lights, fun phrases and even silly sounds! The pen flashes green lights with encouraging sounds and phrases for correct answers and red lights with gentle redirection for incorrect answers.
Hot Dots Jolly Phonics
This phonics specific product has been developed in collaboration with Jolly Learning, the founding company of Jolly Phonics teaching framework. It has a fun and child-centred approach to teaching literacy through synthetic phonics. The set features engaging cards with colourful illustrations of familiar characters.
Hot Dots® Jr.
Introduce key early learning skills with these colourful activity sets. Each set includes double-sided cards with self-checking activities that help to develop age-appropriate skills from problem solving to the alphabet and phonics.
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