Martin: A focus on phonics
"Our first term as trainees has been and gone faster than I thought possible. I have already learnt and observed so much, yet the year has really only just begun."
Our first term as trainees has been and gone faster than I thought possible. I have already learnt and observed so much, yet the year has really only just begun.
At the beginning of term 2 much of our focus within schools has shifted towards phonics. As a trainee based mostly with a year-4 class it has been a very fun, but challenging, experience to work with KS1 pupils. I’ve loved the opportunity to engage with the younger learners through games and songs.
Our recent training sessions have also focussed on both the theories behind learning phonics and the practical strategies for teaching it. One notable activity challenged the trainees to ‘name the sound’ of the phoneme. We quickly found it wasn’t as simple as we had imagined, and it helped greatly to gain insight into the mind of children when encountering phonics for the first time.
The practical outcome from our phonics training was the benefit of a four-part phonics lesson, and I have really enjoyed finding different activities to Revisit, Teach, Practice and Apply the sounds which students are learning.
One of the first things you find when teaching children is that even the best plans and ideas need to be adaptable, because they can quickly go wrong. In my case, a fun activity sorting objects into hoops of different sounds went quickly wrong when a reception student took a liking to our hoops and carried them all back to the classroom.
Despite the challenges, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know children from another part of the school and in a different age group to those I normally work with. It has also been a great excuse to channel my inner actor and singer.