As I've mentioned a few times before, my school applies the Jolly Phonics approach to teaching Literacy. At the core of Jolly Phonics is the notion that there are 42 sounds in the English language, many more than just the 26 letters of the alphabet. So as I got thinking about this project a little more, I then bought some extra pebbles in a different colour to include the additional two letter blends (eg sh, ch and th - see below). This opened up the possibilities for children to create many more words, and provided opportunities for extension. After trialling them in my classroom, we realised that words such as; will, duck, egg etc could be more effectively created with a third colour pebble for tricky and irregular sounds and blends. Then I got a bit excited and thought, why not make pebbles with numbers 1-20 on them as well? What a simple classroom resource! (By the way I bought them from Bunnings).
|L-R & T-B | Jolly Phonics Blends | Examples of Word Builging | Numbers 1-20 | Tricky & Irregular Sounds|
So what to do with them? Here's some ideas
- Make your child's name, and other family members or pet's names
- Put the letters in alphabetical order
- Put the numbers in order
- With numbers in order, ask your child to close their eyes, take away a number and they have to guess which is missing
- Ask you child to "Get me a 2" or "Get me the letter m"
- If your child is school age and has sight words or spelling words, make them with the pebbles
- Choose one letter and find things around the home that begin with that letter to make a treasure basket
- Match letters with objects from around the home or classroom (e.g. a - apple, b - ball)
- You could make another set in a different colour again for the capital letters. With this additional set you can match the lower case to the capital letter, and when making names, you can use the correct capital letter (what a neat way to teach proper nouns!)
Sometimes by trying something new, using different 'hands-on' materials and changing it up a bit, you can motivate and encourage your child or students and inject something special into their day.