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Fast Track - An overview of the five simple steps (These steps are explained in detail on pages 18-20.)

Assess Before and after using the Fast Track 5. Alphabet Line Children introduce themselves as the letters and name the objects that start with their sounds in a rap-like chant.

1. Quick Dash (After Day 1) Review of previously taught letters and sounds with the Picture Code Cards.

4. Live Word Sort Children role-play being the letters while their classmates deliver Vocabulary Cards to them to match their sound.

2. Introduce new letters Use both sides of the Picture Code Cards to introduce new letters.

3. Discover the sound Children learn how to segment the initial sound in spoken words. Then they learn an Action Trick to help them connect the letter shape and sound with a movement.

Fast Track objectives Over the three weeks of Fast Track teaching children learn the following: Recall routes to letter shapes Plain letter shapes offer nothing familiar to a child. Children will quickly learn how to recall abstract letter shapes and sounds by drawing on their own memory bank of prior knowledge of the familiar human, animal and inanimate shapes that appear in the Letterland characters.

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Character names Children quickly learn the Letterland character names orally because they are both alliterative and descriptive. These character names then become the recall route for discovering and remembering each letter’s sound. Letter sounds They add kinaesthetic learning by practising the sound together with a thematically linked action in response to the plain letter shape. This creates a strong grapheme/phoneme correspondence. Phonemic awareness The simple routines sharpen the children’s visual discrimination and fine-tune their ears to the initial sounds in words – in other words it makes them phonemically aware! As one amazed teacher expressed it, “Once they know what to listen for, they begin to hear the sounds in all kinds of words.” Bouncy Ben’s Action Trick (see p.182)

Postponing Letter Names You will notice that there is no use of the traditional letter names (aye, bee, cee, etc.) in the Fast Track. This is an important factor in the success of this ‘lift off’ strategy at the start of the year. Excluding letter names initially allows the children to focus exclusively on letter sounds so that typical confusions between letter sounds and letter names cannot occur. Sticking to sounds only in the first month enables children to do particularly well at learning to blend

Section 1: Fast Track

Section 1.indd 16

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31/10/2013 20:57

Phonics Teacher's Guide  

This new edition of the Letterland Teacher’s Guide encompasses the fun of learning with Letterland friends, whilst ensuring that the core cr...

Phonics Teacher's Guide  

This new edition of the Letterland Teacher’s Guide encompasses the fun of learning with Letterland friends, whilst ensuring that the core cr...

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