Dyslexia Must Buy Resources

I was delighted to have the opportunity to hold a talk last night on Dyslexia. The Wexford Library Service have always been a great support and encourager mine. It was great to get to “talk” and demonstrate rather than just blogging. It was actually really, really hard to keep to time and I had 1.30hrs!!! There was just soon much to cover. I tried to have a good mix between understanding the neurobiology and what you can and should actually do in a classroom or home setting. I lugged as much as I could from my personal resources.

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Here are two of the key resources that any teacher or indeed parent should have. Knowledge is power. These little gems will be a great reference tool to add to your collection. I’ve had both of these for years and they are pretty wrecked from use. I really struggled to find a ‘clean page’ to photograph. By this I mean a page that didn’t look worn,  selloptaped etc. I really, really use these: Jolly Phonics Word Book and Prim-Ed Spelling Essentials.

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The Jolly Phonics Word Book is a fantastic resource for phonetically regular word list. Here is a peak at the menu:

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I always keep my Jolly Phonics Word Book by my side for literacy lessons in class. I actually am the proud owner of two of these. I have a copy for home use as I find the Jolly Phonics Word Book so vital for my fortnightly planning and literacy schemes.

The Jolly Phonics Word Book is worth its weight in gold for your phonics lesson or indeed home practice to support classroom learning. It’s simply a compilation of word lists that correspond to the phonemes and digraphs (a.k.a “sounds”) taught in Jolly Phonics. It’s worth noting that the Jolly Phonics Word Book would be a great buy even if you are using an alternative phonics programme.

You will never again run out of or blank on words that contain the chosen sound. When you have 34 kids in your class and you are looking for a different word per child then this is “the bomb”.

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Click here to purchase the Jolly Phonics Word Book. It costs 3.47 Euro and the postage is free.

Prim-Ed Spelling Essentials is another god send for lesson planning. It’s more a great reference for lesson planning or homework support. It helps to explain all of the most common and important spelling patterns that we need to teach all readers but especially those with language processing difficulties such as Dyslexia.

Prim-Ed Spelling Essentials is a really easy to use reference tool for parents, teachers and kids. It is extremely comprehensive as you can see from the image of the index:

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Here is an even more detailed look inside the front cover of Prim-Ed Spelling Essentials:

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These spelling rules, taught in a multi-sensory and systematic way would make a huge impact on reading, writing and spelling.

As you can see, Prim-Ed Spelling Essentials, is like a dictionary for spelling rules. Find the rule in the index and refer to the relevant rule. This could be an indispensable reference tool for an older child to check if they are spelling a word correctly.  I think Prim-Ed Spelling Essentials would complement any instructional programme. I wore this book out when I was studying for my Masters in Special Education and tutoring children with Dyslexia.

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It’s hard to believe the price of this book. Prim-Ed Spelling Essentials is 2.99Euro!!! I know, it’s incredible!!! Click here to purchase from the Prim-Ed Website.

For less than 7.00Euro you can  have an amazing amount of information at your fingertips. I hope that you find these books as indispensable as I do.

Do you have an essential that you would like to recommend? Please leave a comment below or message me on Facebook. I’m always on the hunt for new resources.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Beginner Phonics for Parents and NQT’s (Part 4)

As promised here is the next checklist to add to your Jolly Phonics collection. This Jolly Phonics checklist features the sounds in sets 3 & 4 of Jolly Phonics sounds.

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Click here to download my Jolly Phonics Checklist.

This Jolly Phonics checklist can be used in 2 ways:

  • What sound is this? (pointing to a phoneme/sound)
  • Can you show me “huh”?

I have also created a record sheet to accompany my Jolly Phonics checklist:

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Click here to download my Jolly Phonics Checklist.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Beginner Phonics for Parents and N.Q.T’s (Part 3)

Jolly Phonics has a very specific order for the introduction of sounds:

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To make life easier for testing in a classroom or indeed home setting I have created the following:

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Click here to download my Jolly Phonics checklist 

This Jolly Phonics checklist features the sounds in set 1 and set 2 of Jolly Phonics sounds. This Jolly Phonics checklist can be used in 2 ways:

  • What sound is this? (pointing to a phoneme/sound)
  • Can you show me “huh”?

I have also created a record sheet to accompany my Jolly Phonics checklist:

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Click here to download my Record Sheet that accompanies my Jolly Phonics Checklist.

Check back over the coming weeks to download the rest of the set!!!

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

p.s: clipart is Djinkers

Jolly Phonics Blending and Decoding, Group 1

I think that I could happily teach phonics all day long! It is definitely one of my absolute favourite things to do!!! I always get really excited when children are learning to blend and segment sounds into words.

For those of you who are not familiar with these terms “blending” is when we sound out a word using a continuous sound eg ccccaaaat= cat. Segmenting is the exact opposite. It the way by which we spell words.  We “chop” them up into their constituent sounds c…/a…/t… It is really important not to confuse the two and for children to be taught to use both blending and segmenting. They also need to know when to use each.

I have met lots of children who only know how to chop up/segment sounds. It is really, really hard to know what an unfamiliar word is when you read it in a robotic voice! When you s-t-r-e-t-c-h it out words are much easier to hear. This strategy will hence forth be known as “stretchy snake”!

Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 20.30.30You can read more about blending and print my Stretchy Snake poster by clicking here.

I have been busy creating a presentation of Group 1 Words for tomorrow. Group 1 Jolly Phonics words cover: s, a, t, i, p, n

I will open the PDF in Activeinspire. This means that I can get pupils to circle individual sound eg circle the “s”. We can also have lot of practice blending the sounds into words. I will use the same words with a blank page on my flip chart and have my class “sound talk” or use their robotic voice to segment/chop up the sounds in a word and I will write them.

Here are some images of the slides that you can download:

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Click here to download

I hope that you find these useful with your class or your child at home.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

For Parents of Junior Infants: Brush up on your (Jolly) Phonics!

This one is especially for parents of children who have just started school. If your child’s school is using Jolly Phonics chances are your child has already begun to learn his or her sounds.

Jolly Phonics is a form of synthetic phonics. This means that it  first teaches the letter sounds and then teaches children to “blend” sounds together to read and write words eg. cat = caat. Blending is often referred to as “sounding out”. Children are also taught to “segment” which involves breaking words up into sounds eg c/a/t. We do this when spelling words.

Your child will probably already have completed the Sounds in Set 1 and perhaps Set 2 at this stage. Here they are:

Click here to download Glance Card

Download this free glance card and save it for when you are doing homework.

You can use it in 2 main ways:

  1. Randomly point to a letter and ask your child what sound it makes.
  2. Call out a sound and ask your child to point it out.

You now have an easy way to check your child’s sounds 🙂 Just remember that it is letter sounds and not letter names that children learn in the beginning.

Be careful when pronouncing these sounds. Think of a simple 3 letter word eg sat and sing it rather than say it! It is easier to hear the constituent sounds if you do.

Here is an explanation of the sounds covered is Sets 1-2. It is always tricky to write down phonetic sounds. I hope that they make sense 😉

“s” is a long sound as in sssssnake and not suh

“a” is a short sound as in a/nt

“t” is a short sound as in t/ap and not  a harsh tuh ( the “uh” at the end in soft)

“i” is a short sound as in it

“p” is a short sound as in pig. It has a very gently “uh” sound at the end. Curl your lips in around your teeth & push them out like a little explosion. The “uh” sound is subtle rather than pronounced.

“n” is a long sound as in nnnnet and not nuh

“c”  and “k” are a short sounds as in cap and kit. It has a very gently “uh” sound at the end.

“e” is a short sound as in egg

“h” is a soft, short sound and not huh. Take a deep breath and sigh to hear it 🙂

“r” is a long sound as in rrrrip and not ruh

“m “is a long sound as in mmmat and not muh

“d” is a soft, short sound as in dip with a quite rather than pronounced uh sound at the end.

I hope that this helps :). It is so important to get it right in the beginning. If you have any further questions please feel free to email me info@missmernagh.com.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Jolly Phonics Tricky Words 1-30

I have been working on Jolly Phonics Tricky Words 1-30 for a long time now! I am thrilled to be moving on Jolly Phonics Tricky Words 31-60. There are some seriously “tricky” ones for us to learn next term. All those “wh” words will be a challenge( what, when, why, where, who, which)!

Now that we are moving on I need to test each pupil.I also wanted a sheet to include in a Writing Journal so that these words can be correctly spelled in creative writing…

This is what I came up with : Tricky Word Ladders. The Tricky Word Ladders either can be laminated and cut into strips for quick reviewing or put into Home Work Journals for practice.

I also made a Test Card version for those of you who need to keep Pupil Profiles. I will use this sheet and include it  each pupils journal so that parents can see what words require practice.

Click here to download both sheets

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Gingerbread Man themed Jolly Phonics Tricky Words 1-20

I decided to make my Jolly Phonics Tricky Words 1-20 a little more festive in the hope that my Christmas obsessed class might actually do some work!!! Any one else finding it hard to get their class to settle down to work at the moment?

I have created the  flashcards in both full colour and in black and white.  Here are some ideas of how to use them. Snap, Concentration, write the room, a treasure hunt….

Here is a sneak preview of the  Jolly Phonics Tricky Words 1-20 cards!

Here is the Jolly Phonics Tricky Words 1-20 treasure hunt worksheet:

Inspired by Angelia at http://extraspecialteaching.blogspot.com I have made my own Gingerbread Man Card Game to correspond with Jolly Phonics Tricky Words 1-20. My graphics are all from the Microsoft Website and are only in full colour. You could print the words in black and white and the extra cards in colour if you want to be frugal 😉

Click here to download my coloured cards.

Click here to download my black and white cards.

Please leave a comment if you download my cards. I just love hearing from you.

Have fun and Merry Christmas!

Miss Mernagh 🙂

p.s Gingerbread Man graphics are courtesy of DJInkers

Jolly Phonics Tricky Word Games 1-20

I have been busy planning another game to help reinforce Jolly Phonics Tricky words 1-20. Variety is the spice of life after all!

I have yet to try out the games with my class but am dying to do so. I am saving them up for my Gingerbread Man unit. I though they were too cute to keep and decided to share them with you guys!

There are a number of different ways to use these cards:

  1. A word treasure hunt
  2. Concentration game
  3. Snap or Old Maid
  4. Flashcards or a Word Wall
  5. Word Headbanz

All of these games are explained in my pack. I have created two for you to choose from: black & white or full colour. You choose!

Please click here to download Black & White Tricky Words

Please click here to download Colour Tricky Words

I hope that you have lots of fun learning and revising these Jolly Phonics Tricky words. Let me know that you think. I just love to get comments!

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

ps Clip art by DJ Inkers

Tricky Words 11-20

I have been busy doing my prep for the week to come. What a way to spend a Sunday, eh?! As my class have been playing with my first set of Tricky Words Bingo Boards for a little while now I thought that it was time to move on. My scheme for this term indicated a similar plan for the week ahead ;).

 Voila! Trick Word Bingo 1-20.

Click here to download Tricky Word Bingo 11-20

Print out, grab your Bingo dauber and off you go!

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

PS. Clipart by DJInkers

Word Detective & Phonics Printables sh/ee/oa/ai

I just thought that I would share with you the word detective sheet that I created for my class today. It was a big hit so I am sure that you might know someone who would love it too! I am always on the hunt for or creating phonics printables. I am sure that many of you are exactly the same so I am only too glad to share.

I always do my best to trial my phonics printables them at school before posting them. Generally, I create printables for my own classroom use and then share them with you guys afterwards 🙂

This Sound Detective Sheet is a great way to integrate maths and literacy. My class certainly enjoyed the challenge! Using different colours for each digraph also simplified the process and ensured that almost all children had a completely correct graph 🙂

I plan on using this sheet tomorrow as the revision part of my lesson. We have been practicing “encoding” or sounding out words on our whiteboard so this activity should be a nice extension of this. My class just love it when I use the big timer on our Interactive Whiteboard! I am sure that this printable will be a big hit. Hopefully they won’t spend their time glued to the timer rather than writing their words!!!

The final activity in this pack is a crossword which, I plan to use on Friday. I have checked it twice so I am pretty sure that is is correct 😉

I hope that you find these worksheets useful. Please click here to download all three sheets

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

p.s The monkey clipart is by DJInkers.com and the rest are from MS Word

Blending cvc’s

Exploding the Code!

The English language is a code that your child must develop skills to crack. The tool for cracking this code is, of course, Phonics. I like to call this “exploding the code”! Most children will be following Synthetic Phonics Programmes such as Jolly Phonics. These programmes often send home sheets for your child to practice blending cvc’s.

Children can never have too much practice at “blending” or stretching out sounds to “explode the code”. Phonics programmes begin with CVC’s (consonant vowel consonant) words eg cat, man, bed. It is, however, important that children learn to blend sounds correctly as this allows them to decode words more efficienlty. With practice your child will blend sounds almost instantly in his/her head. To read my article on how to blend sounds please click here.

I  find “Powerpoint” very useful when teaching my class to blend cvc’s. It allows me to create large flashcards of our cvc’s. I am also in control of the pace at which flashcards appear ie. I can click to proceed or time them to appear automatically. This allows for plenty of instruction time.

Here is a slide that I prepared during the week to cover the “an” & “ed” families. This corresponds with the spelling programme I use, Prim Ed’s “My Spelling Workbook”. It is useful regardless of what spelling programme you follow :).If you would like to download this presentation, please click here.

You need to download and save the document to your computer.

Open the document, click on the “view” tab and then” full screen”.

It will now look like a conventional Powerpoint Presentation. I couldn’t figure out how to keep the slide animation so you will have to click your mouse to move from slide to slide. Sorry! If anyone knows how to do this please, please email me.

Have fun,

Cathriona 🙂

Around the World with Tricky Words

My school follows the Jolly Phonics Programme and as part of that I must teach some “tricky words”.  Tricky words are those that cannot be easily sounded out, eg should, little, and must be instantly recognized instead. I don’t have that many commercially bought games to go with the programme as they are beyond my budget. For those of you in the same situation you might like a copy of my Tricky Words Around the World Game! It covers Tricky Words 31-60. Even if your school or child is not covering the Jolly Phonics Programme learning to read these words would certainly speed up fluency 🙂

To play, each child is given one card, sometimes more! The child with the “go” sign starts the game by saying “I have go. Who has only?”. The child with the word “only”will respond with “I have only.Who has old?”. The games continues in a loop until the last child calls “stop”. My class love it and when they are familiar with the words I set a stop watch and they race to beat the clock. It’s hilarious!

 Click here to download!

Cut out the flashcards going across the page so that you have a white and a blue section still attached!   


I hope that you all have as much fun and learning with this game as we do.

Have fun!

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Digraph Checklist

I thought that you might like a copy of my Digraph Checklist. I use this with my class to quickly identify known and unknown sounds.

You can use it two ways depending on how well your child know their sounds:

  1. Point to a sound for your child to name
  2. Say a sound and have your child point to it

I hope that this makes homework or testing a little quicker, easier and cuter!

 

 

 

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Clipart by DJInkers