Sound Identification Sheet

I have been busy testing my new class to see how many letter sounds they remember from Junior Infants. It ‘s a mammoth task but very worth while. I created these cute and incredibly useful sheets for easy testing. Please click here to download both. I laminated them and punched them so they can be kept in my ring binder for ease of use.

Incidentally, the sound sequence matches the letter sound introduction pattern used by Jolly Phonics.

I thought that it was about time that I created a recording sheet to directly correspond with it. I have added some explanations to the image below to help you use the sheet to it’s full potential. These obviously will not appear on your copy!

So here we go: click here to download

I prefer to tick only the unknown when testing children. It  makes it so much easier to read scores at a glance. It also allows you to concentrate more acutely on the child and to document the difficulties that  he/she has or the incorrect responses made. It is also easier on the hand when you have lots and lots of children to test ;).

I will be creating similar test sheets for digraphs over the coming weeks. I think that these sheets are equally useful for parents and teachers. We both have to keep track of how well children are doing and to figure out what sounds to practice that day. By the way, only revise/teach 3 sounds at a time regardless of how many your child did not know. If possible separate out the teaching of those that they reversed eg b and d.

How do you keep track of scores? Have you any clever tips that you could share with us?

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

p.s The graphics are by DJInkers and the fonts by

What is blending?! Stretchy Snake will explain all.

If your child is learning phonics it is really important that you understand the concept of “blending”. Blending is the process of saying the individual sounds in a word and then running them together to make the word such as m-m-a-a-n-n (man).Sounds must be said quickly, accurately and fluidly to hear the word. This smooth and accurate blending is essential for reading fluency and correct phonological processing (hearing the blended word correctly)

Note: Blending is the opposite to spelling where you chop up the word into individual sounds and say each sound separately such as m/…a/…n.

Blending is something that needs to be practiced on a daily basis once your child has begun to learn phonics. It can often take a child quite a while to hear the sounds in words, so do not worry.

To encourage children to stretch out the sounds in words I give them an elastic band and introduce them to Stretchy Snake ( we pretend that they elastic band in our snake!)

Click on the image below to download

(have your Gmail or Google Docs account open before downloading)

The elastic band is a really helpful way of showing children how to stretch out a word. Take a deep breath. Turn your two hands into the elastic band and stretch it out opposite directions. As you stretch out your elastic band, slowly say each sound in the word without stopping, so they run into each other in a long string eg sssuuunnn. Then say the word eg. sun. The stretchy snake band helps your child to remember the long,  seamless string that they need to make when blending.

Sometimes, singing the sounds can be easier for young children to do. Just pick and note and sing all the sounds without stopping.

Make sure that your child is pronouncing his/her sounds correctly. Any mispronunciations or choppy sounding out should be corrected as early in the learning process as possible.

When your child is comfortable with blending you can use and ” imaginary elastic band”. Make the same pulling action, but without the elastic band 😉

It is important to begin with oral blending first. Once your child can hear the sounds in words and  can easily blend them together to make words, then he/she is ready to practice blending written words.

Once your child begins to read, remind him/her to try using “stretchy snake” for unfamiliar words. Children need to be reminded of word attack strategies until they become automatic to them.  Explain that Stretchy Snake doesn’t always work, but is worth a try.

I shall cover other word attack strategies in the coming weeks.

Miss Mernagh 🙂