Phonics

Grapheme-phoneme correspondences: It's complicated

 CCSS ELA Literacy K-2, Foolproof Phonics App, ELA K-2, ELA Kindergarten, ELA 1st Grade, ELA 2nd Grade

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Phonological and Phonemic Awareness

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illustrated character polishing his nose

In words such as clock and  kick, the grapheme ck is associated with the sound or phoneme /k/ - so there are two letters making one sound. 

Notice that cat, kite, and duck all contain the same /k/ sound, but in each of these cases this sound is represented by different graphemes: c, k, and ck. They make the same sound but have a different spelling.  

The reverse is also possible in that the same letter or combination of letters (graphemes) corresponds to different sounds (phonemes) in different words; the digraph ow corresponds to two different sounds in 'snow' and 'cow'. In general, in English there is no simple one-to-one correspondence between letters or letter combinations and sounds. Often the same letters are pronounced differently in different words. But these complexities don’t mean that words are spelled and pronounced in an arbitrary way. This is why it is critical to teach phonics to children in a systematic way in order to ensure success.

Overall, even though the same sound can be represented by different letters or combinations of letters, not all possible representations of a sound are equally common. For example, the sound /f/ can be written as f (funny), ff (bluff), ph (phone), or gh (laugh). But ph and gh are less common than f and ff. Systematic Phonics introduces children to letter-sound correspondences, starting with the most common ones and ranging through to the least common.

EXAMPLE

illustrated catThe sound /k/ can be spelled c, k and ck


more examples

The sound /f/ can be spelled f, ff, ph, and gh

The sound /n/ can be spelled n, kn, and gn

sample pack

phonemes and graphemes chart

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We’re making it easy to find, integrate, and share character-rich, curriculum-aligned resources for Kindergarten to Grade 2. It’s time to streamline virtual learning and make it fun.

We’re making it easy to find, integrate, and share character-rich, curriculum-aligned resources for Kindergarten to Grade 2. It’s time to streamline virtual learning and make it fun. Here’s our quick-start guide to using Mrs Wordsmith’s resources with Google Classroom, Seesaw, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams.

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Bitmoji classroom template

deep dive

Phonics is the method that helps children build systematic connections between letters and sounds. Phonics has a better impact on children’s reading ability than any other type of reading program. It has also been shown to improve spelling, particularly among kindergarteners and first graders. 

To find out more, read our Deep Dive into Phonics report. This report provides an easy-to-understand overview of phonics and phonemic awareness - why they are important and how they are taught in the classroom - and explains all the relevant terminology. It's perfect for sharing with colleagues, friends, and to Google Classroom!

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