"Sound it out" only works around 40% of the time, which
makes it relatively unsuccessful.
This is because most English words cannot be sounded out 'phonetically'.
Take a look at this list of the ten most commonly used words in written
the, be, to, of, and, a, in, that, have, I.
Only 'and' and 'in' are truly 'phonetic'. We learn to read the others
by recognising them by sight. We can only recognise by sight things that we see regularly and
often. This is one of the reasons nightly reading is so crucial to early readers.
It is also why we need to be very careful about encouraging children to 'sound it out'. We must only do so if the word
can be easily sounded out, e.g. 'cat', 'six', 'went', 'hand' etc.
You will see Prep children at Sacred Heart learning some letter-sound relationships through phonics approaches such
as 'Ants on the Apple'. However, this is just the beginning. These children will progress to examining such language
features as the 'soft eff' sound in 'fish', 'physical' and 'enough' or the 'ue' digraph in true, Tuesday and blue.
Classroom Helpers at Sacred Heart...
* Are invaluable in the junior grades. We cannot deliver truly
focused, small-group teaching without this assistance.
* Must provide copies of current Working With Children checks
to the office.
* Listen to children read.
* Read to children.
* Play games with and coordinate activities for children.
* Model good listening behaviours by focusing on the teacher
* Help keep children focused and on-task
* Pause, prompt and praise
* Engage and extend 'early finishers' by asking them to talk
about their reading or their work
* Maintain confidentiality, understanding how inappropriate it
would be to discuss children or teachers outside of the
* Do not make judgements or comparisons because they know
all children learn at their own rates and in their own ways
* Seek clarification from the teacher when needed
* Never disrupt the learning by talking on the 'phone,
interrupting the teacher, distracting their own child or walking in
and out of the room.
* Are tremendously appreciated for their vital role in classrooms.
Should you have any questions, concerns
or ideas about the ways we teach
Reading in our Junior classrooms, please
speak to your child's teacher, or contact
Junior Unit Leader, Jacinda Deacon on
Junior School Curriculum Leader and
Deputy Principal, Emma Rutherford on
or Principal Des Lowry,
Or call the school office: 50231204