Jelly and Bean

Latest from Jelly and Bean News & Blog

Q: When is a digraph not a digraph?

A: When it crosses a syllable boundary. A digraph is two letters that combine to correspond to one sound (phoneme). Examples of consonant digraphs are ‘ch, sh, th, ng’. The phoneme /ng/ is initially taught as corresponding to the digraph ‘ng’ in words such as ‘bang, sang, king, ring, wing, long, song, string, going, looking’. […]

White spaces are more important than phonics

Consider the word ‘to’. It is written as two letters with a white space either side. Once we have seen it and someone has told us how to pronounce it, as a whole word, it never changes. It always sounds and looks the same. We have learnt its phonology (sound) and spelling (orthography). We know […]

Abstracting Phonemes from Written Words

The description I am about to write relates to what I think children have to do when they are beginning to learn to read and write using phonics. In particular, it is about what they have to do when learning how to abstract phonemes from words. I was motivated to write some easy books because […]

Synthetic Phonics and Jelly and Bean Systematic Phonics

There are 4 principles of synthetic phonics set out by its proponents at the Reading Reform Foundation and by the Department for Education in England. 1. Initially children are taught one grapheme for each of the 44 phonemes of the English language. They begin with the sounds corresponding to a few letters of the alphabet. […]

Syllables, Phonemes and Phonemic Awareness

Syllables Syllables are the smallest units of spoken language that humans articulate in normal speech. They are made up of a vowel called the ‘nucleus’ and an optional consonant before and/or after the vowel. *** The consonant (or cluster of consonants) before the vowel is called the onset. The consonant (or cluster of consonants) after […]

Beginning Reading and Writing with Jelly and Bean

The Jelly and Bean Reading Scheme begins with the books in the AB Starter Pack. The material and ideas in this series are reinforced in two parallel series, the First Words Series and Tom and Bella Series 1. All three series are for the Phonic Phase 2 of Letters and Sounds and the Pink book band. […]

What is meant by decoding- still unresolved-March 2017

DECODING The term ‘decoding’ is often used to describe the transcription of written text to spoken language. I suggest it is this particular term, ‘decoding’, used in different contexts, that is responsible for much of the muddled thinking related to reading, writing and, in particular, synthetic phonics. In order to try to clarify the concept, […]

Spellings, Letters, Sounds and Learning to Read

In the 17th century, the spellings of English words were ‘set in stone’ when the first dictionaries were written. These spellings have not changed over time. It is because of this, that we can read books written in previous centuries. However, the 26 letters of the English alphabet are pronounced in many different ways in written […]

Jelly and Bean and the Statutory Requirements for Teaching Reading

The Jelly and Bean reading scheme has grown and evolved since it was first envisaged in 1998. The original phonic strategy was neither analytic phonic nor synthetic phonic. It was simply a combination of the author’s own knowledge of phonics adapted to the sequence and progression of the National Literacy Strategy introduced by the UK government […]

Our Reading Scheme

Written language turns our continuous stream of speech into distinct static units, separated by spaces, on paper or on a screen. These static units are words. Words are the smallest units of meaning needed for verbal thought. They are combined into larger units of phrases and sentences when we are thinking about the world and […]

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