Jelly and Bean

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Jelly and Bean Book Bands The books in the Jelly and Bean reading scheme are divided into bands of colours to indicate the level of difficulty children will encounter as they read the text. The criteria used to define each band depends on:  the phonic phase of the letter/sound correspondences introduced the high-frequency words introduced,  […]

100 Words

In 2005 Dr Jonathan Solity and his team identified 100 words which make up 53% of the written words in children’s and adult’s reading books. These very frequently occurring words come from the database of over 850,000 words found in these books. These 100 words are: a, about, after, all, am, an, and, are, as, […]

Are phonemes the basic units of speech?

The short answer to this question is no. Phonemes are not the basic units of speech. Phonemes are categories of sounds abstracted from the speech of people in a given community that change the meaning of utterances. They are not separate sounds which are combined together to form speech. They do not exist as separate […]

Spaces between words, units of meaning and phonics

Consider the word ‘to’. It is written as two letters with a space either side. Once we have seen it and someone has told us how to pronounce it, we are able to remember ‘to’ in its written form. We learn its sound (phonology) and its spelling (orthography). It is a unit of meaning in […]

Question: When is a digraph not a digraph?

Answer: When it crosses a syllable boundary. A digraph is two letters that combine together to correspond to one sound (phoneme). Examples of consonant digraphs are ‘ch, sh, th, ng’.  Examples of vowel digraphs are ‘ea, oa, oe, ie, ue, ar, er, ir, or, ur ‘. If we think about consonant digraphs first we see […]

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 […]

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 […]

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