English schools understandably place a significant emphasis on developing a deep understanding of phonics. Regarded as the 'building blocks of learning', these units of sound have to be mastered at a young age. Reading and writing abilities are built on a solid knowledge of phonological awareness and without it, literacy levels suffer. How do we make learning this skill an engaging exercise? Phonicsplay uses interactive experiences to 'gamify' the experience. In this article we dig a little deeper into the website and have a look at how you can use
PhonicsPlay Limited is a teaching resource website, which contains classroom materials in the form of downloadable and interactive phonics games across the phases of 'Letter and Sound'. This website is run by Rosanna Springham, who holds a huge experience of working as a leading literacy teacher. Rosanna's husband Justin Springham is responsible for the customer service side of the website. The teaching resources at the website were free to access (without any subscription fees) for many months due to the Corona Virus pandemic.
In the past, many people believed that the English language is so vast that there is no need to teach phonics to children. But, now it is largely believed that these tricky bits are so important that they must be taught clearly and methodically. A written language is a type of code and teaching phonics involves cracking that code. Phonicsplay helps children to learn the manageable parts first and then progress through to more complex parts.
Phonicsplay Teaching Resources
Many people think that it is very difficult to teach phonics. But, they need to step into a phonics lesson at Phonicsplay. These lessons at Phonicsplay are solely made up of actions, songs and games and last for 15-20 minutes/ day. Rosanna believes that when children are taught phonics in a playful way, they are happy to play the games and practice independently. You can access a variety of Teaching Resources offered by Phonicsplay, at home or in the classroom.
In the past few years, there has been a huge shift in how children gain subject knowledge and learn to read in schools. New ways are helpful for many children to learn to spell and read. Phonics is a recommended way to help students learn to read. Alongside other methods of teaching such as Shared Reading and Guided Reading, Phonics develop a real love for reading and offer great help for learners build all the other vital skills needed for reading.
Introducing Phonics through game resources makes learning as playful and fun-filled as possible. Teachers and parents can visit phonicsplay.co.uk to access a huge variety of interactive games for each phase of phonics learning. Phonicsplay makes learning fun for children and ensures that learning is engaging. Here is a list of the various games features at the different levels:
- Sound Starters: this game is aimed at developing vocabulary for talking about new sounds.
- Welcome to the zoo: designed for helping children to copy and listen to phonic sounds.
- Cake Bake: Introduces children to rhyming sounds.
- Buried Treasure: this interactive game helps children to blend sounds.
- Dragons' Den: another good game for practising the important skill of blending.
- Picnic on Pluto: Again, another fun activity for blending sounds using aliens as a stimulus.
These games are the same as the previous phases, the complexity however increases incrementally. This gives children valuable time to practice their new skills. The familiarity of the games means that children don't have to spend too much time focusing on the technical side of the games, they can focus on the learning objectives.
Words are consisting of small units of sound known as phonemes. Phonics help children in carefully listening to and identifying the phonemes that constitute a word. This enables children to learn how to spell and read words properly. Phonics lessons teach three things to children:
Children are taught GPCs (or grapheme-phoneme correspondences). They learn all the English language phonemes and ways to write them. The learners are taught sound in a particular sequence. The students start to learn from s, a, t, p sounds.
Children learn to blend. Blending is a kind of word-creation in which two or more words are joined to make one word. For example: when the beginning of the word 'breakfast' is combined with the end of the word 'lunch', a new word 'brunch' is formed. This skill plays a vital role in building reading ability.
In Phonicsplay, children also learn to Segment. A segment is opposite to blending. Children can say a word and then break the word into the phonemes that create it. This plays an important role in enabling the learners to spell words.
Learning phonics is easy in some languages because each phoneme can only represent one grapheme. However, this is not the case in the English language. English is considered more complex. There are only around 44 phonemes in English but these are written in 120 ways or graphemes. There are only 26 letters in the alphabet so several graphemes include more than a single letter.
One more problem is that some graphemes may represent more than a single phoneme. For instance: ch has a different sound in the following three words: chef, school and chip.
Some of the digraphs - graphemes with two letters are ay, oo, th or Ch.
Some graphemes are consisting of 3 letters (trigraphs) and some even include 4 letters.
There are many advantages of subscribing to the Phonicsplay.
Many schools use games from www.phonicsplay.co.uk to teach phonics to their students in their everyday phonics teaching. The Phonicsplay is also accessible in form of an app. Children can use the apps to learn and play independently. Additionally, for any teacher or parent feeling unsure about how to teach phonics, the apps offer a great opportunity for learning and playing together. The app helps learners to understand phonics at the primary stages of phonics learning. This app has been designed to provide an easy and enjoyable way to rehearse and build on what learners have already learned.
PhonicsPlay comics are easy-to-read comics containing familiar characters from PhonicsPlay. They are brief, engaging, silly comics that can be printed out or read on a computer. The comics are designed to give children the chance to practice the skills and knowledge they learn every week in school. They offer a fun way to apply their newly learnt Phonics knowledge.
Request a 7 day free trial for individual or whole school membership and get unrestricted access to all games and resources.
You can get a 7 day free trial for individual or whole school memberships.
Access comprehensive lesson plans and teaching resources as well as further information, help and guidance for parents.
Free, unlimited access to selected games and teaching ideas across several phases - play these games as many times as you like!
There are a number of resources on the site which are always free, two week free trials are available, school subscriptions are valid for pupils to use from home and all the comics on the PhonicsPlayComics site remain free. The free jan21/march20 login has been withdrawn.
To receive a password update email, please visit the Lost Password Thank you very much for your ongoing support.
According to the company policy, all the new subscribers get fourteen days time during which they can cancel their subscription and receive a full refund.
If you are concerned about children spending too much time in front of a screen, you might be interested in having a look at our Writer's Block classroom tool. These building blocks are designed to make learning interactive and engaging. During lockdown, it could be argued that children spend too much time on iPads and computers. Many teachers reported problems with language acquisition as the isolation meant that younger pupils did not have enough opportunities to talk.
Our block building tool causes children to talk about their learning. As they build, they talk and justify what they are connecting. This means children can talk about Phonics conventions and 'have a go' with their new ideas. The brightly coloured blocks enables children to spot spelling patterns and make generalisations. You can find out more about the classroom strategy on the web page. The idea behind the concept is based upon the notion that children need opportunities to break down and build back up the things they encounter in the curriculum. We cannot learn for them, their understanding has to be carefully constructed and guided by us, the educators. You can read more about Schema's and Jean Piaget's work in the other blog posts.