Phingertip Fonics is designed to help teachers who are teaching basic phonics and word recognition. It is used by the class teacher in a whole class situation, or by Learning Support teacher in a small group/individual situation. It is designed to supplement the traditional methods of using flash cards and chalk to teach phonics and word recognition.

The project uses Flash to present a Fruit Machine type interface. In the CVC section (Consonant-Vowel-Consonant) any combination of letters can be presented instantly. Firstly the teacher can manually change CAT to BAT to BIT to BET instantly. Secondly any of the letter positions can be set to change to a random letter. Thirdly – all letters can be set to change randomly (giving rise to nonsense words). A further feature is that a mouseover of any of the letters gives a picture hinting at the sound of the letter (ball for b etc.).

Mouseover of the vowels also gives the sound of the vowel as well as visual clue. The same features are used to teach other areas of phonics. There is a section on final blends, initial blends and the “magic e”. In the “magic e” section the basic word can be selected by the teacher or selected randomly by the program. Likewise with the final e – the teacher can add or subtract the final “e” – thus changing HAT to HATE or BIT to BITE in an instant.

Secondly the program has a word list section. This presents high frequency words from the Dolch List which the teacher wishes to teach. The final area of the program is a section on “Onset and Rime”. One window will show the rime (eg -ack) and the first window displays the various onsets ( bl – ack , cr – ack etc).

Curriculum Addressed

The program addresses some of the approaches to teaching in the Learning Support Guidelines in the areas of ·Developing Phonemic Awareness ·Phonics ·Word Recognition.

It also covers the Strand Unit Reading: developing strategies for first and second class covering areas such as ·Onset and rime ·Consonant blends
·Digraphs ·Building sight vocabulary

Author: Pat Barry
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