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RT @Kirstylu29: Can you find the tiny heart? I can’t 🤷🏻‍♀️
- Thursday Apr 2 - 11:21am

Watch the OR show! Interactive #phonics #games and activities to play and join in with. Ideal for #homeschooling! H…
- Thursday Apr 2 - 8:13am

RT @missvirdeerps: Phonics practice! @MrsBurnsRPS @MissPickRPS@MrBrownbill @MissHubertRPS @RollestonPri
- Thursday Apr 2 - 8:05am

Don’t forget to catch up on your daily #phonics .... interactive #fun and #games for #eyfs and #y1 children. Ideal…
- Wednesday Apr 1 - 10:25am

RT @stafford_leys: @learningladyuk It really is - thank you.
- Tuesday Mar 31 - 3:21pm

Or-a-l b-l-e-n-d-i-ng & S-e-g-m-e-n-t-i-ng

As it is the beginning of a new school year, and the new children are beginning to find their feet, many of us will be turning our attention to furiously Baselining to check children’s starting points. The Learning Lady knows that all too often the biggest gaps in pre-phonic development are those of oral blending and segmenting, but practising these needs to be fun to engage the children straight away. Here are some simple tried and tested ideas to try straight away with your newbies!

What’s The Word Mr Wolf?

A great game to play at lunchtime!


A  bag of real objects for Mr Wolf (The Learning Lady likes to use CVC objects from the Phase 2 and 3 lists in Letters and Sounds 2007


Lots of space to run around in!

What to do

  1. The practitioner needs to stand at one end of the space as Mr Wolf, holding onto the bag of objects.
  2. Explain that all of the children need to stand at the other end of the space in a line facing the Mr Wolf  (as in the traditional game of What’s the time Mr Wolf? 
  3. Turn around to face away from the children, secretly selecting an item from the bag.The children will need to be taught to  chant “What’s the word Mr Wolf?”, all together.
  4. As Mr Wolf, say the chosen item from the bag (e.g. tim).
  5. The children will need to think carefully about how to segment this word, saying each phoneme (sound) in the word separately to segment and step out the word at the same time. For example, for the word tin the children would take three steps whilst calling out t-i-n. For the word sheep the children would also take three steps whilst calling out sh-ee-p.
  6. The more phonemes i a word, the nearer to Mr Wolf the children should become. Play continues in this way, with Mr Wolf selecting and calling out a word and the children orally segmenting then calling out / stepping the word selected.
  7. Once Mr Wolf senses that the children are really close and have chanted “What’s the word Mr Wolf”, call out “Dinnertime!!!”
  8. The children will need to run quickly back to their starting point to be safe.
  9. Mr Wolf needs to ‘catch’ one of the children, this child will become the new Mr Wolf.

I Hear With My Little Ear

A great game to teach new parents!


A  bag of real objects  (The Learning Lady likes to use CVC objects from the Phase 2 and 3 lists in Letters and Sounds 2007

A large tray I Spyor

A picture card like this from Twinkl                                                                                                                 **These can be confusing who are learning English as an additional Language or for those who simply need fewer options) .

What to do

  1. Make sure you are in a quiet, distraction free zone!
  2. The practitioner needs to sit the group of children in a circle with the group of objects or picture facing them.
  3. Before beginning, remind the children of looking closely at the practitioners mouth and how to use the objects / pictures for clues.
  4. Have a practise before beginning. The children should be encouraged to  pick their own object or picture, orally segmenting it clearly using ‘pure sounds’*. For example s-u-n for sun, h-a-n-d for hand or m-ou-th for mouth.
  5. All of the children need to work together to decide whether individuals have done this correctly, providing feedback with a brief thumbs up or down.They will do this by blending the spoken sounds back together mentally. Following a few practise turns it is time to begin the game.
  6. The practitioner begins by saying to the children “I hear with my little ear, something that sounds like…..” An object or picture is selected to complete the sentence,  then orally segmented, for example “m-oo-n”.
  7. Particular children should be chosen to work out the object or picture, blending the spoken sounds back together mentally to work it out.
  8. If the selected child identifies the correct object / picture segmented, he / she becomes ‘in charge’ and begins the next round of the game.
  9. If the selected child makes a random guess or is incorrect, model the blending process aloud as a guide to help him / her.
  10. Continue playing in this fashion until all objects have been identified / all children have had a good length of time to practise these important skills.


A great way to let off steam!


A  bag of real objects. Put one in each of the corners of the outdoor area or hall.  (The Learning Lady likes to use CVC objects from the Phase 2 and 3 lists in Letters and Sounds 2007

Lots of space to run around in!

If you’re playing indoors you may want some music for the children to dance to as they move about the space.

What to do

  1. The practitioner needs to explain to the children that there are objects placed in each of the corners of the space. It is best to show / take the children to where the objects are, saying the whole word for the object and segmenting it into separate sounds (phonemes) too. Ask the children to join in with the oral segmenting so that they are remnded of what each of the object names sounds like when segmented. For example, clock = c-l-o-ck .
  2. Explain that the children are going to need all of the space to move around in (either to music or without).
  3. If music is being used, play the game in a manner similar to musical statues. The practitioner needs to let the children dance to the music then pause the music and call out an object by segmenting it’s sounds / phonemes rather than saying the first word (e.g. b-a-g for bag).                                                                 or                                                                                                                         If music is not being used, the practitioner needs to specify a way the children need to move (for example, running, jumping, skipping, crawling) and use a musical instrument as a means of stopping them before segmenting the word aloud (as above).
  4. The children will need to stop on the signal or as the music stops, blend the phonemes / sounds back mentally, then run as fast as possible to the corresponding object.
  5. As the children play the game, look, listen and note. Are they independently blending and matching with the real objects orally segmented by the practitioner ? Are they simply following the other children? Can they do this confidently / independently? Can they take on the role of the practitioner and call out words by segmenting them for the other children to run to?
  6. Repeat as required with further, more complicated objects to orally blend and segment.
  7. A Learning Lady highly recommended for all those new to pre-phonic development…..

Screen Shot 2018-08-20 at 14.28.17

Musical Chairs

                                Great use of an old party classic                               


A  bag of real objects. Put one in each of the corners of the outdoor area or hall.  (The Learning Lady likes to use CVC objects from the Phase 2 and 3 lists in Letters and Sounds 2007

Chairs or cushions for all of the children, organised into two rows so that the children will be able to sit back to back. Place one object on each chair.

Music for the game.

What to do

Start the game with each child standing in front of a chair or cushion. The practitioner needs to explain that the children are going to dance clockwise around the chairs/ cushions, all travelling in the same direction. This may need some practise first!

Model dancing around the chairs for the children then demonstrate that when the music stops each child needs to find a chair / cushion to sit down on. The children will then be given time to pick up the object on the chair / cushion then orally segment it aloud (all at the same time).

The practitioner will need to look, listen and note as the children do this, occasionally asking individuals to orally to segment an object for the group. Are the children segmenting independently and Confidently? do they struggle with any particular speech sounds?

Explain that the music will begin again and everyone will get another turn. Unlike a traditional game of musical chairs, the cushions / chairs will not be removed as this gives the children more opportunities to play and practise the essential skill of segmenting.

2014-04-19 08.35.42

Like these and still want more? Why not join Emma at some Learning Lady training this term…..

Pre-Phonics-Getting Them Ready for Reading

With the emphasis on high expectations in phonics in our schools, it is more important than ever that our youngest children have well developed early phonic skills at the preschool stage. This inspirational pre-phonics training course will show you how!Attendance on this course will undoubtedly impact on the teaching of pre-phonic skills in your school or setting, enabling children to tune in, remember and talk about sounds in readiness for the phonic work to come. 

 A HIGHLY practical course which goes way beyond Letters & Sounds
Heaps of inspirational ideas to take away
Top tips for planning and assessment
Trouble shooting and personal support

Thursday 8th November 2018, 9.30-4.00 

Book Training Through…. Cotgrave Candleby Lane Teaching School, Nottinghamshire

Email :Julie Thain,

Monday 26th November, 9.30-4.00, Hinckley Parks Primary School, Leicestershire


Email :Jackie Payne,

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