Common Digraphs & letter strings Black & White Version
This set of B&W Sound Cards is an exact copy of the colour version – which is now available for sale and exclusive to Starfish Education Centre.
All evidence clearly demonstrates that teaching phonics (specifically systematic instruction of synthetic phonics) is the MOST effective way to teach children to read.
The FIRST step is for children to learn the alphabet and the sounds they make, and how to join the sounds together (blending) to make a word.
The SECOND step is for children to learn common digraphs (eg sh, th, ay, ai, ee) and letter strings (eg ing, all).
At Starfish Education Centre, we have found that once children know the sounds of the alphabet letters, the gap in knowledge is GRAPHEMES.
Both Kath and I have taught at University level for many years (that’s how we met) and now we teach alongside each other in our tutoring centre.
We have loads of expertise and experience teaching what we call the “pointy end of the stick” and have picked up a lot of strategies and fabulous resources along the way.
However, it was the absence of a phonics resource that was easy to use, structured, explicit, practical and FUN that got us designing our own based on WHAT WE KNEW WORKED.
We knew there was a demand and a desperate need from others as well, as many many families and teachers come into Starfish desperate for resources pitched at this level (common digraphs).
The colour version, which is what we now use, is palm sized and printed in the best quality card (they feel great). They are already hole punched and a hinged ring is included. They also come in a sturdy plastic case (which is great for storage).
The cards have a built in suggested guide that is easy to follow in terms of teaching order (there is a progression at the top of each card for easy reference).
The colour version is available for sale, and many will opt for this. However, both Kath and I feel strongly that good teaching resources should be accessible to all not just those who can afford it. Hence, we’ve made a black & white version available.
All you need to do is:
- Print the black and white version out
We recommend going for a playing card size or slightly smaller so they’re easy to handle and flip
Place the cards so the picture of the sound (eg lucky duck ck ck ck ck) is on one side and the digraph is on the reverse side (ck)
- Laminate them
- Cut out
- Hole punch
- Put them on a hinged ring.
What we do in our tutoring centre is – we only put the cards onto the ring that the kids have learnt already. The remaining cards (to be taught/learnt) stay in the plastic box for safe keeping.
Once we determine that a child is ready to learn a new sound, one is “taught” and added to the sound ring.
Every day at the start of a tutoring session, we take a few minutes to practice the sounds on the sound ring before teaching the next sound and adding it to the ring.
Generally, we teach the digraphs in ‘groups of sounds’ (usually one at a time) – so we would teach ay and ai consecutively.
The Sound Ring is great teaching – based on practice, immediate feedback and reinforcement and teaching to mastery.
The cards provide visual prompts, and on the reverse side there is the opportunity to practice the digraphs without the picture prompt (as that’s what we’re working towards).
We also have matching wall cards that are in colour and available for sale. These are an A5 size (half an A4). These can be mounted for use in the home, classroom or learning environment.
The Starfish Sound Ring Level 2 set of resources is HOT off the press. We will add lots of footage and photos of them being used over the next few weeks.
We know you’ll love the Starfish Sound Ring level 2 cards and whether you purchase the colour version or download and make your own b&w version – enjoy and use with confidence.