Write to Read (W2R)
Write to Read is a key part of the teaching of reading, spelling and writing across the school. It involves stories about the inhabitants of the Land of Language (e.g. words, letters, rules). It reinforces letter-sound relationships and explicitly teaches students how the written language works. It aims to supply them with tools to solve the problems presented by reading and spelling in English.
The starting point is the learning of phonograms (referred to as codes). We then move on to explicitly teaching rules to apply to these codes. Students are given many opportunities to practise these rules until they are embedded in their memory (‘automatic file’).
Phonograms and codes
A phonogram is the written symbol (i.e. a letter or group of letters) representing a sound we make in our language. A phonogram is also referred to as a code. Students initially are exposed to 70 codes that they become familiar with during Prep, Year 1 and Year 2. A code may have 1, 2, 3 or 4 letters (eg. a, ou, igh, ough). Each code may have one or more sounds. Eg. ‘a’ in ‘cat’, ‘lady’, ‘last’ (three different sounds). You can find examples of all these sounds on the phonogram chart (attached).
There are 30 rules to apply to the codes to assist spelling and reading. E.g. Rule 1: ‘qu’ sooky la la – ‘q’ is a ‘sooky la la’ because it won’t go anywhere without ‘u’.
When we are spelling we use these terms:
When reading, we ask the students to be ‘code spotters’ in order to read unknown and unfamiliar words. Their knowledge of the Write to Read phonograms gives them effective tools to ‘sound out’ words. They also need to apply some of the rules to ensure their pronunciation is correct.
Before beginning handwriting, we check the four Ps: Pressure, Pencil grip, Posture, Paper position.
Students are introduced to simple printing of ‘clockface letters’, so called because they are taught using a clockface to assist with direction and formation of the letters.
The 4 Magic Tricks of handwriting are also taught: formation, sizing, C.B.N.T (letters close but not touching each other) and baseline (letters sit on the line).
The links below, show you a list of all of the phonograms and the rules that assist spelling and reading.