It’s on the cards

I took the plunge and bought the Jolly Phonics card set to go with my pupil’s books and work books. I read somewhere that raising bilingual children was not cheap. They may be right, but a little investment now may save a lot of time and effort in the future. That’s the plan, anyway. So what’s in the box?

Cards, obviously.

The box set (such a by-word for quality) contains four sets of cards that are intended for use with the Jolly Phonics learning system. There is no reason why it couldn’t be used independently however, as long as you are aware of what you are teaching and how to introduce them effectively. The what and the how of it though are the point, and it would make sense to spend a little extra to get one of the book sets to help you make sense of the cards. Random use of the cards could be quite disastrous.

The cards are printed on thick card so sturdy enough for the classroom as well as home use. I will not be leaving them where little hands can reach however. I think that this is the way they work: Set one is delivered in the same order as the sounds are taught in the Jolly Phonics books. Set two contains regular phonic blending word-cards with words that can be made using the sounds learned in the jolly phonics system. Set three contains words with alternative spellings for the same vowel sounds as set two. Both sets two and three use dots to show individual phonic sounds in the words. Set four contains difficult words that need extra practice.

The cards arrived yesterday. I am still negotiating the beginnings of the books with my four year old. She is slowly becoming used to the 10 minutes a morning practice routine I have started. With time we may be able to extend that as her concentration improves and she starts to feel the benefits of the work we are doing. I will not be using the cards until then I think. At the moment we are reviewing letters and blends she has known for a year.

For those already using or thinking about using the Jolly Phonics resources, there are many complementary resources on the web that may be of interest. Class teachers may like the Lesley Clarke Synthetic Phonics page here  with downloads for presentations. The Gilfach Fargoed primary schools website here is a simple introduction the Jolly Phonics system and quotes ‘independent studies’ that claim students educated with the JF system have a reading age one year above their age, although they fail to mention which study that was.


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