Our Foundation students at Greenvale Primary School will be learning how to read, write and spell using a program called Little Learners Love Literacy. This is a comprehensive literacy program developed by a Melbourne Education specialist Maureen Pollard, for early primary students. It is based on evidence from research that recommends the explicit and systematic teaching of early literacy skills using phonemic awareness and synthetic phonics.
The program is based around a big book called MILO’S BIRTHDAY SURPRISE. The children will meet Milo Monkey and soon learn that it is his birthday. Milo would like his friends to help him celebrate. On all the following double pages in the book, Milo rings a friend. Each friend is an animal with a name that starts with the same sound, for example, Sally Snake. These letters are introduced in a deliberate order which assist students with learning.
One of the key components to learning to read successfully is an awareness of sounds and their link to speech and letters. Children do not develop this phonemic awareness naturally by just being immersed in a sound rich environment. It needs to be explicitly and systematically taught.
Little Learners introduces the sounds and letters (phonemes and graphemes) in a well thought out order that makes it easier for children to learn. The sounds /m/ /s/ and /f/ are the first sounds to be introduced because they are the easiest for children to say, feel and hear. Vowel sounds can be quite tricky to hear the difference between, and so, these are spread throughout the sequence. This gives children the chance to practice a vowel sound many times and gain confidence in identifying and using it before the next vowel sound is introduced.
Foundation students will be introduced to a new character and a corresponding letter/sound each week. The first character is Milo Monkey and the sound /m/. Be sure to check Compass each week to know which letter your child is learning about and read the note with ideas on how to help at home.
Home reading will begin in Term 2. Wonderful words/ Heart words will begin later this term. More information to come!
Learning Specialist – English