Grapheme vs. Phoneme

So far, I have been focusing on researching how to teach printing. I have found that: “A grapheme is the written symbol either an individual letter (s, m, a) or sequence of letters (th, sh, ch, oy) that are used to represent a single phoneme” (Right Track Reading). I have been specifically reading about the order in which to teach letter formation. I have found a few different orders that different programs say are the best, but what they all have in common is that they teach the letter out of order, in both printing and when teaching phonemes.“ A phoneme is the smallest speech sound example the sound /s/ or /ch (Right Track Reading). Most programs state that you should focus on printing lower case letters first because they are more common in text and more useful when writing. Many teachers stated that the first letters they teach are those in the students name since it is meaningful to them. Then an interesting order that I read about was to start with the straight line letters (l, i, t, f, j) and then move into the letters that start like a ‘c’ (c, o, a, d, g, q), then letters that are like an ‘r’ (r, n, m, p, b, h) and then the extras (e, s, k, u, x, v, w, y, z). I observed my sponsor teacher doing an order similar to this when doing printing practicum with my practicum class.



2 thoughts on “Grapheme vs. Phoneme

  1. I loved how you had all the letters displayed for the whole year because my practicum teacher does hers TOTALLY different!! What techniques would you use to teach the letter ‘H’? Would you teach your students the letter H then add in the sequence of letters th, sh, ch.. and so on or would you blend it all together? I am curious because my practicum teacher only spends one week on a letter than she will review throughout the weeks, but the students only have one week to really focus on the letter H.

    1. my sponsor teacher last year did letter combinations (such as th, sh, etc.) after the students had learned all of the letters of the alphabet. She used the same order than Jolly Phonics uses. She actually did more than one letter a week with the kids at the beginning of the year. She really front end loaded it for the students, but by the time I got there in January they all seemed to have a firm grasp on all their letter sounds.

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