The Writing Worksheets are only introduced to the child when he or she is confident reading and writing with the sounds. This confidence is measured by how easily the child reads the phrases at the phrase levels of the Reading Worksheets and Picture Packets-Phrases, and by the quality of the stories the child stamps out. Quality in this case means how well the sounds in words are heard, and not is the child a budding Shakespeare.
No child should be rushed into the transition level. Learning takes time. When there is time, it takes place.
The Writing Worksheets in combination with the Decoding Chart transitions the child from reading with sounds to reading with letters.
Use of the Worksheets and the Decoding Chart is learned by the parent or teacher first, who then teaches the child.
Four Lessons for the Parent or Teacher
Lesson Number One
Note: If you do not currently have access to a downloaded Decoding Chart, you can use the Decoding Chart - Flip app, but it will mean having to constantly switch between the two apps.
Look at the first word on the page and its codings. The first sound has a yellow rectangle beneath it.
Now, look at the second sound in the word. This sound has no rectangle beneath it. No rectangle means it uses the white spelling for the sound.
If lesson one’s instructions have been clear, you have written:
Lesson Number Two
Now, look at the second sound in the word.
Now, look at the third sound in the word. This sound has a yellow rectangle beneath it. Yellow rectangle means it uses the yellow spelling for the sound.
If lesson two’s instructions have been clear, you have written:
Lesson Number Three
Display page one (1 one) of the two-sound triangle.
Now, look at the second sound in the word. This sound has no color coding beneath it, so the white spelling rule applies.
You now know three of the rules for using the Decoding Chart. There is only one more rule to learn.
The Color and Number Codings
Color codings are introduced as children first begin writing letters for the sounds. Colors are easier for children to use at the start when figuring which letters to copy from the Chart. Colors draw the child's attention immediately to the correct spelling to be used.
As the child becomes increasingly familiar with his or her Decoding Chart, number references are introduced. When the child begins the Sightwords worksheets, number references alone are employed. The numbers are also present from the beginning so a child who is color-blind can still tell which spellings to use.
Colors are easy, but numbers have an advantage, too. If a parent or teacher wishes to print out something from the Stamping app for a child to translate into letters, the parent or teacher can add the required sound-letter codings more easily with numbers than with colors. Writing a 2 or a 3 requires only a pencil or a pen. Drawing colored rectangle requires a box of crayons. Numbers are included as a part of each coding from the outset to make the transition from colors to numbers a smooth and natural one.
Lesson Number Four - The Silent Letter Stamp
Sound images are a highly effective method of allowing children to learn to read and to write because they reduce the complexity of the task into manageable units. Traditional methods can overwhelm the child from the very beginning with too much that is confusing. However, once the child has demonstrated his or her ability to read and write with sounds, the complexities are gradually introduced.
One of the confusing aspects of written words is that the letters in some words do not make any sound at all. The 'L' in the word “walk” does not stand for a sound. The word could just as well be spelled “wawk.”
As children begin the transition from reading with sounds to reading with letters, they also begin learning about the silent letters tucked away in some words. When a silent letter occurs in a word, the Decoding Chart lets the child know which letter to write.
Look again at the first word on the page.
The letters of the alphabet are in one long row at the bottom of Decoding Chart, with an identifying symbol printed above each one. For easier location, the symbols are also enclosed in colored squares.
Now, let's finish writing the word in the example above.
The symbol below the silent letter stamp is enclosed in a small yellow square. Find the symbol on the bottom of your Decoding Chart. What letter is the symbol meant to represent? Use your finger to write this letter beneath sound on the worksheet.
If these instructions have been clear, you have written:
Try a few more pages on your own to test your understanding of using the Decoding Chart to translate sound-words into traditional words.
When you feel comfortable using the Decoding Chart to convert sounds into letters, you are ready to teach your child to use the Writing Worksheets and the Decoding Chart to begin transition from reading with sounds to reading with letters.
For parents or teachers who wish to use the Stamping app to write out stories for their children to translate into letters, or modify stories already written by the child, the silent letter stamp is available for parental use in the bottom right-hand row.