speldsa's blog

Supporting people with specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia since 1969

The Importance of Constant Revision for Jolly Phonics

Posted by speldsa on February 12, 2010

Letter sound revision activities

As the new letter sounds are introduced children need to constantly revise all sounds they have learnt thus far.  This needs to be done by a mixture of flashcard drill ( cardbord flash cards, Power Point flash cards, IWB flashcards), table games, worksheets and physically active games like sound rounders.  These activities need to be short, varied and fun.  Often the best ones are those that take the least preparation.  Keep your eye on this site over the next few weeks and we will post some new games and websites to help you achieve this end.

It would be great if you can add some comments and share activities that work in your room  or websites you find helpful.  The more everyone shares the less work we all have to do.

 Running to the correct letter: pin up some large letter sounds in the corners of the hall. Call out one of the sounds and get the children to run to the correct corner.

Letter circles: draw letters inside circles on the playground and call out the sounds. Each child has to try and get into the correct circle before the others! At playtime, the children will often make up their own little activities, using these letter circles.

Creative letters: get the children to paint the letters, or make the letters from plasticine or dough.

Fishing for letters: write letters on fish-shaped pieces of cardboard, pin a paperclip to each one and make a fishing rod with a magnet on the end. The children take it in turns to fish for a letter and then say its sound. The fish is kept if the sound is correctly identified. At the end of the game, the fishes are counted and the child with the most fish is the winner. Alternatively, children can play a similar game on the Jolly Phonics CD-ROM.

Sound Box: write the known letters on separate pieces of paper and place them in a box. The children pair up taking it in turns to pick out letters and say the sounds.


Posted in Jolly Phonics - tips and tricks | Leave a Comment »

Inspiration 8 – Bec’s Poems

Posted by speldsa on September 9, 2009


Inspiration 8

Student’s who have short term memories often find, that by the time they go through all the processes needed to get an idea from their minds onto a piece of paper, they have forgotten what they wanted to write. Due to this, to get their ideas down on paper or the computer they tend to write disjointed pieces that may make no sense to the reader.

Inspiration 8, now up to version 9 is only one of many mind mapping programs available for students who need a visual prompt to remember their ideas during the writing process.

Below is a visual map that was developed within the Inspiration program over a couple of lessons, with one of my students. The template was designed to guide Bec into developing her ideas. The template had instructions built in to each link, this enabled Bec to work independently at home. She also recorded verbal ideas that were embeded into the inspiration page, this enabled her to remember her ideas for how she might use each element in her poetry.

Bec used the ideas she developed in the mind map to write two poems that you can see below. Click on the picture to see the full view.bec




Fragrant and silvery  



Wild garlic   

Allium vineale   

Clustered clove like  

Its pretty, but smells bad  


Noddy, musk thistle

Carduus nutans

Soft fluffy top, sharp prickly bottom


Becky age 12




Gorgeous, fancy

Crystals and opals        


Beautiful, glamorous  

Indigo sun sets


Vibrant, Magnificent

African, common, shrinking violet

Becky age 12

As stated on the Inspiration website you can you the program for many things including but not limited to;

Brainstorm ideas, structure your thoughts and visually communicate concepts to strengthen understanding with the Diagram and Map Views. To take notes, organize information, and structure writing for plans, papers and reports, use the integrated Outline View to focus on main and supporting ideas and to clarify thinking in written form. With Inspiration’s Presentation Manager, transform your diagrams, mind maps and outlines into polished presentations that communicate ideas clearly and demonstrate understanding and knowledge.

A 30 day trial of the program is available for download from the following link http://www.inspiration.com/Freetrial

There is also a free web based version, great for collaborative activities, that can be accessed through the next link http://mywebspiration.com/

If you would like training in how to use Inspiration or to learn more about its application in educational settings for students with specific learning difficulties contact Sandy Russo on 8431 1655.

Posted in Assistive software | Leave a Comment »

Update MS Word Talk

Posted by speldsa on June 10, 2009

FREE assistive software update!

MS Word talk 2009

MS Word talk 2009

A new version of MS Word talk was released early 2009.

This version has many new features and some that have been redeveloped.

You only need to install the one file that can be downloaded from http://www.wordtalk.org.uk/Home/

If you have an earlier version of MS Word Talk, please uninstall it through control panel/add remove programs, along with the configuration file that will be in the same list, before loading the new program.

New features include:
• a talking spellchecker on right click of word
• speech feedback by clicking on a word
• turning text into a spoken wav or mp3 file
• echo words (the word is spoken once you press the spacebar)
• echo sentences (the sentence is spoken with highlighting when the fullstop is added)
• clicking on a correctly spelt word to get a list of synonyms
• replacing synonyms with a click

SPELD SA Software Advisory team recommends that all schools update to this new version.

Posted in Free assistive technologies | Leave a Comment »

Timesaver tip – Be specific when you Google worksheets

Posted by speldsa on June 10, 2009

Don’t waste time creating new worksheets, there are plenty on the internet for free. They can easily be adapted for your needs and used on interactive whiteboards.

Google search will be much more effective if you are very precise in your search. (e.g. if you need a work sheet for the sound ‘sh” use the search term free worksheet+ sh

A great site to get you started http://www.primaryresources.co.uk/

Feel free to share websites you have found useful for teaching Jolly phonics in your comments to this post.

Posted in Jolly Phonics - tips and tricks | Leave a Comment »

Specific Learning Difficulties

Posted by speldsa on December 11, 2008

This blog has been developed to compliment the SPELD SA website

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

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