• OpenMindzTM

Learning Phonics the OpenmindzTM Phonics way! - Part III

Date: 22-04-2014 Author: Jaya


Identifying Sounds in Words

This basic skill focusses on students hearing and identifying the sounds in a word to spell it correctly. OpenmindzTM Phonics suggests several methods for identifying sounds in words, such as beginning with simple three-letter C-V-C (consonant, vowel, consonant) words like cat, and say the word while tapping out the sounds and using rhyming games and poems to attune the ear to sounds.

Spelling the Tricky Words

Some words in English have irregular spelling and cannot be read by blending, e.g. 'said', 'was' and 'one'. These irregular words are called "Tricky Words" in the OpenmindzTM Phonics programme, and have to be memorized separately to increased reading fluency. This is begun once the students are able to recognize the 42 sounds and blend them into simple words.

OpenmindzTM Phonics suggests several methods for learning tricky word spellings, such as saying the word as it sounds, and using the Look, Cover, Write, Check method. Using cursive (joined-up) writing has also been suggested to aid spelling of memorized words.


When students have learnt the OpenmindzTM Phonics letter sounds, they can start writing independently, although their spelling will be more phonetic.

Alternative Spelling

Once students have learned the 42 letter sounds they need to be made aware of alternative ways that some vowel sounds can be written. Initially in OpenmindzTM Phonics, only one way of writing each sound is taught, then the main alternative spellings are covered. For example 'ai' as in 'rain' is initially taught, and once this has been mastered, the alternatives 'ay' as in 'day' and 'a-e' as in 'came' are taught.

Letter Names

When the first three groups of OpenmindzTM Phonics letter sounds have been taught, children can be told that letters have names as well as sounds. This is when the alphabet is introduced and the link is made between letter sounds and letter names.