Jolly Phonics in U.S. schools?

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cartwheel
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Jolly Phonics in U.S. schools?

Post by cartwheel » Sun Sep 14, 2008 4:18 am

I recently called Jolly Phonics to find out the names of school systems in the US that use their program. They told me they don't keep track. (Wilson/Fundations told me the same thing.) I would love to speak with teachers or administrators at a US school (preferably a school already considered "high performing") which has used JP or another SP program for at least 1 year. I believe there are a number of people who post here who live in the US.

I am a parent who would like to introduce the notion of systematic phonics into the local school, which currently uses the so-called "balanced approach" with no SP, and also has Reading Recovery.

I am impressed by the many reports of successes with SP, but I think it would be particularly important for me to be able to tell my school system that certain schools are already using SP and are happy with the results.

I have had a chance to speak with administrators at a couple of Massachusetts schools which have introduced Wilson's "Fundations," but some postings on this message board have me wondering if Wilson/Fundations is truly synthetic phonics.

I would love contact information, if anyone has any. Thank you.
I am thrilled to have discovered the RRF. What a breath of fresh air!
Jennie
Last edited by cartwheel on Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Susan Godsland
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Post by Susan Godsland » Sun Sep 14, 2008 9:26 am

Jennie,

I suggest you contact your nearest Jolly Phonics trainer and ask if there are schools local to you that they could recommend and put you in touch:

Go to : www.jollylearning.co.uk , click on 'training' and then on the USA map to bring up their contact details.

mtyler
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Post by mtyler » Mon Sep 15, 2008 3:59 am

Jennie,

I would look into Abecedarian at www.abcdrp.com. I believe they have been trialing the program in schools.

It is an SP-like reading program. Michael Bend, the author, is quick to respond to posts on their forum.

Melissa
Minnesota, USA

cartwheel
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Post by cartwheel » Wed Sep 17, 2008 5:04 am

Thank you. I followed Susan's suggestion and found a Jolly Phonics trainer. She was quite helpful. I will follow up on the abecedarian suggestion as well.
Jennie

AngusM
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Post by AngusM » Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:50 am

Tesseract School in Paradise Valley, Phoenix AZ has just adopted JP school-wide, I believe.

cartwheel
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Post by cartwheel » Mon Sep 29, 2008 5:28 am

Thank you, AngusM. I will try to contact someone there. Meanwhile I looked at Tesseract's website and saw that JP is a change from a previous phonics program that itself looked fairly systematic.

On a side note: The Tesseract School website has a clear and VERY detailed description of its reading program; it should be a model for other schools. I have looked at a number of schools' websites only to find vague references to their program or a description of the 3-cueing system. The schools that teach systematic phonics, on the other hand, are able to provide a great amount of helpful information to parents.

cartwheel
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Post by cartwheel » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:02 pm

Thank you, Angus, for directing me to the Tesseract School several months ago. I have subsequently been in contact with Kate Wilkes there, and she reports that Jolly Phonics, begun in September 2008, has been highly received by the teachers, parents, and students. In fact she said, "We have been blown away by what the children are able to do." The kindergartners were doing so well by December that they were beginning to read more skillfully than the first graders. Several are now reading Magic Tree House books and similar chapter books. The school therefore scrambled to implement synthetic phonics in the first grade. The word is spreading via substitute teachers who are amazed at what they are seeing, and a local university is interested in conducting a research study. Wilkes states that the school found the evidence in Diane McGuinness' book, Why Our Children Can't Read, and the Rose Report of the U.K. to be compelling. Now the evidence is before their eyes.

The school's website states, "Tesseract hopes to be the first independent school in Arizona to promote this program in the Valley. After training in the United Kingdom this summer, Wilkes was contacted by Jolly Phonics to discuss the training and to potentially make arrangements for making Tesseract a training center so that other educators will
be able to benefit from direct exposure to this program." - Jennie
Last edited by cartwheel on Sat Mar 21, 2009 3:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Susan Godsland
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Post by Susan Godsland » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:35 pm

Wow, wow, wow!
Thank you for passing on the marvellous news, Jennie.

http://www.tesseractschool.org/academic ... school.asp
Research has shown that children need a strong foundation in phonics in order to perform well in spelling and reading. A good foundation is comprised of multiple components: letter-sound correspondence, blending sounds and segmenting words. After a child has learned those skills, then language comprehension processes make reading more fluent. As such, we have introduced the Jolly Phonics program into our kindergarten curriculum. Originally designed for use with children with dyslexia, this multisensory program has proven to be successful in the mainstream classroom.
This isn't correct though: 'Originally designed for use with children with dyslexia'. Jolly Phonics was originally designed as a classroom programme.

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Post by chew8 » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:35 pm

Lovely story!

Jenny C.

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Post by Susan Godsland » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:44 pm

I've just discovered another connection; the Head of School, Nigel Taplin, received his BA, from Exeter University, England -that's the university both my sons attended and a short walk down the road from my house!

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Post by chew8 » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:50 pm

And has everyone noticed that the person who trained Kate Wilkes was Elizabeth Nonweiler?

Jenny C.

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maizie
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Post by maizie » Fri Mar 20, 2009 10:09 pm

This isn't correct though: 'Originally designed for use with children with dyslexia'. Jolly Phonics was originally designed as a classroom programme.
Well, I suppose that as Sue Lloyd was an SEN teacher perhaps that information has been slightly misinterpreted?
And has everyone noticed that the person who trained Kate Wilkes was Elizabeth Nonweiler?
Where was that info. Jenny (C)?

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Post by chew8 » Fri Mar 20, 2009 10:18 pm


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maizie
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Post by maizie » Fri Mar 20, 2009 10:22 pm

Thanks, Jenny. I hadn't found that.

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Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Fri Mar 20, 2009 10:33 pm

http://www.tesseractschool.org/academic ... CurMap.pdf

Read the list of activities under the 'Phonics' heading on the 'Language Arts' curriculum page.

Lots of 'guess the mystery word' and other 'guessing' activities!

It's difficult to discern the content of the 'Phonics' programme at the school because there's some non SPh routines and ideas to be seen - although I cannot really tell what these might consist of.

I get the impression that 'Phonics' might mean the 'reading' side of things, and there are other aspects of teaching which we would put under the phonics umbrella that have been put under different headings.

Not quite sure what the 'practice' might look like at this school!

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