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Getting parents involved with Sound Waves

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Getting parents involved with Sound Waves

Sound Waves 23/2/21


Whether you formally provide homework or not, many parents are eager to support their child’s spelling practice throughout the year. However, some parents may have learned to spell using different approaches to those used in Sound Waves. To ensure Sound Waves is effectively embraced at school and at home, use our top tips for getting parents on board.

Provide parents with an overview

At the start of the year, provide parents with an overview of Sound Waves using these handy resources.

A video

Send parents a link to the Getting Started with Sound Waves video for a quick explanation of what learning to spell with Sound Waves entails.

A letter

If you’re teaching Years 1–6, send parents the Sound Waves: An Overview for Parents letter which clearly outlines the Sound Waves approach, what their child will be learning in their spelling lessons and how they can support their child from home. If you’re teaching Foundation students, send parents the Foundation Letter to Parents which explains the two phases of learning specific to their child’s first year of school.

A workshop

Give parents a more thorough overview of synthetic phonics with our DIY Parent Workshop pack. The pack includes:

  • an informative presentation suitable for parents, presenter notes and a printable worksheet for parents.
  • a selection of Sound Waves resources, such as Student Charts, to complement the presentation.

Download an order form or contact your local education consultant for more information.

Notify parents about the week’s focus sound

Let parents know that students usually explore one or two focus sounds per week. There are a number of ways you can notify parents of each week’s focus sound, such as:

  • displaying a sign near the door of your classroom
  • including a note in students’ homework books
  • informing parents via your electronic communication channels (email, newsletters, digital noticeboards or through your learning management system).
Pass on activity ideas to parents

To prevent parents from resorting to outdated ‘look, cover, write, check’ activities, provide them with a selection of activities to do at home to support what their child is learning in class.

Offline activities
  • Art activity: Draw or paint a picture that contains as many words with the focus sound as possible.
  • Play Phoneme Chain: Pick a word, then ask your child to come up with a word that starts with the same sound that your word ends with. For example, grassstilllambmaybe.
  • Play Platypus: Create sentences that include a List Word, but substitute the List Word with the word ‘platypus’. For example, ‘The platypus had a crown on her head’. Ask your child to identify the missing List Word (answer: queen).
Online activities

Remember to pass on your Student Access Code (located on the program home page of your own Sound Waves Online access) to parents and students alike so they can access for the following activities.

  • Practise pronunciation: Watch the Pronunciation and Chant and Action videos in the Sound Info Kit available within every Sound Unit. These videos are great for modelling and practising the correct pronunciation of a focus sound.
  • Sing along to all 43 sounds: Also available within the Sound Info Kit are two video clips of songs that feature all of the 43 sounds – great for a singalong.
  • Play the interactive games: Games such as Match Up, Unjumbler, Grapheme Trek and Grapheme Sort are available in every Sound Unit and are a fun and engaging way to work with the week’s List Words.

Remember, it’s also important to encourage parents to reach out and talk to you if there’s something they don’t understand to avoid confusing students.

Tell us about your ideas and strategies for getting parents onboard with Sound Waves. Tag us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

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