The Sounds in Spelling

This year our class will be using the Sound Waves program for Spelling. This program allows us to learn and recognise the different sounds that letters make when reading out words. We began by discussing what phoneme’s and grapheme’s are.


 the smallest unit of sound in a word. When we say or hear the sound it is a phoneme.



the letter or letter combination used to represent a phoneme in written form. When we write the sound it is called a grapheme.

None of us knew what these two words meant which was great because by learning about these words our brain grew with new knowledge that we can now use when trying to spell difficult words!

We each have a chart with all the consonant and vowel sounds. Each phoneme is represented by a ‘sound box’. The sound for the sound box is worked out by saying the icon name, then saying the sound represented by the first letter(s) in the box when we say the word. We also discovered that some graphemes have more than 1 sound. For example  the grapheme ‘er’ in the word ladder is not the same sound as in the word her.

After discussing the different graphemes we practiced the sounds by playing many different games. We also wrote our first names by listening to the phonemes and using the icon pictures from the ‘sound boxes.’ Can you guess the names below?

Each week we focus on a new sound using list words that all have the same phoneme. By learning the different sounds correctly this will help us spell more challenging words and to sound out words when reading.

How has listening to the phonemes of each word helped you spell your spelling words or when reading a book?

Can you choose 3 words and write them down. Then count how many sounds are in each word. Record your answers in your comment.

What other graphemes can you see on the chart that have more than one phoneme sound? Record your answers in your comment.

What do you enjoy the most or find challenging when doing your spelling contract?

2 thoughts on “The Sounds in Spelling

  1. Dear mrs baldwin the three words i’m going to write is?
    .quak the phoneme is QU with 4 sounds
    .chicken the phoneme is CH with 4 sounds
    .super the phoneme is ER with 4 sounds

    .murder the graphemes are ur and er
    .shooter the graphemes are sh,oo and er
    .pillow the graphemes are ll and ow

    I enjoy most in my contract is the challenge because it challenges you so you can move up a group.

    by harrison

  2. Dear Mrs Baldwin,
    Listening to phonemes has helped me read and spell better because the sounds are helping me sound out the words and i will officially get the word.
    People Talk Drum in the word people it has 5 sounds not 6 because there is a silent E. Talk has 4 sounds Drum also has 4 sounds.
    I enjoy the challenges in spelling because my brain is growing when i am trying to figure it out.
    From Matilda 🦁

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