THRASS- Why every child should be involved
THRASS- Teaching Handwriting, Reading and Spelling Skills
More and more schools are adopting THRASS methodology, in Australia as well as all around the globe. But what does it mean? What does THRASS involve and how can it help your child?
Here are the basic ideas from THRASS:
Handwriting- Neat letters and good pencil grip.
It’s not only about making a piece of writing look good, but it is also important for your child’s fluency in writing. While they are struggling to “get the letters right” they are losing concentration on what they want to say; they are losing the meaning of the message. Gripping the pencil correctly is the first step for any child’s writing development.
You could try fun stories such as “Peter the Pilot” “Crocodile, crocodile snap!” to help them at home.
Reading- Letters make up words, words make up sentences, sentences make up texts.
Most of us probably learnt to read with phonics, saying that letter A sounds /æ/ as in “apple”, E sounds /e/ as in “egg”, etc. Then when we moved to our first readers, we tried to “sound out” the words we didn’t know and ended up getting frustrated because words like “baby” were impossible to read. This is the ‘One letter makes one sound method’ and is used in most schools throughout Australia.
THRASS teaches that letters do not have sounds until after they are in a word. Take letter A, for instance; letter A can sound /æ/ as in “ant”, /eɪ/ as in “baby”, /ɑ:/ as in “banana”, /ə/ as in zebra, /ɔ:/ as in “ball”, or /ɒ/ as in “swan”.
The key is to teach letters in context!
Spelling- Now it makes sense!
Teachers, parents and students get tired of learning endless rules and too many exceptions to them. Learning the THRASS charts can take awhile, but it will make your child a much better speller in the long run. Just by learning that there are different spelling choices for different sounds will prepare your child to look for the correct one, instead of just assuming that, for example, the sound /s/ is spelled with letter S as in “sun”.
t doesn’t matter if your child’s school is not using THRASS, being familiar with the charts and its methodology is a fantastic way of helping every child’s great stories come to life when they write!