Sound Splits and Scaffolding
This month we’re letting you know about a new activity, Sound Splits, which is going to be available next week under the Course.

We’re also going to let you know where to find suggested strategies for students who find some other StepsWeb activities challenging.
Sound Splits
Sound Splits is valuable in helping learners tackle new words by teaching them to break words into individual phonemes (sounds).  Phonemic awareness is particularly important for literacy in the early stages.

In Sound Splits, learners are presented with words and are asked to click between the letters to split them out into their component sounds. We’ve created an initial demo, explaining the activity to the student.  It demonstrates how a sound can consist of either a single letter or multiple letters.
Examples are as follows:
b/i/g         l/oo/k        sh/e
StepsWeb reads the individual sounds of a given word out loud to the learner when they have made a correct attempt.  This is important because it reinforces the letter-sound understanding.  If the attempt was incorrect, StepsWeb will read out each sound and then the learner has another go.

In the Course section, the Sound Splits activity includes words from that list, as well as other words with spelling patterns which are appropriate at that level.
Scaffolding Strategies
We are frequently asked by teachers and parents for advice on how to cope when students struggle with particular online activities.

Activities which are often challenging for learners include:
Vowel Ladder
Memory Activities
We've also created one for the new activity, Sound Splits.
Although it might be tempting for teachers and learners alike to skip over these exercises, we recommend doing them since they’re crucial to developing core literacy skills.  One of the most important aspects for struggling learners is actually the ability to learn and apply appropriate strategies.

To help educators better support their students, we’ve created a new section on our Support Site with guidelines and scaffolding or reinforcement techniques appropriate for these challenging activities.  You’ll find these under the Scaffolding Techniques heading.
How to contact us
We are happy to help out with any StepsWeb queries and your feedback is always welcome.  If there are any resources you’d be particularly interested in, just let us know.

Feel free to give us a call 0800 701 107 (New Zealand), 1300 323258 (Australia), or +64  3 313 3625 (International). You can also send an email to if you would like more information.

Happy learning
The StepsWeb team
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