Archive of: May, 2019

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introTextAn important milestone
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Parents often ask how they can help their children with learning to read as they are very aware of what an important role it plays in future academic success. Reading helps develop intellect, increase vocabulary, improve writing and spelling all of which increase self-confidence and build motivation.

Learning to read does not happen overnight. It involves a series of stages and these can begin from when a child is months old. It takes time to pass through these stages and children require systematic teaching and lots of practice to move through them successfully.

The Pre-reader:

  • Likes to look at books and be read to
  • Likes to behave like a reader e.g. holds books and pretends to read them
  • Learns about letters by looking at books, playing with letter blocks or magnetic letters
  • Learns about words from stories, traffic signs and logos on food packages.
  • Learns how text works e.g. where a story starts and finishes and that the print runs from left to right.
  • Begins to understand that their own thoughts can be put into print
  • Uses pictures and memory[cb1] to tell and retell a story

The Emerging Reader

  • Is ready to receive reading instruction
  • Learns that text is a common way to tell a story or to convey information
  • Begins to match written words to spoken words and perceive the relationship between sounds and letters
  • Begins to experiment with reading, and is willing to say words out loud when reading simple texts
  • Finds the pictures helpful in understanding the text, and learns that the words convey a message consistent with the pictures

The Early Reader

  • Develops more confidence and uses a variety of methods such as word building or visual cues to identify words in texts.
  • Adapts reading to different kinds of texts
  • Has an increasingly wide sight vocabulary of words, knows a lot about reading and is willing to try new texts

The Fluent Reader

  • Has an extensive sight vocabulary of words
  • Uses a variety of methods to identify unknown words and their meanings
  • Reads a range of texts and predicts events in a story
  • Relates what is read to their own experience and understands new concepts.

How you can help your child on the journey to becoming a fluent reader?

As a parent you are your child’s first and most important teacher. Reading aloud to children is the best way to get them interested in reading. It is natural to want to compare your child’s reading abilities with those of children of the same age, but not all children develop reading skills at the same pace. What’s important is that you are aware of your child’s reading level so you can chose books and activities which are appropriate and will help develop their skills.

rightColBody

Tip 1: Talk to your child

Oral language is the foundation of reading. Listening and speaking are a child’s first introduction to language. Talk to your child as much as possible about the things you are doing and thinking and encourage them to do the same. Ask them lots of questions, sing songs, playing rhyming and riddle games. Be patient and allow them time to find the words they want to use.

Tip 2: Make Reading Fun

The more you enjoy the reading experience, the more your child will enjoy it. Read aloud with drama and excitement, use different voices for different characters. Re-read favourite books as many times as your child wants to hear them, and choose books from authors your child enjoys. Read stories with repetitive parts and encourage your child to join in. Choose new books together and ensure these cover all the different genres. When reading track the print with your finger so the connection is made between the word on the page and those being heard.

Tip 3: Read Every Day

Children love routine, and reading is something you can both look forward to every day. By taking the time to read with your child, you show them that reading is important as well as fun. Reading with your child is the best thing you can do to help them learn at school. Keep reading to your child even once they are able to read for themselves. This will keep their interest alive and hearing stories they aren’t yet able to access themselves, will stretch understanding and widen knowledge.

Tip 4: Set an Example

As a parents, you are your child’s most important role model. If your child sees you reading, especially for pleasure or information, they will understand that reading is a worthwhile activity. Talking about books is just as important as reading them. Discussing a story or book will help your child understand it and connect it to their own experience of life. It also helps to enrich vocabulary.

Tip 5: Listen to your Child Read

As your child learns to read, listen to them read aloud as often as you can. Choosing a time when there will be no interruptions is essential. As you listen, remember that your reactions are important. Listen without interrupting, be enthusiastic and give specific praise. Patience and encouragement really are key. Guide your child in their choice of books and steer them away from ones which are too difficult. Give your child time to work out tricky words, get them to try the following strategies:

  • Think about what word would make sense in the sentence.
  • Sound the word out
  • Think of a word which looks and sounds similar
  • Look for parts of the word that are familiar
  • Think about which word would sound right in the sentence.
  • Check the pictures and punctuation marks for clues.
  • Go back and read it again
  • Ask for help with the word

Finally, remember you can always ask me or your child’s teacher for help and guidance.

Happy reading!

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perch_introTextAn important milestone
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Parents often ask how they can help their children with learning to read as they are very aware of what an important role it plays in future academic success. Reading helps develop intellect, increase vocabulary, improve writing and spelling all of which increase self-confidence and build motivation.

Learning to read does not happen overnight. It involves a series of stages and these can begin from when a child is months old. It takes time to pass through these stages and children require systematic teaching and lots of practice to move through them successfully.

The Pre-reader:

  • Likes to look at books and be read to
  • Likes to behave like a reader e.g. holds books and pretends to read them
  • Learns about letters by looking at books, playing with letter blocks or magnetic letters
  • Learns about words from stories, traffic signs and logos on food packages.
  • Learns how text works e.g. where a story starts and finishes and that the print runs from left to right.
  • Begins to understand that their own thoughts can be put into print
  • Uses pictures and memory[cb1] to tell and retell a story

The Emerging Reader

  • Is ready to receive reading instruction
  • Learns that text is a common way to tell a story or to convey information
  • Begins to match written words to spoken words and perceive the relationship between sounds and letters
  • Begins to experiment with reading, and is willing to say words out loud when reading simple texts
  • Finds the pictures helpful in understanding the text, and learns that the words convey a message consistent with the pictures

The Early Reader

  • Develops more confidence and uses a variety of methods such as word building or visual cues to identify words in texts.
  • Adapts reading to different kinds of texts
  • Has an increasingly wide sight vocabulary of words, knows a lot about reading and is willing to try new texts

The Fluent Reader

  • Has an extensive sight vocabulary of words
  • Uses a variety of methods to identify unknown words and their meanings
  • Reads a range of texts and predicts events in a story
  • Relates what is read to their own experience and understands new concepts.

How you can help your child on the journey to becoming a fluent reader?

As a parent you are your child’s first and most important teacher. Reading aloud to children is the best way to get them interested in reading. It is natural to want to compare your child’s reading abilities with those of children of the same age, but not all children develop reading skills at the same pace. What’s important is that you are aware of your child’s reading level so you can chose books and activities which are appropriate and will help develop their skills.

perch_rightColBody

Tip 1: Talk to your child

Oral language is the foundation of reading. Listening and speaking are a child’s first introduction to language. Talk to your child as much as possible about the things you are doing and thinking and encourage them to do the same. Ask them lots of questions, sing songs, playing rhyming and riddle games. Be patient and allow them time to find the words they want to use.

Tip 2: Make Reading Fun

The more you enjoy the reading experience, the more your child will enjoy it. Read aloud with drama and excitement, use different voices for different characters. Re-read favourite books as many times as your child wants to hear them, and choose books from authors your child enjoys. Read stories with repetitive parts and encourage your child to join in. Choose new books together and ensure these cover all the different genres. When reading track the print with your finger so the connection is made between the word on the page and those being heard.

Tip 3: Read Every Day

Children love routine, and reading is something you can both look forward to every day. By taking the time to read with your child, you show them that reading is important as well as fun. Reading with your child is the best thing you can do to help them learn at school. Keep reading to your child even once they are able to read for themselves. This will keep their interest alive and hearing stories they aren’t yet able to access themselves, will stretch understanding and widen knowledge.

Tip 4: Set an Example

As a parents, you are your child’s most important role model. If your child sees you reading, especially for pleasure or information, they will understand that reading is a worthwhile activity. Talking about books is just as important as reading them. Discussing a story or book will help your child understand it and connect it to their own experience of life. It also helps to enrich vocabulary.

Tip 5: Listen to your Child Read

As your child learns to read, listen to them read aloud as often as you can. Choosing a time when there will be no interruptions is essential. As you listen, remember that your reactions are important. Listen without interrupting, be enthusiastic and give specific praise. Patience and encouragement really are key. Guide your child in their choice of books and steer them away from ones which are too difficult. Give your child time to work out tricky words, get them to try the following strategies:

  • Think about what word would make sense in the sentence.
  • Sound the word out
  • Think of a word which looks and sounds similar
  • Look for parts of the word that are familiar
  • Think about which word would sound right in the sentence.
  • Check the pictures and punctuation marks for clues.
  • Go back and read it again
  • Ask for help with the word

Finally, remember you can always ask me or your child’s teacher for help and guidance.

Happy reading!

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Cargilfield

A Parents’ Guide to Teaching Early Reading Skills

An important milestone

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introTextFun and Games in the Classroom!
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I often get asked what it’s like being a pre-prep teacher, spending your days ‘colouring in’, ‘singing songs’ or ‘getting out toys for lessons’. And I often take people aback with the perfectly truthful answer of ‘it is all just great fun actually!’

Now you may be wondering why we take primary education so seriously if this is all we achieve in P2 from a Monday to a Friday but actually it goes much deeper than a superficial front of fun and games, underpinning what is quite possibly at the very heart of all education. Developing and fostering a love of learning right from the very beginning.

That love of learning is exactly what the P2’s would be bursting to tell you all about from last term. Take the time we have got our hands, face and smiles covered in paint discovering the fun the North and South of a magnet can have (not so much ‘love’ from the cleaner we admit!). Or how about when we turned our classroom into a ‘real’ space ship, witnessing a live conversation from astronauts aboard the ISS and undertaking a series of astronaut tasks, learning that team working is an essential (but not always easy!) part of any job. The space journals we wrote leading on from this certainly produced some impressively detailed and opinionated pieces of writing.

They’ll also be more than keen to show you the planet orbit dance we learnt, which whilst making us all dizzy, showed us how the Moon and Earth orbit the Sun making days, months and years! Or ask them to fill you in about the time a herbivore made lodge in our classroom at night causing daily classroom chaos! The descriptive story writing produced from this adventure certainly echoed the excitement and enthusiasm the children had from their imaginations. Taking our ‘fun and games’ outside has also let us explore the real length in meters and centimeters of some of the world’s largest dinosaurs. Even at arm’s length, standing in a line we weren’t as big as an Argentinosaurus! How did this creature even fit between trees was one of the questions raised! The fun and enjoyment found in all these activities has allowed the children to explore, question and wonder. Possibly the three key ingredients for really developing a love of learning no matter what the age.

rightColBody

I thought I’d asked P2 what they ‘loved about their learning at school so far this year’ and these were some of their replies…

‘All the story writing we do because we always have the most fun before it’

‘When the spaceship landed in the classroom and we got to see what being a real astronaut is like… it wasn’t easy!’

‘When the dinosaur came into our classroom and we set up a camera to catch him!’ shortly followed by ‘oh I know, when I wrote about the dinosaur knocking over Mr Taylor’s picture of Mrs Taylor in his office!’

Story writing certainly featured high on their love list and it was clearly through the exploration, excitement and more simply ‘fun’ they had in the build up to these pieces of work.

So whilst it may be all ‘fun and games’ down in a primary classroom there is no doubt that laying down the foundations for a love of learning is definitely the successful route for developing enquiring and inquisitive individuals. We certainly have a year group full of just those sorts of individuals! Every game played to help our maths, song sang to remember our spellings or toy used to engage our brains is the very foundations for keeping that love for learning going right through to our old age. Now I wonder where our love for learning will take us this term!?

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perch_introTextFun and Games in the Classroom!
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I often get asked what it’s like being a pre-prep teacher, spending your days ‘colouring in’, ‘singing songs’ or ‘getting out toys for lessons’. And I often take people aback with the perfectly truthful answer of ‘it is all just great fun actually!’

Now you may be wondering why we take primary education so seriously if this is all we achieve in P2 from a Monday to a Friday but actually it goes much deeper than a superficial front of fun and games, underpinning what is quite possibly at the very heart of all education. Developing and fostering a love of learning right from the very beginning.

That love of learning is exactly what the P2’s would be bursting to tell you all about from last term. Take the time we have got our hands, face and smiles covered in paint discovering the fun the North and South of a magnet can have (not so much ‘love’ from the cleaner we admit!). Or how about when we turned our classroom into a ‘real’ space ship, witnessing a live conversation from astronauts aboard the ISS and undertaking a series of astronaut tasks, learning that team working is an essential (but not always easy!) part of any job. The space journals we wrote leading on from this certainly produced some impressively detailed and opinionated pieces of writing.

They’ll also be more than keen to show you the planet orbit dance we learnt, which whilst making us all dizzy, showed us how the Moon and Earth orbit the Sun making days, months and years! Or ask them to fill you in about the time a herbivore made lodge in our classroom at night causing daily classroom chaos! The descriptive story writing produced from this adventure certainly echoed the excitement and enthusiasm the children had from their imaginations. Taking our ‘fun and games’ outside has also let us explore the real length in meters and centimeters of some of the world’s largest dinosaurs. Even at arm’s length, standing in a line we weren’t as big as an Argentinosaurus! How did this creature even fit between trees was one of the questions raised! The fun and enjoyment found in all these activities has allowed the children to explore, question and wonder. Possibly the three key ingredients for really developing a love of learning no matter what the age.

perch_rightColBody

I thought I’d asked P2 what they ‘loved about their learning at school so far this year’ and these were some of their replies…

‘All the story writing we do because we always have the most fun before it’

‘When the spaceship landed in the classroom and we got to see what being a real astronaut is like… it wasn’t easy!’

‘When the dinosaur came into our classroom and we set up a camera to catch him!’ shortly followed by ‘oh I know, when I wrote about the dinosaur knocking over Mr Taylor’s picture of Mrs Taylor in his office!’

Story writing certainly featured high on their love list and it was clearly through the exploration, excitement and more simply ‘fun’ they had in the build up to these pieces of work.

So whilst it may be all ‘fun and games’ down in a primary classroom there is no doubt that laying down the foundations for a love of learning is definitely the successful route for developing enquiring and inquisitive individuals. We certainly have a year group full of just those sorts of individuals! Every game played to help our maths, song sang to remember our spellings or toy used to engage our brains is the very foundations for keeping that love for learning going right through to our old age. Now I wonder where our love for learning will take us this term!?

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Cargilfield

Life as a P2 teacher

Fun and Games in the Classroom!

Read More


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