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    Term 4, Week 6

    November 1st, 2010

    Level 1

    In the classroom this week: Continue with the assessments started last week. 

    If you have an interactive whiteboard in your classroom then you can enjoy this online talking story about bugs – it ties in nicely with this week’s theme story about “Goggas”: BUG BUZZ

    In the computer lab this week:

    Talking Story – Level 1 Advanced, “Goggas” continued.

    Level 2

    In the classroom this week: Continue with the assessments started last week. 

    If you have an interactive whiteboard in your classroom then here is a super online talking story in keeping with this week’s theme of maps:
    THE TREASURE MAP

    In the computer lab this week:

    Talking Story – Level 2 Advanced, “Maps” continued.

    Level 3

    In the classroom this week: Activity 2 of this week’s Talking Story focuses on alphabetical order.  This is an important concept for children to learn.  Here are more activities you can use to re-inforce this:
    INTERACTIVE ABC ORDER – easy
    WHAT’S THE MISSING LETTER? - a bit harder
    DRAG AND DROP WORD ORDER – good for use on an interactive whiteboard
    WORKSHEET 1
    WORKSHEET 2
    WORKSHEET 3 - difficult

    In the computer lab this week: 

    Talking Story – Level 3 Advanced, “The flood” continued.


    Football World Cup 2010 Resources #5

    June 4th, 2010
     

    I think this is the best World Cup 2010

     resource I’ve given you so far!

    Have a look at these 8 mini-books that you can make, one for each of the country groups in the 2010 World Cup.  Kids can colour the country flags in each group, read snippets of World Cup history, read facts about South Africa, as well as fun South African words to teach foreigners!

    Each book has 8 pages and is made from a single sheet of A4 paper.  The clever folding, with one cut, enables you to make a neat book that doesn’t fall apart.  You can also download the folding instructions:

    Mini-Book 1
    Mini-Book 2
    Mini-Book 3
    Mini-Book 4
    Mini-Book 5
    Mini-Book 6
    Mini-Book 7
    Mini-Book 8
    Folding Instructions


    Football World Cup 2010 Resources #4

    May 26th, 2010

     How many of these African countries are taking part in the World Cup?

    How many African countries can you name?

    Test your knowledge with this wordsearch!
    African Countries Wordsearch


    Term 2, Week 6

    May 16th, 2010

    Level 1

    In the classroom this week: Re-assess alphabet sounds for every child.  Use the same Alphabet Assessment Sheet that you used before – just add a new date and remember to assess ALL the sounds, even the ones that were recognised last time.  Sometimes children forget!  Send home a copy of the assessment.  It’s important that you and the parents know which children have not yet mastered the alphabet.  NO CHILD WILL MAKE SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS IN READING UNTIL THEY HAVE LEARNT TO SOUND OUT EVERY LETTER OF THE ALPHABET.

    Here’s an excellent PowerPoint presentation you can use to revise initial sounds using your interactive whiteboard:
    Initial Sounds

    This week’s Talking Story focuses on all the things that one small child is learning to do.  You can make your own I am special book in class.  Click on the link to download the lovely photocopiable sheets. 

    In the computer lab this week:


    Talking Story – Level 1 Core, “I can jump”

    This story is about things we can do.  One of the activities is about rhyming words.  You can teach more about rhyming words using this animated poem about a king who loved to have butter for his bread.  It is written by A A Milne, the author of Winnie the Pooh.  I think you and your class will find it very funny!
    The King’s Breakfast

    Level 2

    In the classroom this week: This week’s Talking Story is about animals and where they live.  One of the activities helps children to recognise rhyming words.  Why not take this further by playing this beautiful video of that famous animal poem, The Owl and the Pussycat.  This works particularly well on an interactive whiteboard.

    Here is a worksheet you can use:
    Animal Homes
    Here is a printable book:
    Animal Moms and Babies

    In the computer lab this week:


    Talking Story – Level 2 Beginner, “Can fish live in the desert?”

    Level 3

    In the classroom this week: This week’s Talking Story is about a country hen who takes a trip to the city.  Here is another animated story about the same theme.  It is particularly suited for using on an interactive whiteboard:
    Country mouse and city mouse
    Follow-up worksheet comparing and contrasting country and city life

    In the computer lab this week: 


    Talking Story – Level 3 Core, “Helga goes to the city”

    Helga goes on a big adventure when she takes a trip to the city.  Here’s another story on a similar theme:
    Teddy’s Adventure
    Use it as an extension activity in the computer lab or play it on your interactive whiteboard at story time.


    Football World Cup 2010 resources#1

    May 4th, 2010

    I promised you some World Cup 2010 resources to use in your classroom.  Here they come!  Keep watching the blog for more.

    Here’s a project that is suitable for Intermediate and Senior Phase children.  There are fifteen pages of worksheets, tasks, all the participating countries’ flags and lots more…

    This is a brilliant resource.  Share it in your school.  The file size is quite large to download (2MB) so download it just once and save it (Common on K for Khanya schools).  Enjoy!

    World Cup Project

    This resource comes to you from www.sunderlandschools.org


    Term 1, Week 10

    March 13th, 2010

    Level 1

    In the classroom this week: Did you complete your alphabet assessments last week?  By the end of Grade 1, Term 1 your children should have covered the entire alphabet, and a good number of them should be fairly secure in their alphabet knowledge.  It’s crucial to let parents know which sounds their children have not mastered.  Parents want their children to succeed.  Enlist their help with the alphabet. 

    Download this ALPHABET FRIEZE that you can print out and stick on the wall in your classroom.  (Scroll down the page to find the alphabet frieze.  Have a look at the other resources too!)

    Play the game ALPHABET BEAR CHARLIE when you have a few minutes for revision at the end of the day.

    You can make your own set of ALPHABET LOTTO to play in class.  Make one set for every four children.  (There are four lotto sheets to print out and four sets of letters to be cut up individually.)  Four children sit in a circle on the floor.  Each one has a lotto sheet.  All the individual letter cards are placed face down on the floor.  Each child has a turn to pick up an individual letter card and check whether it matches one of the letters on their lotto sheet.  If it does, they place it on the letter on their sheet.  If not they return the card to the middle, face down.  The winner is the first child to complete their lotto sheet.  Have fun!  Kids love this game.

    If you have an interactive whiteboard you can read the story of THE GINGERBREAD MAN to your class.  This story does not have sound, but does have beautiful pictures.  Enjoy it in a quiet moment at the end of the morning.

    In the computer lab this week:

     Continue: Talking Story - Level 1 Beginner, “Can you help me?”

    Here’s another interactive resource you can use for alphabet revision.  Children can use this independently in the computer lab or as a classroom activity on the interactive whiteboard… It even has the sign language alphabet!
    ALPHABET PRACTICE

    Level 2

    In the classroom this week: Did you complete all your assessments last week?  Regular, individual assessment is vital because it tells you where each child is at, and this helps to guide you in what to teach next.  We could call it the “PLANNING AND ASSESSMENT CYCLE”.  Good assessment informs your planning of the next lesson – if your children can do something you move on; if assessment shows you that most haven’t grasped the concept, you repeat, but try to teach the concept in a different way.

    Do you need to revise initial sounds?  Here’s a terrific, interactive PowerPoint presentation contributed by Tina Godden.  It’s quite big (1.3Mb) so download it once and save it (Common on K in a Khanya school).  This is particularly fun to use on an interactive whiteboard.  Children can take turns to choose the correct letter and click on it.  Download here: Initial Sounds

    If you have an interactive whiteboard in your classroom then give your children a treat and play the story of  HOW MONA LISA GOT HER SMILE.  It ties in nicely with this week’s Talking Story, focusing on smiles and feet – very important features of our bodies!  I think it will bring a smile to your face too!

    In the computer lab this week:

    Continue: Talking Story – Level 2 Beginner, “This is my body.”

    Here’s a terrific game to play about PARTS OF THE BODY.  Children are given a clue and need to spell the correct body part…. Too many mistakes and the poor monkey will get squashed!!

    Cut out and MAKE YOUR OWN SKELETON.
    Then learn to sing the SCARY SKELETON SONG!
    Finally, you can PRINT A SKELETON WORKSHEET.

     Level 3

    In the classroom this week:  We continue with the assessment of key words.  I hope you found a parent helper to assist you in this time-consuming but really important task.  Last week you assessed all the Level 1 key words.  This week you need to assess the Level 2 key words.  Children should know these words in order to read adequately at Level 3.
    Key Words Assessment Level 2 Lists 1-4 

    If some of your children are not able to read the key words, this means they have not mastered their alphabet sounds.  Use the Level 1 and 2 alphabet revision activities above.  The children will not move forward in their reading until they know their alphabet sounds. 

    This week’s Talking Story is about a boy who grows vegetables.  Want some more on this theme?  Here’s a story about a little old man and a little old woman who grew some vegetables.  Use this as an extension activity in the computer lab or play it on your interactive whiteboard at story time:
    THE ENORMOUS TURNIP

    In the computer lab this week:  

    Continue: Talking Story – Level 3 Beginner, “A surprise for Daniel.”

    If you enjoyed the jokes in this Talking Story, here are some more JOKES FOR KIDS!

    Daniel was learning to plant vegetables.  Here are a couple of short activities to help you find out more about plants:
    Learn to label the PARTS OF A PLANT.
    Find out WHAT PLANTS NEED in order to live and thrive.


    Term 1, Week 8

    February 27th, 2010

    Level 1

    In the classroom this week you will at last come to the end of teaching the alphabet!  Teach the letter ‘z’ on Monday, and send home the final Letter Z alphabet worksheet for homework.  During the rest of the week spend plenty of time revising all the alphabet sounds.  Those of you who have attended my “Jolly Phonics” training sessions will be familiar with this excellent method of using actions to reinforce each alphabet sound.  Download the ALPHABET ACTIONS here or visit the Jolly Learning website to find out more.

    Send home the list of Alphabet Actions and encourage parents to revise all the letter sounds in this fun way.  Let them know that you will be assessing each child’s grasp of the alphabet sounds before the end of term.

    If you have an interactive whiteboard in your classroom, then use this YouTube video for alphabet revision this week.  It’s an outstanding, fun song that will delight your learners!

    In the computer lab this week:

    You have a second week to continue with Talking Story – Level 1 Beginner, “Shoes.”

    Here’s another story to watch and listen to:  This one is called the ABC Zoo - more alphabet reinforcement!

    Level 2

    In the classroom this week: You have a final week to revise the key words you have covered this term.
    Level 1, List 1 
    Level 1, List 2 
    Level 1, List 3 
    Level 2, List 1 

    Next week I will provide you with an assessment sheet for checking all the level 1 key words.  It’s important to check each child, one by one, to see whether they can read these words.  This is a time-consuming task, so this week try to recruit a parent helper to assist you.  Make sure it is somebody who will be gentle, loving and encouraging!

    Homework: Here is a final worksheet for the letter z:
    Monday  

    If you have an interactive whiteboard in your classroom, then here’s a well-known story you can watch and interact with.  It will tie in with the Talking Story you are working on at present:
    Cinderella

    In the computer lab this week:

      You have a second week to continue with Talking Story – Level 2 Beginner, “The wedding.”

    Also, here’s a good computer-based game for practising the reading of high frequency words – this will help revising for next week’s assessment:
    Wordreader

    Level 3

    In the classroom this week:  You will revise the final list of key words that your children should be able to read by the time they reach Grade 3. 
    Level 2, List 4  (two pages)

    Next week I will provide you with an assessment sheet for checking all the level 1 key words.  The week after that I will give you a Level 2 assessment sheet.  Are you serious about helping your children become fluent readers before they leave the Foundation Phase?  In the next two weeks you have some hard work ahead – assessing each child requires patience and time.  But it is essential for you to know where each child is at – this will help you give each one the right support next term.

    This week try to recruit a parent helper to assist you.  Make sure it is somebody who will be gentle, loving and encouraging!

    Homework this week is to learn to read this week’s list of key words.  Use these key words for a spelling test on Friday.  Also, encourage children to revise all the lists of words learnt this term:
    Level 1, List 1 
    Level 1, List 2 
    Level 1, List 3 
    Level 2, List 1 
    Level 2, List 2 
    Level 2, List 3 
    Level 2, List 4  

    If you have an interactive whiteboard in your classroom, here’s a story you can enjoy with your learners.  It ties in with the Talking Story you’re doing at present:
    The Tooth Fairy

    In the computer lab this week: 

     
      You have a second week to continue with Talking Story – Level 3 Beginner, “At the dentist”

    Also, here’s a good computer-based game for building words – this will help children to put sounds together into short words:
    Spell the Word


    Term 1, Week 5

    February 5th, 2010

    Level 1

    In the classroom this week you will continue teaching the alphabet, doing one letter each day.  Start on Monday with the letter ‘k’.  By Friday you will have got up to the letter ‘o’.  Click HERE.

    Send worksheets home to encourage parents to help with teaching each alphabet sound! Click on the days of the week to find a selection of pages for each alphabet sound:
    Monday   Tuesday   Wednesday   Thursday   Friday

    In the computer lab this week:

      Talking Story – Level 1 Beginner, “Sweets.”

    Level 2

    In the classroom this week: Revise Capital letters.  Here are some super alphabet dominoes that make easy work of capital letters:
    Dominoes 1
    Dominoes 2
    Dominoes 3

    Also revise the last set of Level 1 key words.  It’s very important that children cut these up and learn to read each one individually.
    Level 1, List 3 

    Homework: Continue revising the alphabet.  Here are some worksheets for the letters k, l, m, n, o:
    Monday   Tuesday   Wednesday   Thursday   Friday

    In the computer lab this week:

       Talking Story – Level 2 Core, “Mom gets cross.”

    Level 3

    In the classroom this week you will be revising more key words that your children should be able to read by now. 
    Level 2, List 1 

    Homework this week is to learn to read this week’s list of key words that you have revised in class.  Use these key words for a spelling test on Friday. 

    In the computer lab this week: 
       Talking Story – Level 3 Beginner, “Can I play with you?”


    Term 1, Week 4

    January 31st, 2010

    Level 1

    In the classroom this week you will continue teaching the alphabet, doing one letter each day.  Start on Monday with the letter ‘f’.  By Friday you will have got up to the letter ‘j’.  Click HERE or on the “Alphabet” tab at the top of the page, to find pictures that will help you teach each letter sound.  You will also find a link to the amazing animated pencil, which is brilliant for teaching letter formation.

    Send worksheets home to encourage parents to help with teaching each alphabet sound! Click on the days of the week to find a selection of pages for each alphabet sound:
    Monday   Tuesday   Wednesday   Thursday   Friday

    In the computer lab this week:
      
    Revise logging on and introduce the first Talking Story – Level 1 Core, “1, 2, 3″.

    Level 2

    In the classroom this week: Read the story “Nomsa and Zanele are twins” to your class.  Talk about twins – do you have any in your school?  Do twins always look alike?  What are twins? If you have an interactive whiteboard you can click on this link for a cool story about twins:
    Kim and Ken at the Zoo

    This week you also need to revise the second list of level 1 key words.  Devise fun games to make sure that children can read these words!
    Level 1, List 2 

    Did you enjoy last week’s wordsearch homework sheets?  Here are some more, for the letters f, g, h, i, j:
    Monday   Tuesday   Wednesday   Thursday   Friday

    In the computer lab this week:
      
    Introduce the first Talking Story – Level 2 Core, “Nomsa and Zanele are twins”.  Allow the children as much independence as possible.

    Level 3

    In the classroom this week you will be revising more key words that your children should be able to read by now. 
    Level 1, List 3 

    Last week your children read the Talking Story, “The Pink Umbrella.”  This week in class, ask them to write their own story about the journey of a pink umbrella.  Encourage them to think of their own imaginative places that the pink umbrella could travel to!

    Homework this week is to learn to read this week’s list of key words that you have revised in class.  Use these key words for a spelling test on Friday. 

    In the computer lab this week:
       Children will again open and read the Level 3 core story called, “The Pink Umbrella.”  This week they should be able to complete all of the activities.


    Term 1, Week 3

    January 24th, 2010

    By now your children will have settled down and your baseline assessments should be completed.  I hope you feel as excited as I do at the prospect of young children learning to read!  You have new Talking Stories resources to help you, and if you use them well you WILL significantly raise the levels of reading in your class.  This is going to be your best year ever in teaching!

    Let’s get cracking with this week’s work:

    Level 1

    In the classroom this week you will begin teaching the alphabet, doing one letter each day.  Start on Monday with the letter ‘a’.  By Friday you will have got up to the letter ‘e’.  Click HERE or on the “Alphabet” tab at the top of the page, to find pictures that will help you teach each letter sound.  You will also find a link to the amazing animated pencil, which is brilliant for teaching letter formation.

    Send worksheets home to encourage parents to help with teaching each alphabet sound! Click on the days of the week to find a selection of pages for each alphabet sound:
    Monday   Tuesday   Wednesday   Thursday   Friday

    In the computer lab this week you need to teach your children how to log on and double-click on the Talking Stories icon in order to open the programme.  Take your time to teach this well.  Encourage the children to help each other.  This will save you a lot of time in every lesson in future.

    Level 2

    In the classroom this week you need to assess each child to see whether they recognise all of the alphabet sounds.  It is impossible to make progress in reading without this crucial building block.  Don’t make the assumption that children will know their alphabet by the time they get to Grade 2.  If you need to reteach the alphabet, then use the resources for Level 1 above.

    Alphabet Assessment Sheet - This should be done one-to-one with each child.  Ask a loving parent or volunteer to help with this in class.  Tick each letter that the child knows.  Children should be able to recognise the letter sound (‘a’ as in pan), and not necessarily the letter name (‘a’ as in pane).

    Homework:  Send home Key Words Level 1, List 1 .  If your children were using Talking Stories last year, then this will be revision. You could also send home a simple wordsearch each day.  Click on the days of the week below for wordsearches that focus on words beginning with the first five letters of the alphabet.
    Monday   Tuesday   Wednesday   Thursday   Friday

    In the computer lab this week you should revise logging on with your new class.  Run through the computer lab rules that you established last week, and show the children how to open the Talking Stories.  Let them explore one or two of the Level 1 stories, just for fun.  Let the children choose – you want them to learn how to find their way around the programme, using the menu.

    Level 3

    In the classroom this week you will be revising key words that your children should be able to read by now. 
    Level 1, List 1 
    Level 1, List 2 

    If there are any children in your class who are still struggling to recognise alphabet sounds, then take time to work with them as a group.  Put in place some support so you don’t lose these children!  We want everyone to love reading and to make progress in literacy.  Use the resources for Levels 1 and 2 above to assist these learners.

    Homework this week is to learn to read all the key words that you have revised in class.  You could even use these key words for a spelling test on Friday!  Send the key word sheets home so that learners can cut out the individual words and learn to read them.  HINT: If they don’t cut out the words and muddle them up, then often they simply learn to recite what’s on the sheet, without actually reading each word.  So make sure your kids cut the sheets into individual words!

    In the computer lab this week

       Children will open and read the Level 3 core story called, “The Pink Umbrella.”  Let them enjoy following the Talking Story at their own pace and completing one or two of the activities.  We will continue with this story next week.