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    Term 2, Week 8

    May 31st, 2010

    Level 1

    In the classroom this week: Have some fun with goal-scoring word-building on your interactive whiteboard or on any computer.  Children need to build simple three-letter words to score a goal:
    IT’S A GOAL!

    In the computer lab this week:


    Talking Story – Level 1 Core, “Sizwe’s new clothes.”

    Level 2

    In the classroom this week: Revise alphabetical order, using the letter NAMES.  Here’s a game to help you do this on an interactive whiteboard or classroom computer:
    ABC ORDER

    In the computer lab this week:

    Talking Story – Level 2 Core, “New clothes for the scarecrow”.

    Level 3

    In the classroom this week: Have fun building words using the
    WORDBLENDER GAME.
    This game will help learners to think about:

  • consonants and consonant clusters at the start and end of words
  • medial short and long vowel sounds
    The game can be played at three different levels of activity.  Use your interactive whiteboard, or any classroom computer.
  • In the computer lab this week: 

    Talking Story – Level 3 Core, “Lindiwe’s baby”.


    Reading Game #3

    March 7th, 2010

    More fun for early readers:

    3. Sounds Scrapbook

    Write a letter at the top of each page of a scrapbook. Concentrating on a few letters at a time collect pictures of objects that begin with those letters. Do not use as examples words where the first sound does not make its normal sound such as in giraffe, ship, cheese, thumb. Stick the pictures on the appropriate pages.

    Scrapbook

    (This resource comes from the Topmarks website.)


    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


    Reading Game #2

    February 25th, 2010

    Here’s another early reading game that you can play in the classroom or at home:

    2. Odd-one Out

    Say a number of words, all but one of which begin with the same sound. See if your child can pick out the odd one. It can be helpful to have the corresponding objects there for the child to look at.

    Odd-one out game

    Which starts with a different sound from the others?

    (This resource comes from the Topmarks website.)


    Reading Game #1

    February 22nd, 2010

    Did you enjoy TEN TIPS ON HEARING YOUR CHILD READ ?

    Have you re-read the FOUR STEPS TO SUCCESS recently?

    Here’s the first in my series of early reading games that you can play in the classroom or at home:

    1. Common Objects

    Collect several objects that begin with the same sound and make a card with this letter sound on it. Make a second group of objects beginning with a different sound and a card to go with those.

    Discuss the sounds of the letters on the two cards with your child and shuffle the objects. Separate the cards on the floor and ask your child to put each object near the sound that it starts with. This activity can help your child to “hear” the first sound of a word.

    Two collections of objects

    (This resource comes from the Topmarks website.)


    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.


    Term 1, Week 1

    January 5th, 2010

     

    To help you make the most of the Talking Stories software and books I have compiled a complete year plan that will enable you to cover every story (and touch on every assessment standard of the home language curriculum) during the course of the school year.  This assumes that you have one session per week in your school computer lab.  I will also provides tips, ideas and worksheets for classroom use.

    Each week I will post an update on this blog, with resources for each level.  Click here: Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 or on the tabs at the top of this blog to find an index that will build up as the weeks go by.

    Due to the growing number of interactive whiteboards (IWBs) in Foundation Phase classrooms, I also hope to provide a weekly link to a brilliant IWB resource for your class.

    Please, please provide feedback and ideas of your own.  Let me know if this blog meets your needs.  Share your own links to excellent literacy resources.  Stay in touch!

    Here we go for Term 1, Week 1:

    Level 1

    Harness parental enthusiasm right at the outset:

    Grade1 Term 1 Letter to Parents + Phonics sheet

    If you have an interactive whiteboard in your classroom, here is a fabulous and colourful story about Jack’s first day at school. Use it for whole class story time – the children will love it!http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/misc/stories/jacksbigday/

    Level 2

    Get your parents involved from Day 1!

    Grade 2 Term1 Letter to Parents + Phonics Sheet

    If you have an interactive whiteboard in your classroom, then here is a great story to use on the first day back at school. It’s about a big, orange school bus. Perhaps it’s a Golden Arrow bus!
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/razzledazzle/stories/theschoolrun/

    Level 3

    Here’s an easy way to encourage parents to help you with revision:

    Grade 3 Term1 Letter to Parents + Revision Sheet

    If you have an interactive whiteboard and internet connection in your classroom, then here is a terrific, interactive story for you to enjoy with your class on Day 1. It’s called “The Big Beastie Thing.” Learners will love selecting the missing words and watching the animated characters leap about. The web address below will take you directly to the story. Have fun on your first day back!
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/razzledazzle/stories/bigbeastiething/