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    Talking Stories for South Africa

    February 6th, 2011

    This year has started with a bang!  Talking Stories has been ordered by 157 schools in the Western Cape and 100 schools in the Eastern Cape.

    Have a look at all the action when the first consignment of books, software and other resources arrived at the Radical Learning office in Cape Town today:


    Christmas

    November 25th, 2010

    Reading and Fun Activities

    If your children have access to the internet at home or school, they might like to try some of these literacy activities:

    A Christmas Carol 

    Black and white front cover with main characters
    This 10-page story can be read online or it can be printed out and  made into a book.  Each page has a picture to colour.

    Anancy and the Christmas Plant

    Anancy sitting in a tree

    This is a nine-page story with colourful pictures and accompanying text.  Find out what Anancy, the spider man, decides to sell at the village market.


    Term 4, Week 9

    November 8th, 2010

    Yippee!  It’s the last week of term. It’s time for a treat when your children visit the computer lab.

    Have lots of fun playing all these fabulous games:
    COMPUTER GAMES FOR AFRICA!

    If you have an interactive whiteboard in your classroom you could all watch this beautiful traditional story and listen to the accompanying classical music composed by Tchaikovsky:
    THE NUTCRACKER


    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.


    Term 4, Week 2

    October 10th, 2010

    Level 1

    In the classroom this week: Learn to read this term’s key words. 

    Don’t forget to keep revising alphabet sounds for those children who haven’t yet mastered these.  Here’s a LOTTO GAME you can print out and play with your children.  Make enough copies for everyone to have their own sheet Then play in groups.  It’s a great way for little ones to practice matching and saying alphabet sounds.

    In the computer lab this week:

    Talking Story – Level 1 Advanced, “The beetle and the butterfly” continued.

    This week’s talking story is about two tiny animals.  See if you can name all the animals in this activity: Animal Names
    Drag the name onto the picture.  If you get it right, the name will turn green.

    The theme of our Talking Story this week is that we can all do something well.  Here is another Talking Story with the same theme:
    I Can Do That, Said Jack  Use it for whole class story time – with computer, data projector or interactive whiteboard.

    Level 2

    In the classroom this week: If you have an interactive whiteboard, then use the video below to reinforce alphabet sounds this week.  Your children will love to sing along!  This week you should also carefully work through this term’s new key words with your children.  Ensure they are learning to read them at home too!

     

    In the computer lab this week:

    Talking Story – Level 2 Advanced, “Lost!” continued.

    Here’s another interactive story about getting lost:
    THE LOST CYGNET
    And here’s some useful practical advice to share with your class:
    WHAT TO DO IF YOU GET LOST

    Level 3

    In the classroom this week: This week you need to go through all of this term’s key words with your class.  Also, start making a weather chart, to tie in with your Talking Story.  You will find an excellent template in the printable activity that comes with the Talking Story.

    In the computer lab this week: 

    Talking Story – Level 3 Advanced, “Weather”. Continued.

    Here’s another great interactive weather story to enjoy.  It’s particularly good to use on an interactive whiteboard, where children can join in…. But it can be used on any other computer too:
    WEATHER STORY


    Term 3, Week 4

    August 2nd, 2010

    Level 1

    In the classroom this week: This week’s story is about Anna’s party.   You could have a theme about celebrations or parties - remember that some children don’t celebrate birthdays, so keep your theme broad.  Here is a lovely story about a child’s party, for you and your class to enjoy on an interactive whiteboard or computer with internet access:

    This is actually my party! 

    In the computer lab this week:

    Talking Story – Level 1 Intermediate, “Presents for Anna”.

    Level 2

    In the classroom this week:  This week’s Talking Story is about what spiders eat.  Let’s enjoy another story about animals and their food:

    Nuts, nuts, nuts!  Click on this link to hear another Talking Story – use it on a computer or on your interactive whiteboard.

    In the computer lab this week:

    Talking Story – Level 2 Intermediate, “I can’t eat what you eat” continued.

    Level 3

    In the classroom this week: Make a butterfly finger puppet to tie in with this week’s Talking Story about the caterpillar that turned into a butterfly.  Click on this link to find out how:

    Butterfly finger puppet

    In the computer lab this week: 

    Talking Story – Level 3 Intermediate, “I wish I could fly”


    Invitation: Talking Stories at Cape Town Book Fair

    July 19th, 2010


    Term 2, Week 9

    June 6th, 2010

    Hooray!  The end of term has almost arrived.

    During the last few days of term allow your learners to choose their favourite Talking Story to revisit…  Have some fun!  Let children read their favourite parts out loud in voices with exaggerated expression.  Do some paired reading and group reading… let them record their friends reading on cell phones, and enjoy playing them back to each other.  Convey the message that it’s cool to read!  Reading can be a fun thing to do on your own.

    Now here is a really cool, really fun resource for the last week of term:
    Rockford’s Rock Opera is an audio-visual adventure – a thought-provoking story with fantastic music and even narrated singing.  If you click the Read-along button your kids will be able to read the higlighted text (just like a Talking Story) and also sing along with the song lyrics.

    ROCKFORD’S ROCK OPERA


    Term 2, Week 7

    May 22nd, 2010

    Level 1

    In the classroom this week: Individual assessment of Level 1, List 1 Key Words.  These are the words you sent home at the beginning of Term 2 and that you have recently revised in class.  One by one, call children to your desk and tick the words they can read. Do this in a supportive and encouraging way, never chastising children for not having learnt the required words.  Always try to be encouraging and to eliminate stress when doing this kind of assessment.  Stress and fear are the two greatest inhibitors of learning.

    In the computer lab this week:

    Talking Story – Level 1 Core, “Where is Pravesh?”

    Here’s a great story that children can interact with… also on the theme of the main character hiding:
     Here, Clifford!
    Then help Clifford to make some words:
    Make a Word Activity

    Level 2

    In the classroom this week: Individual Assessment of Level 2, List 2 Key Words.  You need to sit with each child and ask them to read each of the words in order to assess whether each learner has mastered their key words for this term.  Parents need to be alerted immediately, to provide extra support where needed.

    In the computer lab this week:


    Talking Story – Level 2 Core, “Can I live with you?”

    Here’s a story about another bird who was looking for a friendly home:
    The Ugly Duckling - You can even print this story out for children to make into their own books.

    Level 3

    In the classroom this week:  Individual assessment of Level 3, List 1 Key Words.  Level 3 learners have had a lot of key words from Levels 1 and 2 to revise this year.  This is the first set of Level 3 key words.  Please take time to carefully assess how many words each child can recognise.  Your children should by now be well able to sound out unfamiliar words.  If this is not happening, check whether they are confident with their alphabet sounds.  If not, please take remedial action straight away.  Do everything in your power to ensure that no child is left behind! 

    In the computer lab this week: 


    Talking Story – Level 3 Core, “The peacock and the nightingale”

    This story is written in the form of a folk tale.  If some of your learners are struggling with the amount of text and the level of reading required, here are six more folk tales at an easier level.  These can all be printed out for reading at home too.
    FOLK TALES


    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.