This week’s literacy tasks provide you with a range of activities that covers both writing and oracy (speaking and listening) skills. Writing with your child can often be a daunting task but please don’t worry as we have provided you with some helpful tips below to help you and your child with the week's upcoming activities. We have provided templates for some of the daily activities that you can print out or you can simply use a piece of paper with lines if printing facilities are restricted at home.
Helpful writing guidance and tips...
- We focus on quality rather than quantity! The amount of writing your child is able to do will very much depend on your child’s current stage of learning in literacy in both recording and in phonics. For some children one or two sentences will be appropriate, whereas other children may be able to write up to four or five simple sentences more without becoming exhausted or losing quality in what they write. If you feel that when completing the activities we have suggested that your child is able to extend their sentence then try using a connective such as 'and' to allow them to write a little more or encourage them to use adjectives to describe and add interest to the sentences they write.
- Be phonetical with words, except tricky high-frequency words! When writing encourage your child to sound out the word themselves by stretching it, saying it slowly and listening for the sounds. Some children will only hear the initial (first) sound; others may hear the initial and final sound whilst some will also be able to identify sounds throughout the middle of a word. Try repeating the word they want to write slowly emphasising the sounds throughout to help if they are missing key sounds. Encourage your child to write down all the sounds that they can hear. We have uploaded a sound mat (see documents below) to allow those who cannot recall the letter shape from memory to look for the required sounds, allowing them to copy and record with accuracy.
- As well as using their phonetic sounds we have also been covering high-frequency words (HFW) throughout our phonics sessions (see our Reception phonics page for a full list of these covered to date). Encourage your child to try and remember how to spell these correctly. We have a common list of phase 2 and phase 3 HFW mat to help (see documents below).
- Try to support your child's pencil grip as some children can need reminding to use a secure and enabling grip. An ideal pencil grip should consist of your child holding their pencil in a stable position between the thumb, index and middle finger, commonly referred to as a pincer or tripod hold/grip. Some children can also need reminding to increase the pressure they use in order to allow them to gain more control throughout.
- Using the letter formation sheet that has previously been sent home (R3, due to isolation yours are at school but ready for your return!) try to ensure that any letters are formed correctly, starting in the correct position and formed the right way round. Try to encourage correct sizing of letters ie. tall and short letters. With this we also try to ensure that all letters are sat correctly on the lines.
- Where possible remind your child to begin each sentence with a Capital letter, end with a full stop and to use finger spaces between each word when writing a sentence. These are a more advanced skill in writing so please don't worry if your child is unable to do all of these, finger spaces is always the best place to start.
Helpful oracy guidance and tips...
- Oracy tasks play an important role in allowing your child to communicate their ideas successfully. Some children can find it challenging to generate their own ideas and may need some prompting. You can always give examples of your own input to get them started.
- Try to encourage your child to speak in full sentences.
- Encourage children to speak audibly using clear pronunciation of sounds.
- In order to expand on your child’s suggestions try questioning techniques by using:
We hope these tips help you to enjoy the literacy tasks that have been set for your child.
If you would like to practise the phonic sounds and high-frequency words that they have learnt so far take a look on our Phonics page under 'Reception' (click on link below) where you can access all the resources provided so far along with games, and links to websites you can use. We recommend daily phonics practise to help keep what they have learnt fresh in their minds, ready for our return to school next week!
For this first week of term you can use Oxford Owl's free e-book library to support reading at home. We have put the links for the pages you will need below. Please ensure that you use the same book band level that your teacher has given your child last term.
There are lots of skills involved in reading and when listening to your child read we cover the following:
- Identifying high-frequency words.
- Blending and segmenting words.
- Chunking: where the child learns to break down longer words into chunks to make it manageable to read.
- Reading the sentence with fluency and pace.
- Recognising capital letters and full stops.
- Reinforcing finger spaces between words.
- Using the pictures as cues, especially when trying to read more challenging words.
- Comprehension skills: asking questions about what happened in the story to gain understanding of what they have read. For example, what happened when Dad asked Chip to hold the bucket?
- Inferential meaning: asking questions which identify if children have understood the underlying meaning of the story or have to interpret what is given in the text to find the answer. For example, why did you think Floppy did that?
When you read with your child at home we ask that you reflect on the above skills and spend time exploring these. Whilst some children are confident identifying high-frequency words or blending and segmenting words the other skills are vital to ensure progress in reading.