Monday, 20 July 2015

Paper chains

How do you encourage a reluctant writer? I am trying at present to encourage a child who is reluctant to write, mainly due to a confidence issue. I have often used paper chains in other areas of work but thought I would try it with writing and phonics.

We played the spinner game from last week, wrote the words on the 'Race the word' grid and then I asked the child to write each word on a paper chain link to make a paper chain of her writing to display. She crossed off each word as she wrote it. She was very motivated to do this and we ended up with an 8 link paper chain. Next week we will add more words to it. You could do this with tricky words, or just letter formation and learning sounds.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Race the words

This idea is brilliant for practising all sorts of words. The image is of a session with one of the children I tutor. I have done the same session but with different words. We were working on phase 4 tricky words.

I just want to say something about tricky words. Some people seem to think that children should just learn these as sight words but evidence shows that if you teach them phonically they are much more likely to stick. You may think that some words aren't decodable. All words are decodable but there are obviously different representations of the sounds. In every word there will be something to go on.
For example /said/ has the /s/ and the /d/ which you can point out. The child needs to know that in this word /ai/ makes the /e/ sound. It is surprising how quickly they pick it up if you do point out the decodable parts and then point out the different representation of the sounds.

Back to the game. Basically it is a spinner which you can write any words in each section. I worked on cvc words with another child who isn't as far on as this one. They spin the spinner (they all love doing that) then they must read the word. When they have read it, turn the spinner over and ask them to write it in the first column and row of the grid. There are eight rows in this grid to match the number of words. They spin again and if they get a different word it goes underneath the first word. However if they spin the same word then it goes into the next column. The idea is to see which word wins. Repeat as many times as possible to practise all the words. Children love playing this game. You can buy the spinners off Amazon. and can download the word version of the spinner below. I have changed the font to comic sans due to the fact that the one I use is Sassoon primary and you may not have that one installed on your computer so it will look slightly different.

After we had played the game the word that 'won' was used in a sentence and written on the back of the laminated grid. That image is below.

Download 'Race the words'

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Guided reading with beginning readers

Here is a fact sheet that I created when training new teaching assistants in guided reading. It is aimed at low ability or beginning readers.

Click here to download