Month: July 2013

Tip: Break up your child’s reading and spelling practise

Today’s Tip

Regular, short learning sessions are more effective than one long session. Break up your child’s reading and spelling practise over the week to make it more manageable and more effective.

NAIDOC Week Activity

NAIDOC week is a time to celebrate traditional, indigenous culture in Australia and recognise the contributions of indigenous Australians.

This NAIDOC week we have a fun, letter shape recognition activity, inspired by traditional dot painting.

This is such an easy, yet fun activity and the repetitive nature of creating the dots helps children to  consolidate their recognition of letter shapes.

Write a letter that you are working on, onto a piece of paper. Ask your child what the letter’s name and sound is and practise saying it together.

Show your child how to create dots using paint and a cotton bud. Ask your child to go over the letter outline that you have created using bright, paint dots. You could also explain to your child that dot painting is a traditional form of painting originally done by Aboriginal people.

Use other colours to make dots around the letter shape that your child has traced over with dots.

Your child’s finished dot paintings can be displayed and used as letter recognition cards. We would love to see some of your creations on Facebook.

Today’s Tip

Each week, attach your child’s spelling words to the back of the car seat so that they can practise while you drive.

How to know what to teach your child – Sneak Peek

Each month we will introduce to you one of the useful features in our member’s area to ensure that you get the most out of your time with us. This month we are looking at how you can use our assessment checklists, in our Letter Names and Sounds program, to figure out what to teach your child. 

It can be tricky to know where to start when you decide to teach your child the phonetic sounds of the alphabet. You don’t want to start with something that is too difficult because that is the quickest way to switch your child off from learning, but at the same time, you don’t want to be rehashing things that your child can already do competently. 

The best way to learn where to start is to do a simple assessment before teaching anything. By doing a pre-assessment you will find out what your child knows, what they are aware of but need practice with and what they need to learn from scratch. You can use the assessments in each unit of our Letter Names and Sounds program to do this. 

The simple assessments are in the form of a checklist, which makes them really easy to do and provides you with valuable information about what your child knows. Simply ask your child each question on the checklist and record their response. You will soon see what your child needs to learn and will be able to organise where you will start. 

After teaching a unit of work, go back and complete the checklist again. This time you will be able to see what your child has successfully learned and what they still need help with. Using the assessment checklist in this way will ensure that your child has retained all the information taught before moving on to another unit. It also ensures that children are not left with gaps in their education that will cause literacy difficulties later on.  

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