Here are a few of our favourite Christmas favourites.
Happy Christmas from all of us at Action Words. We hope Father Christmas brings you something good to read.
Here are a few of our favourite Christmas favourites.
How do Teachers Use Questions?
All of us pick up bad habits when it comes to questioning. Being self aware can help us to improve and gain better outcomes for our children.
Do any of these apply to you?
Sometimes being aware is enough to start breaking the habits, and strategies such as counting to five to give a child more thinking time can help. How will you tackle your questioning habits?
How to Encourage Whole Class Thinking
Whole class response systems encourage all children to engage, and make it easier for you to spot the children that are switching off.
By encouraging no hands up (unless you want to ask a question), you avoid having the same children participating in lessons.
Quality answers can be encouraged by giving the children more time to think about their response. You can do this by increasing the time you wait for an answer, by using discussion partners, or by using a think-discuss-share approach. By allowing more time to think children are more likely to give more detailed responses, get fewer incorrect answers, and have improved confidence.
Child Generated Questions
By using images as prompts children can come up with a bank of questions. We can also use images to assist in developing comprehension by getting the children to separate what they know and what they can infer from an image. For example we know the character is Ziggy, we can infer that he is looking for one of this friends.
Create a space in the classroom that any unanswered question can be stuck to. The children can then see if they can find out the answer.
Ask Rich Questions
Rich questions cannot be answered straight away. Children may either have to complete smaller questions before being able to answer it or will have to conduct an investigation. This encourages children to use their experiences and builds problem solving skills. For example will a plant grow taller in a cupboard or on a window ledge.
At the end of a topic allow the children the opportunity to reflect on what they have learned, but also how they learned it. They can take this knowledge forward and draw on that to solve future problems.
'Remember when we used a tally chart to work out the most popular type of pet, maybe we could use a tally to work out the most popular shoe size.'
Hattie. J (2012) Visible Learning for Teachers, Routledge, D.Wiliam (2011) Embedded Formative Assesment research by G.Brown and Wragg (1993)
Acronyms and backronym, what's the difference?
Activity to try
Step 1 - Ask the child/group to choose the words they want to focus on. These should be words that are consistently spelled incorrectly.
Step 2 - Make up a variety of acronyms for each word. The sillier the better. When we involve emotion we are more likely to remember.
Step 3 - Make it fun! Can they act out the acronym or draw a picture to go with it?
Step 4 - Prompt them to use their acronyms when spelling, and see how they've improved.
Rhymes can also be used to help, such as the famous - 'i before e, except after c' rule, although there are many exceptions to this one.
Remembering whether to use 'there, their, or they're' can be tricky, knowing clues helps.
E.g. The word 'there' contains 'there' which relates to place so can aid memory. 'Their' contains an i - which relates to an individual.
How to Help Your Child with Worries
Encourage your child to share what's worrying them, but rather than just reassuring them that everything is ok it helps to offer ways to solve the concerns that they have. Coaching them in this way helps them learn to deal with situations that might arise.
e.g. 'I don't know where my peg is'.
'Would you like me to help you look for it?'
Help them to focus on the positives, what are they looking forward to? Will they play with a friend at lunchtime? You can also help them identify someone that they can go to if they need help, this could be a friend or a member of staff.
Are You Worried?
Children are very perceptive and if they sense that you are worried they will think that there is something they should be worried about too. It can help to plan something you can both look forward to after school, like a trip to the park or a special meal. It's very tricky to be worried and have fun at the same time!
The Summer Literacy Dip
Children's literacy levels are assessed at the end and the beginning of a school year. Results often dip following the summer holidays, as children don't use their new skills over the break.
While it is important that children have time to play and unwind, short activities can help children retain their learning, and even help to improve their skills. Reading with your children is one great way to encourage a love of reading, and Action Words workbooks can be used to help your child practise high frequency words.
If you're new to Action Words find out more about how using actions helps children to read here.
Each Action Words workbook features 15 high frequency words. The books are full of fun games, activities and exercises that will help your child remember the words, using our multi-sensory approach.
Our pack of 6 workbooks are on sale for only £4.99 (previously £17.94). Click here to order yours.
'Just wanted to say how pleased I am with the Action Words programme. My little boy has been diagnosed with SLI (Specific Language Impairment) and was very much behind his piers in class. I feel that the use, in his school of the Action Words programme was the beginning of him learning to read. He had been struggling immensely with blending sounds to make simple words and had really lost heart with it. Reading had become a chore we both dreaded. The Action Words given out in class were the big change. The kinaesthetic approach of this method suited him down to the ground, we have since had Educational Psychologists confirm that he learns best in a physical and visual environment, for which the Action Words have been perfect. The empowerment he felt when he could recognise words was an absolute joy to see, and over time his confidence grew and we are now at a point where even blending has become easier for him.
I cannot thank you enough for bringing something different to the table and providing an answer when I was honestly at a loss as to what to do. I had got to the point where I wondered if he would ever read, and now he is consistently being moved up groups in his reading. I truly believe that without the use of your cards, his reading would have stalled for far longer.'
Isn't that fantastic!
Why does Action Words use actions?
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