The Active Education Reading Course focuses on simple and practical ideas parents can use to assist their child to read fluently and easily.
Research based Reading Recovery prompts devised and tested by Dame Marie Clay, are overviewed and at the end of the two hour session parents are easily able to use this language to encourage thier child to become independent readers.
These are the behaviours you expect to see young children understand by watching you reading books. Things like readers read from left to right and top to bottom and that words have meaning.
These are the strategies children use independently to assist them at difficulty to fix a mistake, search for more information from the picture, or by taking an extra look at the word to check if they have used the correct word. They may re-read the sentence to check for meaning. All these behaviours are discussed and parents understand the importance of these and the need to praise all attempts at self correction. Specific praise and prompts encourages their children to become independent readers.
It is so important to give your child a rich book introduction. This means talking through the book prior to reading, introducing any tricky language and overviewing the story line of the book. Linking the story to your child’s prior knowledge gives them an easy avenue to understand and access the book. Take five minutes to do this before the child attempts to read a new book.
Children who have trouble reading often have difficulties writing as well.
As your child learns to write, they will be reinforcing their understanding of words. If a child can read and write a word, then they know that word. Reading and writing knowledge are very closely linked together in the early stages of learning at school. Later reading skills draw ahead of writing.
Writing letters, high frequency words and then sentences helps your child to pay attention to the shape of the letters, the order of the letters and the message that they have created. Ask your school for a copy of how the letter is formed correctly and in what sequence the strokes or circles are made.
Do not write words in capitals. This habit is very hard for children to break. eg cAN
Children learning about language hear the sounds of letters and words and must experiment with sounds and match them to letters or clusters of letters in order to try and write the word correctly.
Remembering what the word looks like is an important skill in being able to write the word correctly. Reading and writing go hand in hand. The more they read, the better they write. The more they write, the better they read.
Focus on the letters and words that you know your child can write. Really practise these lots. Then practise them a lot more. The quicker they can write them the better. Write them:
on paper with pencil or texta,
in chalk on the concrete,
on your back with their finger,
in shaving cream on the table,
paint them on paper,
make models of them in plasticine, then trace over with finger,
use magnetic letters and make up the word quickly. Only give them the required letters. Jumble and then remake the word again. Do this regularly. The kids love this activity. Work on five or six letters or words until they are fluent. Then learn to write a letter or word they almost know.
In the early stages of learning maths concepts and ideas, children need lots of hands on, practical activities to help them learn.
This can involve bits and pieces you find around your home. These bits and pieces used for practical activities are called ‘concrete materials’. Children need time to play with materials and investigate how numbers and shapes work.
Around the age of four to five your child will love to count numbers to ten or twenty. Sometimes the numbers will be in the correct order and other times they will jump a number or put it out of sequence. Using bottle tops, paddle pop sticks, rocks, bolts, washers, knives and forks, potatoes, socks – as you can see the list is endless – get your child to count and pick up one item and put it down in a line. Ask your child to recount the objects, pointing to each one and saying the number.
Encourage your child to play in the sandpit and problem solve. They can make farms, roads, designs or water features. While they are playing, give them little problems to add: e.g. Can you make three castles behind the pond? They have to create the castle, count to three and find the position of the castles. Ask them to show you the longest road, the shortest road, the yellow car…… to put all the dogs in a triangular paddock. Get them to ask you to add something to the play scene. In the bath they can investigate capacity with plastic measuring cups and containers. This builds their understanding of litres and millilitres.
Draw the numbers on felt and cut them out or buy magnetic numbers and sequence them on the fridge. Ask them to make up your phone number, street number and mobile number with magnetic numbers.
Playing cards is fun and your child is learning lots of maths skills. Patience sequences numbers and colours. Pontoon teaches children to add to 21. Uno helps with matching numbers and adding and subtracting. Memory helps with memory of position and learning the numbers. Fish and snap reinforce your child’s knowledge of numbers.
Dominoes are a number matching game which is easy and fun for all family members.
These include snakes and ladders, which can be played with one or two dice, and monopoly, which helps children to learn about money. Any games that involve a time frame with a game timer teach your child the understanding of time measurement. Board games are fun for all the family. If your child is the scorer for games this will help them with addition and subtraction skills. They may need to use the calculator if numbers reach into the hundreds.
There are hundreds of computer games that deal with maths skills, from adding and subtracting to times tables to shapes and measurement. Some skill programs are very expensive, up to $5,000. There are lots of games which can be purchased from educational stores, such as Edsco that are inexpensive and fun. The internet has lots of activities you can download and play with your children.
Understanding how things fit together and are sequenced is so important in maths. Jigsaws are great for your children to work on together and develop skills. Start with simple wood block patterns and move onto more complex 10 to 20-piece jigsaws. Leave the 500-piece works till high school.
Measurement is an important part of learning about maths. The great thing is that measurement is part of your family’s daily routine.