Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Learning the Letter Names AND Sounds...

It is very important that students know ALL letter names and sounds in both upper and lower case, before they are about to decode words to read.
As I have had a number of parents ask about their child learning the letters, I have attached files with the Victorian Modern Cursive Font letters that you can make into flashcards, or use as you wish.
Here are some ideas to help your child learn the letters and sounds:
  • Say the sound of a letter and have your child make it out of play dough.
  • Play "sound bingo". Make up game boards and have your child place a counter on the sound of the letter you pull out.
  • Say a sound and have your child write it. 
  • Play "Memory" using a few letters you might be focusing on. 
  • Use the flashcards to match the uppercase and lowercase letters to each other and then put the alphabet in order. Have your child point to each letter and say the sound.
  • Place the letters on the ground and have your child jump on the sound or letter you say. 
  • Say a word (e.g. house) and have your child tell you the sound and letter that it begins with. 
  • Choose a letter and hunt in magazines for pictures that begin with that letter.
What are some games/ways that you learn your letters and sounds?
It would be great to share your ideas with other parents and children!

Victorian Modern Cursive Regular Flashcards
Victorian Modern Cursive Dotted Flashcards

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Reading Strategies...

This Term, we have been learning one very important strategy for reading
We have been learning to be "EAGLE EYES!"
This means...
"Look at the picture" - Shae
Keep your eyes looking at the picture" - Ruby
"The pictures give us clues about what is happening in the story!" - Mykah
"Pictures tell a story so we have to look at them!" - Samuel

What does having "Eagle Eyes" mean to you??

Dice Games...

We have been playing many maths games which involve using a six and ten sided dice and counting. These simple games allow children to build on their number knowledge and speed up their counting ( and how to be a winner and lose gracefully)!
Over the school holidays, you might play games as a family which involve a dice and counting. Some games you might play are such as Snakes and Ladders and Trouble. 
Here is a short video of some of us playing games in the classroom!

Monday, 16 March 2015

Our Maths Monkey!

Each week, one or two special people get to take home our Maths Monkey Bag.
Inside there are lots of maths tools that you can use to explore mathematical concepts!
Lots of people have already used the bag and this is what they have to say:

"The dominoes were my favourite" - Talia
"My favourite part was having a look at how tall I am using the measuring tape!" - Dylan
"I had fun because I made the number four out of blocks!" - Shae
"I used the timer to see how fast I could run around the house!" - Jacob
"My favourite was playing with the stop watch and the dominoes!" - James

Tell us what your favourite part of the Maths Monkey Bag is!

Friday, 13 March 2015

Handwriting is STILL important!

Believe it or not, handwriting is still a very important part of learning. It is important students use the correct formation, directionality and placement of letters to help improve writing fluency.

Handwriting in the earliest grades is linked to basic reading and spelling achievement; for example, when children learn how to form the letter m, they can also be learning its sound. Attention to the linkages among handwriting, reading, and spelling skills can help to reinforce early achievement across these areas. Reading Rockets is a wonderful website which has lots of information about the importance of teaching and learning handwriting.

We provide the students with an alphabet desk strip (see below) to refer to during the school day. As the school year progresses the students will learn to place these letters on dotted thirds paper. recently found an app called "Touch and Write Australia."
It is a great fun resource which encourages students to practise forming each individual letter, and, even lets you select groups of words to practise writing and spelling High Frequency Words as well!

All About... Cued Articulation!

Term One is all about learning to :
recognize all 26 upper and lower case letters 
identify the dominant sound each letter represents
make plausible attempts at writing letters in Victorian Modern Cursive font
We have been using a cuing system created by Jane Passy called cued articulation to help students identify the type of sound each letter makes and to cue them into making this sound.
As a prep team, we have found that pairing a visual of the letter, it's name and finger cue has increased the students accuracy in recalling the letter names and sounds.  A vital skill needed when learning to read and write.
You can learn more about Jane Passy and Cued Articulation by
                visiting the Sounds for Learning website;             

Below is a clip which demonstrates the formation of each cue.  Some of the cues for the vowel sounds and blends are not used currently in the classroom with the students.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Maths Problem Posing - Jelly Bean Jar

Next week, the students will engage in a problem posing task in response to this image.
We will be posing the following questions:
How many jelly beans do you think are in this jar?
What strategy did you use to come up with your answer?

We would love to hear your responses to these questions in the comments section below. Don't forget to check back at the end of the week to see what the students came up with in the classroom. 

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Ants on the apple, a, a, a...

This is a good phonics song that we sometimes listen to, to help us learn the letter names and the matching sounds they make. You may have even heard the children singing this at home at times!