At Little Bowden we discuss the importance of “Talk for Writing”. In Foundation this starts off with reading a book, talking about the story. Perhaps reading it again or watching the same story as a short video. We create a story map and retell the story using actions. We re-read the story again, ask questions. We use the story map again and retell it as a whole class. We provide props for the children to act out the story, creating their own narrative and drama. We read the story again! Encouraging the children to join in and read parts of the story out loud. We sequence the story using pictures asking the children individually to retell the story in their own words. Finally, we ask them to write a sentence/s about the story.
Stories are so important to children. It helps them to understand the world in which they live and allows them to transmit that understanding. The repetitive oral rehearsal will extend their familiarity with the structure of spoken English as well as developing their vocabulary. Words or phases are more likely to be learned by children (and so become potentially available as part of their active vocabulary) when discussion goes beyond just an explanation of meaning. When it is supported by the use of real objects, physical actions or other devices to make the words and their meaning vivid and memorable, we can make a bigger impact on their progress. Children need this language and understanding before they can write.
We also have discussions at Little Bowden about “Talk for Maths”. In Foundation we talk about what we are doing and what we can see. We use our bodies to physically carry out the Maths and try to communicate what is happening. We talk a lot about patterns, the size and shape of things, comparing. As the children move through school, they are asked to explain why and how they solved problems or asked to prove it! The aim is to give them the mathematical language in which they can feel confident to use when explaining their thoughts and theories. We encourage the children to explain or answer a question in a full sentence.
“Full sentences” – how can you help with this at home? It’s similar to teaching your child manners, for instance:
Parent – Would you like a drink Fred?
Child – Yes
Parent – Yes what?
Child – Yes please.
BUT what we would love them to say is “Yes please Mummy. I would like a glass of water.”
This is what we want in the classroom. We encourage this through modelling and modelling and then some more!
I have added this to the Science page, as my hope is that we can encourage “Talk for Science”. Use your child’s natural curiosity to learn about their world through mini experiments. You model full sentences and use specific vocabulary and hopefully your child will copy, develop and become an expert communicator.
For example: What can you see? I can see a boat floating on the water. I really thought the Superhero figure would sink quickly to the bottom.
How does it feel? This feels heavy in my hand. I predict it will sink. The ice feels cold in my hands and the water feels warm. I think the warm water will melt the ice.
What do you think will happen? /What did happen? /Was your prediction correct? I think the skittles will all float in the water. My guess was wrong; I didn’t know the colours would change the colour of the water. I wonder what will happen if we use colder water?
I also hope that these family moments shared together will make the learning memorable and last a life time
Thanking you daily for your continued support in these very unusual times,
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