Term 3 Week 2 – Blending and Reading 3 Letter Words

During week 3 we embarked on the exciting journey of putting 3 letters together to form 3 letter words (consonant, vowel, consonant) also known as cvc words.

Putting 3 letter words together is known as blending.  The children were exposed to 2 blending methods.  We also used songs to further understand the concept.  Next week we will also send in the flashcards you sent in.

Method 1 – The slide method

To read the word cat, I used the following steps.

  • To read the word, I need the letters to go up the slide, c,a,t.  Letter a is scared to go up so letter c helps her go up the slide.
  • Letter t promises to catch her at the bottom of the slide.
  • We stick c and a together.  We say these two letters sounds together really fast and they make the sound ca.  They go up the ladder making the sound ca, ca, ca, ca.
  • They go down the slide saying the sounds ca, ca, ca, ca until they bump into the t at the bottom, and the sounds become ca-t, cat.

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Method 2 – The say, stretch and blend method.

Step 1 – Say the individual sounds.  In cat you say c-a-t slowly

Step 2 – Say the first 2 sounds slowly.  c-a stretching each sound.

Step 3 – Add on the last sound c-a-t stretching the sounds once again.

Step 4 – Say each letter faster for about 3 times c-a-t, c-a-t, c-a-t until you hear the letters form the word.

Step 5 – Then say the word cat and clap once which means the word has been blended.

The children were very excited to start putting letters together.  This is only possible if they have a good grasp of the sound of each letter.

After the above exercises we worked a cvc page as a class.  We will be practicing more of the above in the weeks to come and record our work in the workbooks.  The children will become more confident with more exposure just like they mastered understanding the initial sounds with practice.  Below is the page we worked altogether.

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These are the blending songs I use in class during such lessons.  These will help you further understand how blending works.

The CVC song – Version 1


The Blending Song –


Jolly Phonics s,a,t,i,p,n Blending Tutorial


Practice Blending Sounds for Reading- CVC Words


You can find similar blending games on the following website (The icon which says cat)

http://more.starfall.com/m/level-k/word-machines/load.htm?n=machine

As we go along practicing this skill in class I will then blog what common difficulties are usually encountered whilst blending.

If you have any difficulty about blending just let me know and I would be more than happy to help 🙂

 

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Term 3 Week 2 – Writing Letter k

Letter k for kite is another letter from the one-armed robot group which by now you are quite familiar with from previous blogs.

This was a difficult letter to work with when it comes to mentioning words starting with k because even the c for cat has the same sound.  So when the children mentioned words like cat, car I still praised them and told them that these words started with the sound c but we use the caterpillar c instead.

K words the children came up with by playing question and answer were king, kitten, kiss, key, keyboard, kangaroo and kitchen.

Writing Letter k

In one of the earlier blogs I mentioned that we write letter k in a different way then we see it written in books.  We write it the cursive way to help the children join their letters in the future.  The success criteria for writing letter k are shown in one of the pages below.

The children practiced writing it on the interactive whiteboard as well as in their workbooks.  This is how the pages looked like:

k.jpg

I also stressed the following points to help the children get the correct formation:

  • Letter k is written in one motion. We do not lift the pencil from the paper whilst writing it.
  • We always start from the top where there is the dot and NOT from the bottom.
  • Letter k has a tall back just like the letter h.
  • We try and go back up to the middle, put a pointy finger in the middle of the line and start the loop.
  • The loop is round and not any other shape.
  • The kick is not very long or very short.

The letter k song:


We will be working more k pages next week.

 

Term 3 Week 2 Basic Addition – Part 2

As I mentioned in the previous numeracy blog last week we started experimenting with basic addition up to ten.

This week we continued adding different objects to master addition by counting on – the children added skittles, blocks, beans, buttons, toys, shapes to decorate a big kite and numicon shapes.

They also played some addition games on the board just like last week.  They extended their addition skills during free play where they counted various toys whilst cooking and shopping.


Now that they had ample time to explore and experiment adding up objects they also worked some pages on their workbook.  These are some examples of the pages.

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Those children who are still unsure of some number shapes used the number line at the top of the page to copy the answer.

This week we also worked other addition sums with the different that the addition numbers were already provided and the children had to draw the equivalent circles to the numbers provided and then add altogether.  Addition was always up to ten.

Using this technique requires different skills.

  • The children have to be able to recognize the numbers.
  • To be able to draw the appropriate value and stop at the value asked for.
  • To be able to draw the objects clearly so then they would be able to count the objects altogether by using the cutting method.

This is an example of such a page.

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We will work more pages such as the above next week.

 

Term 3 Week 2 Writing Letter h

As you saw from the topic work blog during this week we worked with letter h for hedgehog.  This letter is also a one-armed robot letter just like the letters m and r before it.

The children were very enthusiastic to say words which start with the h sound.  These are some of the words they mentioned – heart, hero, hammer, hand, hay, hungry, hug, hat, hen and heavy.

Besides writing this letter on the interactive whiteboard, they wrote it their workbooks as well.  This is how the pages looked like:

h.jpg

I also stressed the following points to help the children get the correct formation:

  • Letter h is written in one motion. We do not lift the pencil from the paper whilst writing it.
  • We always start from the top where there is the dot and NOT from the bottom.
  • Letter h has a tall back and a small tunnel. It resembles a chair when you look at it from the side.
  • We try and go up on the same middle line to start the small tunnel.  We use the pointy finger of the hand we don’t write with to stop at the middle and start the tunnel.
  • The tunnels have to be round at the top and not pointy.
  • The tunnel cannot go up all the way or it becomes a n instead.

Letter h song –

 

 

Term 3 Week 2 – Malta – Part 2

Our third week has flown by too.

During the beginning of the week we turned our focus on animals which live on the Maltese islands.  The children got to know that there are particular animals which live in a particular country because the environment there is best for them to live in.

The polar bear for instance lives in the Arctic because the temperatures there are very low.  We could not imagine a polar bear living in Malta with its thick fur coat.

Likewise there are particular animals which live mainly on or originate from the Maltese Islands.  Some of these creatures are the Blue Rock Thrush, the Maltese Ruby Tiger Moth, the Maltese wall lizard, the Maltese freshwater crab, the indigenous Maltese goat, the Maltese dog and last but not least the hedgehog.

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It was the turn of the last in the list to keep us company.  The children heard the story of Herald the Hedgehog.  They even learnt a lesson where we should be happy and appreciate what we have rather than always wishing for what the others might have.  This can be a point of discussion at home after you enjoy viewing the story together.  Link below:

Harold the Hedgehog by Jack Connolly and Rhianna Lewis


We also saw some interesting facts about these sweet little creatures, such as there are 17 different kinds of hedgehog families living around the world. Mummy hedgehogs have around 6 babies at one go.  The babies are called hoglets. They have a very good sense of smell.  They love living on the ground but know how to climb and swim.  Some of these fun facts are found in the clip below.

The Nature´s Amazing! Series Hedgehog Facts for Kids


Since hedgehogs are nocturnal animals they often try to cross the road in the dark.  Unfortunately they are not seen by the drivers being so small and they end up dead.

Thus campaigns take place from time to time to help everybody become aware of this fact.  We have to look out for signs like the ones below when travelling in our countryside.

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We extended the lesson to how we should cross the road.  We practiced crossing the road in class. (I also mentioned that even if we learn to cross the road we still hold our mummies, daddy’s hand or any other adult we happen to be with).  We watched these video clips about this topic.

Think, Hedgehog Road Safety-King of the Road

Song – Think! Hedgehog Road Safety-King of the Road

Stop, Look and Listen songs 

 


As we do for every letter we created a craft for this letter too.  A cute little hedgehog made out of a paper plate which the children painted brown.


We then added a fringe for spikes and added the nose and the googly eyes. Here is how the hedgehog looked like.

hedgehog
The work done on the literacy workbook can be found under the literacy section.

 

 

People Who Help Us

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Dear parents and guardians,

As you all know we started the topic work Malta.  In conjunction with this we will also be talking about people who help us in our community.

To make this topic special we are asking for your help.  We are planning of having people come over to the pre-junior classes to talk about their profession.

So if you are interested to come to class and give a short talk about your job please let us know.  Obviously the profession has to be in theme to the topic discussed at the time.  So we are looking out for

  • Anybody working in the police force eg policeman/woman, warden etc.
  • Doctor/nurse/dentist/vet
  • A pilot with Air Malta or any other entity.
  • Air hostess/steward
  • Anyone who can drive a speedboat.
  • A life guard or any related work.
  • Fisherman
  • Anyone who might have a Maltese dog
  • Farmer growing oranges and other fruit
  • Expert on Maltese animals eg lizards, birds etc.

If you are interested or know of anyone who would conduct a simple talk to the children please send the profession on my school email.

We will discuss the questions beforehand.  If your profession is not listed in the above but are still interested to give a talk to the children let me know just the same.  I am sure we can manage it.

 

Thank you for your co-operation

Kind regards

Ms. Geraldine

 

 

World Book Day

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Dear parents and guardians,

On Monday 23rd April we will celebrate World Book Day.

At school we are organizing various activities for our little ones to make this day one to remember.  There will be fun animated reading sessions accompanied by hands on activities.

We will also take the children to our school library where they can experience the feel of a library and try and nurture in them the love of books.

On this occasion the children are to come to school in a costume of your choice preferably of their favourite super hero.

Even the adults are going to be in costume   🙂

PS – It is a normal school day for the children.  If you have any queries just let me know.

 

Apologies

Dear all,

Thank you for sending in most of the letter flashcards.  It was brought to my attention that I did not send 2 letters r and q.  My apologies.

I forgot to slip them in the children’s red folder.  I will be laminating those two letters myself.  So don’t worry that you do not have them.

All those who did not send the laminations in please don’t forget to label the flashcards at the back with your child’s name and to insert the flashcards in a small A5 folder before sending them to school.

 

Kind regards

Ms. Geraldine

 

Term 3 Week 1 – Basic Addition – Part 1

This week we started working with the basic addition.

As an introduction to this important concept we took a close look at why we add up numbers in everyday life, we count our toys altogether to see how many we have,  we count the plates altogether when setting the table, we add when friends share things with us to see how many we have as an end result etc.

We can add almost anything except for very tiny objects like rice and sand.  The children came up with various examples of what they might add.

We practiced counting through play.  We added various things altogether like children, blocks, beans and buttons.  As we went along the children got accustomed to the language used in addition mainly plus and add, equals and altogether.  The children used addition playing cards like the ones below to add various counters.

addition.png

The success criteria for working a basic addition sum are as follows:

  • You ask yourself how many objects do I have.
  • Count the objects in the first circle.
  • Count the numbers in the second circle.
  • Read the sum Eg 1 ball plus 1 ball equals.
  • Count altogether (I do a big circle with my hands to emphasize the altogether).
  • Say the final answer – So I have 2 balls altogether.

 

To practice the above concept besides using manipulatives we also played games on the websites www.starfall.com and http://www.abcya.com/addition.htm where the children added potatoes, animals and marbles.

They really enjoyed playing these basic addition games.  Next week we will be developing this concept further.

We also did some revision of number values from 1 to 10.  The children had different number cards and they had to roll very small balls to represent the numbers on the cards.

Here are some photos of the children in action.