Early Literacy Materials
All texts are followed by writing activities that are laid out in traditional style with numbering. Early primary school children get to understand how to work, and what will probably come next. There is predictability in the format.
Most of my literacy materials follow a set format. Literacy in English is a skills based subject area, not a content based subject. So, in my view, providing a wide range of texts such as letters, lists, cartoons and persuasive writing and the like, is not central to acquiring literacy skills. I leave that to the classroom teacher, or distance learning teacher. My reasoning is that if a child’s general reading ability improves through use of my materials then he or she can easily and quickly master the content aspects of a variety of texts as well as the question of audience.
In my teaching materials you and your child are the only audience. The texts in many cases are implicitly speaking to your child as the reader. The texts, or as the young child will call them, stories, are written with the character telling your child what happened.
They are designed for one-to-one teaching. Some take twenty minutes and some for the older child will take an hour, including the activities. I recommend two readings, one to decode and the second for comprehension. Some children will benefit from a shared reading with parent and child reading alternately, and that works well.
There is one important point I want to make early, especially with children who are unwell, or falling behind, and it is this: Give your child time to answer. Never rush him or her into guessing. Resist the temptation to prompt, and if your child does guess, be patient because it can be frustrating for a parent. Work through with little hints and when he “gets” it, tell him he’s doing well. Jumping in with the answer may reflect your anxiety. You need to recognise that some children need extra time. You could say, “Let’s come back to that question”.
My teaching materials will not be available all at once, but I will progressively upload them.
The literacy materials for Early Primary that I provide for download include:
- repetitive use of the first 100 sight words in the story content;
- repetitive use of target words with particular spelling patterns such as ‘oo’ and ‘ai’ diphones;
- follow-up activities on the sight words and target words;
- comprehension questions, cloze or story sequencing activities, or a response to the text.
I also have hand-writing practice sheets in a basic style used in Australia. I recommend that parents working alone make it easy in this sense – all downstrokes are down in a perpendicular way and all upstrokes are slanted towards the right. This principle can be applied universally to all letters. I recommend that you say, “All capital letters stand on the line,” and “All small letters sit on the line”. Further on this later.
Parents can download sight words; print onto card or paper and cut; laminate for longer use. These make colour-coded flash cards. They are hand written and model handwriting for the child.
Also available are charts on A3 listing common words and spelling. These are also hand-written. They work from simple to more difficult, and group words according to vowel sounds, diphones (two vowel combinations); digraphs such as ‘th’; to the advanced, such as groups of suffixes, and word changes from verb to noun. Just as the child learning a musical instrument has to go through the scales and arpeggios, so, I believe, the child has to go through written vocabulary. While a child might hate doing his scales, children do in fact enjoy reading the charts. This improves their grasp of word families, spelling patterns and provide a chance to discuss meanings.