I hope this finds you all safe and well. Please find on the following pages some suggested academic activities to do with your child during the school closure period. I am always accessible via phone or email (email@example.com) should you wish to contact me. All queries are welcome, no matter how small. I wish to assure you that the following activities are suggested rather than prescriptive in nature as I appreciate that our lives have been thrown into chaos recently.
- The children in Senior Infants are very confident in sounding out words that use single sounds. A digraph is where two or more letters make a single sound. We have been working on the digraphs ch; sh; th. Some children found this difficult and we were doing lots of work on words that include these sounds. The following activities are based around these sounds. These are on the twinkl website which has free access to parents at the moment.
- The children have been working hard at learning their tricky words and you can continue to play the “memory game” using the words from the list in Appendix A. Remember, the children do not ‘sound-out’ these words but rather learn them by sight. Chose six words from the list. Perhaps choose three that they know well and three that they are unsure of. Write each word out twice and lay them face down on the table. Take turns to turn over cards. The child should say the word as they turn it over. When they make a match, they keep the pair. Another idea is to play bingo or snap using a selection of the words.
- The children would have been moving on to the new reader after Easter (“Stop that Dog”). Folens have made access to their books available for parents online and the e-book can be found here: www.folensonline.ie
- I would ask you to perhaps read two pages each day with your child. Read them twice or three times. Go back over the previous day’s pages again each day before moving on. Over-learning of words is crucial at this stage and is very important for children who may be struggling. Re-reading familiar material is invaluable in this regard.
- Read-aloud: Continue to incorporate a daily read-aloud to your child’s routine. Above all else, the single biggest indicator in academic success is being read to regularly.
- Resources: The following website provide good quality children’s literature:
- Remember to discuss the story; the characters and the plot and to delve a little deeper, always asking “Why do you think that?” Ask children to predict events in the story: “What do you think is going to happen next? Why?”
- Give your child the opportunity to “sound out” words and read some tricky words they are familiar with.
- Praise, praise, praise their attempts at participation and encourage all attempts at sounding out.
- The children in Senior Infants have been taught all the lower-case letters. However, some are still uncertain and reversals are quite common at this stage. Thorough practise is essential. We have been working our way through the upper-case letters but the children are still quite uncertain of the formation of some of these.
- I would recommend picking one focus letter each day to practise writing. Ask your child to practise both the uppercase and lower case version of the chosen letter. It is important that the children can see the height and size difference between the upper and lower case letters.
- Online support: http://data.cjfallon.ie/resources/handwriting/index.html Choose the blue ‘looped style’ option as a reference/practice tool. This matches with how we write the letters in our school. Formation is demonstrated and can be copied by the children.
- We have been working hard at writing sentences each day. Teacher calls out the sentence and the children write it down. It is important that the sentence is spoken very clearly and repeated a number of times. Ask your child to clap the sentence and count out the words on their fingers. Children will need a lot of support to write their sentence. Praise, praise, praise their efforts as this is still quite a challenging task for the children.
your child of the following:
- Capital letter at the start and full stop at the end.
- Finger spaces in between the words.
- Sizing of the letters (not too big!)
- Re-reading their sentence to see if they are happy with it. By encouraging them to re-read their sentences, they will begin to see their own mistakes. Perhaps they left out a word or forgot a finger space.
- Don’t ‘over-help’ them; if they are stuck, repeat the word, sounding out each individual sound (E.g. s…u…n)
- If the whole sentence is too difficult, just ask your child to write some of the words from the sentence instead.
- Keep it positive!
- Ask them to draw a picture of the sentence.
Sampe Dictation Sentences
- Sam got hot in the sun.
- Mom will put the fish in the pot.
- The kids hid in the hut.
- Jim had a dip in the wet tub.
- Dad can run fast on the sand.
- They sat on the bus and had lots of fun.
- We went to the park and sat on the swings.
- My car got stuck in the mud.
- Can she see the big wet frog?
- Did he see the cat in the hat?
- Ask your child to draw a picture and encourage them to label their picture. Encourage all attempts (even if not accurate). Praise all attempts!
- 2-D Shapes: In class we cut out 2-D shapes and stuck them together to make robot pictures (large and small squares, rectangles, triangles, circles). Some children wanted to do cars/tractors/buildings as well but we didn’t have a chance. It might be an enjoyable activity to do at home (Activity also develops fine motor and cutting skills).
- 3-D shapes: Use old junk material and tape to create junk-art sculptures. (Cubes and cuboids: different shaped boxes; cylinders: toilet rolls, etc.
- Spatial Awareness: “Where is Teddy?” game: Parent hides Teddy and child must ask questions to discover his location. Parent can only answer yes/no. Emphasis is on the use of location words: under, behind, on top of, beside, next to, between, right, left, above, below,
- “Simon Says” Game involving language of spatial awareness. file:///C:/Users/Infants/Documents/SESE%20Themes/SPRING/simon%20says%20spatial%20awareness.pdf
- We have been working on the numbers 1-10 and also the formation of each.
Practise forming the numbers. (Again, reversals are quite common in Senior Infants)
- Hold up a number and the children make that set (using everyday objects e.g. pegs, buttons, crayons, blocks, etc.).
- Provide a set of objects and the children must count the set. Count sets up to 20 (use household objects: etc.)
- Ordering sets of objects by number. Make different sets using everyday items and then put them in order. Also, order numerals (write out the numbers on a piece of paper and mix them up – child must put them in the correct order from 0-10) https://www.twinkl.ie/resource/t-n-252464-ordering-numbers-1-to-10-activity
- Missing numbers: Write out a sequence of numbers and leave out a number – ask the child to fill in the missing numbers. Don’t always start at 1!Try going backwards.
- Combine sets of objects, totals to 10. Use concrete materials. Record using the symbols + and =. For example add two groups of crayons together and then write out the sum.
- Colour by number addition up to 10 pages: https://www.twinkl.ie/resource/t-n-5462-monsters-colour-by-number-addition-up-to-10-activity-sheets
- Repeating patterns (in 2’s or 3’s using shapes; stamps; colours and numbers) E.g. https://www.twinkl.ie/resource/t-n-193-repeating-pattern-worksheets-shapes-and-colours
- Measures: Time; Money; Capacity; Length; Weight can all be explored through everyday tasks and activities: shopping; bath-time; baking, etc
- Websites: Folens Online have free access for parents at the moment. Here, you can access the Abair Liom Programme (Abair Liom A) to revise units already covered. Comhrá, songs and rhymes are also accessible on that website.
- I have a booklet in the works with all the vocabulary in Gaeilge (with phonetic pronunciation) for parents. I will get this out to you after Easter.
- We had hoped to cover the themes of “Spring” and “Easter” in SESE, Religion and we would have linked our music, art and drama lessons to these themes over these few weeks. I had hoped to sow seeds, learn about daffodils, life on the farm in spring, learn about the Easter Story and do an Easter treasure hunt (orienteering in P.E.). However, sadly it was not to be but there is always next year! If you would like any info on the above topics/ideas, just let me know.
- As you all know, all of the other activities you do each day have huge benefits too – lego, play-dough, colouring, drawing, painting, playing outside, jigsaws, treasure hunts, board games, reading, singing and dancing – so if you spend your days on these activities alone, that’s perfect too!
- Twinkl have also developed School Closure Home Packs which are linked to the Republic of Ireland Curriculum.
- **Above all else, please don’t feel under pressure to do the above work. Any little bit goes a long way and hopefully we’ll be back together in class again soon to pick up where we left off. I just wanted to give you an overview of where we were in class to aid any work you may do yourselves. Again, please don’t hesitate to contact me for any further clarification. Best of luck and stay safe
APPENDIX A: Tricky Words (#1-36)