Learning Tips – Term 2, Week 2, 2016


This week during Work Work in reading sessions, students will be using the ‘ABC Pocket Phonics’ app on iPods and iPads. This is also a great app for them to use at home because it introduces students to the letters and common sounds made by those letters in the same order that we introduce them during the Letters and Sounds program. It also encourages students to blend sounds together orally to make words (eg. ‘s – a – t’ ……. sat’). This is an important skill for reading and leads on to the related skill of breaking words up into sounds in order to write them down (eg. ‘sat, sat …… s – a – t’). If you would like to find out more about this app, watch the video below, created by Mr Ramage previously.


Reading stories to your child remains very important because it builds a love of reading and the child is able to observe the behaviours of a reader. You can ‘think out loud’ while you read together. For example:

  • picture walk – go for a ‘picture walk’ before reading by looking through the pictures in the book. Talk about what you see (eg. vocabulary – car, cake, rollers skates, girl – could she be someone’s sister in the story?)
  • predict – ‘I wonder what is going to happen next?’
  • infer information from the pictures and ask yourself questions while reading – ‘Look at Dad’s face. He doesn’t look very pleased, does he? I wonder why?’
  • use the reading strategies your child is using, like using starting sounds with the pictures – ‘”Toby patted the d…..” Oh look there is a dog in this picture and this word starts with a ‘d’ sound. That word could be ‘dog’. Let’s see if it sounds right’

Encourage and help your children to point under each word once as it is read, using their index fingers when reading the take home school reader.


Why not draw a picture for someone special, like a grandparent or other family member. Ask your child to say what s/he would like to write on the picture and help as needed – provide the words for them to copy; help them find Magic Words they want to use from the Magic Words list in their Reader Folders.


Number Treasure Hunt. Skill: reading numerals

  • Take turns to hide a number outside and give each other clues to find it, like ‘warmer/colder’ etc. When the number is found, read it together (start with 0 to 20).

Counting up by ones. Skill: understanding that numbers are said in a particular order and there are patterns in the way we say them

  • Count up by ones, starting from different numbers – start between 0 and 20, progress higher if your child is comfortable with this.

Before/After. Skill: developing fluency with forwards and backwards counting

  • Play ‘what’s the number one before/one after/one more/one less/one smaller/one bigger than …..’ between 0 and 20.

Create collections. Skill: understanding that each object must be counted only once, that the arrangement of objects does not affect how many there are and that the last number counted answers the ‘how many’ question

  • Create small collections of special objects (eg. 4 shells; 8 leaves) between 0 and 9. Children need lots of experience at seeing how many objects make up the numbers between 0 and 9. This lays a firm foundation for later learning. When you count together, help your child to count each object only one time. Put the collections in order from the smallest to the largest number.

Number of the week

  • You could focus on a special number of the week between 0 and 9 – have fun ‘finding’ this number when you are out and about; create different collections of items which model this number during your daily routine (eg. four beans while you chop vegies for dinner; four pieces of bark when you’re gardening; pull up four weeds, give each other four kisses).

Have fun!

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