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Reading at Home:
Tip 1: Read together every day
Reading with your child continues to be really important so keep reading lots of different books together. Most picture books will be too hard for a child of this age to read alone, but it’s good for them just to listen to a story or information book and talk about the pictures with you.
Tip 2:Allow some reading alone time
Try a short reading time when you are reading (newspaper, magazine, book, on?screen) and your child is too. It’s good to start this habit of quiet reading time early, however short to begin with!
Tip 3:Talk about the book before you begin reading
Before reading a book together, always talk about the title, the pictures and the information on the cover (front and back). If it’s new, ask what your child thinks the book might be about. If it’s an old favourite then talk about the bits you love most! Don’t worry if some books get chosen again and again!
Tip 4:Read with different voices
When reading aloud use lots of expression and try different voices for different characters. Get your child to join in with bits too, such as, ‘They pulled and they pulled!’ and ‘Fee, fi, fo, fom…’. See if your child can copy you!
Tip 5:Ask each other questions
Talk about the stories and information books when you’ve finished reading together and ask questions. What did you like best? Why did the tiger let Floppy go? Have you ever played a trick on anybody? Get your child to ask you questions too.
Tip 6:Retell stories and events
Ask your child about things that happened at school or with their friends. Sometimes, after you’ve shared a story or watched a TV programme, ask your child to tell you about it. Help them by asking What happened first? What next? And then what?
Learning About Sentences
As children begin to write sentences rather than single words, and particularly as they start to write several sentences, they need to be able to mark the sentence boundaries with punctuation. It is difficult to give a meaningful explanation of what a sentence is, but through experiences such as shared reading and particularly shared writing, and the discussion of sentence punctuation, children can develop a sense of what sentences are. This developing understanding can be enhanced by quick activities, such as the following.
Human sentences: Write each word of a sentence, and the full stop, on separate cards. Give each card to a child, and ask them to sequence the words to make a sentence. Then read the sentence together.
Beginnings and ends: Write out some sentences on cards, and cut each sentence into two parts. The sentences could be taken from a familiar book. Give child a card, and ask them to find the other part of their sentence: · I can hear an owl/hoot at night. · Nan is sitting/in the rocking chair. · The farmer gets up/at six in the morning.
Is it a sentence?: Write some sentences and non-sentences on strips of card. For example: Sam sat on the. The dog ran up the hill. The cat and the fish. Jumps on the bed. The doll is in the cot. On top of the rock. I can go to the log hut. Ask the child to show thumbs up for a sentence and thumbs down for a non-sentence.
Rainbow sentences: Write each sentence in a different colour. Some sentence ends should fall in the middle of lines, so children do not think that they need a full stop at the end of each line. A similar activity can be done in reading, with different colours of highlighter used to mark the different sentences.
Jumbled sentences: Use magnetic words and punctuation to make a sentence and then jumble up the words. Ask the child to reorder the words to make the sentence.
Finish my sentence: Give the child an oral sentence starter, such as ‘My favourite food is…’ or ‘When it rains …’ or ‘In the middle of the wood I saw…’. Ask for several suggestions to add to each starter in order to make a sentence.
Noisy sentences: Read a text together. Ask the child to clap, knock on the floor or click their fingers every time they come to a full stop. Different sounds can be used for question marks and exclamation marks.