Saturday, 23 February 2013

Personal Spelling Books

A long time ago when I was still a school teacher I was shown a really useful way for children to create their own spelling books.  There's a fine balance to be struck between letting a child write without correcting any spellings at all, and correcting every single spelling!
To make these personal spelling books I used old vocabulary books, although folding and stapling lined paper to make a little book would work just as well.  I drew a vertical line down the middle of each page and labelled each page with a letter from the alphabet in both upper and lower case.  w and x share a page and y and z share a page in our books.  
When the child falls upon a word they don't think they can spell they start sounding it out, decide what they think the initial phoneme is and find that page (with a large enough book all the phonemes could be used rather than just the letters of the alphabet) and then have a go at writing the word on the left hand side of the vertical line.  They show it to the teacher/parent/helper and they either give it a tick if it is correct or write it correctly on the right hand side of the vertical line if there is a mistake.  
Sometimes a child will get the initial phoneme wrong e.g. they sound out 'enough' and on the page for i they write 'inuf' - simply write 'enough' next to their attempt and also enter it on the page for e so that when they start to remember that 'enough' begins with e they will be able to find it again in their personal spelling book.

I have recently started getting my girls to keep their spelling books in their pencil pots so they get used more often!

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Sunflowery Art

We are continuing to work through The art book for children (White book) and have just spent some time on pages 54-55 looking at Sunflower by Vincent Van Gogh which we followed up with this activity from the amazing Art Projects for Kids.  We also watched this youtube video about using oil pastels.  And here is what we came up with: