Literacy Matters Advice for parents. Ways to support your child. and help them succeed

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1 Literacy Matters Advice for parents Ways to support your child and help them succeed

2 The term literacy refers to the skills of Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing. All these skills are interlinked so the more you practise Speaking and Listening, the better reader you become; the more you read, the better writer you become. It all helps develop a wider vocabulary and awareness of the use of language and tone for different situations. Literacy skills are essential life skills and this guide is designed to offer some practical and fun suggestions for ways in which you can help your child to develop them. Some of them may be things you already do, others may be ideas that other parents have found successful. You can help you child by modelling the use of language, engaging them in discussion, letting them see you read, whether it be books, magazines or online news / Twitter. Share opinions and make time for talking about what you have read or done.

3 Speaking and Listening Speaking and Listening is the foundation for both Reading and Writing; it is important that you devote some time each day to talk to you child about the things you ve both been doing. Watching the news, or Newsround which is aimed at young people, with your child once or twice a week and discussing the reports and events will help develop a child s speaking and listening skills. Or, if you prefer, play some of the games below : Board Games Many board games require interaction with other players, especially team games. Some particularly good examples are: Guess Who, Cluedo, Cranium, Taboo, Articulate and Who's in the Bag? Word Tennis This is an adaptable game of quick-fire word play. The players think of a category, for example adjectives that might be applied to an object or animal, and like tennis, the players throw words at each other until one of them runs out of words or uses an incorrect word. Example: Category Adjectives describing lions Player 1 Fearsome Player 2 Majestic Player 1 Protective Player 2 Hunted... etc. Maps Going on a long journey? Encourage your child to look at the map with you and discuss the possible routes you could take. Which would be quickest? Which would be the most scenic? Why?

4 Car Number Plates The aim of this game is to make up short sentences using words that begin with letters from car number plates. Example: EN79 AAG would give you the letters E N A A G, which could become Even Numbers Are Always Grouchy. Coffee Pot One player chooses a person, place or thing and writes in onto a label. This is then stuck to another player's forehead. The second player must try to identify who, where or what they are by asking questions of the other players. Photographs When on holiday, day trips or at special events, encourage your child to take some of the photographs as well as you. Later on, look through them together and discuss what is happening, why you took them and whether you like them or not. You could even try writing some captions too. Yes and No A player answers questions for a minute without using the words yes or no, without nodding their head and without hesitating. They must answer the questions properly and not resort to repetitive answers such as maybe or probably.

5 Ways to Promote Reading Whatever your child reads it will help develop their vocabulary and literacy skills, so create a reading culture, make it cool to read. Lead by example, let your child see you reading. Try to make a range of reading material available books, newspapers and magazines. Show an interest ask what they are reading, What happened..? What did you like about..? What do you think will happen..? Engage your child in conversation about books and magazine/news articles, encourage them to speculate about what will happen in a book. Make sure your child is interested in whatever they are reading. If the vocabulary is too hard they will give up, if it s too easy they may not find it rewarding. Ask about the characters in the story and what they like or dislike about them. If your child is participating in the Accelerated Reader scheme at school you can download a free app for IPad or IPhone - ask the school librarian for the Cavendish code so your child can complete the quizzes at home. Cook or bake from a recipe. Suggest book tokens or books to relatives as suitable gifts. Look out for films and TV programmes related to children s books. Encourage your child to use the school and local library.

6 Writing Take an interest in your child s work. Ask to see their exercise books and discuss what they are writing about. Reading their work aloud can help a child ensure it makes sense. Help your child check their work for full stops, capital letters and paragraphs. Encourage them to expand their vocabulary by thinking of alternative words make it a game, played little and often e.g. how many words can you think of that mean happy or exciting? Make sure your child has a dictionary and thesaurus and encourage them to use it when writing. Online story and comic creator websites provide an opportunity to create your own stories and comics, adding text as you go. e.g. and Show your child examples of written documents e.g. letters and newspapers and draw attention to the different layout conventions. s to friends and family, holiday postcards etc help practise informal writing Shopping lists ask your child to write down your shopping list for you or write one of their own for a recipe or party.

7 Strategies for learning spellings Many young people become very frustrated and sensitive about their spelling but with a little and often approach and plenty of praise it will improve. Only aim to learn about 5 words per week. Focus on the words that have been corrected in your child s books and make sure they have the correct spelling written down. Use the look, cover, write and check method to practise spellings. Show how words can be broken up, e.g. temp-er- at ure. Think of ways to remember common mistakes, e.g. separate has a rat in it. Leading by example is again effective let your child see you using a dictionary to check your spellings and encourage them to do the same. Make spelling fun play word games with your child: Word chains Use the last letter of one word as the first two of the next and see who can make the longest chain e.g. apple - lemon - onion Boggle a game for the whole family to see who can make the most words from the letters shown. Hangman Wordsearches, crosswords and arrow words are a good way to extend vocabulary and practise spellings.

8 References Apart from advice from Cavendish staff, some of these ideas have come from Parmiter s School and the following books: Corbett, P. (2004). Jumpstart Literacy. Oxon: David Fulton Publishers Barren, P. (2008). Practical Games, Activities and Ideas for the Primary Classroom. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.

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