Friday 29 January 2016

The Art of Learning

A child learns the fragility of a flower by touching it, the way a spider moves by crawling across the floor and the beauty of ice by watching it glisten and melt in the sun.

Pixelhouse eBooks have follow-up activities, some on science, some on art and some on both. The eBook "Swimming in the Sea." asks the child "Hey there, hey there. What do you see?" The child looks closer and discovers something swimming there, from the part to the whole, from the fin to the fish.

The follow-up activity here begins with a frozen gem. Blue dyed frozen water and rocks, a frozen rock pool, melting in the sun. The children observe and draw what they see. Black rocks gradually appear as the blue water drains away. Science and art, art and science.

Let go and let the children explore the magic that is science and art. Let the observations be real. Let the deep discoveries be the child's. And let them draw all this and it will be beautiful.

Tuesday 26 January 2016

Creativity, An Important Literacy Tool

Each ebook in the 20/20 Literacy Programme has follow-up creative activities to enable the child to connect with the content from their understanding of the world and their experiences. Also to build comprehension skills that begin with the imagination.

Connecting to the Content

The first word most children learn to read and write is their name. This tells us a
lot. It tells us that the child’s connection to the word they are learning is a key
factor in committing the word to memory. Providing creative activities as part of the
learning process establishes a connection to the text of the ebook and to the words
to be learnt. It gives the child a chance to examine the concepts of a story in the
context of their world and their experiences. In this way the connection is made
and learning is enhanced.

Building Comprehension Skills

When we read we enter the world of a book in our imagination. We imagine the
places, the characters, the events and motivations of the story through our own
inner world of our imagination. The greater our imagination the greater our ability
to enter the world of the book and our ability to comprehend. Creative activities
that challenge children to use their imagination grows their inner world, enhancing
their memory, empathy and understanding.

Monday 25 January 2016

A Lesson Plan for the Beginner Reader

Sample Lesson Plan: Robots

The 20/20 Literacy Programme: 20 eBooks to teach 20 Sight Words
Sight Words: me  can  am  I
Letter focus: m
Reading for meaning
Reading for pleasure to right tracking
One to one matching
Sound letter relationships
Text cues and punctuation
Picture analysis

 Day 1: Time to Begin

    1. You Tell the Story
    • Talk about each robot as you view these screens to engage children in the learning.
    • What does each robot look like?
    • Legs: How would this robot move, walk, run, roll, climb etc...?
    • Head: How would this robot see, eat, talk, think...etc
    • Body: What would this robot do, make, produce...etc?
    • Where would you find this robot?
    • Where would it sleep?
    • Does this robot have a family?
    • Do you think this robot would be useful? Why?  How?
    2. Read
    • Begin by discussing the illustration on the front page and follow this with questions about the title.
    • What is the title of this book? What letter does the title start with? 
    • What is the name of this letter? What sound does this letter make? 
    • Does anyone have this letter in their name?
    • Read and talk about each page as you did with the above ‘You Tell the Story’ discussion. Keep the discussion light and playful. Enjoyment is key here as this will bring them back to repeat the experience.
    • After two or three pages and if they seem to be grasping the repititon of the text, ask if anyone can read it.
    • Ask the children to locate the word  ‘me’. If they display confidence ask them to locate the other sight words; I, can, am.
    3. Create

    • View the ‘Get ready to make.’ screen. Be prepared with a variety of boxes, tubes and  tape, all set out on a table for children to construct their own robot. 
    • Open the ‘Create’ screen and discuss the making process. Look at the robots made here and talk about 
    • how they are constructed, then discuss how they might make their robot.
    • The aim is always for the child to make their unique artwork. Let them enjoy this process. 
    • After the robots are complete write a caption for each child’s robot on a card. Use the child’s words.
    • Display the robots and their captions.

    Day 2

    • Begin the following lesson looking at and appreciating each child’s robot and read their captions.
    • Re-read ‘Robots’. Before reading consider the literacy skills that this group of children need to work
    • on and which few you will focus on. During this reading involve the children as much as you can without losing the enthusiasm for the book. 
    • Follow-up with the Word Activities. Begin by finding the words they know then work through each screen taking turns with the activities provided. 
    • Children work independently with the printable Word Activity Worksheet.
    Day 3
    • Re-read ‘Robots’ together and find the Sight Words. Who can find  me, I, can, am?
    • Use the Write section. Choose a robot to write about together. Use the Day One questions to prompt the writing. Ask the children to provide letter sounds and names to the sight words as you write this story. 
    • Focus on left to right tracking, space between words  punctuation and story sequence.
    • Print off a writing worksheet for each children to write their own story and to draw their own illustration. 
    • Make these stories into a group book.
    Revisit the ebook, the children's writing and their constructed Robots often. Returning to well known and well loved work builds confidence and a child's feeling of control over their learning.