Thursday, 23 April 2020

Top Tips for Learning Rocket Words

How do you practise your Rocket Words?

Here are some handy tips that you've been sharing.

Rocket Words are common words that appear a lot in our books. The aim is to learn them so that we can recognise and read them straight away. Our brains get good at recognising the shape of familiar words so we don't have to use other strategies like Stretchy Snake to read them. This has been shown to speed up reading and make it more fluent. 

When we're learning something new, the time of day can be important. Some people find that mornings are the best time for Rocket Words. They feel fresh and awake and their brains are ready to learn. Working on Rocket Words little and often is best.

Making flashcards for your Rocket Words is a great idea. Cut up empty food packets into rectangles (tea and cereal boxes are good). Write the words large and clear. Some people find it helpful to run their finger over the letter shapes as they familiarise themselves with a new word. You can even make two sets of cards and play games like Pairs (Pelmanism) with your words.

Try playing 'My Card/Your Card' with your flashcards. You'll need a helper for this. Your helper holds the cards and shows them to you one at a time. If you can say the word, you get to keep the card. If you don't know the word yet, your helper keeps the word and adds it to the bottom of the pile to show you again. The person with the most cards at the end of the game is the winner!

The focus at this stage is on reading our Rocket Words, but some people find it helpful to try writing them as well. Writing in different ways is fun and can help to fix the shapes of the letters and words in your brain. Try writing on a whiteboard, with different colours, with chalk on the pavement or with your finger in a tray of sand or flour. If you have playdough, try making the letter shapes. You might even be able to build them in Lego!

Here is an extremely tall Word Wall - and it's getting bigger all the time! Having your words somewhere you can easily see them is a great idea. That way, you'll be reminded of your words whenever you walk past and you can easily run through them any time you like.

A really top tip is finding a buddy to help you. It's far more fun and more friendly with two. Try some of the games and activities together. Ask your buddy to run through your words with you. Make silly sentences with your words together. Can you make your buddy laugh?

Finally, remember that every word you learn will help you enjoy your reading more. Dial up your Perseverance and find the fun: when we are enjoying ourselves, we are often doing our best learning. And don't forget to celebrate your achievements, especially on a Friday!

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