Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Letter Formation and Early Writing

Learning our Letters and How to Write Them

In learning to read and write there are many components and sometimes one of the hardest parts for us when we're first learning is actually the mechanics of writing.  We focus on looking at identifying letters, the sounds they make and the shapes used to make up those letters so that we can hear a sound, know the letter and know how to actually make that letter.  
We practise this every day using our ABC song and the matching card to help us remember the names of the letters and the sounds they make.

We also use the story Casey the Caterpillar to teach the language and shapes around letter formation

Here is an example of how the letter c is called an open mouth and how we build on that shape to teach other letter shapes.

This is the cheat sheet so that you can be using the same language at home:

And here are some examples of our practise:
We start with shapes and we connect them.  Here we were working on the cup shape.  Cup, short stick.  Cup, possum tail.  Cup, cup.
The shapes for these letters are short stick, tunnel stop.  Short stick, tunnel and short stick, tunnel, tunnel. We also connect these to the sounds that the letter makes.

Then we move on to using our knowledge to write words:

Then we move on to having a go at writing the words we know:

There are many elements to learning to write.  We are working so hard in Autahi to grow our brains and practise all of these parts!

Learning a bit about our brain--Growth Mindset

Growth Mindset
We have been learning a bit about our brains and about how we can approach things with different mindsets.  We have learned about having a growth mindset that recognises that we can achieve what we set our minds to through practise and hard work, that everyone can learn anything and that challenges help us to learn.  We have also learned about having a fixed mindset that thinks that we can't change what we're good at, there's no point in practising, we are already GREAT at everything and we don't try new things because we might fail or get it wrong. 

"I have a bit of a fixed mindset and growth mindset, so I am going to turn on my growth mindset!"
--Gigi Early age 5, Autahi

Gigi hit the nail on the head.  We are all working on changing our mindsets and sometimes have to actively dial up our growth mindset.  Children are actually a lot better at this than adults most of the time!
These are some of the picture books we have been reading to learn these concepts:
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This book explores what you do when you have problems and how you can be proactive in facing them and taking action to solve them.
This book teaches about the parts of the brain and how the brain actually works.
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This books explores the idea of almost being able to do lots of things and the acceptance that learning how to do things is ok!

These are short video
we have watched to explore these ideas even further.

We created these posters and had to do a sort to figure out which phrases and ideas we thought fit under each heading.

We've also been working on a Growth mindset reader, filling in missing words using what we have learned. 


If we learn to face things with a growth mindset, we will have more confidence in our abilities, in growing our abilities and in the power of mistakes! We certainly are becoming risk takers in our learning!

Help me grow my growth mindset at home by really focussing on the process and my effort rather than the outcome and getting things "right".

Monday, 2 April 2018

The King of Ing

For the last few weeks we have been learning about the --ing ending.  We've been exploring this by learning all about the king of Ing! 
We read a few stories about the king of Ing and brainstormed words with Ing.  Then we became "ing" detectives searching the room for words and noticing ing words in all the stories we were reading.

We made King of Ing crowns, putting "ing" pictures all over the headband.

We made our own Kings of Ing

We did actions around the room and then wrote sentences describing what we were doing.  Some were rolling, skipping, and jumping.

We also wrote about our insects and used "ing" words in those descriptions.

Now that we've learned about "ing" we are hearing and seeing "ing" everywhere!