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Halloween ideas for your classroom

Measure the circumference of your pumpkin

Here are some of the Halloween arts and crafts ideas I have done with my pupils over the last few years. I have some ideas for other activities you can do with your pumpkins also…apart from making Jack O’ Lanterns.

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Math puzzles and answers

I hope everyone is enjoying Maths Week? I uploaded some target cards yesterday to suit classes 3rd to 6th. They cover areas such as number, time, decimals, fractions, number facts, length, weight, capacity etc. A selection of target cards for 1st and 2nd to follow later this week.

I uploaded some maths games on Instagram and Facebook also and I’m getting plenty of messages from teachers looking for the answers! You can download the 10 puzzles and their answers below. Enjoy!

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Webinar on Oral Language Development

Webinar two, on oral language and vocabulary development (continuing on from webinar one on vocabulary development), will be taking place on Thursday, 8th October from 7 pm to 8 pm. The focus will be on some vocabulary development again but mainly oral language development.

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The use of ‘digit cards’ in class

Free maths resources to download!

I hope everyone is getting settled back into school life, strange though it may be this September!

I think by now maybe you can guess how much I believe in pupils learning through hands-on/ talk activities, be it vocabulary/oral language or in the case of maths, opportunities for mental maths and maths discussion/problem-solving…and especially now after COVID school closures.

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Ideas to expand ‘feelings’ or ’emotions’ vocabulary in the classroom

ᐈ Cartoon sad man , Royalty Free sad man vectors | download on  Depositphotos®

‘Feelings’ or ‘emotion’ vocabulary is important for pupils to develop. They can use the vocabulary to express themselves and gain confidence speaking in front of an audience. Developing this vocabulary or doing the following activities can tie into other subject areas such as Social Personal Health Education or Drama.

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Oral language & vocabulary development with ‘Three Words’ activities

Storytelling is a great way to build oral language skills and ‘Three Word Cards’ will develop sequential development of plot and encourage listening skills.

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Using barrier games for the teaching of positional language, demonstration of understanding & categorisation

Using barrier games for the teaching of positional language, demonstration  of understanding & categorisation – Let's get those kids talking!

Barrier games encourage children to be precise in what they are saying and can be used in many ways to practice giving and receiving instructions from others.

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Using a ‘Feely Bag’ for oral language in the classroom

A multi-sensory feely bag activity is perfect for the development of oral language skills and vocabulary. Your Feely Bag can be any container that will hold an object unseen, to enable discussion to arise in order to solve the mystery, thus turning something simple into a deductive-reasoning activity. Nice examples are silk (or not silk!) pillow cases, decorative cushion covers or any cloth bag or even a large shoe box which the pupils will enjoy decorating.

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Conversation Stations

BALANCEDLITERACYDIET :: index :: Balanced Literacy Diet

An area is set up in the class, where the teacher has an opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation with four or five children each day, with a particular topic in mind. Pupils have the opportunity to talk, to have language modelled for them and to get feedback on their conversation/ language. The conversation station can be used with any age group as an effective activity to promote vocabulary and language development in the classroom.

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Morning Meeting (language discussion)

‘Tip of the Tongue’ meeting/ ‘Morning Meeting’/ or whatever you want to call it!

Have a section of wall/ board to display topics for discussion during ‘‘Morning Meeting ’. Ideally this could be in your ‘speaking and listening corner’/ oral language area. It is a perfect oral language activity for revising previous work, practicing and reinforcing new vocabulary and can be used as an opportunity for children to give presentations/ be reporters, look at items using the visualize and discussion etc.

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Why is oral Language important?

Oral language is our earliest form of communication and it is essential as we use it daily to communicate our needs. Language to crucial to learning as it gives a child entry to a world of knowledge, unlocking the world of the imagination, reading, providing skills to write and helping us grow as individuals. However, without language, a word gap ensues.

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Phrase of the Day

Using the idea of D.E.A.R time (Drop everything and read) or E.R.I.C (Everyone reads in class) for twenty minutes a day, letting the pupils select their own books and read at a time during the school day that suits you, can have tremendous benefits for children (including those who don’t like to read as they just may discover a book that they like.)

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Sample lesson plan for descriptive story writing using words-of-the-day and senses

Sample lesson plan for descriptive story (Some ‘jungle’ themed words of the day and descriptive story sheet on my Instagram highlights under the heading ‘jungle’. See teacher_julieanne.

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Debating in the primary classroom

Debates are important in oral language as they develop a child’s ability to argue a point of view, a skill that is valuable in many aspects of life. These activities allow them to become better debaters through time and help them become critical thinkers, expressing their opinions and thoughts and gaining self-confidence.

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Words-of-the-Day Vocabulary

Writing using words of the day by a first class pupil.

Research has shown that pupils need to encounter a new word 10 to 16 times in order to really ‘learn it’. When introducing new vocabulary, pupils need to get the opportunity to practice these new words and use them.

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How to use photographs for oral discussion

Photographs or cut-outs from newspapers/ magazines are very useful for oral discussion…as long as you don’t select a famous person or someone familiar to the pupils. They are also useful as visual props for the reluctant/ shy speaker.

Some suggested photograph activities:

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A flip chart can be useful in your ‘speaking and listening corner’.

It can be useful to have a flip chart in your ‘speaking and listening corner’. There are various things you will repeat each day as a teacher or during a particular lesson, and these pointers can be listed on a page in a flip chart ready for access at any time. See the examples below of what I use…

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Barrier Games

Using barrier games for the teaching of positional language, demonstration  of understanding & categorisation – Let's get those kids talking!

Barrier games are simple games that require pupils to speak clearly and be attentive listeners. They learn how to give clear descriptions, instructions and clarify through questioning while also developing communication skills such as social and linguistic skills.

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More group strategies for oral language activities

Some examples of group strategies for oral language activities in the classroom:

  1. The Jigsaw Technique
  2. Three-Step Interview
  3. Think/Pair/Share Technique
  4. Inside Outside Circles
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Group work/ Paired work strategies

The majority of activities in developing oral language in ‘Tip of the Tongue’ involve pupils working together in pairs and in groups.  For some pupils, it is often counterproductive to ask them to give descriptions to the entire class. Students are often embarrassed by their minimal knowledge or public exposure may make them uncomfortable and reserved. However, they are often eager to share their ideas with their peers in pairs or group work and in time, build confidence.

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Create a rich language-learning environment

The physical environment of a classroom has great power over the quality and the quantity of children’s experiences of oral language (Roskos & Neuman, 2002).  Children use print available to them in the classroom and so when creating a rich language environment, be aware that the environment surrounding the pupils meditates the language that they will use.

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Oral Language and Vocabulary Development for children at home (free downloadable)

Oral language is our earliest form of communication and it is essential as we use it daily to communicate our needs. Language to crucial to learning as it gives a child entry to a world of knowledge, unlocking the world of the imagination, reading, providing skills to write, and helping us grow as individuals. Without language, a word gap ensues.

Continue reading “Oral Language and Vocabulary Development for children at home (free downloadable)”
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