Week 1 Focus: Primary Language Arts
Home-school connections have been more important than ever this year because of the pandemic. It has also created some new and sometimes overwhelming situations for teachers, kids, and families as they have tried to navigate this new way of learning. For the next few weeks, I will be focusing on different subjects and providing teaching tips for school and home to support kids and parents.
This week the focus is primary language arts. I will be providing teaching tips, activities and games to connect school instruction with real life experiences, and also some reasons that it is important to have this connection between school and home.
Language activities start at home
Being able to communicate is important. This communication has many elements that are all included in language arts. Language arts includes reading, writing, oral communication, and language development. It is not just something that is taught and practiced at school.
Children get their first exposure as babies and those that have a rich exposure to language when they are young have an advantage when they arrive at school. Family members are the first teachers of language arts. They introduce kids to oral communication, stories, and sometimes the start of written language. At school, teachers work with these beginning skills and help kids develop them.
Connecting school and home with real life activities
At school, children are introduced to the mechanics of language. They learn to recognize letters, use phonics to decode words, make sense of written language, start writing ideas down, do oral presentations, and develop a deeper understanding of these ways of communication.
If they are able to connect these skills with real life activities at home their learning experiences will be enriched. There will be added benefits of quality family time and involvement.
Activities and games to reinforce language skills
Games and activities are great ways to engage kids and help develop their skills. They have so much fun doing the activities, they don't realize that they are practicing the skills. Here are some suggestions that might be fun to try. (Some of these are products that I created. They are linked so you can check them out.)
Phonics and Vocabulary Activities
- sight word games
- Boggle Jr.
- Scrabble Jr.
- Soundo games
- Word searches
- Crossword puzzles
- Vocabulary Mandalas
- computer activities
- Reading aloud/story time
- Reader's theater
- Re-enacting stories (example: Stone Soup)
- Novel studies (example: Horrible Harry series)
- Book review
- poetry using nursery rhymes or songs (example: Orchestrating Writing Poetry)
- 5 senses writing
- using scaffolds
- Mad Libs
- Silly sentences (parts of speech)
- keeping a journal or diary
Oral Communication Activities
- retelling stories
- reading aloud and changing voices for different characters
- reader's theater
- listening to audiobooks
Teachers are willing to help support families as they provide everyday enrichment for the skills and concepts presented at school. It is important to remember that they may also have children at home that need that support and time, so we need to remember not to overwhelm them either. As teachers and families develop a connection, everyone will get through these challenging times.
Remember: we are all cheerleaders for the kids. We want what is best for them and as we work together, they will succeed.
I hope these tips are helpful as you navigate through the next few months. Next week I will be focusing on Math tips and activities.
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About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 9, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.