LITERACY IN YEARS 1-3


A NOTE FROM THE JUNIOR GATEWAY TEACHERS

When children are first learning to read it can be hard to find books that they can read themselves. For this reason Room 3 and 4 will continue to bring home school readers, or their Reading or Poem exercise books which are designed to be used in the same way as a reader would be. 

Authors such as Eric Carle, Max Lucado and Dr Suess, the Berenstain Bears series, Janette Oak Animal Friends series and Elmer the Elephant stories by David Mc Kee are some children of this age would enjoy. 

This Focus on the Family Website (click here) talks about how to find great books for 4-7 year olds, 8-11 year olds and 12 years and above and has book lists for each age group. It is a good idea to read the book yourself first so that you can decide if it is appropriate for your child

 

SPELLING LISTS

The words in the NZ Essential Spelling List are the words used most often when we write. Together they make up about 80% of most writing, so they are very important. These word have been arrange in alphabetical order and put in lists according to often they are used. Because these words are used so often it is important that we know how to spell each one.

  • Year 1 students who are spelling proficiently at Level 1 of the curriculum will be able to spell most words in Lists 1-2
  • Year 2 students who are spelling proficiently at Level 1 of the curriculum will be able to spell most words in Lists 1-3
  • Year 3 students who are spelling proficiently  at Level 2 of the curriculum will be able to spell most words in Lists 1-4

Please click here to access the spelling lists.

WRITING AT HOME IN YEAR 1

MAKE WRITING FUN!

  • Help you child with an alphabet letter, then go hunting in your house or a book to find that letter.
  • Let your child see you writing - you can use your first language.
  • Encourage them to write a shopping list or make birthday cards.
  • Water and a paintbrush on a dry path and a stick on sand are fun ways to write letters and words.

TEACHER TIP - Don't worry if your child's letters or words are sometimes backwards or misspelled at this age. The important thing is that they have fun writing at home and are making an effort.

 

GIVE THEM REASONS TO WRITE

  • Write to each other. Write notes to your child and leave them in interesting places, like their lunch box. Ask them to reply.
  • Help them to write, text or email family, whanau and friends.
  • Work with them to put special labels on things - like the door to their room or their toy-box. 

TEACHER TIPDisplay their work. Put it on the fridge, Be proud of it! Share it with others. 

 

TALK ABOUT THEIR WRITING

  • Talk about the letters in your child's name and where the letters come from.
  • Help them create a scrapbook of pictures. Encourage them to write stories under the pictures and talk to you about them.
  • Ask them to write about pictures they draw - on paper on on the computer. Or get them to tell you the story and you write it under the picture.

TEACHER TIP - Talk about what your child writes. Be interested. If you don't understand what your child's picture or story is about ask them to tell you about it. 

 

ENCOURAGE WRITING

  • Have felt pens, pencils, crayons and paper available.
  • Put magic letters on the fridge - ask what words they can make with the letters.. 

READING AT HOME IN YEAR 1

Make reading fun

Reading at home should be fun and easy – something you both look forward to - a time for laughter and talk.

  • Share the reading, take turns or see whether your child wants to read or be read to today.
  • All children like to be read to, so keep reading to them. You can read in your first language.
  • Visit the library together and help them choose books to share.
  • Read emails from family or whānau aloud
  • Play card and board games together.

TEACHER TIP - talk a lot to your child while you are doing things together. Use the language that works best for you and your child.

 

Talk about reading

  • Talk about pictures in books
  • Sing waiata and songs, read poems and make up rhymes together – the funnier the better
  • Be a role model. Let your child see you enjoying reading and talk about what you are enjoying
  • Point out words on signs, shops and labels
  • Play word games like "I Spy" and "Simon Says…"

Make it a special time together

Reading is a great chance for you and your child to spend special time together. Make reading:

  • quiet and relaxing
  • a time to sit close to your child
  • 10–15 minutes without interruption, away from the TV
  • an enjoyable, interesting and special time
  • a time to praise your child for making an effort

TEACHER TIPS - If your child is stuck on a word wait a few seconds, give them a chance to think. If they are still stuck, help them to try to work the word out by saying "read the sentence again and think what would make sense". Ask "could it be…?" (and give a word that might fit). The pictures also help them check they have got the right word. If they still can’t work out the word, tell them and praise their efforts. Remember, reading should be fun.

 

 

Help your child to link stories to their own life. Remind them about what they have done when a similar thing happens in the story.

WRITING AT HOME IN YEAR 2

MAKE WRITING FUN!

  • Encourage your child to write - on paper or the computer. It's okay for you to help and share the writing. Give lots of praise .
  • Enjoy the message and don't make your child anxious about spelling or neatness.
  • Make a photo book and get your child to make captions.
  • Scrap books are fun too! Old magazine or newspaper pictures about a favourite subject, dogs, your family, motorbikes, or the latest toy craze pasted on to blank pages - with room for captions or stories too.
  • Play with words. Finding and discussing interesting new words can help increase the words your child uses when they write. Look up words in the dictionary or on the internet or talk to family and whanau to find out more about the meaning and the whakapapa (origins) of the words.

TEACHER TIP - Talk a lot to your child while you are doing things together. Use the language that works best for you and your child. 

 

GIVE THEM REASONS TO WRITE

Help your child to...

  • write lists such as "Things I need from the shop" or " Games to play when I'm bored"  or "Things I want to do in my holiday". The last one can be cut up and go into a bag for a lucky dip when the holidays finally arrive.
  • write out recipes or instructions for other people to follow (especially fun if the instructions are for an adult!)
  • keep a diary especially if you are doing something different and exciting. Your child can draw the pictures or stick in photos. Their diary could be a web-page on the computer.
  • write letters, cards, notes, and emails to friends and family and the tooth fairy - you might write replies sometimes too.
  • cut out letters from old magazines and newspapers to make messages. Write secret messages for others to find in their lunch box or under their pillow. 

TEACHER TIP - Display their work. Be proud of it!. Put it on the fridge. Share it with others.

 

TALK ABOUT THEIR WRITING

  • Make up a different ending for a favourite story together and get them to write it down.
  • Ask them to write about pictures they draw.
  • Keep writing fun and use any excuse you can think of  to encourage your child to write about anything, anytime.

TEACHER TIPDon't worry if your child's letters or words are sometimes backwards or misspelled at this age. The important thing is that they have fun writing at home and are making an effort.

 

READING AT HOME IN YEAR 2

MAKE READING FUN

Reading at home needs to be fun and easy – something you both look forward to, a time for laughter and talk.

  • find a comfortable, quiet place away from the TV for the 2 of you to cosy up and read for 10-15 minutes
  • if you or your child start to feel stressed, take a break and read the rest of the story aloud yourself – keep it fun
  • make some puppets – old socks, cardboard tubes, cut-outs on sticks – that you and your child can use to act out the story you have read. Or dress up and make it into a play
  • play card games (you can make the cards yourself)
  • read songs, waiata, poems and rhymes - sing them together, too.

TEACHER TIP - When they are reading, your child will still be coming across words they don’t know. When this happens, you could remind them to think about what they already know to do when they get stuck. If that doesn’t help you might ask "What word would make sense that starts like that?" or "What do you know about that word that might help?" If they still can’t work it out – tell them and praise their efforts.

 

TAKE YOUR CHILD TO THE LIBRARY

  • help them choose books to share
  • find other books by the same author or on the same topic (or look for more information on the web – you might have to be the reader for this one).

TEACHER TIP - Help your child to link stories to their own life. Remind them about what they have done when a similar thing happens in the story.

 

TALK ABOUT READING

  • Talk about the story and the pictures, other stories you have read, and experiences you have both had that are like those in the story
  • Sometimes you can be the listener, sometimes the reader and sometimes you can take turns. They might like to read to the cat, the dog, their teddy or a big brother
  • All children like to be read to, so don’t stop reading to them – no matter how old they are
  • Encourage your child to read all sorts of things – the TV guide in the newspaper, street signs, food labels. Simple recipes are great – you get to eat what you’ve read about, too.

 

TEACHER TIP - Talk with your child all the time – and give them time to talk with you. You can use your first language.

WRITING AT HOME IN YEAR 3

WRITING FOR FUN

  • Talk about interesting words with your child, especially ones that re fun to say, like "hippopotamus" or "ringaringa". Short and simple games could involve finding how many little words can be found in bigger words. e.g how many words can you make from the word " Elephant"? 
  • Work together on the small word games found in the children's section of the newspaper  or a magazine.
  • Make up a story or think of a traditional tale or fable and act it out with costumes and music. Write down the names of the characters.
  • Make up a play with your child. You could help your child to write the play down. Use puppets they design and make themselves to give a performance to the family. 

TEACHER TIP - Keep writing fun and use any excuse to encourage your child to write about anything at anytime.

 

WRITING FOR A REASON

  • Writing for a real purpose can really help your child want to write. For example, writing invitations, typing emails, or writing and posting small notes.
  • Personalizing notes by cutting, decorating, sticking or stamping are great skills for coordinating fingers and being creative. Postcards are a good size for a sentence or two and they are cheap to post too. 
  • Encourage your child to write down what they need to pack for holiday, dictate your shopping list to them,  or get them to write a list of jobs that need doing.

TEACHER TIPTalk about what your child writes. Be interested. If you don’t understand what your child’s picture or story is about, ask them to explain.

 

SUPPORTING YOUR CHILD'S WRITING

  • Talk to your child about what you are writing – let them see you making lists, writing emails, filling in forms
  • Keep envelopes, banking slips, forms you don’t need so that your child can do their own ‘grown up’ writing
  • Display your child’s writing where others can admire and read it
  • Play with words. Find and discuss interesting new words – this can help increase the words your child uses when they write – look words up in the dictionary or on the Internet or talk to family and whānau members to learn the whakapapa (origins) of the words.

TEACHER TIP - Be a great role model. Show your child that you write for all sorts of reasons. Let them see you enjoying writing. You can use your first language – this helps your child’s learning, too

 

READING AT HOME IN YEAR 3

MAKE READING FUN

  • Have fun singing along to karaoke songs or playing board games together
  • Read to your child every day. You can use your first language
  • Have a pile of reading materials available – library books (non-fiction and fiction), kids’ cookery books, simple timetables, newspapers and magazines, catalogues and any other reading that supports your child’s current interest
  • Encourage your child to retell favourite stories or parts of stories in their own words. Play card games (you can make the cards yourself) and board games together.

TEACHER TIPS - When they are reading, your child will be working at solving unfamiliar words by themselves. If they need help you could ask them to work their way across the word looking for things they know that might help. At this level, reading involves bringing everything they know together to solve problems and build understanding. If they can’t work it out – tell them and carry on with reading.

 

If you or your child starts to feel stressed by what they’re reading, take a break and read the rest of the story aloud yourself – keep it fun.

 

MAKE IT REAL

  • Reading makes more sense if your child can relate it to their own life. Help them to make connections between what they are reading and their own lives and experiences. For example, "that’s a funny story about a granddad – what does your granddad do that makes you laugh?", "We saw a big mountain in that book, what is our mountain called, and where did the name come from?"
  • Look for opportunities for your child to read wherever you are – signs, advertising billboards, junk mail, recipes
  • Show your child that reading is fun and important to you by letting them see you reading magazines, books, newspapers.

FIND OUT TOGETHER

  • Visit the library often and help your child to choose books about topics that interest them
  • Talk with older people or kaumātua in your family about interesting stories and people from your child’s past that you could find out more about together
  • Ask your child questions (and support them to find the answers) to widen their reading experiences. For example, "What’s the quickest biscuit recipe?", "What time is the next bus to town?"
  • Help your child with any words that they don’t understand – look them up together in the dictionary if you need to.

MATHS YEARS 1-3


BASIC FACTS IN YEAR 1

In Year 1 students are expected to be achieving within Level 1 of the curriculum. This means they will be achieving between Math stages 0 to 3. Students  working at this level should know the following in regard to their maths basic facts knowledge.

Students will...

  • recall addition and subtraction facts to 5 e.g  2+1 or 3+2 or 4-2 etc.
  • know their doubles to 10 e.g 2+2 or 4+4 etc.

There is an exceptionally good basic facts website that you can use with your child to practice their basic facts knowledge at their level. You can also use this website to extend your students basic facts knowledge. Please click here to access this website.

BASIC FACTS IN YEAR 2

In Year 2 students are expected to be achieving at the end of  Level 1 of the curriculum. This means they will be achieving at Math stage 4. Students  working at this level should know the following in regard to their maths basic facts knowledge.

Students will...

 

  • recall addition and subtraction facts to 10 e.g 4+3 or 6+3 or 7-4 etc.
  • know their doubles to 20 and their corresponding halves e.g  6+6 or 8+8 and half of 14 etc.
  • know their 10's and facts e.g 10+8= or 6+10= etc.
  • multiples of 10 that add to 100 e.g 30+70 or 20+80 etc.

There is an exceptionally good basic facts website that you can use with your child to practice their basic facts knowledge at their level. You can also use this website to extend your students basic facts knowledge. Please click here to access this website.

BASIC FACTS IN YEAR 3

In Year 3 students are expected to be achieving within Level 2 of the curriculum. This means they will be achieving at early stage 5. Students  working at this level should know the following in regard to their maths basic facts knowledge.

Students will...

 

  • know addition facts to 20 and subtraction facts to 10 e.g 7+5 or 8+7 and  9-6 or 8-4 etc
  • multiplication facts for the 2, 5 and 10 timetables and their corresponding division facts .
  • multiples of 100 that add to 1000 e.g 300 and 700 or 100 and 900.

There is an exceptionally good basic facts website that you can use with your child to practice their basic facts knowledge at their level. You can also use this website to extend your students basic facts knowledge. Please click here to access this website.