Thursday, 28 October 2021

111- Learning about Emergencies and First Aid

This week we had a visit from Josie who works with St John’s Ambulance. She came to share with us how we can be of help in case of emergencies. 

First we learned how to dial for help by pressing 111. Then we had to learn which services we need to ask for: fire, ambulance or police. It's important to know what kind of help we might need. Josie also mentioned that it is important that we learn our parents' cellphone numbers so please help us to practise at home.

Then we learned how to bandage people in case they have an injury. We learned how to apply the bandage and also unroll the cover slowly and carefully. We got to practise on each other so we can be confident if we ever need to do it ourselves.

We feel much more confident knowing what to do and how to dial for help! Thank you, Josie. We really appreciated your visit and sharing all the skills that our ambulance service provides.

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Reading in Tautoru

Learning to read can be tricky and encompasses so many different skills. In Tautoru, we teach Reading in many different ways because of this! Children also learn differently so it's important that we provide the Tautoru students with a variety of reading opportunities and methods.

One approach to learning to read is by looking at the phonics side of it. We call these lessons Super Sounds. In these lessons, we have a specific sound we focus on. In this lesson, Ximena is teaching the digraph, 'ea'. Digraphs have two letters and one sound. We first sound out the word by looking at all the individual phonemes (sounds). For example, in mean, there are 3 phonemes (m-ea-n). After we have sounded it out, we blend the sounds together to read, 'mean'. To consolidate our learning we write silly sentences with words containing the focus sound. There are different stages to learning phonics, just like the colour wheel with some books. At times, some children have some phonics lessons on a device and then have a follow up session with the teacher after.

Another approach is guided reading sessions. Here we have small group reading sessions. These books are aimed specifically at the child's reading level where the text has many words that the child will need to sound out. We work on sounding out strategies and draw on what we have learned in the phonics lesson. The teacher guides us through the book and helps us by prompting us to think of different ways to work out the word. For example, "what's another sound that letter makes?" and "Let's reread this line to check what we read is right."

Often after our teacher session, the students have a follow up activity where we can further practise what the focus was in the guided reading session. This could be working on letter sounds, spelling rules or comprehension.

Another approach is shared reading. Here we are all reading the same text. This can be in the form of a poem or a snippet from a larger story. Poems are great to practise our phrasing and expression. We get to know the poem well because it is shorter in length. This makes it easier for us to focus on our expression as our brains aren't overloaded with trying to work out every single word. In this shared reading session, the focus was on rhyming words.

Another approach is individual silent reading time. We practise all the skills we have learned, build our fluency and work on that reading stamina.