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Reading Books And Word Games


Kat
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Hi it's me again thought i'd call upon your knowledge and experience! I am about to send reading books home to my reception class children and was wondering about word games to develop their understanding of concepts of words and how to put them together to make sentences. Does any one have any good ideas or do you feel it would be too much to send home with reading books? :o

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I personnaly have a huge aversion to homework for primary aged children. I did it with my now 14 year old until he was in around yr3, but it was always a battle, tears and tantrums because he couldnt/wouldnt do it. Home life was a nightmare, he wanted to come home and watch tele, play outside, sit and stare at the wall! Anything rather than do school work. And then there were the pieces that I couldnt help with because schools dont do division and multiplication like I did. In the end I stopped pushing him and made it known to the school that I didnt agree with it, I also took this line with my younger son. We did it if they showed interest but I never made them do it. Reading books are ok, but anything else I think would have to be on an individual basis, for those children who would find it fun and easy, and to the parents who have the time and confidence. Sorry to go on but I really hate homework and have yet to be convinced of it's worth. :o:D

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I totally agree with you Rea.

 

For half term 'holiday' my grandson (9 years old) was given homework - just one part of it was to write a 'book' about the Tudor Times. My daughter felt the same as me, that this was a week off from school. It shouldn't have been a week off to sit in front of the computer looking for information and rushing to the library searching for books and THEN putting it all on paper. OK it was a good project but to try to fit it into one week was really silly. When I was at school (long time ago though) 'projects' took about half a term to complete. Anyway, he finished it and I thought it was very good but he spent sooo much time on it. Apart from that he had maths and spellings to do.

What would have happened if they had gone away on holiday - he couldn't have done it could he? I'm sure that some children didn't get round to doing it for that very reason. Perhaps next time he WILL be away on holiday!! :oxD

 

Sue J

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OH Thank goodness! Thought I was the only one who thought like that. Wish the government could see the distress homework has caused in my house -not so much now but when the boys were small.

 

Little children who have worked hard at school all day dont need homework and they also need a holiday when half term and full term comes around. My now 15 yr old still has days when he is just absoultely exhausted and cant do any more, he needs a day off then to recuperate and refresh.

 

Homework should not be a trauma though and that has been recognised. The time guidelines are actually quite short, so your Grandson shouldnt have been asked to write a book, Sue!

 

That being said Kat, you as the teacher are obliged to work within your school homework policy and set homework. Reading games are a good idea if you can get them sorted without too much trouble and the child and parents enjoy the time spent playing them. I certainly think these games could be profitably used within your classroom however. Modelled and supported and then as independent activities. Perhaps then you can send them home, when you are confident children know how to Play?

 

Its always a difficult one this and I too would be interested in others ideas! :o

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You're definitly not the only one Susan, I've got a 14 year old and 11 year old who both need a day now and then to recharge. :D But I think it's like what I call the 'Blue Peter syndrome' when I was small it was supposed to be THE programme to watch but I hated it, only I always felt I should'nt say it!

 

Kat, I hadnt thought of it from a teachers point of view, that you have to work within the schools homework policy. xD sorry. That being said, some of the teachers in my childrens primary didnt like homework either and this showed in the very small amounts they sent home, more like a gesture really.

 

Still think it should be banned though! :o

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I agree with those of you who are unhappy with homework for little ones! My own mempries of homework only date from age 11 plus, and that was bad enough!!! The essays that used to take all the six weeks holiday !!!! :o But I digress xD

 

I had a brief, unhappy period working in a private Kindergarten, which fed into a prep school, it was awful!! We were expected to send 2 and a half year olds home with 'home tasks' (homework in my book!!) to do with their parents over the weekend. I couldn't bring myself to do it, and it was definitely a contributing factor to the short-lived nature of my employment with them!

 

Sue :D

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Im with everybody else on this one. I hate homework especially for very young children.

Kat, you may already do this, but instead of sending games home with them perhaps you could give parents ideas of games they could play. I know some parents will choose not to bother but that would probably be the case even if you sent something home with the children. But not all parents are sure about what they can do to help their child to read other than reading books so perhaps a list of activities and games might be useful.

Linda

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Yes I agree homework for very young ones is a definate no. I try and keep parents informed so they know what we are working on during the term and how we plan to do it. I put the plan up on the notice board and stick a copy in each child's news book. I get to know the parents who are willing to continue or extend activities at home. I just wonder why young children are now expected to do homework.

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Thank you for your replies and I totally agree with you about the homework thing! There is no point in children doing homework if they are forced into it - they are not learning anything from it!!! I really appreciate susan's comment about playing the word games in school so the children know how to play them before I think about sending them home. I only posted the quiery as at parent's evening some of the parents asked if i would be able to give them a copy of the High frequency words for reception. I didn't give any out as i didn't want them to sitting with their child each night drilling them over 50 odd words! I was wondering if they could make it into a game. I really like the idea of playing them in school then the confident children who wanted to could take them home. I did suggest to the parents at parents evening that games like eye spy and writing shopping lists etc are just as important to their child's development. Even simple things for example if they are washing the dishes tell their child they are going to tap a spoon against the sink and ask if they can count how many times- It's very difficult as some parents seemed very stressed xD over it whilst others are always :D asking for more!! :o Thanks for all your comments its really helped and made me feel a lot better. Sorry to waffle on! :D

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Kat, another thought---if youre parents are asking for key words, I did give those to all children but not until the parents meeting in the Spring term, when I was able to indicate to the parents the words that we had already learnt in school and gently indicate whether or not I thought it was within the child's "ability" to learn those words. I taught as many of the keywords as possible phonetically first and played flashcard games during the slot I called "guided reading" but prefered to think of as book skills.

We had an literacy file in school (LP?) that had some quite nice ideas for word games/ bingo and dominoes type and which included the keywords as a grid. I photocopied this and told the parents to get another copy and play snap and pairs with them-this would help all children, evn those who were not yet ready for word recognition/ reading.

hope this helps.

do remember that homework should only be about 10mins a night, which isnt very long and can be easily covered with a reading book!

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I HAVE RESENTLY BEEN ON A COURSE ON BOOK BASED GAMES WHICH INTRODUCE THE KEY WORD THOUGH GAMES LOTTO ECT I HAVE A BOOK AT WORK ON THE THIS IT WAS BY HELEN BROMLEY WILL POST SOME OF THE GAMES I HAVE MADE IF I CAN WORK OUT HOW TO SO THIS CAN NT DO TILL TOMO WHEN I GET TO WORK. THEY DO TAKE A WILL TO MAKE BUT THE CHILDREN DO LIKE THESE EVEN IN THE FOUDATION STAGE WHERE I WORK :o

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I can currently making activity/ discovery sack to build the home school link.

They are bags which could be used in or out of school with a book and a few resources and could just be used as read this book together... or extended learning.

I only send letter sheets at the moment- showing the three new letters we have learnt this week along with the actions to help the parents- we encourage the parents to stick them on the wall but not to look at them every day.

 

I agree with no homework for little ones- whats happened to all those old fashion games children used to play- prhaps these should be sent home as other suggestion that the parents could do rather than paper and pencil work

 

L

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Just thought I would voice my agreement with those who are anti homework!!! As children progress through the school system it just seems to get worse.

 

I remember my then teenage son telling me that he was supposed to do four hours revision a night for his A levels!!! This is after having left home at 7:40 am and arriving home at 5pm. Just when was he supposed to eat, relax or do anything else and still go to bed at a reasonable hour!!! He got quite stressed over the whole issue and I voiced my concern at the "4 hour reccomendation" at parents night. The reply horrified me! I was calmly told that if my son was stressed by his workload he should see our GP for medication to 'get him through his exams'

 

Mmmmm! no thanks! I told the head of year that if the only way my son could achieve exam success was with the aid of tranquilisers I would rather he did not sit any exams! He never saw the GP, he did not do anything like four hours a night but passed his exams with good grades.

 

Sorry, waffling now!

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Guest Sycamore

I hate homework too but have pressure from the parents to provide it. I have bought lots (about 50) games and story tapes over the years and have these bagged up and labelled. I have these all in a box and have the box available for the parents to select for the weekend if they want. They sign the game or story tape out and in. The owness is on them and therefore not forced. The games are number bingo, letter bingo games, I have Rainbow fish card games and many many more. The weekends that families are away or busy they often choose the story tapes to hear at bedtime or choose not to take the games at all.

I also send home a Jolly Phonics sheet when we cover the letter. This can be done as extra support but we cover all the necesary in class. There is also a box of books parents can help themselves too which is seperate from the reading scheme. They seem happy with this at foundation stage and is not too hard work for me!

I wish parents would allow children to have fun and relax, some do, but more and more don't (in my school).

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I used to tell my class their homework was to learn to tie their shoes or do their buttons up or even just get dressed!

Whether those messages ever went home Im not sure but as there was often not much skill progression I doubt it! Or at least the parents chose to ignore.

 

When my own boys were little, I often had parents of the younger's friends asking me what I did with him out of school for extra homework and I always told them we'd been to the park or the shops or whatever! The looks of amazement were something to be seen! :o

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It's not quite as bad here as where I used to live down in the South East of England. There were some children at my childrens primary school who had private tutors and the children were just 7/8 yrs old. :o

 

I think having games available for families to take home is a good idea though, as long as it is optional. Sadly many parents really don't know what to do with their children and playing games and reading to their child rarely done. xD

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