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Observing Literacy/Reading 30-50 months 'alliteration, rhyme, etc.


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Hi everybody,

as it's nearly the end of the year and profiles need to be completed also in nursery we're doing some last-minute observations in areas we're unsure about the children's skills.
It's the 'Literacy - Reading' area of the Development Matters that we find the trickiest to observe/assess.

For 'Enjoys rhyming and rhythmic activities. +Recognises rhythm in spoken words.' we thought if they can do the following, we'd highlight these two statements for them:
* they liked singing nursery rhymes, can sing a few, and say the missing word at the end of a line if the teacher omitted.
*copy rhythms we make up using body percussions
*clap out syllables in their names and other words using real objects for these.

'Shows awareness of rhyme and alliteration.' This is the really tricky bit... and I feel a bit lost. We tried to observe it by:
***using small cards with a pictures (and the word) that rhyme and we need to put e.g. the ones that rhyme with 'hat' into the house that has a hat on. Children have a selection of cards, eg. socks, rat, mat, cat, cake, swing and we ask them, showing and saying the cards one by one several times whether they sound the same/similar as 'hat'. Even segmenting it to them into onset and rime. Some children could hear that 'sock' doesn't sound like 'hat' so we shouldn't put it in the house. with these children I tried other rhyming 'houses' e.g. 'ock' rime or 'ake' rime. I'd agree that these children do show some awareness of rhyming. Most of them, however didn't recognize any and said everything sounded the same as 'hat'. >>> Here comes in my concern that some might not actually understand what 'same' or 'similar' actually mean no matter how many times we've used these words in other context and through Letters and Sounds Phase 1 listening activities.
**alliteration:
I tried to show them objects beginning with 'T' and really exaggerating the 'T'. Eg. put tiger, turtle and truck on the table. Touching each, saying T and their names, and explaining all begin with 't', then ask them if they can think of anything else with 't'. Then ask them if we should put 'octopus'/'bear'/spider' in this group - do they also start with 't' ? Then I try to give them word pairs beginning with the same letter, eg. terrific tiger, tiny turtle, great giraffe and ask them if they can say pairs like this, beginning with the same sound, or prompt them eg. dddd .... dinosaur/dog

No children so far (40) got the alliteration bit, so I'm losing confidence if this is the right way of observing/assessing this or if I'm expecting too much for this statement.

How do you observe/assess these? I'd really appreciate some ideas on this as I think the way we do it in my nursery is really not how it should be. Thanks!

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For the rhyming part we have a lot of books (duck in the truck, cat on the mat) which we use often asking the children to guess another word that rhymes with duck or something similar. A lot of our children (mostly picked up from one child in particular) have started rhyming themselves in play, so in the home corner they might say cup ...up.....pup then go on to ask each other what rhymes with......?

Again with the alliteration some of our children often do this themselves, for example in small group games if children have to find something a couple of the children will say "it begins with t..t..t"

We will also do games such as who can find something beginning with.....? and depending on the age or ability of the children we will either have a few items on the table or ask the children to go to the toy trolleys and find the item.

Not sure if any of that was what you were actually looking for or not :)

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i do a song which works well something like

I have a word that rhymes with bat i wear it on my head it is a ......?

im afraid ive made up a tune for this and the rhymes are made up in the spot so i just think on my feet...the clue part just helps to get the idea going and it seems to work as even some of the younger ones have a guess.

We tend to start with names for alliteration so ...silly sue sucked a sock! or tommy tickled tilly's toes. The children think this is so funny that they try to make up their own

The older ones who are starting to write might also have a go at words like bat which we then take the first letter away and see how many new words we can make...you'll often find the odd list posted up in which ever area it started in that way if they find another they can add it on in the next few days

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