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Speaking And Listening


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A whole school initiative has been announced to improve speech and language. The strand to be focussed on this term is speech. Children in all year groups will be expected to prepare some sort of presentation at home with the support of their families and then to talk to the class about the chosen subject, which may be pre-selected by teachers (suggestion that year R/1/2 might have an all about me topic). Children may bring artefacts from home to support the talk, as they go up through the school may want to use powerpoint etc. In order to focus their minds on success criteria the children will be asked to select two friends to evaluate how they got on. For older children a written list of criteria with tick boxes has been produced. Something more visual has been suggested for the younger children. An eye with a tick box next to it to denote looking at your audience, an ear - for speaking audibly, etc. Sadly I was unavoidably absent from the staff meeting where this was presented. I have been told that all year groups must do it to enable children to be able to make good progress in this area during their time at primary school. By year 6 they might be doing a presentation in role relating to their topic for example. I would prefer not to say how I have reacted to this. I would, though, be really interested in whether other people are doing similar things, how they are working, how others would react to this if they are not doing such work. Also any ideas for making it work for Reception aged children would be gratefully received.

 

Thanks everyone.

 

AOB

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"Show and tell " immediately springs to mind. The only nightmare that presents is the vast number of things that come into school! But you could rota the children , 2 or 3 each day, or have a day when they can bring their show and tell things.

 

You could at this stage of the year with reception surely concentrate on the children talking about whatever they have brought in and you could give them free choice or encourage them to bring more specific items. You could develop that as the year progresses to encourage the audience to ask questions. Towards the end of the year they could begin to self evaluate or evaluate their peers as required.

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Have you seen the teachers TV show about 'Anticpation boxes'? To help the R children you could put the items that have been bought in in a box and tell them it's for 'show and tell'. It appeared from the programme that the children were more eager to see/hear and tell about the item if they'd been waiting, anticpating, it all day. This is a link to the programme HOPE IT WORKS :D

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I really hate show and tell and all the children bringing things in from home then squabbling over them for the rest of the day.

I much prefer the idea of a different child bringing in a 'special' object each day and talking about it to the other children.

We targeted speaking and listening last year (think this is an issue nationally) and use the Ros Bayley materials and have found a big improvement. We also do pole bridging and each week a different group of children cook for the rest of the class and explain what they did before sharing their product with the other children.

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Well done, Rea!

 

There has been a discussion about Anticipation boxes on the forum a while ago.. will try to find it and put in a link. I use them from time to time and they are a great success. Don't do it regularly, though, as the edge tends to wear off with familiarity.

 

Sue

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Thanks to all those who have replied so far. I did talk about show and tell, but perhaps the term is too old hat and I felt it got the thumbs down. Perhaps with the idea that more preparation needed to go into the 'presentation' the children would give. My initial thoughts were that it was potentially putting very young children, some of whom do not feel confident about speaking to the whole class, under a great deal of pressure. I think the explanation to parents would need to be quite sensitively handled in order to minimise this. My initial idea was to adapt a technique we used last year during our pets topic, where we had a soft toy dog that went home with one child each evening in a special bag accompanied by his 'log book'. The children were encouraged to show the toy to their family and to draw, write or have help to add a contribution to the book which they could then share with the class the following day. Names were drawn out of a hat at random. The children loved the activity and were proud of showing their contributions to the class. The idea of children evaluating each other in the way suggested also seemed an area for pressure to me....how would you handle the very shy person who manages to glance at the group for a moment, and is then put down for not enough eye contact , whereas as the teacher you would be wanting to praise their efforts to encourage more of the same. I suppose it needs discussion and explanation. I don't know! One of the arguments for doing the activity was to promote clear communication. Part of me feels that this is what all our work with the children is working towards. A presentation is not the only vehicle to achieve this means.

 

Marion what has Roz Bailey done on this and where can I find it? I like the sound of the cooking activity and the fact that the group talks rather than an individual.

 

The anticipation box sounds an interesting idea too. I haven't managed the link. Slow coach at home, not on broadband. Will have to give it a try at school! :o

 

AOB

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I have used a class teddy who is lonely and so goes home with each child over the half term - I do a few days each - the children/families then 'write his story' in a book and we use this as a prompt for talk. Children add pictures, some families take photos, and the children are usually very keen to join in. When the book is complete its nice to have around the classroom for the children to 'read' themselves.

I have also linked this to a topic and had a toy cat with a bandaged leg for the children to look after when we had a vet's surgery role play!

Good luck! :)

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Our children love Show and Tell! We do it every Friday and it causes great excitement for most of them. :) The children know that they bring in their chosen item and place it in the box. We have a rule that items are not played with during the session and stay in the box except for during Show and Tell itself. The children range from 3 to 4 years but they all understand and follow this rule, perhaps with the occasional gentle reminder needed.

 

During Show and Tell the children sit on a chair at the front of the group and tell us about their toy. When the children get a little older towards the summer term I encourage them to ask each other questions too. Even our shyest child, who doesn't like to share News with us, will sit up and show their toy. She tends to speak to me very quietly, rather than the others, and then I just repeat what she says back to her so that the others know. After they have done it a few times the fear of speaking in front of a group starts to disappear and I find that the real difficulty is getting them to stop talking and let someone else have a go! :o

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Guest tinkerbell

My R/YR1 class take Floppy the dog (he has developed into a bit of a naughty dog who steals sausages!)and MOg the forgetful cat.The children are drawn on a rota and every morning they stand and talk about their evening and have their photograph taken.The class then ask questions and I am helping them listen to previous questions and answers and think carefully about their questions....Parents have been great joining in with photos and diaries etc

It doesn't take too long either.

Tinkerbellx

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This topic has reminded me of the popular 'Eric' ( Levi ads creature) who used to go home with the children. I made a book, each page had prompts for child/parent to fill in.

Today I went to ....................house/bungalow/flat

 

I met...........................(family/friends names)

 

We played........................................

 

We had.....................................for tea/supper

 

 

We then got ready for bed and cleaned our teeth :D

 

My bedtime story was........................................

 

Then there was a space for drawings / photo's / etc

 

The parents really enjoyed having 'Eric' to stay as much as the children.

 

Some of the photo's were hilarious xD ie: Eric playing hide and seek in a childs garden

Eric cleaning his teeth with Dad

Eric joining in the barbecue, sitting on the sun lounger, with Dad.

 

( The dad's especially enjoyed 'playing' with Eric after the child had gone to bed. Because they could read previous entries in the book his adventures became quite imaginative :(

 

The prompts gave parent a bit of structure, and ensured children cleaned their teeth and had a bedtime story :o

 

The children also drew some really good pictures of Eric, I recall one of Eric at the Cinema, back of head only with screen in front.

 

As others have said, the children enjoyed sharing their 'news' of Eric's visit the next day with the other children, listening and asking questions.

He eventually went on holiday with me ( 2 yrs ago) and I had totally forgotten all about him once I had shared his adventure with the children.

 

Now I shall re-introduce him to my new intake, It will certainly help us get to know each other a bit better, thanks for the reminder :D

 

Peggy

 

just remembered, Eric had a little bag with him which had his toothbrush in, his pyjamas and a little "Thank you for having me" note. :D

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Peggy, thanks for that. Eric sounds great fun. I know last year my children felt really excited about having Scotty, the dog, to visit their home and we had some great diary entries too. I love the idea of the prompts though. I was a bit worried to start with that parents may not feel comfortable about what to do, so that might really help some people. The tack we took was for the staff to have a turn before introducing the book to the children. My TA took him to the local Methodist Church and he was photographed in the pulpit and at Sunday School! At my house he had an adventure chasing the local cats around the garden. Now all I need to do is make Spencer the class bear his school uniform (I've got some old stuff to alter, then he needs his pyjamas and maybe now a toothbrush!

 

AOB :o

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