Foundation Home Learning Statements

Term Two

Writing

Most Foundation students have begun to apply early writing concepts to their written expressions. They are practising the authorial aspects of writing by drawing a detailed picture of an event or idea, verbalising and finally recording a sentence to communicate their thoughts.

 

The range of skills at this stage is enormous, with some children recording strings of letters and others recording the first sound of each word in their sentence. There are some children who can record several sounds for each word, and others who are able to write all of the words they need using regular spelling patterns.

 

All students continue to practise the secretarial aspects of writing at this level: forming upper and lower case letters correctly, writing left to right and top to bottom of the page, and using a capital letter at the start of a sentence with a full stop at the end.

 

A big understanding that happens in the Foundation year is that writing records a person’s ideas at that time for ever – that it is a permanent record of what we do and think, so the more detail we can add, and the clearer the text is, the better the ideas can be communicated.

 

How to support your child’s writing at home:

  • Encourage your child to draw and write as often as possible. Giving children a ‘real’ use for their written expression (writing in a card, helping with a shopping list) helps them to understand the purpose of writing and the benefits of being able to read back what has been recorded.
  • Help your child to write their message by sounding out words, and assisting them to record the sounds that they can hear. Using an alphabet sheet is helpful, as is language like ‘you can hear the sound /t/, which letter makes that sound?’
  • Help them to find the letters on the alphabet sheet and encourage the correct formation of letters.
  • Lots of other exposure to writing surfaces such as blackboards and whiteboards, playing with play dough, threading and cutting activities are all beneficial to your child’s development in this area.

 

Mathematics

In term two we continue our learning about counting patterns. Using a number line or 120 chart to track our counting, we practise the sequences forward and backward to 10, 20 and then beyond consolidating the pattern of 0-9 that continues.

 

We have also begun exploring different counting patterns including counting by tens.

 

This term students will also be learning about place value beginning with 2-digit numbers. This is a very big and abstract concept to understand, and we spend a lot of time on it specifically so that children can begin to grasp its meaning.

 

We offer lots of experiences where children are recognising and naming two-digit numbers, as well as writing and ordering them. They also work on making groups of objects that match these numbers, using a variety of concrete materials. This helps them to come to the complex understanding that underpins place value: that ‘ten ones makes one ten’, therefore we can use a single object, such as a bundle of icy pole sticks, to indicate that ten. This understanding eventually extends to knowing that a single digit can reflect the same information i.e. the ‘1’ in 16 tells us that there is 1 ten.

To support your child at home:

  • A number chart can spark a lot of curiosity about numbers and counting. We use a 0-120 chart to encourage children to look beyond 100. Use the chart to count forward and backward by ones and then using different counting patterns.
  • Play counting games that take your child to at least 21, going slowly over 13, 14, 15, 16 as it is easy to run them together and miss one altogether.
  • At this stage, confusing the endings (‘ty’ and ‘teen’) of the counting patterns is common for example counting eleven, twelve, thirty, forty, etc. Ask your child, “Do you mean thirty or thirteen?” when counting at home.
  • Play the games and puzzles that come home with your child – ‘scrambled eggs’ and ‘number thief’ are some of the children’s favourite games to play and can be easily adapted to different counting patterns.
  • YouTube has many great counting videos that children can count along with. Jack Hartmann, Scratch Garden and the Singing Walrus are our favourites.

 

Term One

Reading
Learning to become an ‘independent reader’ is high on the children’s list of goals at school and is something that brings them much joy. To help work towards this goal, children learn about three key concepts to help decode simple texts: decoding strategies, phonics and high frequency words.

 

All Foundation children have been introduced to the first decoding strategies: Looking at the pictures to help us understand the words, and Pointing to each word as you read. Beginning readers use these strategies to follow the patterns in simple books and to notice the changes that occur.

 

Children have also been focussing on phonics: learning about letters and their corresponding sounds. As children develop their letter sound knowledge, they begin to notice that words are made up of recognisable letters and sounds and make attempts at decoding those. This is where we encourage children to use the strategy of Get your mouth ready for the starting sound.

 

While many words are able to be decoded, to improve children’s fluency, we have been learning words that we can easily recognise without needing to ‘sound them out’.

 

At school, all of these are introduced through the context of big books, writing or stories, to enable children to understand the purpose of their learning. The children are explicitly taught skills and allowed to explore their understandings and share their knowledge with friends.

 

To support your child’s learning at home:

  • Listen to your child read each day, making sure the experience is without too many distractions, and when your child is not too tired.
  • Before reading a text, look through with your child, looking at the pictures, thinking about what the text might be about, and talking about the ideas, words or characters that might be included.
  • Again, before your child starts to read the whole text, spot the high frequency words that your child knows, pointing to them and saying them together.
  • Remember that the books children read at home should be ‘too easy’ or ‘just right’: reading a text that is too difficult does not teach a child to read.
  • Check the ‘Reading strategies’ list sent home with your child for the language that you can use to support and encourage your child’s reading.
  • Look out for high frequency words that come home in your child’s reading folder. Games that you can play include Bang! However you can also play Rainbow Writing, Shopping, Cooking, Memory and Snap. Instructions for these games will be sent home in your child’s reading folder.
  • Playing I Spy with the sounds of objects rather than the letter can help develop your child’s phonemic awareness, i.e. “I spy something that begins with a b- sound”.
  • Alphablocks is a phonics series that explores the letters and sounds and how they make up words, these are available on YouTube. Please supervise your child while watching these videos to encourage cyber safety and to explore the relationship between letters and sounds together.
  • The school has subscribed to Reading Eggs and a letter will be sent home with unique login and information describing this program. This is not a substitute for reading at home, but can support the skills that are taught in the classroom.

Ultimately the goal for every child is that they have a love of reading, and can understand what they read and listen to.

 

Mathematics
Children are learning to count forward and backward, recognise and form the numerals, identify the bigger and smaller collections and sequencing numbers.

 

Counting is taught explicitly and children are provided with opportunities to explore counting and challenge themselves, sharing their understandings with their peers. We have begun to explore the counting strategies we have and learn new ones. The aim is for each child to choose an appropriate strategy to count a collection of objects using one-to-one correspondence and for them to address why their strategy helps them. For example, we have learned to pick up and move the objects like a crane and line them up and touch them.

 

To support your child’s learning at home:

  • Counting in real life! Counting the steps to the car, counting the rocks you throw in the creek, counting the trees at the park, counting the letter boxes you pass on the way to school, counting the red cars you pass on a car trip, counting the apples you buy at the shops. These are all valuable contextual counting experiences.
  • When counting, ask your child ‘more or less’ questions: ‘Are there more red or blue cars in the street?’ and so on.
  • Playing Snap, War! or memory with a deck of cards: cards are a great resource as they represent both a numeral and value, so if your child can’t recognise the numeral, they can count the diamonds on the card.
  • Look out for the ‘verbal pathways’ sheet in your child’s reading folder. These rhymes assist children to remember the correct numeral formation assuring that they can clearly communicate the numbers.
  • At school we use an iPad app called Quick Maths Jnr that supports children to numeracy learning. Please supervise your child while watching these videos to encourage cyber safety.