T4EA Literacy News

February 2018

Promoting Literacy In Our Homes!

February is literacy month. This year we are choosing to not only instill the love of reading and writing in our children during school hours, but we want it to continue at home. This can seem like a daunting task, but it's really quite simple. We have put together a list of daily literacy activities that can be done at home as a family. All of the activities are simple and need very little supplies, if any at all. What is even more exciting than a free list of activities?? 95.3 Creek FM, a radio station out of Okanese First Nation in Saskatchewan, has agreed to broadcast one activity each day for the month of February!! For a full list of activities you can visit us at educationalliance.ca.
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What Exactly Is Literacy??

Literacy is something that we start to engage in the moment that we are born. It is the ability to communicate meaningfully in all aspects of our lives. It can start with a smile or a cry, then lead to pointing, babbling, scribbling and talking. It is the ability to communicate with the people around us and this is something that we need to nurture in our children, both as educators and as parents.

As our children get older they begin to learn to read the pictures and words in text. They start to scribble before they learn to make letter shapes that eventually come together to form words, sentences, and stories. They learn to put words together when talking. These words become stories and songs. This is all a part of our literacy pathway.

Literacy is talking, understanding, reading, writing, questioning, and expression. This is something that needs to be encouraged in our children. Strong literacy skills give our children a strong foundation to stand on.

BEADS Activities To Try Out This Month!

BEADS are sight words that you should be teaching in your classroom each and every day. They are words that need to be memorized by our children because they are not always easy to sound out. Many people believe that our children need to know all of their letters and the associated letter sounds before they can start to learn their BEADS words. This is simply not true! Our children can be learning their letters and sounds at the same time that they are learning to recognize their BEADS words.

How you do you know which words you should be teaching and when?? The answer is all in your assessments. Informal BEADS assessments should be happening often (at least once a month), so that you know which words the students know and which words they still need to learn. This assessment can be as simple as a quick checklist.

Confident Learners has provided a list of words the students need to know at each level of their program. This can be used as a starting point if needed. This can be found in the Confident Learners App, by clicking on 'Literacy Pathway' on the main page, and then scrolling down to 'High Frequency Word List'.

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The 100th day of school can be an exciting day in the school! We have put together a list of fun and engaging literacy activities that you can use in your classroom to take some of the guesswork out of your planning. Take a look and enjoy!

  • Write a story about what the world will be like in 100 years.
  • Make a list of 100 fun things to eat!
  • Have kids complete this sentence: "I wish I had 100 _______ because ________." Draw a picture to go along with the sentence.
  • Challenge students to learn 100 new words before the end of the year!
  • Together as a class make a list of 100 reasons to live in your community or in Canada. Have the children make these reasons into a book.
  • Have students make a list of things that didn't exist 100 years ago.
  • Challenge your students to put 100 words in alphabetical order.
  • Have the students draw a picture of themselves in 100 years (or use an aging app on your phone and print out the pictures) and have them write what they want their life to be like in 100 years.
  • Older students can write a bucket list of things that they would like to achieve by the time that they are 100 years old.
  • Ask students to finish this sentence: "If I had 100 dollars, I would ______."
  • Ask students to finish the sentence: "If I told you once, I told you a hundred times, ________!"
  • As a class, write a story that is 100 sentences long with each student contributing one sentence at a time.
  • Have students make a list of 100 things that they would like to learn in their lifetime.
  • Write the number 100 of a sheet of paper in marker and copy one for each student. Have the students draw a picture around the 100 already on the page (e.g. the 100 can be turned into goggles, or the body of a bug). Have them write a story to go with their drawing.
  • Write out each of the 5 vowels twice, once for long vowels and again for short vowels. Challenge the students to come up with 10 words for each sound.
  • Challenge your class to read 100 books during the day. This averages out to about 7 books per student for a class of 15.
  • Challenge your class to spent 100 minutes reading today. You can make this easier by breaking the time into ten 10 minute sessions.
  • Have your students write about what they would do with 100 dollars if they had to use it to help another person.
  • Choose 100 beads words and separate them into groups such as words we know and don't know, length of word, or beginning letter.
  • Have students write a list of 100 reasons they love themselves.