Sunday 26 February 2012

Throwing Numbers

Each week Garden Girl is sent home from school with a maths game and I have to admit that we don't always do them. This is because the quality varies week by week and sometimes we would just rather play one of our own board games, especially when the game is pretty much a roll the die and count the number of squares to move along type. This week however, we were given a maths game which had the whole family joining in and all three children calling for more time to play it when an end was called, so it seems a good one to pass on.

We did make changes though. The aim of the game was to throw paper aeroplanes at targets which were labelled with numbers between 1 and 5. When a target was hit, the pilot had to write down the number associated with the target, add it to any previous hits gained and do a victory lap if they were the first to add their score up to 10.

The aeroplanes, however, consistenly failed to hit their targets with various models acting like boomerangs, nose diving or simply flying too far past the target. Whilst we had lots of fun making and throwing the paper aeroplanes, they simply were not going to hit the targets frequently enough so we switched to using a soft ball. We also only had three targets, simply as a result of space available, but on a nice day the game could be played in the garden with more targets. The school suggested newspaper laid flat as a target, however we used boxes because it is what we had to hand.

Both Garden Girl and Garden Boy wrote down their scores and added them up until Garden Boy won, when he had 7 points and managed to hit the number 3 target. The game enabled them to practise writing their numbers and for Garden Boy it was the first time he used the + and = signs to write a sum. They added up their scores between each turn, using their fingers to check they had got it right. But it didn't feel too much like hard work for them because within a minute they were back to throwing balls and cheering each other on!

Friday 24 February 2012

Single Letter Phonemes

A Phoneme is an individual sound. When phonemes are put together in the right order they will blend to make a word. For instance, the phonemes 'c', 'a' and 't' can be blended together to make the word cat.

When children use Phonics to learn reading and writing they will first learn the phonic sound that is associated with a letter, or particular group of letters. At a later stage they will learn the letter names, or alphabet. Thus, they will learn that 'a' is pronounced like 'a' in cat and not 'a' in late.

Single letter phonemes are the easiest for children to learn and recognise and are the first ones they will learn. The following is a list of all the single letter phonemes, with an accompanying word representing the phonic sound the letter represents. I have listed them in the order your child is likely to learn them, rather than the order they appear in the alphabet.

s as in sock
a as in cat
t as in pit
p as in pot
i as in ink
n as in pan
m as in man
d as in dog
g as in goat
o as in pot
c as in cat
k as in kitten 
e as in egg
u as in umbrella
r as in rabbit
h as in hat
b as in bag
f as in fan
l as in long
j as in jump
v as in van
w as in wig
x as in six
y as in yell
z as in zip

Most of these phonemes sound exactly as you would expect them to but the one I hadn't fully grasped until Garden Girl said the sound, was 'x' which sounds exactly as it does in the word 'six'. If I had to write the pronunciation of this sound down I would suggest it was something like 'cs'.