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Education and Ideas

Education and Ideas

Vocabulary, Fluency and Comprehension Vocabulary Vocabulary plays an invaluable role in reading. A strong and diverse vocabulary is a must for every single child and it applies to early learners, intermediate and high school. The value of developing your child’s vocabulary continuously is critical. Vocabulary is the ability to use a word that names or identifies the name, action or feeling that is being expressed. The recognition and understanding of words is a necessary skill to communicate effectively (comprehend and express). There are several types of vocabulary such as listening vocabulary, speaking vocabulary, reading vocabulary and writing vocabulary. Vocabulary is learnt. Vocabulary is learnt without awareness (through reading, listening to audio books, conversations with adults and peers) or with awareness and direction (with specific instruction and taught strategies). Tips to develop vocabulary: There are child friendly dictionaries - appropriate to your child's age. When purchasing a dictionary look at the…
Reading - Part Two: Oral Awareness, Book Awareness, Print Awareness, Phonemic Awareness and Phonics Oral Awareness The foundation of oral awareness starts from pregnancy. The introduction of different sounds and subsequently learning to combine those sounds into meaningful information is the basis of oral awareness. This meaningful information is expressed through vocabulary, which is considered to be the primary element of oral awareness. Children who are exposed to a wider range of vocabulary develop stronger listening and speaking skills. Children are not aware of this initial step in learning to read. Their knowledge of words means they develop communication skills essential to learning the correct grammar and structural concepts needed for reading. Additionally, the ability to converse effectively means a child is able to hear the sounds being used and mentally combine them to create words, forming a sentence which they are able to comprehend. Oral awareness is defined by…
An introduction to reading Reading without a doubt plays a central role in our education, communication and development. Poor reading skills can set a child back detrimentally in school. Although this blog post is based on foundational reading the principles can be applied to all learners. If a learner has difficulty with any of the steps of learning to read, their ability to read, write, comprehend and express is negatively affected, and therefore going back to the missing step can help strengthen their reading skills. The first areas to look at are ways of reading and reading development. The different ways of reading Reading Aloud: The ability to read aloud consists of articulation, pronunciation, fluency, reading speed, expression and the correct application of punctuation. Fluently and accurately reading aloud does not predicate a learner's reading comprehension. Reading Silently: The ability to read accurately without reading aloud. Reading silently does not…
Listening is an invaluable skill that forms part of your child’s social, emotional and life skills. This allows them to have a holistic and healthy development in their early years. Here are a few questions about listening and your child: 1. Does your child hear or listen? 2. Does your child just ‘hear’ or are they listening in a conversation? 3. What is your understanding of the concept ‘to listen’? The understanding and answers to these questions are essential to help you and your child learn effective listening skills. 1. Hearing or Listening: A child who listens understands and responds within the given context. A child who hears does not take in what is being said and reacts inadequately. Hearing is the ability to use our ears to hear different sounds whilst listening is far more complicated. Listening is the ability to give meaning to the sounds we hear through…
Deciding what to follow on from the first blog was tough but, recently, the needs of gifted children are finally starting to be recognized in society. It is the perfect place to further the argument that ‘removing the barrier does not work’: The obsession with removing the barrier so that all children are 'equal' has had detrimental effects on gifted children because removing the barrier excludes gifted children as it does not notice their strengths or needs. There is an unfortunate misunderstanding that gifted children face no barriers. The truth is the polar opposite. They face a series of challenges from social to difficulties like asynchronism. They can have learning challenges/differences that are comorbid with their giftedness. They need a toolkit, not to be defined by ‘removing the barrier’ in order to make them ‘equal’ academically. In this pursuit of making all children 'equal’; we are in fact causing more…
After careful consideration, I decided on this topic as the ideal way to restart my blog. It starts with ensuring that all students are ‘equal’, you must remove the barrier (the social, behavioural or learning ‘problem’), instead of allowing children to face it. I cannot agree with this notion, it goes against everything I believe. Children need to face adversity and challenges. This builds character and improves their problem-solving skills. Not only that, but we are not all ‘equal’, we are individuals. We are not all made the same and every child’s situation is unique. I remember reading an article a while back where the author used three pictures which play on an image. In the first two pictures, three children are standing behind a fence. In the first picture, the tallest child can see right over the fence, the middle one is the same height as the fence and…