First term catch-up #2: Letters, words and stories

This retrospective focuses on some elements of our literacy program: phonics, high-frequency words and reading.

We have continued to explore letters and their sounds in a variety of ways. The children enjoy watching Sesame Street video clips about our focus letters and brainstorming to see how many words we can list. We have identified objects that begin with the focus letter and practiced forming  letters correctly when writing. We often do a craft activity to produce a visual representation of something that begins with our focus letter. ‘Craftivities’ are also great for developing art skills such as using scissors and determining how much glue is needed.

Phonics Dd Phonics Ff Phonics Ii Phonics Mm Phonics Nn Phonics Oo Phonics Pp 2 Phonics Pp 1


Students have been working hard to recall high-frequency words, although this can be tricky as many of these words do not follow phonetic rules (i.e. you cannot ‘sound them out’). Learning the high-frequency words helps students to read more fluently and with greater confidence.

Golden words 4 Golden words 3 Golden words 2 Golden words 1


The children are developing a love of books and reading as their skills improve. Each morning, they share their ‘readers’ from the previous night with a small group. Occasionally, they are challenged to read to the whole class. I am impressed by the enthusiasm the children demonstrate by taking on this challenge.

Reading 2 Reading 4 Reading 1 Reading 3 Reading 7 Reading 6 Reading 5


Responding to texts is also a very important part of literacy learning. Listening to stories and discussing the characters, settings and events help the children to develop their comprehension skills. While reading Dan and the Parrot and What the Ladybird Heard, students were challenged to predict what would happen next at various points of the story, and they responded to the text by drawing and discussing their favourite events.

Dan and the Parrot 1a Dan and the Parrot 4 Dan and the Parrot 2 Dan and the Parrot 3 Dan and the Parrot 5 Ladybird 1 Ladybird 4 Ladybird 3 Ladybird 2

First term catch-up #1: Numbers and sequences

During the holidays, I was looking through photos from Term 1 and there are soooo many that I decided to create a retrospective series of blog posts. This first post relates to mathematics, although you will see there are some links with literacy learning.

We continued counting collections of objects and began to compare two collections by using the terms ‘more than’ and ‘less than’. To support this learning, we talked about Ally Alligator who eats the big numbers, and the children learnt how to record comparisons using numbers and symbols. Students completed an assessment sheet, rolling two dice for each question and writing the respective number sentence.

Ally Alligator 3

We learnt how to add two small numbers by counting on (putting the bigger number in our heads and counting on the smaller number). The children played addition memory match, using number sentence and domino cards.

Addition memory 1 Addition memory 2 Addition memory 3

Buddy numbers/Complements to 10 came next in our number learning. One of the tasks was ten-frame lucky dip. Ten counters were taken from a bag (no peeking!) and recorded onto a ten-frame, one colour then the other (there were only two colours of counters in the bag). Number sentences were written to match the ten-frames.

Buddy numbers 2

We discussed the order of colours in a rainbow before tackling the Ten Facts Rainbow Turtle sheet. The turtle’s rainbow was coloured, then the flowers were coloured accordingly.

Buddy numbers 3

This activity was a variation of memory match, called Flip Ten. The children really enjoyed the added challenge of searching for two number cards that add to ten. We could have used standard playing cards, but I love the bright colours of Uno cards and the kids do too!

Buddy numbers 1

We also made paper chains, which was great for developing hand strength by using a stapler. Each student made a chain to represent a ‘buddy number’ fact. As a class, we practised saying the matching number sentences, which were recorded and attached to their chains.

Buddy numbers 4


We began to learn about the collection and presentation of data, and we made a class graph to represent the letters in our names. We discovered that A and E are the most commonly used letters, whilst other letters were not present in our names at all.



Sequencing is an important aspect of our learning this year. Retelling a story in the correct order makes for great sequencing practice. One of our favourite stories, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, has come in very handy!

Hungry Caterpillar 1 Hungry Caterpillar 2 Hungry Caterpillar 3 Hungry Caterpillar 4

Remembering the days of the week – in the correct order – is challenging for many students, so we have practised describing the various activities we do on particular days.

Days of the week 4 Days of the week 3 Days of the week 2 Days of the week 1

We also practised sequencing by using the ordinal descriptions first through to fifth. The Pamela Allen story Who Sank the Boat? is a great accompaniment to this learning.

Who Sank the Boat 2 Who Sank the Boat 3 Who Sank the Boat 1