Firstly we hope that you are all coping well in lockdown. We know that working from home, as well as parenting and supporting home learning, can be quite a juggle so we acknowledge the hard mahi you are all putting in during this time! We…
Author: Learning Support
We trust that all our students have settled well into the new school year and are enjoying the range of learning opportunities offered to them at school. Feedback from tutors is that our LS students are working really hard this term and attending sessions with a desire to learn which is fantastic.
As your tutors would have informed you, we have moved our LS online home! Please note that our new website is: www.learningsupport.nz. Your tutor will also have a new email address (email@example.com).
Like people all over the world, we are keeping an eye on the updates regarding the Coronavirus. We will closely monitor information from the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education in relation to the virus. We are in the process of ensuring that all of our tutors are able to tutor remotely via an online platform should the need arise. We will stay in touch if things progress here in New Zealand and we need to tweak our tutoring.
Focusing on Phonological awareness skills is really important for all students, but particularly those who struggle with literacy skills. Joy Allcock states that phonological awareness “refers to the awareness of sounds and patterns of sounds in spoken words. Beginning readers and spellers need to learn to identify, discriminate between and manipulate these sounds in words.” Check out this video for a brief overview of Phonological awareness and its importance as a foundation for literacy skills
During each tuition session our tutors work on phonological awareness with their students, so they are explicitly practicing ‘playing’ with sounds within words.
This graphic shows the ‘steps’ of phonological awareness and the order in which the different skills are mastered.
You would have heard your child talking about and practicing Elkonin Boxes. These are again, a wonderful way to isolate sounds within words, so students can be more accurate with their encoding of words. Check out this video of a clever little guy working on segmenting sounds using model cars and Elkonin Boxes
We have a page of “Tips” that you can download HERE. This gives you a few ideas as to how you can do some simple fun activities at home with your child to support them developing phonological awareness skills.
As parents we are ALWAYS looking for some new book ideas for our children to read. Melissa, our wonderful Wellington Branch Manager told us about the Barrington Stokes website and we love it! It is a great website to ‘find’ book titles that may spark your child’s interest. It also has a section for dyslexic and reluctant readers where you can find a range of book titles that are age appropriate and decodable readers for our children who struggle to read; www.barringtonstoke.co.uk.
Eddie Woo is an inspiring secondary Maths teacher in Sydney, Australia. He strives to make Math understandable to his students and makes videos explaining Math concepts and strategies which he uploads to You Tube for students to learn from. Eddie recently won Australia’s Local Hero award…
Term 4 Blog Post
It is hard to believe we are once again at the end of another busy year. We have all enjoyed working with you and supporting you to be more confident with your learning. We hope that you all have the chance to enjoy some much deserved downtime over the coming weeks.
To our students who are graduating from Learning Support, we wish you all the very best in your future learning journey. We know that you are ready to ‘fly’ on your own as you have mastered a bank of strategies to help you access the curriculum and make the most of the learning experiences offered to you at school. Please do stay in touch with your tutor in the new year and let them know how you are getting on. For our returning students, we look forward to working with you all in 2019.
Term 4 Monitoring
If your child has completed two terms of tuition since they were last assessed by Learning Support, their tutor would have completed assessments with them before they finished tuition this term. Tutors will send out monitoring letters soon that show the data gathered and how your child has progressed since their last testing. When planning for Term 1, we analyse this data and use it to ensure our teaching plans are best aligned to the needs of your child. Please contact your child’s tutor if you have any questions about the monitoring or assessments.
A number of our parents have mentioned how long the break is and have expressed concern about progress potentially being lost over the Summer break. Here are some suggestions to keep up the momentum:
Holiday Diary – Many of our students find writing challenging and are working on their spelling and writing with tutors. Writing a holiday diary (either on paper or a device) is a great way for students to keep up some writing practice. Taking your child to a shop to choose a special diary is a great start. Have them glue photos/tickets in, draw pictures, and then write a couple of sentences about their Summer adventures is a great way to keep them writing. Alternatively, they can use a Device to record their Summer adventures if they are working on keyboard skills and struggling with the physical aspect of writing.
Reading – Continuing to practice reading daily will support your child to retain and build on the progress that they have made in their reading. 10-15 minutes every day will be really beneficial – whilst this should ideally be independent reading, there are also numerous benefits to them being read to. Readtheory is a free website that has reading passages and reading comprehension questions which are levelled according to each individual student. Feel free to sign up your child if they need a different reading option for the Summer.
Summer Library Challenges – Numerous libraries around New Zealand are running Summer reading challenges. Check out your local library for their reading challenge and encourage your child to participate. Having a ‘challenge aspect’ can often be the extra motivation needed for some children to read more often.
Audio Books – Audio books can be downloaded from a range of websites/apps and when our students listen to them, they are developing their vocabulary and hearing good examples of fluent and expressive reading. Some we have been told about are audible.com.au where you will find a huge range of audio books that are often cheaper than buying directly from Amazon. allyoucanbooks.com has a free trial period where you can download as many books as you want for 30 days. With over 40,000 books, there is bound to be something that sparks an interest for all of our students!
Ted Talk – Dyslexia Font – This is an interesting Ted Talk and website about a font that has been created to specifically support those people who have been diagnosed with Dyslexia.
Many of our students would have heard of (or read) the Captain Underpants books written by Dave Pilkey. He is a wonderful example of someone who became a successful author despite having learning challenges. Read about him → and check out his website for some more information about him and his awesome books
Term 1 Tuition
Many tutors start in Week 2 of term to allow students to settle into their new classrooms and get to know their new teachers and classmates. Your child’s tutor will be in touch to let you know the start date for Term 1.
We trust that you all have the opportunity for some rest and relaxation over the coming weeks. Be safe and look after one another. We look forward to seeing many of you in the new year.
With our very best wishes,
The Learning Support Team
One of our wonderful LS parents sent through information about the Lighthearted Kids website after signing up for the programme with her son. She reports that they are really enjoying the programme and best of all its FREE until 23rd May (or until they have 10,000 students join) to sign up. There are different programme options to choose from depending on your childs age.
A Little Peace of Mind is a six week programme where you are are sent videos to watch together and discuss. The videos focus on topics such as tricky feelings, finding your inner spark and feeling confident. The aim is to help your child better understand themselves, their strengths and their emotions.
Check out the video below for a taster of the programme.
Here is the Lighthearted Kids website where you can find out more information and join up! Scroll down to the bottom of the home page.
We recently visited Scots College to hear Professor Lea Waters speak. Professor Waters (https://www.leawaters.com) is a psychologist and researcher and is the only Australian to be appointed as a Professor in Positive Psychology. Professor Waters believes that we should help our children and students to…