SUPPORTING YOUR CHILD AT HOME
At Crawford’s, reading is the key that unlocks the rest of the curriculum! We firmly believe that once children develop sound recognition and phonological awareness (through a thorough blend of systematic, synthetic phonics teaching and contextualised language, literacy and communication learning) children can quickly develop the ability to read for pleasure...
We aim to provide this in a multilayered approach of ‘Guided Reading’ and ‘Comprehension’ approaches to improving reading focus on learners’ understanding of the text. We teach a range of techniques that enable pupils to comprehend the meaning of what is written, such as inferring the meaning from context, summarising or identifying key points, using graphic or semantic organisers, developing questioning strategies, and monitoring their own comprehension and identifying difficulties themselves using ‘good meta cognitive awareness strategies’.
Guided Reading, in particular, provides the necessary comprehension learning. As children learn to read they are able to decode the text by orchestrating a range of cues. To become fluent readers they must also understand or comprehend what they read. In order to support, scaffold and help them do this they need to be taught a range of reading comprehension strategies and be encouraged to reflect on their own understanding and learning. Such an approach helps children go beyond literal interpretation and recall to explore the complex meanings of a text using inference and deduction. They can begin to learn these strategies from the earliest stages of learning to read.
We recommend that children read and share books everyday at home.
We teach phonics through Letters and Sounds.
Our pupils have access to a wide range of phonic based reading books (fiction and non-fiction).
Additionally, we have collections of Story Sacks for our younger pupils to share at home and a wide variety of book banded story books to supplement reading scheme material.
You can find a copy of the new national curriculum Programme of Study for Reading below, alongside examples of the kind of questions used to support learning. We really hope you will find this useful in encouraging learning at home and sharing a love of reading with your child.
Meta cognitive awareness.
Meta cognitive awareness involves ‘self-awareness’ and an ability to reflect on one’s understanding and learning. Research highlights the importance of meta cognition in learning to read. Younger and poorer readers often do not recognise when they have not understood a text and they are therefore unable to make an autonomous decision to use a strategy to enhance their understanding. More experienced readers show a greater awareness of their own level of understanding. They stop when a text does not make sense to them and some will go on to select a strategy that might help them to overcome their problem.
Teachers (and parents) can model for children how fluent readers monitor their understanding and use strategies to clarify their own understanding.
The EEF evidence that supports our comprehension/ guided reading approach can be found here.
Spelling is an important part of becoming a successful writer. We, at Crawford’s
Primary School, value the Teaching and Learning of spelling since it:
Helps children to write more fluently, dedicating more of their energies
towards creative writing (rather than the mechanical process of spelling);
Gives our learners strategies to attempt to encounter unfamiliar words,
enriching their vocabulary;
Gives children opportunity to investigate and understand the true meaning
Develops confident writers;
Develops confident readers;
Supports children with dyslexic tendencies;
Prepares them for the world of work after school.
To read more, please click on the link below:
At Crawford's, we use the spelling scheme 'No Nonsense Spelling' from Year 2
upwards. This is supplemented with additional spellings as per the National
Curriculum Appendix Lists:
At Crawford's, we use Times Tables (TT) Rockstars to help engage, inspire and
support children. TT Rock Stars is a carefully sequenced programme of daily times tables practice.
Each week concentrates on a different times table, with a recommended consolidation week for rehearsing the tables
that have recently been practised every third week or so. This format has very successfully boosted times tables recall speed for hundreds of thousands of pupils over the last 8 years in over 12,000 schools - both primary and secondary - worldwide.
Every child at Crawford's has their own login details to the online account, which can be accessed here.
Questions about Multiplication
Just like learning to walk before you can run, learning multiplication and memorizing the times tables are building blocks for other math topics taught in school e.g. higher order learning such as division, long multiplication, fractions and algebra. Pupils who have not memorized the times tables will find these levels of math much more difficult than they need to be. There is no time to pull out a calculator or to take 20 seconds to work out a math strategy before coming up with the answer. Pupils who have not mastered their tables will very often fall behind in math (and other subjects that use math) and begin to loose confidence. All because they did not memorize the times tables!
Knowing your multiplication facts is helpful not only in academics; we frequently use multiplication in our daily lives. We might need it when doubling a recipe, determining a discount at a store or figuring out our expected arrival time when traveling. Math calculations are subconscious elements in work, play and daily chores. Knowing the times tables can help simple tasks to be performed rapidly and save time and stress.
2. Why can't they just use a calculator?
Calculators are great tools for figuring out complex calculations. However, using a calculator takes much longer for simple facts and can result in keying errors. Students who rely on calculators are also weak in estimating skills and are unaware of wrong answers that occur from keying mistakes.
3. What is more important, understanding or memorization and how can I help with both?
It's not one or the other, it's both. A child must understand and memorize the facts. Early on, a pupil needs to understand what multiplication is - the grouping of sets, repeated addition, a faster way of adding. Show them this with an assortment of manipulatives, by skip counting and by using arrays. As they master the basics, expand upon this concept by creating interesting word problems. Allow them to discover the patterns in the numbers by exploring a 100s chart, skip-counting tables and the times table chart. This is the time that they can discover multiplication strategies. However, there eventually comes a time when we need to highlight the importance of rapid recall. Students need to know that they should recall the answer instantaneously. Demonstrate the speed of this by having them quiz you and by practicing together.
Memorizing can be facilitated by concentrating, rehearsal and memorization techniques. Remember to focus your limited time on the facts that need to be learned. By removing the facts they already know and by learning the reciprocal facts together (i.e., 6x7 and 7x6), there are surprisingly few left to memorize. Review all facts occasionally to make sure they have been retained in long-term memory. Music, stories and visual associations can help with retention.
In some cases, an inability to memorize may suggest learning difficulties. If your child is consistently having trouble memorizing math facts or other elements of learning, it's a good idea to research learning challenges or disabilities and seek medical advice. Negative emotions such as anxiety, stress and conflict can also reduce learning outcomes and even prevent new information from being memorized. Encourage and support your child rather than getting frustrated and angry when they have difficulty. Remove distractions and create a comfortable and pleasant learning environment. Involve your child in choosing his or her own practice schedule.
The boring task of memorization can be made more fun through music, games and activities that reinforce repetition of the math facts. Working with your child to complete this goal can be a bonding time as you play games and sing songs. You will also have the opportunity to help them learn the important life skills of memorization and goal setting.
Have fun together in this process. It's always a good review and opportunity for the whole family to exercise their brains.
How Parents Can Help Their Child Memorize the Times Tables
1. Make sure there is understanding.
2. Explain why it is important.
3. Demonstrate what fast recall is.
4. Be interested in math yourself.
5. Find out what facts they already know.
6. Involve your child in the goal setting process.
7. Focus primarily on the facts they need to learn.
8. Use a chart to monitor progress.
9. Provide encouragement along the way.
10. Spend quality time together practicing.
11. Acknowledge their success.
12. And most importantly: Have fun!
Click on the link below to see how we learn times tables (4 ways):