As parents, YOU are your child's first teacher and you will continue to be the most influential teacher in their lives. Every day your child is learning through watching you, through talking and working with you, and through playing with you. Readiness for learning at school of course begins at home. It is the sum of their age, rate of growth (physically, emotionally, socially), and the interesting and involving experiences they have had.
Play is the work of childhood ~ it is how they learn best and how they practice what they have learned. Children learn best through interesting, fun experiences and activities and when they can do it themselves we call that "hands on."
Continue to enjoy your child as you begin a new phase together. One where school will now have an influence over your child's learning. Your involvement, support, and encouragement with what is going on at school will be very important. Continuing what we are working on in class at home will increase that learning.
Thank you for the opportunity of working with your child.
This will be an exciting year together ~ for all of us!
Here are some "Helpful Files to use at Home" .
Mix up the cards after each use. If the cards remain in the same order, the child has a tendency to "memorize" them after a while.
Ask your child to sort the letters into piles of uppercase and lowercase letters.
Ask your child to sort the letters according to whether or not they have a circle forming part of the letter or whether they don't.
Have your child pick out all the letters that have a tall line forming part of the letter (many uppercase letters and lowercase letters such as "d," "b," and "t." )
Ask your child what sound a certain letter makes.
Can your child put letters together to form small words?
Have your child pick a letter and try to think of something that starts with the sound that letter makes. Or try to find an object in your house that starts with that sound.
As with the ABC cards, mix up the cards after each use. If the cards remain in the same order, the child has a tendency to "memorize" them after a while.
Have your child try to put the numbers in order from 0-20.
Have your child pick a number and then count out that many beans, pennies, or other objects.
Have your child choose a number and practice writing that number neatly.
Use the 100 chart to practice counting by ones, count by 5's, and count by 10's.
Call out a number between 0 and 20 (or higher) and see if your child can point to it on the 100 chart.
Use a bean or a penny to cover up a number on the chart (start with a number between 0 and 20 and work up) and see if your child can look at the numbers before and after the hidden number to tell you the mystery number.
More Ways to Support Your Child's Learning at Home
1. Count! Count anything! Some things that you can have your child count are: spoons, forks in the drawer, number of flowers in the garden, number of kids at the party, number of cars in line, etc.
2. Have your child count out groups of objects into little piles. (pennies, buttons, paper clips) "Can you put 15 fish crackers in your snack container for tomorrow?"
3. Play with scrabble letters or magnetic fridge letters. Think of a name, animal, plant, etc. that starts with that letter.
4. Play Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land, Checkers, etc.
5. Play simple card games such as Crazy Eights, Old Maid, Go Fish, etc.
6. Provide hands on experiences related to basic facts to 10. For example, "If you have two crayons and I give you two more, then how many will you have?"
7. Teach your child to dial the phone. Make a phone book of Grandma and Grandpa and Cousin Fred's phone numbers.
8. Teach your child to set the timer on the microwave.
9. Discuss the numbers on a clock and start teaching time on the hour.
10. Teach your child to do simple dot to dots. Look in colouring books for easy dot to dots.
11. Have your child memorize his/her phone number. Any phone number can be sung to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star."
12. Continue to provide experiences related to drawing, colouring, cutting and gluing in order to develop fine motor skills. Also, continue to provide activities to strengthen hand muscles using Lego or Playdough.
13. Have your child do the switching of the TV channels. Use the remote control to point out the numerals and name.
14. Find numbers and letters to discuss wherever you go! Room numbers, elevator buttons, street numbers, road signs, price tags, business signs.
15. Start teaching your child to write his last name and names of other family members.
by Linda Critchell, creator of the site, Kinderteacher
Small Motor Exercises
Listed below are some great activities to strengthen the small muscles. There are many other things that your child can do to build these muscles to make writing, cutting and other activities easier for him/her to do in class.
1) Pick up and sort objects such as blocks, spools, coins, beans, marbles, cotton balls, pins, buttons, straws, nails, nuts, bolts, popcorn, etc... and place them into containers of varying sizes (i.e. egg cartons, cups, mugs, jars, etc.)
2) Pick up objects (blocks, cotton balls, counters, etc.) using various sized tongs and strawberry pickers, transferring them between containers.
3) Stack objects (i.e. coins, cards, checkers, blocks, etc.)
4) Screw and unscrew objects such as nuts and bolts, caps from jars, etc.
5) String beads onto a shoelace.
6) Run a threaded needle through cloth.
7) Fasten safety pins.
8) Cut straight and curved lines/shapes drawn on paper, cloth, etc., with scissors.
9) Play the piano.
11) Crumple paper in a small ball and then flick it with the finger (play "soccer" with the paper ball.)
12) Shuffle cards, deal cards one by one, turn cards over.
13) Roll a pencil between thumb and fingers without dropping it.
14) Knead dough.
15) Stick small objects into play dough for him/her to pull out.
16) Wind thread on a spool evenly.
17) Put rubber bands around various size containers and objects.
18) Use tweezers to pick up small objects.
19) Move spoonfuls of small objects from one bowl to another.
20) Do up buttons, zippers, hooks, etc.
21) Tie shoelaces.
22) Cut lines on the newspaper for practice in using scissors.
23) Trace and copy letters.
24) Do connect the dot puzzles.
25) Solve mazes.
26) Manually sharpen pencils.
27) Use a manual can opener.
28) Tie a box with string or ribbon.
29) Put keys into locks to open doors.
30) Put paper clips onto paper
31) Use a stapler.
32) Remove staples with a staple remover.
33) Place clothespins on the edge of a box or container.
34) Dial a telephone.
35) Set a watch or clock.
36) Pick up or move marbles (or nuts in shells) using a melon baller. This could be made into a game - i.e. take turns rolling a die. Whatever number turns up, pick up that number of "marbles" and place them into an egg carton.
37) Use pipe cleaners to form shapes, letters, numbers, and other designs. You may want to use a template.
38) Colour using the flat side of a crayon. Put paper over leaves, stencils, and other objects so that the child gets sensory feedback as he colours.
39) Make a matching game (pictures, letters, etc.) using a coffee can and clothespins. Have the child put the clothespins on the rim of the can.
40) Use sprayer bottles filled with water and sponges to have the child "clean" a desk or table, then squeeze the excess water into a dishpan. This is a great pre-scissor skill activity.
41) Lace various sized beads. Any activity involving the use of both hands is good to develop bilateral integration.
42) Have a cutting centre. Give the student a magazine and let him cut out the pictures he likes to make a poster. Glue on pictures and later let him tell why he chose those pictures.
43) A fun activity with young ones is to fill a sensory table/bucket with coloured pompoms and provide small tongs and strawberry baskets (or another basket/bucket) for the children to fill their baskets.
44) Also using tweezers to pick up different items - kind of like sorting. Maybe in egg cartons or something else.
45) Older children may practice strengthening their fingers for cutting by using a rubber band to just stretch, release, stretch, release, etc. (Stress the importance of playing with rubber bands safely!)
46) Play dough - play with your child using the terms: poke, squeeze, pound, press, knead, etc. - this is good for language, too!
47) Use a turkey baster to squeeze water and squirt it out. This is fun to do outside!
by Linda Critchell, creator of the site, Kinderteacher
Please try to keep these activities fun and integrate them as much as possible into your daily routine.