At the end of each day, we ask the children to think about what they have done during the day and tell us something that we can write down on our little whiteboard. We put this up in the window, facing out, so that their parents or carers can read it.
Last term one of the children noticed that we were using the word “we” a lot. Sometimes it looked a bit different – but it was still the same word when we read it out. This became part of the daily routine to notice, and soon to count, the “we”s in
This week, the adults asked if they could find a different word – the word “a”. The children were quick to find “a”s in lots of words – but not often by itself.
This brought up the difference between a word and a letter. We have already noticed the difference between upper and lower case letters.
Now the children are counting the words. They listen and look and keep count on their fingers as we read the report out loud. Then someone can come up and circle one of the words. There’s not enough jobs for eager learners! Today they wanted to write the number down.
Different children have a go each day – it’s not about getting it correct, though we are working towards that - because we don’t have a curriculum to rush through. They share their knowledge and spark each other off into the next stage.
(Sandy is thinking about what else to do to his number “2″.)
Now we would never plan to start “teaching” sight words to children, or the most frequently used words, or whatever they might be called at present by school teachers – but it’s happening because of this group’s interest.