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Prep 2017!

We’ve Been As Busy As Ants

This term we have been almost as busy as the ants we saw at the Museum!

In Reading we have been developing important comprehension skills. You can ask us about these skills at home! If you keep one or two of these skills in mind each time we read a take home book, you can ask us questions about the story to make sure we are reading for meaning.

  • Retell – what happened in the story? Can you remember the details?
  • Predict – what might happen next? What will we find out in this book?
  • Make Connections – what does this book remind you of? Has anything like this happened to you? Does this book remind you of another book?
  • Visualise – draw a picture in your mind of the people, places and events in the story. What can you ‘see’? Why?
  • Infer – look for visual clues to understand more about what is happening, but is not said in the words. How is that character feeling? How can you tell? Why do they feel like that? Where are they? How do you know?

We love books and we love using these comprehension skills to further our thinking. During SMILe, we sometimes choose to think about stories we’ve been reading. We retell the story, rewrite the story, draw pictures about what happened and even recreate the story in a puppet show!

Along with our comprehension skills, we have been learning these word solve strategies. These animals help us when we get stuck…

  • Slidey Snail – I can slide my finger along the words I am reading.
  • Blendy Bear – I can blend through the whole word.
  • Tryin’ Lion – I try to reread the sentence. I try a word that makes sense.
  • Eagle Eye – I can look at the pictures for clues.
  • Chunky Monkey – I can look for a chunk that I know (-at, -ip, -un, etc.).

In order to use these word solve strategies, we have to be reading for meaning. We need to be thinking about every sentence and ensuring it makes sense to us. Please help us by asking… Does that make sense? How can you check? Why don’t you try Tryin’ Lion (go back to the start and read again)?

We are learning to read and write some digraphs. A digraph is 2 letters that make a new sound together.

You may have heard that we have our very own learning goal in writing! Our goal is written in the back of our book and when we work hard on the goal we can colour a smiley face. Here are some of the goals we have been working on:

  • Conventions – use lower case letters, put finger spaces between words, try using full stops at the end of sentences
  • Sentence Fluency – using ‘and’ to extend sentences and add details, using other joining words like ‘but, so, because’, include some long and some short sentences
  • Organisation – plan a beginning, problem and solution

Writing is quickly becoming one of our favourite things to do during SMILe time. We love writing cards and letters for friends and family, or creating signs for the classroom.

In Maths we have spent a lot of time consolidating our number sense to 10. To 10!? That may sound easy, but we need lots and lots of experience working flexibly, accurately and efficiently with these small numbers. Below you can see some examples of different ways to represent numbers. Which image does not belong?


What knowledge did you use to efficiently solve the problem? The first image requires spatial reasoning – maybe you saw 5 and counted on, or maybe you saw 5 and 4 and knew that was 9. How did you know that 5 and 4 make 9? You have a strong understanding of the number relationships within 9. Or maybe you saw the groups of dots almost symmetrically, and you knew that with one more dot it would be 5 and 5 which makes 10, but the missing dot means there are 9. So much to discuss!

What about the second image? Did you recognise the 10s frame? We can use what we know about a 10s frame to quickly ‘see’ how many dots there are. We know the top row is full which makes 5. We can count on! Or, maybe we start from 10 and count backward because there are 2 missing.

5 and 10 are important benchmarks and we are learning to use what we know about 5 and 10 to efficiently ‘see’ numbers, without counting by 1s. Our flexible understanding of these numbers will form the foundation of our ability to work with larger numbers. Of course, we are also doing lots of counting beyond 10, too. We count forwards and backwards from any number, and we’ve started counting by 10s, too.

Remember to look for numbers around the house and in the community! Talk about what you can see and any number relationships that jump out at you.

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Posted on 14/06/17 in Preps Blog

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