Sunday, June 10, 2018

Encouraging Your Child to Read

11th June 2018 Annabel Yates, English Tutor at StudyBox Sutton

Encouraging Your Child to Read

Why reading is important

Reading is a vital skill for children to learn as they’re going to need it in their everyday life. Even if they’re not reading books, your child will have to read instructions on the board at school and on test papers. Not being able to read can often make children feel isolated from peers and create low self-esteem. However, if you keep encouraging your children to read, it can expand their imagination as well as their vocabulary and grammar – as well as improve their spelling. Books are a great way to do this as they provide engaging stories and expose children to different sentence types and vocabulary that they can use in their own writing.

How to encourage reluctant students

Some students are reluctant to read as they find it boring and difficult. To help combat this issue it is often helpful to start reading books with interesting covers, with pictures that are about stories they recognise or that friends are already reading.

For example, a book many children want to read is the Harry Potter series. This is because it is a well-known story that many other children they know have read, as well as having movies that children have often already seen. These types of books are then more accessible to children.

What if that doesn’t work?

If books like this still don’t gain your child’s interest, it can often help to choose a book to read together. You can then take turns reading a paragraph each or each reading a different character’s part. This is something I do when my students are reluctant to read as it makes them feel like they are reading less and makes the activity more engaging.

Understanding what they’ve read

Understanding what they have read is an important skill that children will need, especially when they begin taking exams. To make sure your child has understood what they’ve read it can be a good idea to ask them questions after they have read each chapter – this can be done straight after they’ve read it or a little while afterwards. The more they remember over a period of time the more you know that they have understood what they’re reading.

Progress over time

At StudyBox students are often encouraged to complete comprehensions during the lesson – something they will have to do in their SATs in year 2 and 6. The students who read at home often find the comprehensions easier to complete. This increases the child’s confidence in their own abilities as they know that this is a task that they can complete well.

For a free trial, why not contact your local StudyBox centre. Free Trial

Annabel Yates,
English Tutor at StudyBox Sutton

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Encouraging Creative Writing

Why creative writing is important

Creative writing is important for children to learn as it promotes imagination and helps them to write in a structured and organised style. These skills will help when they have to take exams – such as their SATs and GCSE’s.

How they’ll use it outside of the classroom

Creative writing isn’t just about writing stories; it also involves writing letters, instructions and persuasive pieces, just to name a few.
These are skills they can use later on when writing CVs for future jobs or for composing emails to future bosses.

Getting started

Not every child enjoys creative writing and many are reluctant at first. To combat this, I let the students choose what type of writing they want to complete, (fables, myths, traditional stories, letters, instructions or explanations). This helps to get the child excited about working on the piece and gets them involved.

However, some children are so reluctant that they don’t want to choose anything. If this is the case, I ask them what they’re already doing at school and choose the type of writing that best matches this.        

Planning pieces of writing

Children don’t often want to plan their writing and are more interested in starting their work straight away. The benefit of encouraging the child to plan is that it helps them to organise their ideas and to know exactly what they are going to write about.

To help children plan, I write down prompt questions on the planning sheets that come with the task, e.g.

  •  how does your character feel?
  • What does the setting look like?
  • Why did they behave like that?.

    This helps the child to think about what they’re writing and increases the amount of detail they include.

Maintaining enthusiasm

When working on one type of writing children can become frustrated and bored. To avoid this, we use different types each week that help them write in different styles for the same topic. For example, in myths, they can complete a character plan one week and a poster, diary entry or a report about that character the next week. This prevents students from feeling like they’re just doing the same thing every week and keeps them interested in their own pieces of work as it keeps evolving.

Progress over the term

One of my current students was very reluctant to complete creative writing tasks as he didn’t enjoy it and found it boring. However, after weeks of working on his writing, he has started to enjoy creating his own stories and even does them at home and brings them in for us to read. He likes coming up with characters – especially villains – and is currently working on his use of description in sentences. He is just one example of a student who has progressed well in creative writing during his lessons at StudyBox.

For a free trial, why not contact your local StudyBox centre. Free Trial

Annabel Yates
English Tutor StudyBox Sutton

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Importance of Education in 2017

Importance of Education in 2017

In a fast-changing world where the most valuable skill you have is your knowledge, a good education is no longer just required, its essential.

The future of Jobs

Every day we hear about new inventions such as driver less cars and AI robots that can answer questions and solve problems.
These new inventions eliminate the need for humans to perform these tasks.
Many current jobs will soon vanish leaving those without adequate education struggling to find employment without going back to school.

The parent’s role

The need for our children to expand their ability to think and learn new skills has become an essential goal for most parents.
Teaching our children, the importance of learning starts at home.
We can encourage them to seek out and explore topics they are passionate about and foster an inquisitive personality.

Learning for life

Learning is not just about teaching children the curriculum. It is a process of experiences that lead them to the great “aha” moments of life.
It’s important to teach children to learn from their mistakes and remove the emphasis of getting things right the first time.
Most things in the real world come from trial and error, therefore we should encourage our children to try many different approaches.

Core Skills

There is always going to be a need of core skill in English Maths and Science.
Jobs in the future will pay more for skills in the core subjects of English Maths and Science.

English helps us to use our imagination and creativity. It gives us essential skills, reading and writing, and how to communicate effectively.

Maths teaches us skills such as problem solving, analysing data, communication & logical thinking.
Simple maths skills are used every day in shopping, baking, journey planning and driving.

Science teaches skills through conducting experiments and forming conclusions, and this encourages the brain to think independently and outside the box.

For more information on how to help your children achieve their full potential, come for a Free Trial

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Ways to expand your child’s vocabulary

Ways to expand your child’s vocabulary

It is a common saying that children learn quicker than older people. It is true, which is why there is less to worry about if you want to teach your child new things. A child’s vocabulary expands as they grow. But, the process needs to be quicker so they can ace their school language exams.

You can very easily incorporate little activities in everyday life to help with this process.

New day, new word

The fun thing about kids being quick learners is that you can teach them new things every day. There can one new word in their vocabulary on each new day. The way you can do this is by making sure they see or read the word a few times that day. For example, you can write the word on a sticky note and paste it on the fridge or on a mirror. Every time they go to get a snack or to look at themselves, a glance at that word will help them remember it.

Backstory

Now that your child knows a new word, it is important that you teach them its proper use and meaning too. Otherwise, the word won’t be of any benefit. There are many ways you can do this. For some children, it could be as simple as reading out the meaning from a dictionary. However, that wouldn’t be very effective because the child is likely to forget the meaning a few days later.

An easier way can be by describing the word through a story. Make connections with the meaning of the words. Try to paint an image in your child’s mind so that every time they think of that specific word, they get a picture in their mind and hence, they will be able to use the word with its proper meaning. Give relatable examples. When you see a real-life example of the word, show it your child. All these little tips will engrave the word along with the meaning in your child’s brain.

Reading or listening

At first, you might have preferred using easy words while talking to your child so it’s easier for them to understand. Change that habit and start using ‘grown-up’ words with them. At first, they might be confused but they will try to figure out the meaning. If it’s hard for them to understand, you can explain yourself. But, hearing new words in everyday sentences would make it easier for them to know how to use a word properly.

Upgrade the bedtime stories. Buy books for older children that will have new words. Otherwise, you can use the same old stories but try incorporating new words. Since your child will be used to listening to the story, he/she will know the actual meaning. This way when they will hear a new word, they would still understand but at the same time, learn something new.

Expanding your child’s vocabulary is a very simple task. You only need to start adding effort to everyday activities.

For more information about your child please book a Free trial at your local StudyBox Tuition centre.

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Friday, November 3, 2017

How to prepare for the SATs

How to prepare for the SATs

SATs exams are taken by year 2 and year 6 students. It helps the students, as well as the parent, know where the child stands. Along with this the more important role of these SATs is that it judges the school in comparison with the National Curriculum to find out how the school is performing. SATs help maintain a quality education throughout all primary schools.

SATs have developed a pretty intimidating image. However, it is not a very difficult test. You can easily help your child ace it with little effort.

What the test is about

SATs for primary students take place during May. This means your child would appear for the exam during the summer term in school. It will be a basic level test that would test the knowledge your child learnt at school.

The exam has two parts. One of these is held at year 2, when the children are aged 6-7 years. Second part of the tests is in year 6 when the children 10-11 years old. For both these exams, the contents include English grammar, English reading and Mathematics.

You don’t need to especially worry about preparing your child for these particular exams. In fact it will be better if you don’t spend extra time teaching them before the exam. This way you can find out the accurate results of how much your child learnt by their own in school. If you want your child to score good in the SATs, make sure you help them throughout the years every single day. Help them understand concepts when they learn them. Making them cram a few days before SATs just so they score good will not be an effective method of teaching. Secondly, since the results will also be a representation of the school performance, the school teachers will provide most of the preparation material and help.

If you want to help your child, you should incorporate activities in everyday habits like mental math games, story reading, etc. Try to help your child learn new words. To prevent your child from panicking during the SATs, make them attempt past papers that you find online.

What do the results imply

Firstly, you should not worry about bad results. It will not affect your child’s admission procedures in the future. The exam’s sole purpose is to find out how well the school teaches and how much your child learns. It will be a comparison of same aged children who would have received similar education up till this point. If your child scores badly, it would mean you need to help them cope up since they are lagging behind the rest of their mates.

The result is calculated in such a way that a score below 100 would mean below average performance in that particular section. Similarly, a score above hundred would indicate over average performance where as a score of 100 will show that your child’s performances is as expected at this age.

For a Free Trial contact StudyBox today

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Year 1 Phonics test

Year 1 Phonics test: All you need to know

A phonic screening test is a type of test that is conducted to evaluate whether a child has learned phonic decoding or not. This will be done by comparing the results to a specified standard. The results of the test will also highlight the children who still need helps for the improvement in their skills. Support will be provided by the government or the parents to that children. However, if the child passes it, it will mean that they have a detailed understanding of the phonics.

The phonics test was introduced and implemented in June 2012. The test is designed in a way that it effectively highlights the current phonic information of the child. Teachers and parents will be able to know whether the child is progressing at a satisfied pace or not.

What is included in a phonics check?

The phonics check consists of two different sections. These sections contain 40 words check as a whole that are asked to assess the current knowledge related to phonics. Also, it will highlight the knowledge attained through the reception and year 1. The child will have to read four different words from a single page to the teacher to complete the test.

There is a common question in the minds of parents related to the compulsion and the type of phonic check. The answer to this question is, it is not a formal process of analyzing the abilities of your child. Instead, it is used to analyze the skill or learning level of the child. This is done just to make sure that they are performing up to the mark. Before the start of the activity, children will be asked to practice few words so that they can have a better understanding of the activity which will be carried out.

The focus of phonic check:

The phonics check is conducted to check certain points which are explained below:

  • Whether your child is able to sound out and blend graphemes to read simple words.
  • Whether they can read a selection of nonsense words. These words are also referred to as pseudowords sometimes.
  • Whether they are able to read phonically decodable one and two syllable word. For example, sand, cat, windmill etc.

The inclusion of nonsense and pseudowords:

The phonics check includes some words that are nonsense and pseudo. These are basically those type of words that are decodable i.e. there is no meaning attached to them and they are not the actual words e.g. snorb or brip. The pseudo-words or the nonsense words are included into the test to analyze whether the child can recognize them or not. They are usually shown to the kids with a picture of a monster and they have to tell their teacher about the details of the monster.

For a free trial please contact your local StudyBox Tuition Centre.

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Saturday, October 7, 2017

Year 1 Phonics test

Year 1 Phonics test: All you need to know

A phonic screening test is a type of test that is conducted to evaluate whether the child has learned phonic decoding or not. This will be done by comparing the results to a specified standard. The results of the test will also highlight the children who still need help for the improvement in their skills. Support will be provided by the government or the parents to that children. However, if the child passes it, it will mean that they have a detailed understanding of the phonics.

The phonics test was introduced and implemented in June 2012. The test is designed in a way that it effectively highlights the current phonic information of the child. Teachers and parents will be able to know whether the child is progressing at a satisfied pace or not.

What is included in a phonics check?

The phonics check consists of two different sections. These sections contain 40 words check as a whole that is used to assess the current knowledge related to phonics. Also, it will highlight the knowledge attained through the reception and year 1. The child will have to read four different words from a single page to the teacher to complete the test.

There is a common question in the mind of several parents, related to the compulsion and the type of phonic check. The answer to this question is, it is not a formal process of analyzing the abilities of your child. Instead, it is used to analyze the skill or learning level of the child. This is done just to make sure that they are performing up to the mark. Before the start of the activity, children will be asked to practice few words so that they can have a better understanding of the activity which will be carried out.

The focus of phonic check:

The phonic check is conducted to check certain points which are explained below:

  • Whether your child is able to sound out and blend graphemes to read simple words.
  • Whether they can read a selection of nonsense words. These words are also referred to as pseudo words sometimes.
  • Whether they are able to read phonically decodable one and two syllable word. For example, sand, cat, windmill etc.

The inclusion of nonsense and pseudo words:

The phonics check includes some words that are nonsense and pseudo. These are basically those type of words that are decodable i.e. there is no meaning attached to them and they are not the actual words e.g. snorb or brip. The pseudo words or the nonsense words are included into the test to analyze whether the child can recognize them or not. They are usually shown to the kids with a picture of a monster and they have to tell their teacher about the details of the monster.

The post Year 1 Phonics test appeared first on StudyBox.