What grammer do they learn in reception?

(54 Posts)
carriedawayannie Fri 10-May-13 19:31:57

DD has told me today they are learning full stops and I feel awful that I haven't really been encouraging any grammer in the written things we do together. I've been letting it go as I thought she was to young.

The only things I've been doing is capitial letters and finger spacing.

What will she be learning at school?
What should I be doing with her?

Wigeon Fri 10-May-13 19:35:10

My DD is in reception and she has learnt:

Full stops
Capital letters (they've only recently introduced that.

To be pedantic, those are really punctuation, not grammar...I can't think of any actual grammar which she has learnt at school.

Er, think that's it so far!

I don't think you should be doing anything specific really, apart from helping her read her reading books, and encouraging her to read and write as often as she is interested and in all sorts of circumstances (eg writing a friend's name on a party invitation, reading parts of the school newsletter, writing labels on pictures she draws etc etc).

carriedawayannie Fri 10-May-13 19:38:00

I knew grammer was the wrong word when I typed but stupidly couldn't think of what else to put blush

Thanks for the suggestions Wigeon. I do most of that so it seems I'm doing ok

learnandsay Fri 10-May-13 19:38:10

It's grammar, (not grammer) and yes, you're right, Reception is a bit too young for formal grammar. But parents have been teaching it since the children were about two:

It's not I don't want no more sausage; it's I don't want any more sausage.
It's not I want sausage; it's please may I have some more sausage?

And so on. I'm not sure if Reception teachers correct all such mistakes but children who shout: oi, Miss, gimme paper! probably do get corrected.

carriedawayannie Fri 10-May-13 19:39:35

Oh god I might just ask for the thread to be deleted. Its a disaster. And to think I'm talking about teaching my daughter how to write correctly ...

mrz Fri 10-May-13 19:49:41

We teach sentences and connectives (coordinating conjunctions) introduce determiners, prepositions, adjectives and adverbs

carriedawayannie Fri 10-May-13 19:51:52

I'll need a dictionary for that mrz grin

finickypinickity Fri 10-May-13 19:56:15


Can i sneak in and ask if they do all of this with a child who has only just learnt all of the sounds or is the puctuation thing for just the advanced children in reception?

Would the children be expected to know this at the end of reception?

Panicking Mum alertblush

Sorry for the mini hijack Annie

mrz Fri 10-May-13 19:58:17

we teach it in the context of their writing wink

carriedawayannie Fri 10-May-13 19:58:35

Finicky the way I've been handling this thread, you can do more than hijack - you can take over grin

Wigeon Fri 10-May-13 19:59:49

I don't think my Reception DD has been taught in school any of the things mrz says (although we're not at the end of the Reception year yet, so maybe they cover that all between now and the end of the summer term?!). I would say she is doing better than average but is not by any means outstandingly advanced with her reading - there are children who are reading better than her.

carriedawayannie Fri 10-May-13 20:00:37

So you teach them the correct way to write whatever it is they have written?

freetrait Fri 10-May-13 20:02:56

DS learnt a tiny bit about capital letters and full stops in YR, and had just about got the hang of writing a sentence or two with said things and finger spaces by the end of the year. Now in Y1 he can write stories that span several pages and use that stuff mrz talked about. Our school was kind of laid back re writing in YR and then went for it in Y1.

finickypinickity Fri 10-May-13 20:03:37

You are doing just fine with the thread Annie wink

I will follow with interest and intense panic!

Nishky Fri 10-May-13 20:04:22

I never taught my children anything. I left it to school and the ( trained)teachers.

My children are doing very very well on that. We used to read when they were in infants and I assist with homework when necessary.

School is for learning - home is for play!

mrz Fri 10-May-13 20:05:20

young children like to learn the technical language

Periwinkle007 Fri 10-May-13 20:05:45

erm DD says they have done full stops, capital letters and certainly her group have done apostrophes for replacing letters as in don't etc. She knows apostrophes showing ownership anyway, can't remember how that cropped up but we told her ages ago when she was writing and she is excellent with those and now even knows what to do if it is a plural it belongs to. commas, question marks and exclamation marks she certainly knows with reading and is just starting to use when writing. how much of that is due to being taught it at school or because I suggest them when she is writing for fun and she sees them in the books she is reading (she is a good reader) I am not sure.

mrz Fri 10-May-13 20:08:05

Nishky I think you do yourself an injustice children learn lots of things from their parents long before they set foot in school.

carriedawayannie Fri 10-May-13 20:09:19

So I've just googled coordinating conjunctions. I didn't know there was a set list of words. Everyday is a school day ...

carriedawayannie Fri 10-May-13 20:12:19

I don't understand the apostrophe thing so I don't know how I'm meant to teach that.

Obv I understand the replacing letters but ownership loses me.

I did try to read a thread on here about it but by the end everyone was confusing each other so we gave up.

I also have no idea how to explain things to dd in ways she can understand. So even though I obv know what an ! is and how/when to use it - I couldn't put into term she would understand.

carriedawayannie Fri 10-May-13 20:13:06

Mrz do you tell them that this particular word is a 'coordinating conjunctions'?

Nishky Fri 10-May-13 20:15:36

I am sure you are right mrsz - but I never try to mirror what is done in class- I couldn't have done sowith dd anyway she told me in reception ' we don't work hard at my school, we just PLAY'

When I told her teacher this she was really pleased as she said this is what she wanted them to think grin

mrz Fri 10-May-13 20:18:12

In reception coordinating conjunctions would be - and and but

I would tell them that the word they used has a "posh name" and is called a coordinating conjunction (some will remember others won't)
Really it's just putting down a foundation of knowledge in quite an informal way that can be built on as they progress through school.

carriedawayannie Fri 10-May-13 20:22:16

Ok so I could encourage her to use 'and' and 'but'.

I can do that.

I've just discovered what a determiner is. I do teach her that she is to use 'an' when using a word that begins with a vowel. She has no idea what a vowel is but I tell every time she asks for 'a' apple anyway.

freetrait Fri 10-May-13 20:35:05

Yeah, makes me laugh, DS's Y1 teacher puts up on the whiteboard what they are focussing on in their writing and you can read it through the window. Often I haven't a clue what it means, but as mrz says the kids take to it very easily- DS isn't phased at all.

Iamnotminterested Fri 10-May-13 20:39:40

Is this going to descend into a "my child is doing hyhens in nursery" kind of thread??

Flicktheswitch Fri 10-May-13 20:40:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

muminthecity Fri 10-May-13 20:40:44

As far as punctuation goes, we have been teaching full stops and capital letters in my reception class since they first started writing sentences. We have recently moved on to question and exclamation marks.

As for grammar, we do much of what mrz has said, but we wouldn't necessarily tell them the correct names, e.g. we would encourage them to describe what they are writing about, but wouldn't call them adjectives unless they asked. So, for example, if a child wrote "I saw a flower" I might ask them what the flower looked like, how they could describe it etc and encourage them to add it in.

simpson Fri 10-May-13 20:43:11

DD is learning sentence connectives (I think they are called).

She is pretty good at full stops, capital letters and the odd exclamation mark.

But her teacher is now concentrating on how to structure a story atm, beginning, middle and ending etc...

Periwinkle007 Fri 10-May-13 20:48:04

you aren't expected to teach her though. My parents were picky about grammar so I managed to learn some and apostrophes was the only thing I felt truly confident about other than using the right form of there/their/they're etc. The only apostrophe I get lost on is it's and its. never got the hang of that one.

basically if it belongs to someone then it is their name so
the dog
and then the 's

so the dog's.

however if it belonged to the dogs (plural) then it would be
the dogs's. but would be written as the dogs'. not sure whether technically it is more correct as the dogs's or the dogs' but thats the way it is.

at least that is my understanding of it and someone will no doubt come along now and tell me I have been wrong all these years.

if you aren't confident with grammar then don't panic, the school will teach her. perhaps look for one of the beginner's dictionary/thesaurus/grammar books and you can look things up together? I keep meaning to get something like that because I think it would be really helpful and I also think children are more likely to remember something if they have looked it up and 'discovered' it for themselves.

intheshed Fri 10-May-13 20:51:43

In DD's school they call words like and, but etc 'connectives'- just to confuse you even more! And they have 'describing words', not adjectives.

I have recently noticed the word 'because' sneaking into her writing, and she said her new target is to make her sentences longer.

mrz Fri 10-May-13 21:00:45
Pozzled Fri 10-May-13 21:08:15

Once again, mrz I find myself wishing that you were my daughter's reception teacher. Or at least in charge of literacy at her school.

I'm not entirely sure what DD1 has been taught, but I don't think they've got beyond basic sentences with a full stop and capital letter. They have only just progressed onto long vowel sounds in phonics. It's a bit of a concern knowing the kind of stuff they should be covering.

mrz Fri 10-May-13 21:17:40

In the past we taught children how to use grammar but didn't always teach the correct terminology for the parts of speech. Personally I think it's more important they know how to use correct grammar than to know that the is a determiner but we decided that it makes sense to gradually introduce grammatical terms than to try and teach them all when children are older.

Pozzled Fri 10-May-13 21:27:07

I agree.

It doesn't bother me that DD1 hasn't been taught words like 'adjective' but it does bother me that she hasn't yet been taught that she can try to make her writing interesting by using describing words. (Just an example- what I mean is that the teachers appear to have very low expectations).

Rollmops Fri 10-May-13 22:29:36

mrz, I so hope you were joking with '... the word they used has a "posh name"... ' - A POSH NAME!? A POSH name???????????????
How utterly ridiculous.

learnandsay Fri 10-May-13 23:09:01

I don't get it, what's so ridiculous about telling four and five year olds that determiners and connectives are posh names?

To be fair, instead of talking about poo poo and wee wee we could all refer to faeces and urine at home. And at school teachers who wanted to could refer to all plants by their Latin names. The children wouldn't be phased by it. But they would probably hate certain teacher's lessons.

WomblesOfCairngorm Fri 10-May-13 23:21:36

Why on earth would they hate those lessons? My children love being told the 'complicated, grown up words'

Pozzled Fri 10-May-13 23:27:37

My classes have always enjoyed using the proper names for things. Younger children especially, it makes them feel grown up.

The same 4 and 5 year olds have a fantastic memory for types of dinosaur/foreign footballers/disney princesses, so why would they be fazed by words like 'adjective'?

BabiesAreLikeBuses Fri 10-May-13 23:30:46

Mine didn't know what a vowel was til we found vowel bat on youtube which they had sung in reception. My dts in reception both reading well and come home talking about digraphs and trigraphs, know about full stops and capital letters but that's it for writing. I'm delighted they don't do more writing, as far as they are concerned they do phonics daily and play the rest of the time. Schools seem to disagree massively on how much they should write in YR

zebedeee Fri 10-May-13 23:38:47

I agree with rollmops. A 'posh name'. Really? Really!

mrz Sat 11-May-13 06:42:12

No Rollmop I wasn't joking ... how do you explain things to your class of 5 year olds? and yes zebedeee ...REALLY!

1969Sarah Sat 11-May-13 07:50:14

Mrz I would tell them that the word they used has a "posh name"

Maybe that is why I was asked "Mum, what does posh mean?"

I really struggled to answer that?!

mrz Sat 11-May-13 08:00:34

I wouldn't use the word "posh" if it wasn't one they commonly used and was not part of their vocabulary Sarah ... when explaining things to young children it helps to be aware of the language they will be familiar with in the home.

My pupils talk about wearing "posh" clothes for parties and weddings. They talk about someone getting a "posh" new car. They talk about staying in a "posh" hotel on holiday ...

mrz Sat 11-May-13 08:13:03

They like their parents use the word to mean "special"

Maria33 Sat 11-May-13 08:22:58

It's is always it is. "Its" is the possessive of it - as in "the cat licked its paws". The apostrophe is only ever one of omission for it's I. E. it's ALWAYS means it is.
<<English teacher>>
To help your children write well, expose them to as much standard English as possible. My ds is a pretty inaccurate writer but he scores well in the new SPAG test because it's multiple choice and he's from a home where Standard English is spoken. I agree with everything Mrz says and I am passionate about teaching grammar but this is what I think about the current approach.

learnandsay Sat 11-May-13 08:44:23

It depends on what you're trying to achieve, doesn't it? The disappointment that adults have shown in definite and indefinite articles (useful phrases) for the rather useless and stupid one of determiners is a good example. If the phrases are badly chosen and unrepresentative the fact that they're grown up is neither here nor there. I'd prefer a teacher to cleverly get children to acquire and understand new information than to use grown up names for the sake of it.

1969Sarah Sat 11-May-13 08:56:28

Is "special" the best way to explain "posh"? I wasn't being critical and I did truly struggle to define posh to my four year old. The port out starboard home thing seemed way too advanced to use and was flumoxed for other words that she did understand to explain it. Doesn't it have some negative connotations?

mrz Sat 11-May-13 09:03:51

No Sarah "special" isn't the best way to explain "posh" unless that is the meaning the child already associates with the word ... my class wouldn't understand if I said these words have a "special" name ...determiners but they do understand "posh". Obviously your child may be happier with the idea of determiner being the "special name" for this group of words or the idea that the "correct name" for this category of words is determiners or the "grammatical term" for these words is determiners ...

1969Sarah Sat 11-May-13 09:13:46

I wish I had asked her now where she had heard it used? What made her ask? I was in the shower at the time she asked me! Interestingly my assumption was that someone had used it negatively. Not sure why!

zebedeee Sat 11-May-13 10:15:57

Posh doesn't mean special - unless the 'upper class' are special. All the examples given equate something that costs money with being posh. I doubt they would describe a special stone they have found as 'posh'. Words are free for everybody to use.

mrz Sat 11-May-13 13:04:56

I suggest you look at synonyms for posh zebedeee rather than use your own narrow definition
synonyms: choice, costly, dainty, delicate, elegant, exclusive, expensive, exquisite, first-class, grand, luscious, lush, luxuriant, luxurious, opulent, palatial, posh, rare, recherché, rich, ritzy, select, special, splendid, sumptuous, super, swank, swanky
Antonyms: inferior, poor

mrz Sat 11-May-13 13:11:50

oh and for some of the children I teach their posh dress could have been handed down many times or bought at a jumble sale ...

Periwinkle007 Sat 11-May-13 13:32:26

thanks Maria - that is the way round I THOUGHT it was but it has always confused me.

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