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Help needed to support dd with her literacy work

(18 Posts)
kid Tue 16-May-06 17:57:57

DD has always been fine with her work, never top of the class but within her targets. Well just recently she is slipping down and I really want to give her extra help. Can you recommend anything I can do? Her reading is fine, her handwriting isn't great but we are improving it slowly. She lacks imagination and any ideas she does have, she doesn't seem able to put them in writing. She does like using the computer and will often write a story on it, but the story is always about going to the park! She is 7 by the way.

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated

Whizzz Tue 16-May-06 18:05:18

Maybe talk to her more about other things - I assume going to the park sticks in her mind but could you talk about other trips out (even about going shopping) to improve vocab & imagination.

Maybe she could help to think what you need, write a list etc ?? Making lists may help her plan stories better ?

kid Tue 16-May-06 18:10:37

We can try that at home and see if it has any effect on her work, thanks. (We don't even go to the park often!)
She doesn't concentrate very well, actually thats not entirely true. She concentrates really well on what other people should be doing but not on what she should be doing

cheesecake Tue 16-May-06 18:10:48

Have you tried doing a mind map ( I dont think it is called this now )with her . Basically Who What Why When and Where . If you teach her this way of writing a story it gives her a plan on where to start and where the story is going . So spend 10 mins discussing Who was there ,What were they doing , Why were they doing it ,When did it happen and where was it happening . You get the gist but I have been doing this with my DS age 6 and it does work . Best of luck .

glassofwine Tue 16-May-06 18:11:34

Hi, Can't offer any help, but will be watching this thread as my DD is also having problems with her handwriting she's 6 in yr 2. We moved in the summer and the new school teaches joined up handwriting from the beginning, so my DD is having to catch up. She finds that because she had trouble writing she doesn't enjoy literacy and has told herself that she's no good at it. Would also welcome any help.

kid Tue 16-May-06 18:13:31

thanks cheesecake, sounds hopeful. I work in her class and am finding it so hard to stand by and watch her fall behind. She must be sick of the sight of me at times, especially when I do more work with her when she gets home.

bambi06 Tue 16-May-06 18:13:52

maybe find pictures of various objects and ask her to create a story around them or use photographs, anything visual as this helps

kid Tue 16-May-06 18:17:46

Just found something similar online but I can't print it out. I will use the idea though and spend a little bit of time each day going over it.
I think as she struggles with her handwriting I will work on getting to speak about her ideas before we tackle putting them in writing.

I knew MNers would come to the rescue!

robinpud Tue 16-May-06 18:21:05

kid- reading and writing are intrinsically linked , so you and your dd need to be reading lots of good rich texts together. Some she will read on her own, some she will need you to read to her and some to share. Non fiction texts are good too. Talking about what happens in each book helps to stimulate the acquisition of "story language." Is the difficulty in writing because she wants to have all the words spelt correctly and so uses boring vocabulary or is it because she is not enthused by the task? I would be wary of doing extra writing on top of what she is doing at school unless she really wants to. Better to talk to the teacher a little more, to encourage her with reading and language and to build her confidence. If you feel writing at home is really essential then scaffold the tasks as much as possible. How hard is it for an adult to write when confronted with a blank piece of paper.. do we ever do it?
Try retelling favourite stories, retell a fairy tale from a different character's point of view, write a letter to a story character e.g. Jack writing home to his mum from the top of the beanstalk. Make lists such as magic potions, favourite food with lots of describing words. Praise all her achievements.
As for handwriting, does using a gel pen help?
If you still have concerns then ask the school about als which is an extra boost in litercy for year 3 children. What is her target btw and what is she achieving? Hope that helps.

cheesecake Tue 16-May-06 18:22:06

You can get sheets to help with handwriting (sak reception teacher ) (no dont sack the teacher I am sure she is nice LOL ) I had to do all this stuff as I have a left handed boy who isnt keen on writing . The sheets really really helped they have wavy lines and such like they really help with pencil control and do work .well they did for me or should I say him .

kid Tue 16-May-06 21:59:05

DD is also left handed, I got her a special pencil (Yuropen) but it didn't help at all.
She enjoys reading but if she comes to a word she does enjoy reading but if she comes to a work that she doesn't know, she will just make a word up and continue reading even if it doesn't make any sense.
She enjoys the handwriting work as she has a handwriting book and can follow the lines easily, this is not the case when writing on plain paper (which I know is difficult) or even on large lined paper.

I just wish I could do more for her. When she was 3, the HV referred her for SALT which we attended once every 6 weeks for 1.5 years. She had delayed speech and langauge but I doubt this is a link with the problems she is having now.

Her level to achieve is 2B, her actual level she did achieve is 1C, or she might have just made a level 2C.

I really like the idea of retelling a fairy tale from a different character's point of view, write a letter to a story character e.g. Jack writing home to his mum from the top of the beanstalk. Make lists such as magic potions, favourite food with lots of describing words. Praise all her achievements.

Seeing as she struggles with the actual writing, would it still be beneficial if I write her ideas?

cazzybabs Tue 16-May-06 22:28:44

What about getting her to tape-recored some of her ideas, as well as you to scribe for her! Make sure you keep reading to her - can she adapt a story - for example in my class at the mo we are reading a Dick King Smith book and then the children have to pick an alternative anaimal, an alternative to what happens to that creature! Could you take her somewhere - like a musuem and talk about what would happen if statue came to life (for example) and then she could type it up on your computer. But basically if she dones't like writing don't force it - there are plenty of other ways to encourage creativity - puppet shows, small world role play, comic strips etc!

To help with the handwriting - could you scribe your shopping list, write notes, letters for you etc - give her practise at writing. A book I am reading at the mo says children as old as 7 should be using fat pencils (you know the ones I mean) to help with fine motor control and the correct grip or at least a pencil grip! Just to get her writing she could have gell pens etc to motviate her to write! Dot-to-Dot is also good for hand-eye coordination as is colouring in (to strenghen hand muscles).

HTH????

cazzybabs Tue 16-May-06 22:29:20

Sorry - am tired and meant could she scribe your shopping list

cat64 Tue 16-May-06 22:44:41

Message withdrawn

kid Tue 16-May-06 22:52:40

I am so grateful for all of the help given here. I like the long post cat64, so no need to appologise!

I am really going to get reading with her and creating our own stories together. I am fairly sure her writing is holding her back, she is criticised enough about it from me and the teachers I have been making more of an effort to pick out the nice hand writing in her work rather than the bad parts, she responds really well to that.

Her spelling isn't too bad, although that would be hard to believe having looked at her sats spelling test.
If you have anymore ideas or links to websites we could use that would be great. I do think we have enough to go on for now though.

I'm going to print this thread out so I can refer back to it.

robinpud Tue 16-May-06 23:14:18

kids- you don't mention when her birthday is. Is she one of the younger one in her class? Don't get hung up on these levels. It may be that there is 1 area which is tricky for her. Talk to the class teacher and see what her next learning step should be. something small such as writing in proper sentences. that will give you an idea. The children will shuffle about over the next few years. I have seen children who were 2a make very little progress over the next years at junior school.
Make sure that your daughter is using all her phonics and can break words down into their individual sounds ( not letter names)This will help her have an idea of unknown words. Try picking a really interesting picture from a favourite book and writing 3 or 4 sentences about what you can see. You can focus on key words so, I can see a swing. I can see a tree etc.Write alongside your daugher, let her see how you think about which words to use, how you check your spellings and how you read it through to ensure it makes sense. If you are going to write at home, just do a little and keep it fun. as regards the handwriting, joined up script is a subject of a lot of debate. It works for some and not for others. Is she tilting the book away from her? Do you have a graphic programme on the computer? Can she use the mouse to practice the movements- drawing swirly patterns etc forming the letters really big.
What ever you do, read to her lots and give her loads of positive feedback. share her writing with whoever you can and watch her blossom.

kid Tue 16-May-06 23:23:32

She is a January baby.
I know the levels can change so I try not to get too hung up on them. I watched her fall to a level 1a at the beginning of Year 2 and then back up to a 2c.
She does turn her book away from her when writing, not that the school did anything to help improve her handwriting other than tell her how bad it is. I researched and tried lots of tactics to help her with her handwriting, one of the best things I found was just to tell her to take her time. IMO its much better for her to do less work but for us to be able to read it rather than have a page full of scribble.

I would love to be able to report back here in a few weeks/months and say how much of an improvement she has made.

Tonight I have gone over some of the work they are doing tomorrow so she has a slight head start on everyone else I just hope it helps her stay focused rather than switching off and not understanding what she is meant to be doing.

kid Tue 16-May-06 23:23:52

(Blimey, my posts are long on here tonight!)

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