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Eye Spy for Literacy

Eye Spy Literach YouTube play

This vlog gives you some information around how you can help your child improve their literacy skills while playing a fun game that can be played anywhere, anytime.

You can watch the vlog or read the text below – note it won’t match the video exactly but has basically the same information in it.  In the vlog I am able to demonstrate things a little better.

Once you have watched the vlog or read it don’t forget to download our freebie Black and White Alphabet Chart that will give you an excellent tool to use with your child learning or consolidating their letter and sound recognition.

Click here for your free black and white alphabet chart to use with your child. Download Now

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Eye Spy  Vlog original script text.

Welcome to my vlog series where I give you some tips and strategies for improving a child’s literacy skills while having fun and quality time with your child.  There has been a bit of a break since my last vlog. Christmas holidays and the start of the new term seemed to have gone by in a flash. Happy New Year to you all. Let’s hope 2020 is amazing.

After many years teaching literacy, I have noticed that many games that once were played a lot seemed to have gone by the wayside in recent years, forgotten, and it is a pity because these were great learning tools and fun to boot.

The topic I wanted to cover today is the use of on old game ‘eye spy’ to help improve literacy.

Eye spy is a game that has been around for so long and is wonderful to play at home or while traveling in the car.  I remember playing it for hours on long country road journeys when I was young – no Ipads or dvd players then.

When children are old enough to spell, we often do the – eye spy with my little eye something starting with ‘t’ etc.  The child looks around and finds the name of something nearby that is spelt starting with the letter ‘t’. When they have solved it they then get to ‘eye spy with my little eye something beginning with…”

But there are younger versions as well.  When a child is learning their colours you can do “eye spy with my little eye something that is ‘blue’ etc. The child looks around nearby to find something that is the colour ‘spied’.

You could also do a version picking out something that makes a particular noise ( eye spy something that makes the noise …) or that does something that you can describe (eye spy something that is long and black …… ) so they have to work out what it is you are giving the clue for.

These are all excellent ways to encourage children how to use the process of elimination to find an answer and general problem solving skills.

When you are encouraging a young child to learn their letter sounds you can play “eye spy with my little eye something that starts with the sound ‘c’(sound not name). Again you encourage them to find an object that, if they listen carefully when they say its name, they will be able to extract the first sound of that name. eg. C – car.

The ability to hear and extract the first sound in a word is a skill that we need to develop and use to help give a child easy access the sounds of the letters.

With an alphabet chart with pictures accompanying each letter in front of them they can name the picture, extract the first sound and know that that is the sound of the letter, speeding up their access to the letters and their use of sounds in a word.

Be careful when you choose an abc chart for this, for example you do not want a picture of an owl for the letter ‘o’. This starts with the sound ‘ow’ and that is not the sound of the letter ‘o’ is. Much better to have a picture of an orange as this word starts with the sound of the letter ‘o’.

Attached to this vlog is a download for free of our Reading for Sure alphabet chart. You are welcome to download this but please for personal use only.

Children need to understand that a letter has a name and a sound and that for reading we use the sound. Playing games is a great way to practice this.

All the family can join in these games either at home or while travelling in the car. It is a fun way to pass the time and the children will learn valuable skills at the same time. When children sit and stare at a screen, they do not even notice the world around them, which shows when it comes to school. Children who are buried in screens watching the same thing over and over again often lack general knowledge. General knowledge enables us to understand what we are reading. Keep your eye on the road and travel safely and enjoy the journey.

Developing Listening Skills for Literacy

Phonemic awareness seems like a new buzz word but it is not. Scientific studies have shown that to achieve the highest level of reading and literacy, being able to hear the individual sounds in a word is a must.

The following video is designed to give you some hints and tips to help your child develop these listening skills and encourage them to say the sounds clearly as well.

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Download all of this PDF to help you practise some of the skills demonstrated in the video with your child.