As teachers we have a responsibility to provide children with rich opportunities to talk.
Tizard and Hughes (1984) state that by the age of 3 or 4 dialogue is as important as physical exploration.
So how do we cultivate the best classroom conditions for talk in the early years?
Make the classroom environment relaxed and home like.
Have small enclosed areas sectioned off in the classroom for different types of playful engagement.
Drapes and soft furnishings to absorb background sounds.
Remove background sounds during play e.g cd players and bells
Have long periods for play
Give opportunities for collaborative learning in small groups.
Value pupils sharing of stories or news
Make use of real experiences like trips and outings
If you do one thing with your child today…read them a poem! It is World Poetry Day after all.
I love poetry and I love the if app. A little pricy but well worth £2.99 in my opinion and 10% of the sales of the iF Poems App goes to help the work of Save the Children.
You can search for poems in 12 categories, including Tell Me A Tale, Humour & Nonsense, When You Need Help, and Bedtime. Or you could search by the age groups 0-6, 7-12 and 13+.
If you are aren’t confident with poetic reading, get this app. It has pre recorded poems that are read by highly acclaimed actors such as Helena Bonham Carter, Bill Nighy, Tom Hiddleston and Harry Enfield. It is a real bonus to hear the expression and tone of the actors. Super modelling for children (and adults!)
If you are confident you can record yourself or your children saying the poems. You could given email the recording to parents or grandparents. See Noisy Literacy for further talking and listening ideas.
The treasury of poems can also be used as a basis for language and writing lessons.