Summer Spelling!

Mini Mouth is a new spelling game I’ve discovered (from the Happy Puzzle Company). Flip between 2-5 tiles, the first person to think of a word with the letters shown is the winner. I’ve also been making kids write down the word to work on their spellings.

For example for F and G, here are a list of words (from simple to more challenging): fog, giraffe, forgetful …   


Vocabulary Sparkle & Dazzle 

Vocabulary just became more ‘shiny’! I’m glad I kept this box. I’ve been using it for vocab sorting these last few weeks – kids love it! 

Colour, sparkle, and brightness always dazzle kids – keep your teaching this way! 🌟🌟🌟   


A Bookish Way to Learn About Questions

I love Richard Scarry books! 

This is a page from Best Bedtime Stories Ever. I’ve been using this book recently to help kids work on their question asking skills e.g. 

What is the fox on the train doing?

What is the cat teacher doing? 

Who is pushing something? 

It doesn’t matter if a child can’t read the words – it’s all about the language, descriptions and formulating an accurate question. 

How Many Words Should A Child Know?

The Language Fix

Comparing Estimates of Vocabulary Acquisition

Many estimates of vocabulary size exist, with variability being their one constant.  The difficulties inherent in measuring vocabulary size have not stopped multiple researchers from coming up with their own numbers, some of which I’ve summarized below.


Despite the almost inevitable variation, the studies that support these estimates have told us some important things, such as…

  • School age language acquisition occurs primarily through incidental experience more than formal teaching.
  • Word learning shifts from concrete and functional to abstract and unusual.  This shift occurs gradually from third grade through the high school years.
  • Environment matters.  Extreme environments extremely matter. 

There are many more of these studies than even what I’ve listed, and while I’m not saying I’ve seen it happen, it is possible that people could cherry pick ones that most support the point trying to be made.  Also, there is no consensus among anyone really, of what…

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Reading with kids: the story the pictures tell us 

This morning, I did some more ‘picture reading’ with a child. When you stop and look at the detail of pictures (minus the words), a whole new world of language opens up. 
Reading pictures is a skill in itself; it’s something to keep practicing even when children are in their first 2 years at school (ages 4-6). Through this practice a child can further develop his/her interpretation and prediction skills, which are both essential for creative writing skills at the next stage at school. (Picture taken from the book Rumble in the Jungle by Giles Andreae.) 


Spring has Arrived! 

Are you talking with your kids about the change in season? There’s so much to discuss:
– the yellow daffodils
– the pretty blossoms
– the lighter mornings
– more blue skies
– lighter clothing
Make your environment come alive by actively talking about it while you’re walking/moving around during the day. Sometimes it’s surprising what words children do not know from their everyday environment, words such as: blossoms, tulips, daffodils.