About The Class
Little Letters has been developed by, and is completely planned and led by me – Clare. I am a qualified specialist Early Years teacher. I have based Little Letters on my experience and knowledge of phonics and the Early Years from the past decade. All of my activities are in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage and are a brilliant way to enhance your child’s learning right up until they start school.
Whilst the exact nature of the activities varies from week to week, they are all based around 4 core areas.
Each class starts and ends with music. Singing, dancing and playing musical instruments is not just great fun but they are all excellent ways to learn and develop important skills. Listening and attention skills are developed through joining in with singing, copying patterns, picking up rhythms and in turn playing in time with music. These skills help with reading and writing – being able to hear and pick out syllables and sounds in words. Dancing to music helps all of these also but with the addition of developing gross motor skills – large movements to improve balance and coordination, which will lead to better fine motor skills needed for mark making and eventually writing.
Letters and Sounds
Developing familiarity with letters and the sounds they make will help your child with reading and writing before they get to school. Your child may already know a few sounds like the first sound of their name or “m” for mummy. They may recognise things like shop logos, car badges and makes – all of these are types of early reading. As your child develops they will recognise their name written down, family member’s names and signs in their local area like the street they live on.
Making marks is an important precursor to writing. Marks can be made with/on/in all sorts of things like: mud, paint, sand, pencils, pens, rice, paper, chalk, water, shaving foam, flour and even tomato ketchup! The list goes on! Your child’s marks may not mean much at first but before long they will give meaning to them. A circle could be a face, a few squiggles could be an attempt to write “mummy”.
Moving and Handling
Playing with things like rice, sand, water and play dough helps to develop fine motor skills. Using fingers or tools like tweezers and scoops alongside different objects can lead to a world of imagination. A few kitchen utensils in a tray of rice can quickly become a chef’s kitchen. A few toy diggers and dumper trucks in a tray of Cheerios turns into a building site. While this play is going on it’s an excellent chance to develop not just your child’s fine motor skills but language and creativity skills too. Playing with play dough is excellent for building up hand and finger strength. Squashing, squeezing, rolling, pinching, pushing, pulling and poking all help develop the strength needed for more difficult fine motor tasks such as correct pencil grip or being able to do up buttons.
Hello, I’m Clare! I’m a specialist Early Years teacher, mother to William and Eloise, and lover of pizza. I’ve been teaching for over 7 years, most recently teaching in one of the best schools in West Berkshire.
Little Letters was born out of my love of teaching phonics and my love of music. It made sense to me to combine the two. I have created a class that encourages children to develop skills they need for reading and writing as they approach school.