Communication and language is one of the seven areas of learning in the Early Years and is broken down into three aspects which are speaking, understanding, listening and attention. The children take part in a range of activities that ensure they are using all three aspects including listening to stories, responding appropriately to what people say, by articulating and expressing their feelings and developing their own narratives and connecting ideas or events. Parents and Teachers play an important role in influencing and being a role model for children by providing opportunities for children to learn and develop communication and language skills. A toddler typically is able to state short sentences and answer simple yes or no questions. As your child approaches three years old continue reading and ask your child to point to different objects in each book. As they progress towards four and five year-olds ask your child to retell favourite stories and encourage questions. Encourage language development by asking your child to tell you a story. Write the story down, then have him or her to draw pictures to go with the words. Keep reading a variety of books and encourage him/her to tell longer stories by asking “what happened next?” Play rhyming games sing songs and read lots of stories.
Here are some of the learning that has taken place in our Early Years setting as Communication and Language is integrated into their topic, daily learning and book week.
The children in Nursery A are prompted to talk about current topics during self-registration using their names printed on topic related pictures. During circle time one of our many warmup activities are to swat and say topic words. At this point in the year children can listen to class instructions and independently follow two and three step instructions given verbally. During group discussions and shared reading, the children respond in full sentences and repeat key phrases and words out loud. During book week they explored the Mr. Panda books by Steve Antony. The focus of the books and of our Book week activities was highlighting good manners and good communication in a fun way. Our children recited key phrases in the books and made their own Mr. Panda speech bubble.
In Nursery B they read the book “The Gruffalo” and they brought the story to life using puppets that are characters in the story. After reading the story a few times they used story cards to put the story in the correct sequence and retold the story. The children got to choose which characters they would like to portray and retell the story. They played the game “I spy” the children had to describe an item to the other students using words to describe it. “l spy something blue” and the students took turns listening and guessing the correct answer. They went to the valley to search for the Gruffalo and the other characters in the story by looking for their footprints. We finished the week by making their own Gruffalo using paper plates paint and paper.
While learning about healthy eating they first learnt the vocabulary for food and ordering food, afterwards the children decorated their own paper cups and the teamed up with a friend and we made telephones using the paper cups and they had to call and order food and had to try order healthy food on the menu. During the phonic mornings the children had to listen to the letter and sound the teacher said and then had to find the small and capital letter of that word on their sheet of paper.