Earlier this term, my daughter brought home a list of Year 1 common exception words that her school would like us to practise spelling with her.
Whilst we have spent some time writing these out, we realised during lockdown that she engages more enthusiastically with tasks like this when we approach it in different ways and bring Clicker into the mix!
First, I created a quick Matching activity where she could listen to the target word and then try to match it with the correct choice from the list. She really enjoyed being able to work her way through this independently.
Next, I opened LearningGrids and selected the ‘Word List One A – Z’ resource - a speech-supported Word Bank containing common words that early learners are likely to meet during their reading, including common exceptions.
For each word, my daughter started off by trying to find it in the Word Bank. If she got stuck, she was able to have Clicker read the choices out to her. Once she’d found it and had a look at it, we minimised the Word Bank and she attempted to spell it out using Clicker’s lowercase onscreen keyboard. Every time she completed a word, Clicker read it out to her, offering an opportunity to check if she was correct. This also encouraged her to attempt the next word.
Young emergent writers (particularly left-handed ones like my daughter and myself!) can find the process of physically writing quite arduous at times. Clicker enabled us to strip the activity right back and focus purely on the core learning objective of reading and spelling target words. It’s also a lot easier to go back and change things when you make a mistake, which is particularly useful for my child as she gets frustrated when she ‘spoils’ her writing with crossing out or smudges.
Most importantly, she was really proud of what she managed to achieve, was eager to practise her spellings again the next day and is making great progress.
I think that’s one of the best things about Clicker – you can take any topic or learning objective and in a matter of minutes watch a child experience real success as they access it at a level that’s just right for them, in a way that they find fun!