Crick Software blog


Clicker for Early Years

17th May 2023

Recently, we ran a training webinar focusing on how Clicker can be used in the Early Years.

We had lots of interest in different literacy topics, including vocabulary building activities, speaking and listening activities, and sentence building. As a former EYFS teacher, it was great to see how many resources there are available within LearningGrids that can be used in an Early Years setting! We explored Little Red Riding Hood as an example, but there are thousands more ready-made resources, linked to many other stories, themes and topics.

Vocabulary building

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For vocabulary building, we started by looking at the Look and Read Matching Set. This resource is a great way to introduce learners to the key language they are likely to encounter in the story. Children can rehearse vocabulary by matching an image from the story to the corresponding word. This is a brilliant activity for children to complete independently after a teaching input, it’s such an engaging way for them to consolidate new learning!

Next, we looked at Clicker Books. These on-screen, speech supported books empower pupils of all abilities to read more independently. We began by exploring the Little Red Riding Hood Read a Book, which provides a more detailed version of the story combining images and text to engage your learners. To make this activity more accessible, children also have the option to hear the story read aloud.

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We then looked at the Read it Yourself book. These books are designed for children to read the text themselves, using a simplified version of the story to encourage independence when reading. For additional support, this resource can be edited to include a read button so children can use Clicker to read the story to them. I always enjoyed nurturing a love of reading in my classroom, and Clicker Books are a great way of encouraging this! They make reading fun for your learners and allow them to access a range of books independently.

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Speaking and listening

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Next, we looked at how Clicker can be used to develop speaking and listening skills. We began by looking at the Little Red Riding Hood Keywords activity. Children can listen to core vocabulary from the story and record themselves saying these words aloud.

Once learners are familiar with the key vocabulary and plot of the story, they can use this Tell the Story Talk Set to orally retell Little Red Riding Hood. This resource includes images from the story in sequence, learners simply click a picture and record their ideas using the microphone button.  When finished, children can listen to all the recordings to hear the story retold in their own words. This resource can be completed individually, in groups, or as a whole class!

Finally, we explored Clicker Boards. With this Describe the Characters activity, children can create profile mind maps of characters from the story. Children can type key descriptive words into text boxes and further expand on their ideas by recording a voice note. I would have enjoyed using this as a whole class activity with my Reception class, the children can contribute ideas whilst the teacher collates them on the whiteboard. This board can then be turned into a word bank to support learners further with their writing!

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Sentence Building

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For sentence building skills, we began by looking at the Clicker Sets available to support children of all writing abilities. First, we looked at this Sentence Set, which helps children to build a simple sentence word by word. This resource provides children with all the words needed to build their first sentence, with the words displayed in a random order. Learners click each word to bring it into the document and build their sentence whilst developing their understanding of sentence structure and word order.

If children come to a word or phrase they cannot decode, they can use the speech feedback to hear it read aloud. Once the sentence is finished and a full stop is added in, Clicker reads the sentence back to the children so they can listen out for any errors. For additional support when using the Sentence Set, children can look at the complete sentence to understand the correct sentence structure before having another go.

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Next we explored a Connect Set to support children with retelling the story of Little Red Riding Hood. This resource provides children with a scaffold to support the writing process and encourages them to independently experiment with a wider choice of vocabulary and sentence structures. This activity contains images from the story, so learners can choose when and how they want to illustrate their writing.

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It was fantastic to be able to share these ideas with so many of our customers. If you’d like more information on how you can use Clicker to support your learners in Early Years, you can:

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