If you read the Literacy Series I ran earlier this year, you would know I am passionate about early literacy, particularly the phonics based approach.
I was thrilled to find out from a mum from school about the early literacy classes she teaches at a local centre in Deepdene (Balwyn). Love 2 Learn runs classes using resources from Little Learners Love Literacy® , which is a specially designed Australian literacy program aimed at getting children ready for a successful start at school.
The 4 year old and I went along to a “P-Plater” class today. Love 2 Learn have 3 different classes, you can read the full details here, but basically they are for 3-4 year olds, 4-6 year olds and 5-7 year old.
On a non trial class, I would not stay with the preschooler, but as this was his first time I stayed and was so impressed by the program, that at the end of the class we signed up for the rest of the term! We also bought the Milo’s Birthday Surprise book so we can start going over the sounds we have missed.
The class starts with some show and tell. The children bring in from something from home, that begins with the focus sound from the previous week. Today the kids all brought in something starting with “l”.
Then the very exciting Milo box comes out. The kids tap on the box and cannot wait to see what is inside.
The contents of the box all begin with the focus sound for the class. Fiona not only identifies the letter for the children (V), but discusses how to produce the sound correctly. In this case she described how our lips tingle and our mouths are closed when we are saying the sound V.
Each child takes something from the box and names it. The preschooler had violin.
Fiona was the teacher taking the class and she was fantastic at keeping the kids’ attention. Each week they look at a new page of the Milo’s Birthday Surprise book. Today Vicky the Vulture was being invited to Milo’s party.
The small class size means there are plenty of opportunities for each child to contribute. Each child took turns to find something on the page which started with “v” or find the letter “v”.
It was then time to get moving. A song is played about Vicky the Vulture and Fiona encourage the kids to be like Vicky – pretend to be vacuuming, playing the violin etc. As you can see, the preschooler thoroughly enjoyed this!
The children were then asked to find other characters they had met so far.
The next part of the session incorporates fine motor practice. The children do “rainbow letters”. They choose four textas and need to trace the letter from the correct starting point.
This was then followed up by colouring in Vicky the Vulture. The activity is not always the same, it could be cut and paste, etc but today’s focus was to try coloring in the feathers while staying in the lines. This activity provided lots of descriptive vocabulary for the kids as Fiona asked them would they like a small, medium or big eye and they needed to respond with the size eye they wanted to stick on to their vulture. What colour were they colouring the feathers?
I was thrilled with how much the preschooler wanted to do. The kids are encouraged to write their name if they can (he can’t) or even just try writing the first letter of their name. This was the first M the preschooler has drawn!
It was then back to the floor to chant the letter sounds the kids have been over in class already. The aim being letter-sound recognition and ensuring the kids are pronouncing each sound correctly.
The session finishes off with some more active learning, which is so important when keeping this age group engaged. Fiona would say the name of a child and then sound it out. The kids needed to clap and jump the syllables. The preschooler, while not really getting it completely this time, loved the activity and I could see the kids who had been coming a while were able to jump out the syllables.
Each child has a special Love2Learn bag. (We bought one so we could have everything ready for next week!) It contains a scrapbook and the kids take their sheets home from each class and paste them in.
Each child also gets to take a book home to read. The preschooler was so excited by this and when I asked the grade 1 to get his reader tonight, the preschooler said he wanted to do his first!
Fiona also said to the kids if they didn’t finish their colouring in, they might like to finish it at home. The preschooler sat down with the 9 year old after school when she was doing her homework and finished colouring his vulture in and pasted it in his book!
There is so much value in these classes! I am thrilled we found them and am looking forward to taking the preschooler back.
Love2Learn – The Details
Who: Love2Learn is run by Marita Fraser, a highly experienced paediatric Speech Pathologist. Classes are taken by Marita and two experienced teachers.
Location: 139 Whitehorse Rd, Deepdene, 3103
When: Love2Learn is a weekly, one hour class, run on a yearly basis. It is never too late to enrol your child in the course, as they catch up very quickly. A new sound-letter combination is taught each week. Classes are held every day, Monday-Friday.
What: Love2Learn aims to teach the children:
- alphabet sounds
- to learn the basics of reading
- recognise letters
- correct sound production/articulation
- correct writing of the letters
- how to share
- classroom skills
Cost: Payment is made in advance per term and is $220 for L-Platers and the rest are $250.
More information: love2learn.com.au or call Marita Fraser 0425 743 781
If you enjoyed this post, I would love it if you made a small donation to my 21 Challenge. Donations can be made directly here. All funds raised go to Open Family Australia who provide a range of Outreach services to young people experiencing high complex needs. Their focus is on homeless and at risk youth. Thank you!