One of the hardest things as a teacher or a parent is to motivate your child to learn by rote. By this I mean things like sight words, times tables or number bonds. Children are usually interested initially, but then get bored. The thing with these little facts is that you have to keep plugging away at them until they eventually seep in, the only way to learn them is through lots of repetition and that can get really tedious for everyone.
During Christmas my daughter really hit a wall with learning some of her words. Up until then we only needed to look at them a few times and they would stick. She found the -th series of words really tricky. I think this is partly because she struggles a bit to say a -th sound but also because she had so many similar words to learn at once.
One of the ways we have tried to motivate her was through a word calendar. She loved her advent calendar so much and was really sad when we had to put it away so I thought this was a good way to get her interested in learning her words. Every day she has a new word from her list and if she has leant it by the end of the day she can have a small treat. It also helps me focus on what words she needs to learn, as it’s hard to remember when you have a busy home life and lots of other things to do.
To make a High Frequency Calendar we used a carry pack for stationary. This is one of those stocking filler presents which has colouring books and stickers in. You could just use a piece of card but the carry book is great because the picture is really colourful for the front and it is already folded in half with velcro tabs to stick it down.
All I did was draw small squares on the back and cut them out. Then write the words onto a piece of paper which I put in the back. This can be changed when there are new words to use.