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Building a good foundation in reading – starting with VOWELS

Vowel Games

Learning letter sounds is one of the first steps in learning to read. And while most consonant sounds come easily to kids, vowel sounds can be an entirely different monster. For one, vowel sounds are not “felt” as much in the mouth as most consonant sounds, making it harder for kids to hear them. Vowel sounds can also be spelled several different ways, making reading and spelling them tricky {even for some adults}.

Vowels are the building blocks of words. By practicing to understand and hear vowels properly, you will also improve spelling; reading; speech; and comprehension.

Below are a few products to help your kids practice and master vowel sounds!

Vowel Owls – R520.00
Help students distinguish long from short vowels in single-syllable words using engaging picture cards. Sort the cards into the correct owls labelled with the vowels.

Short Vowel Dominoes – R410.00

Phonics Short Vowel Dominoes are a fun, hands-on way for beginning readers to practice word-formation skills and build their confidence on the road to reading success. Included are 84 dominoes with high-utility consonants (s, t, m, f, r, b, l, etc.) and 27 phonograms (word families)

Consonant-Vowel-Consonant Bones (40 in a pack) – R470.00

CVC short vowel words are the best place to start when children are learning to read. Because the patterns for short vowels are much more consistent than the patterns for long vowel words, making them easier read and spell. CVC words are the foundation of Phonemic awareness. They are used as the first step to sounding out and reading words.

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Pop games promotion

Pop for counting cards feature numerals and sets of objects for young children to count.

This week Learning Tools is promoting all the Pop games. Try Pop for Addition and Subtraction as a quick, fun game to practice these vital early maths skills. Kids love the game, and they won’t even realise the learning that is taking place while they play.

The pop for addition and subtraction is a fast-paced educational game that lets you spin to practice basic facts—keep the gumballs for right answers. Includes 90 math-fact cards (1–10), 10 POP cards, spinner and guide (printed on box) Two levels of play and three game variations for 2–4 players.

See our full rage of Pop games here.

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African Voice

African Voice |

Over the past 6 months I have developed 2 educational resources that are designed to facilitate critical thinking and help with second language acquisition. The rationale is that the same resource can be used for the younger child (aged 5 – 7) in mother tongue, and then in the older child (aged 9 – 12) in the second language. Both games use English, Afrikaans, Xhosa and Zulu. There are questions and vocabulary words, and how to pronounce the words too.

Conversation Station – This resource uses critical thinking questions to stimulate thinking, interest and conversation in the learners. Here the resource has 40 cards with pictures on the one side, and critical thinking questions on the reverse. The questions are repeated in English, Afrikaans, Xhosa and Zulu. As mentioned above – the idea is that Grade 1 learners use this resource to stimulate thought and conversation in their mother tongue. The same resource can then be used for the older grade to stimulate conversation in the second additional language.

  • The teacher, mother, care giver, granny holds the picture side up for the child (pupils?) and then asks the critical thinking questions.
  • The younger child then answers the questions in mother tongue, and the older children attempt it in the second language.
  • The questions are designed to stimulate critical thought. There are no right or wrong answers, it is the child’s interpretation.
  • There are also vocabulary words listed on the cards that the mother / teacher can point out in the picture to reinforce vocabulary.

Viva Vocab – The second resource is a flash card game with the top 250 vocabulary words (it also includes greetings and expressions) in English, Afrikaans, Xhosa and Zulu. On the one side is an image, and on the reverse the word in English, Afrikaans, Xhosa and Zulu. It has the syllabic transcription for each word so a person can attempt to say the word with a certain degree of certainty in pronouncing it correct.

• The parent / teacher either lays out the cards picture side up and kids say the words
• The Parent / Teacher can use them as flash cards