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Literacy tips and tricks for parents

Started by Tessa Gray 03 Dec 2013 12:16pm () Replies (14)

Hi all, school's out on December 13th for some.

imageIt's a long break coming up, so any tips for sustaining reading and writing over the summer break, that's fun and could involve using e-tools at home?

For example, reading to a friend or family member via Skype. Any other top tips (reading, spelling, writing), nothing too rigorous, but a fun way to keep the momentum going?


  • Mark Maddren (View all users posts) 03 Dec 2013 12:27pm ()


    Creating a Tellagami avatar and reading to it, then listening to the Tellagami reading back, only 30 second bursts but good to practise fluency and easy to share to family via facebook.

  • Jason Ruakere (View all users posts) 04 Dec 2013 12:26pm ()

    Kia ora Mark,

    I discovered Tellagami at ULearn and have been using it since with my 5 year old. He loves it as it is creative, fun and simple to use. He created his own avatar and photograhed our marae for the background and recorded his mihi to welcome visitors onto the marae. It certainly has potential for Te Reo Māori and other languages. I am also interested in checking out Voki.


    Ngā mihi,

  • Chris McLean (View all users posts) 03 Dec 2013 12:31pm ()

    Hi Tess

    I suggest going to sunshine online http://www.sunshineonline.co.nz for audio books and activities.

    The free trial for New Zealand teachers and parents is still available until the end of January 2014.

    Login: sunshine2013

    Password: newzealand

  • Barbara Reid (View all users posts) 03 Dec 2013 12:57pm ()

    You can find some copies of the ‘Summer Slide’ pamphlets that Judith Woodham (RT Lit)  created and which can be useful to use with parents/ whanau at any time not just over our long summer break.

  • Alana Madgwick (View all users posts) 04 Dec 2013 9:40am ()

    Hi Mark,

    That Tellagami avatar sounds great! I have just had a look at the site.  I am thinking of recommending it to secondary students- do you think they will find it too young?

    Do you know of sites with something similar for teenagers? Anyone?


    Alana Madgwick

  • Catriona Pene (View all users posts) 04 Dec 2013 10:40am ()

    Hi Alana,

    I think it will appeal to teenagers, I have certainly used it successfully with Year 7 and 8 and they have loved it.

    Voki is an online avatar creator which has more options than tellagami and is web based so can be accessed from any computer. It has the added feature of over 25 langauges to choose from, ESOL useful?

  • Alana Madgwick (View all users posts) 04 Dec 2013 10:52am ()

    Great timing Catriona.  I will just change my secondary literacy community update now- you might like to build on the discussion in your e-learning update.

    Awesome sharing- thank you!!

  • Allanah King (View all users posts) 04 Dec 2013 4:29pm ()

    Here is my blog post about how you might use Tellagami with students.


    The app is not limited - it how you decide to use it that makes it what it is.

    The two examples at the Modification and Redefinition levelof the SAMR model are by secondary school learners.

  • Janette Hoggard (View all users posts) 04 Dec 2013 4:24pm ()

    This is a great way to collect everyones ideas to pass on to parents.  I've started a doc here that we will either include with a school newsletter or put on our website (both probably), feel free to add/copy. It's also got some of the "oldies but goodies" ideas from the Summer Slide pamphlets. (Should I credit the RT Lit who wrote them up?)

    Fotobabble is another easy, free app to use on the iPad or online - take a photo then record yourself describing the picture.

    Websites like Build Your Wild Self, Create-a-car and Hero Factory can be fun and creative to use, then talk/write imaginative stories about.

  • Lisa Allcott (View all users posts) 04 Dec 2013 5:54pm ()

    Hi ,

    There is useful information on National Library's Services to Schools website about the summer reading slide as well as help for parents on reading at home. Remember too, that lots of public libraries have great summer reading programmes for school students to participate in eg Dare to Explore which is Auckland City Library's programme. My son has done this for a couple of years and I'm sure it kept his reading level up over the long break.

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 05 Dec 2013 1:52pm ()

    This is awesome thank you everyone. I'm also loving the literacy links shared recently in the thread, What is Digital Literacy in the 21st Century? by Jacinda as well.

    Learning high frequency words are important too, so I love this little app, Spelling Test, because you can type and record the words to create a spelling list. Once your little child takes the test, it records/shows them which words they got right/wrong with a precentage for accuracy.

    Is this ok do you think or would you recommend they practice hand writing the frequency words as well?

  • Justine Hughes (View all users posts) 17 Dec 2013 9:07am ()

    Also a great idea to get them to create a blog to add their books to - and thoughts about the book if they want to.  They could also join a book discussion blog.  We have one that is part of our Literature Circles blog.  Anyone is welcome to join and comment.  The blog also has a lot of resources on the side bar, including author websites, interactive websites, etc - fun ways to get them - and keep them reading.


  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 26 Jan 2014 9:05pm ()

    I discovered Softschools.com over the holidays, which has a variety of web and paper-based activities for preschool and primary learning, in different curriculum areas.

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