In Reception we use the Word Aware star approach (select, teach, activate and review) at the beginning of each whole class Literacy session to teach two nouns, an adjective and a verb each week.
We select words that the children need to learn to engage more deeply with a key literacy text, such as ‘invitation, celebrate’.
We have a lot of fun learning these words by clapping the syllables, coming up with an action and using the word in a word rap! We refer to and use these words throughout the week. The children receive an exciting ‘word aware sticker’ if they have used one of the words in context to encourage other adults and their parents to ask them about the word. The selected key words are placed into a word mat that is sent home each week with the children, to encourage the parents to support the them in learning this new vocabulary.
We are also learning one concept word a week in maths. The word is connected to the theme of mathematical learning, such as ‘first’. The Concept Cat helps us learn each concept word by telling us a story about the word. We also teach the concept word at the beginning of each whole class math session using the star approach. A concept word mat is sent home each half term to inform parents what key vocabulary to focus on with their child.
This approach has now been rolled out into our nurseries. In 3-4s they learn a concept word in maths and a key word during group time sessions, again using the star teaching approach. In 2-3s, we are using the star approach to teach one noun at a time in an area of provision, such as ‘spoon’ in the home corner!
If you see a child wearing a ‘Word Aware sticker’, don’t forget to ask them about the word!