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Complementing the curriculum

Complementing the curriculum

Mrs Wordsmith resources fit perfectly alongside children’s school learning.

With the help of our expert literacy advisors, we make sure that our resources complement and enrich what children learn in school.  Here are some ways in which our content complements the curriculum.


Vocabulary development

Curricula around the world focus on the importance of developing a rich vocabulary. 

  • For example, according to the Common Core State Standards ‘The importance of students acquiring a rich and varied vocabulary cannot be overstated’, and students need to be given opportunities to interact with words in repeated exposures, in a variety of contexts, and in playful ways.[1] 

Academic success is strongly correlated with vocabulary.[2],[3] One explanation for this is that knowing more words helps children to read with more ease which motivates them to read increasingly difficult texts. By reading more complex texts more fluently, children widen their knowledge on various topics, and perform better in all subjects. 

  • Interestingly, it’s reported that if as few as 2% of the words in a text are unfamiliar, children will find the text inaccessible.[4] This evidence highlights the importance of having a rich enough vocabulary.

Compliant with school goals, Mrs Wordsmith’s resources give children the opportunity to interact with a wealth of words, across a broad range of topics and in a fun way, making them more memorable and improving children’s oral fluency and reading skills.  

      Unlocking STEAM concepts

      The 21st century world is largely STEAM-driven (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics), so all children need to become familiar with related concepts from an early age in order to thrive in it. These subjects are in the main focus of education all around the world.

      • According to research, STEAM learning for children in preschool and early elementary school is most effective when it is coupled with interaction and play that helps them discover what concepts mean.[5] 
      • In order to understand STEAM concepts, kids need to acquire the right words, in contexts that clarify what they mean.
      • According to a recent research report, STEAM “amplifies language development”, while language “enables” STEAM thinking - as children engage in STEAM experiences, they hear and practice new words.[5]

        In this way, Mrs Wordsmith’s range of Epic resources includes numerous words for STEAM concepts. Some examples of STEAM words in the Epic Word Adventure and My Epic Life Dictionary include:

        • Words for numbers, shapes, and sizes
        • Words for technology and inventions, such as 3D printer, drone, robot, design, programmer, machine learning scientist, game designer
        • Words for the future of transportation, such as driverless scooter

        Accelerating children’s reading skills

        In addition to mastering words in spoken language, kids also need to become fluent readers and writers - that is, they need to develop literacy skills. Acquiring these skills is on of the main goals of the school curriculum in primary school.

        Thus, alongside more challenging words in Epic Word Adventure and My Epic Life Dictionary, we include simple, everyday words that children may already be familiar with in spoken language, to give them the opportunity to practice their reading skills.

        The activities in our range of Epic resources aim to help kids accelerate their reading skills by complementing what they are learning doing at school.

        • For example, through collecting letters for the Word a Day challenge in Epic Word Adventure, kids will familiarise themselves with the letters of the alphabet - an important first step on their way to confidently decoding words.
        • Through the Pound and Sound activity in Epic Word Adventure, kids will develop their phonological awareness - that is, they will develop an understanding that words consist of smaller sound-units, such as syllables, and onset (initial sound) and rime (the rest of the word) that can be set apart (segmenting) and put back together (blending) to form words. They will also learn in an interactive manner that these sound-units correspond to letters. According to literacy experts, phonological awareness is a crucial step toward reading fluency.[6] 
        • We also cover a number of sight words in our See it! Stick it! books, a few of which are also incorporated in the app. Sight words are common words that are often tricky to spell, and therefore difficult to decode. Literacy experts recommend that children learn what these words look like by heart in order to speed up their reading and enable them to focus on decoding less tricky words.

        Mrs Wordsmith’s digital and print resources are a fun and engaging way to support your child’s school learning. Explore our range!

         

        References

        1. Common Core State Standards For English Language Arts & Literacy In History/Social Studies, Science, And Technical Subjects. Common Core State Standards Initiative. Appendix A.
        2. Beck, I., McKeown, M. and Kucan, L. (2002) Bringing words to life: Robust vocabulary instruction. New York: Guilford Press.
        3. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. (2000). Report of the National Reading Panel. Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction. (NIH Publication No. 00-4769). Washington, DC: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
        4. Nation, I. S. P., (2006). How large a vocabulary is needed for reading and listening? Canadian Modern Language Review, 63, 59-82.
        5. Hadani, H. S & Rood, E. (2018) The Roots of STEM Success: Changing Early Learning Experiences to Build Lifelong Thinking Skills. Center for Childhood Creativity. Sausalito, CA.
        6. Chall, J. (1996). Stages of reading development (2nd ed.). Fort Worth, TX:Harcourt-Brace.

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