Friday 8 September 2023

Listening Chests


One of my schools was extended recently and has increased from single form entry to 1.5 form entry.  This year, for the first time, there are 45 children in Year 2 and 45 in Year 1.  Also for the first time, there is a mixed age class - Year 1/2 - alongside Year 1 and Year 2.  Previously I have always taught "pure" Year 1 and Year 2, so now have had to formulate a new scheme of work with 2 cycles, to cater for the mixed class.  I'm teaching it to all of Key Stage 1.

I'm beginning with a brand new Pirates unit, using my maxim of "the usual in an unusual way".  The children in current Year 2 can already count to 10 and know 6 colours, but the new Year 1s only started Spanish this week.  This term we will be learning greetings, saying your name, numbers to 10, and 11 colours, using Pirates as the theme.  Therefore the Year 1 children will learn what they need to, and the Year 2 children will recap some learning and learn something new, using a different context to before.

I've had to think of some different activities to usual for this reason.  One of them is Listening Chests.

I'm going to give each pair of children one of these cards with treasure chests on.  Definitely 4 chests for Year 2, 3 for Year 1 and we'll see how the mixed class gets on.

Let's use colours as an example, and 3 chests.  Ask the children to tell you which chest the colour red is in.  Then you say 3 colours: amarillo, rojo, azul.  You said rojo second, therefore the colour red is in the middle chest.  The children listen and point to the chest where the colour is.

This can be used for all sorts of different language areas.  I can see it being useful for phonics: show children a grapheme, then say 3 different phonemes or words, and they have to say which chest the grapheme is in.

You also don't need a special chests card to do this activity.  It could be as simple as the children quickly drawing 3 boxes on their mini whiteboard and using those instead.  A low tech and low prep activity.

If you are interested in my Pirates unit for Key Stage 1, I have already uploaded the first resources:

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