Wizzy’s Words AEL (Active Early Learning) OVERVIEW & Set 1
For SET 1 | A-F | BABY STAGE ONWARDS | THE FIRST BUILDING BLOCKS FOR AEL
See blog posts 38 to 43 and corresponding videos | Sets 2-5 to follow
AEL O V E R V I E W
Wizzy’s Words | Early Learning in ACTION | Birth to 5+
Rhymes to promote bonding, development & reading and learning readiness
Laying the foundations for language development and learning
Wizzy’s Words | A social not-for-profit initiative/resource, developed and published to support early years development and learning readiness. A book of 70 rhymes for today, based on research and validated child and language development data*. The rhymes contain the key spoken vocabulary that if developed before school or at the earliest opportunity, is associated with successful learning outcomes. Furthermore, active, early exposure to rhyme and its rhythm promotes physical development and rhythm perception both of which contribute to successful, healthy, early and lifelong learning, so...
Wizzy’s Words Active Early Learning (AEL) #freeresources for #earlychildhooddevelopment & #learning are being developed too | Further research* together with requests from parents, childcare providers and educators indicated the need for a sharper focus on twinning rhymes with actions for optimal development and learning readiness. Therefore, a selection of rhymes, taken from Wizzy’s Words book of rhymes, will be used to create Wizzy’s Words AEL resource sheets. Each sheet will indicate if it is generally focusing on the baby (prenatal and from birth to walking), toddler (building on walking up to age 3), preschooler (building on previous stages as appropriate and generally from age 3 to 5) or early years foundation stage (overlapping and building on the previous stages as appropriate and beyond the preschooler stage to 5 and beyond). The stages are not prescriptive and should be seen as a guide. A child that enjoys a rhyme should continue to enjoy reciting and adding actions to it whilst gradually being presented with more challenging rhymes to facilitate progression.
The resource sheets will include the rhyme title, number and key spoken vocabulary as presented in Wizzy’s Words book of rhymes. Wizzy’s Words rhymes contain the oral vocabulary that if developed before school entry is an indicator for successful lifelong learning. Each rhyme is presented with suggested actions in line with developmental milestones. Sharing the rhymes from the resource sheets regularly from birth will lead to the natural development of language, development across all areas of child development and subsequent learning readiness (see below), as a child moves from hearing to saying to singing and moving to rhymes. The resource sheets will be freely available on the Wizzy’s Words website – www.wizzyswords.co.uk and can also be downloaded from the TES early years resources platform.
It is important to note that although infants generally follow the same developmental path, they do this at different rates. Use Wizzy’s Words AEL resource for language play at an infant’s developmental rate and add in increasingly challenging rhymes as appropriate. At his stage the aim is to develop the oral language for successful development and learning in a fun and active way, paving the way for later reading and writing.
From baby to toddler to preschooler to early years foundation stage and beyond
ACTIVELY sharing appropriate, increasingly challenging rhymes with infants from birth promotes:
> Parent and infant bonding (a basis for co-regulation and self-regulation)
> Listening and speaking (communication and language development)
> Physical development (gross motor and fine motor development)
> Cognitive development (thinking, discovering, problem solving…)
> Social and emotional development (relate to adults & others/recognize & manage feelings)
> Knowledge and understanding of the world (and its vocabulary)
BUILDING physical and mental health and school, reading and learning readiness
The holistic role of rhyme in childhood development and learning
Whilst language can be seen to be the basis for development across a number of the domains of child development, research shows the importance of adopting a holistic approach to child development. Rhymes with their simple repetitive language and rhythms are an ideal holistic learning resource. For example, indoor and outdoor experiences and physical activity promote healthy learning and lifestyles. Rhymes and language play should be taken outdoors at every opportunity.
Regardless of when a child meets developmental milestones, a general pattern can be used as a guide. Importantly, developing gross motor skills, i.e., progressing through physical developmental milestones, is vital for the development of fine motor skills. For example, using a pair of scissors or holding a pencil requires the use of fine motor skills. Furthermore, if the stages of gross motor skill development are neglected, not only is a child less able to accomplish fine motor skill development but they are also more susceptible to physical injury throughout their lifetime. Where children may have missed out on developing key gross motor skills or need fuller support to develop them, rhymes provide an ideal resource for doing this.
Research* shows that the eye contact used in early interactions (at the developmental level of the child, not forced) together with/or close body contact and actions that promote development of both hemispheres of the brain support healthy child development. Furthermore, actions that then start to involve crossing the midline (e.g., right hand to left knee tapping and vice versa) are important. This developmental skill is involved for example in tracking and hitting a ball in sport, writing from left to right and everyday skills for example using both hands to put on socks or shoes. You will notice that the suggested actions incorporate these findings.
The aim of Wizzy’s Words is to provide a practical, accessible, universal and educational resource for parents, child care providers and educational practitioners, that can be used to support and promote early childhood development and therefore learning. It arose from my classroom practice where I saw children entering school ‘unready’ for reading and learning and then often not being able to access the benefits of education. My research confirmed that ‘This matters because when you’re behind from the start you rarely catch up’ (Hinds, 2018, Secretary of State for Education)
Simple overview for sharing rhymes
*To request a copy of the research that Wizzy’s Words and its EAL resources are based on please send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact button on the Wizzy’s Words website
Wizzy’s Words #freeresources are based on a standalone selection of rhymes
If you decide to buy the book (follow the link to find your preferred retailer (RRP £9.99 – BUT see offers)
DO NOT LEAVE IT ON THE BOOKSHELF!
Keep it in & around the toybox, house, garden, nursery, classroom… for regular, active, fun, language play
You can follow Wizzy’s Words on all the usual social media channels