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Trinity News : July 2008
THRASS (Teaching Handwriting Reading and Spelling Skills) in Kindergarten The Kindergarten boys are enjoying working with their THRASS charts in the classroom. THRASS is an interactive, multi-sensory teaching tool designed to develop handwriting, reading and spelling skills. THRASS is based on the 44 phonemes (speech sounds) of spoken language and the graphemes (spelling choices) of written English. These inter-related skills build on each other to increase the students’ knowledge and understanding of the relationships between the 44 phonemes and the 26 letters of the alphabet, which are the key to successful reading and literacy. The boys participate in a number of games and activities to familiarise themselves with the THRASS chart so that they can locate the position of the 120 THRASSWORDS on the chart that demonstrate spelling choices. The teachers have been most impressed with the speed in which the boys have acquired the skills to apply their THRASS knowledge increasingly independently. There has been a remarkable improvement in the boys’ ability to make accurate and reasonable spelling choices in their writing. They are more confident to listen to the sounds in words, translating phonemes to graphemes. A favourite game is ‘stepping out’ the phoneme boxes on the THRASS floor mats bought for each Kindergarten class with money raised by Year Six 2007 to buy a gift(s) for the school. They also enjoy matching ‘Hot Words’ (high frequency and thematic words) with the pictures on the THRASS chart. Throwing a beanbag on the THRASS mat and identifying phonemes and THRASSWORDS is also fun! So that the Kindergarten parents can consolidate these skills at home the parents were all invited to a presentation called “An Introduction to THRASS” so that the skills being learnt at school can be practised at home. The boys keep a THRASS chart at home to refer to when writing all those letters, stories and lists we encourage them to write even when they’re not at school! THRASS is now an integral part of the daily routine in the Kindergarten to Year Two classrooms. Pre Kindergarten will start THRASS in Semester Two. Anni Sandwell | Director of Early Childhood Ceramics in Kindergarten In May 2008 ‘Ceramics in Schools’ visited the Kindergarten classes. The boys have been investigating different types of simple and complex machines in our Unit of Inquiry ‘Magnificent Machines’. They have been curious to learn how some of these machines work. The Kindergarten boys enjoyed manipulating the clay. They experimented with various construction techniques including pinching, rolling, joining and forming shapes to create individualised planes and helicopters. They look amazing! The boys are now looking forward to glazing their artworks with a range of colours. top: Terrence Hung (KG) and Spiro Christopoulos (KG) find THRASSWORDs on the floor mat. bottom: Thomas Bozionelos (KG) uses his THRASS chart to help with his writing. Connor Debs (KH) Pre-K Activities This term Pre-Kindergarten have been exploring the Unit of Inquiry “Remember When.” We have participated in a variety of activities including playing some ‘Olden Day’ games. Hopscotch, quoits, noughts and crosses, skipping and hoops were some of the games we enjoyed. Karen Oliver Edward Dam (KG) left: Matthew Chen - Hopscotch, Samuel Yan waits his turn (PKB) right: Lakshman Sundararajah and Adrian Lo play noughts and crosses (PKGO) TRINITY NEWS 35