Name of tester: Kerri Hibberd
Title: Class Teacher
School name: Woodside Academy
Age of child: Three years old
Age of school class: Reception; ages four and five
Product Testing: Alphabet Acorns Activity Set
“Kerri has been a teacher for 11 years. She is currently the phonics co-ordinator at her school and works part time. The rest of the time she is at home with her 3 year old daughter.”
What were your first thoughts when the product arrived?
I was impressed with how colourful it was. My daughter was very excited and she couldn’t wait to get it out of the box.
How did you use the product?
With my daughter at home, we first found all the matching objects for each letter. She enjoyed using the resource so much that we used it every day for the next week. To extend her learning we tried to use the resource in different ways. We matched upper and lowercase letters and then found all three matching parts, the uppercase letter, lowercase letter and object. I also used this resource for phonics teaching. I chose a letter and asked her to find the object beginning with the same sound and then did this the other way around by choosing an object and asking her to find the matching acorn parts. As she is young and doesn’t know all her sounds yet she needed a little support.
How did you use this product in the classroom?
Within the classroom I used this resource in two different ways, first as an exploration activity for independent learning. I set it up with other outside objects and allowed the children to explore. Some children used it as a matching activity and matched the upper and lowercase letters while others tried to find the matching objects. As a teacher focus I used it as a matching the initial sound and object activity and was also able to assess the children’s phonic and letter knowledge.
What are the educational benefits of the resource?
There are lots of benefits to this resource as it can be used in different ways such as letter and grapheme correspondence, initial letter sounds, matching upper and lowercase letters and even sorting colours. There’s even more ideas in the box!
What did you like/dislike about the resource?
To make this even more appealing for schools I think an alternative ‘qu’ should be added. This will enable the resource to be used for phonic activities as well as alphabet activities. I loved this resource and it was very appealing to my daughter and children at the school. I liked the bright colours used and that the letters on the front of the acorn, lid and object all matched in colour so younger children, like my daughter, or less able children, could be told to look for a blue object that matched or a red top etc.
What is the long term appeal of the resource?
Very good as it also fits in with different topics and stories so can be linked to learning in lots of different ways.
Is the product unique?
The acorn idea is unique and appealing but there are other
products on the market for matching objects and letters.