About msfielding

I'm a Reading Recovery teacher at St Albans East PS.

Where are the eyes looking?

My new students will begin the formal lessons of Reading Recovery this week which includes doing homework each day.

You might notice that some children are very good at looking at the pictures to gain meaning and to ‘read’ sentences that make sense, but they do not notice that some (or all) of the words being said do not match the look of the words on the page. These students need to learn to look more closely at the print and to use it, rather than making up their own stories based on the pictures.

Often these students look at print in the same way as they look at a picture, i.e. their eyes search randomly from 1 spot on the page to another in varying directions. This is OK for searching pictures, but not for writing as we need to look from left to right across a page (usually with a return sweep) in order to make sense of the print.

Students who do not pay much attention to the print also tend to add or leave out a word or two per page. I encourage these students to point to each word as they say it until they have the 1:1 matching of spoken and written words under control. For a very short time I might point to the words and read along with the student.

During the lessons the students are shown to look through print from left to right in a variety of ways, e.g.

  • Look across a row of magnetic letters and quickly say the letter names in order from left to right.
  • Make a known word with magnetic letters. (1 letter at a time is given to the child in the correct order.) After the word is made the student slides a finger from left to right under the word as it is said aloud.
  • Sweep a finger from left to right under a sentence as it is read aloud. (Or point to each word.)
  • Reassemble a cut-up version of the child’s writing. (Word cards are in a random order. The child searches for each word according to the order of the original sentence.)
  • Write known words on the whiteboard. Emphasize that letter order is important. ‘hte’ is not the same as ‘the’. See Direction Is Important.

  

If your child is looking at the picture while he / she is ‘reading’ remind the child to look at the print. You might say ‘Point to the 1st word. Get ready to say it’ . If a word is added or left out you might ask him / her to reread whilst pointing to each word and ask “Did you have enough / too many words?” If he / she reads an error that does not look right you might say- eyesYou read here (home). Slide your finger under the word as you say it. Does it match? (no) Where are they going? (home) Slide your finger under the word and say home. Does it match? (yes) How do you know? (There’s an m.)

I remind the students that they have to read the author’s words. They can compose their own stories during writing time.

 

Making a book

Over the past week one of my students has made a book called ‘About My Family’. She finds this to be easy to read (compared to the purchased books that she also reads) because she composed it, and therefore it is very meaningful to her.

Every day she added a new page. She dictated the sentence to me and then she drew a picture to go with it.

 

 

 

 

 

Each day she remade a jumbled version of the new sentence. Sometimes she could remake it without looking at her book. Sometimes she had a peek to remind herself of what came next.

 

 

 

 


Each sentence had been written in a different colour. She had to sort her words into separate colours before she remade them.

 

 

 

 

 

She grew in confidence as she became faster, and more accurate on her own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eventually she had 5 sentences that she could easily read and remake herself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She is learning to sort the words in different ways, e.g. words that are exactly the same, and words that begin with the same 1st letter. (You may notice that she has missed a few matches in the following example, but she may notice next time!)


Eventually she will be able to take this book back to her classroom where she can keep it in her book box and read it to herself, and to others.

Beginning Reading Recovery

The new RR students will be will be busy over the next 2 weeks Roaming Around The Known. They will have the opportunity to settle into the program, and to feel confident as they stay within the bounds of what is already known. During this time they are not yet challenged to learn new skills. (But they probably will!)

You can read more about Roaming by clicking on the following links:
Roaming The Known
Roaming The Known 2
Making I Like Books
Making I Like Books 2

The activities that each student does will depend upon his / her capability. Here are just some of the tasks that my students may experience.

Building up a box of easy to read books for each student. Sometimes the teacher does most of the reading. Sometimes the student takes over all of the reading.

 

 

 

Revising known letters, sounds and words. The student sorts known letters, plays letter games and may make a sound book or a sound chart. Sound boxes may be introduced.

       

 

Making a book. The student dictates a page each day and draws a picture to go with it. The sentence is also written on a strip of card which can be cut up for the student to put back together. The words can be sorted in different ways.

 

Shared writing. The student composes a sentence and writes the letters / words that he / she knows.

Each activity prepares the student for the formal Reading Recovery lessons that begin after the 1st 10 days of Roaming.

 

2018 Welcome back

The Reading Recovery door is open indicating that we are back and ready to start another busy and productive year.

Welcome to the SAEPS Reading Recovery blog. St Albans East Primary School will again be running Reading Recovery with 2 trained RR teachers. We look forward to working with our new students and meeting the carers who will be encouraging and supporting them at home.

 

Students in Year One have been tested and selected to be in the first Reading Recovery intake. There were also some students who did not quite finish their series of lessons by the end of 2017 and they have resumed their lessons. Carers of the newly selected Reading Recovery students will be contacted shortly to meet with us to discuss the program and the homework requirements. We can still be found in Room 12 (opposite the Performing Arts room) in Building 2.

I have repeated the beginning of the year information from 2017 as it is still relevant:

This blog has quite a lot of information for carers (and teachers). You can browse throughout the site, or search for a topic by using the Categories To Search drop box on the right hand side of the screen, or you can use the Search box in the top right hand corner.

Helpful information for the start of the year can be found by clicking these links:

What is Reading Recovery?

What is an Observation Survey?

Roaming The Known

Homework

Ms Dianne Fielding

Farewell Deb Hicks

Today is the last day that Ms Deb Hicks is at SAEPS and it is a sad day indeed. She has been an amazing e-Learning coach. Without her this blog would certainly not exist.

Deb was VERY patient in teaching me all that I needed to know. I was definitely not her easiest to teach pupil.

Thankfully (for everyone) Deb made the mysteries of technology manageable over many months. She was always cheerful when confronted with technological drama and and mini meltdowns. From iPads to Pinterest to blogging, Deb has been a constant mentor.

Thank you so much Deb. I wish you well in your new role in town and hope that you are greatly appreciated!

Slainte mhath Sassenach!

 

End of Year 2017

Another school year is quickly coming to a close. There is the excitement of new grades and teachers, class parties and holiday celebrations.

Reading Recovery teacher, Mrs Bowen, has been busy compiling the SAEPS Reading Recovery Annual Report.

 

The following information is taken from the 2018 report:

  • 16 Grade 1 students accessed Reading Recovery during 2018.
  • The average text level of the students at the beginning of their program was Level 2.
  • The average text level of the students at the end of their program was Level 17.
  • The average text level of the students at the end of the year was Level 18.
  • 2 students will complete their program in Term 1 2018.

Congratulations to all of the students who were committed to their own progress and made the most of each learning opportunity. Thank you to the parents who encouraged and praised their children, and supervised the daily homework.Thank you to the classroom teachers for your interest and collaboration, and thank you to the leadership team for your continued support of Reading Recovery at SAEPS.

Comic conversation

I have been reflecting on some of the discussions that I have had with my students during the year. We always talk about a new book before the student attempts to read it for the 1st time. I usually ask questions to find out if the student has had similar experiences, and will understand what is happening in the story.

 Here are just a few snippets of our conversations:

Me: It’s time for the three pigs to leave home and make their own houses.
Student: Who’s that?
Me: Who do you think? (It was Mother Pig who was wearing an apron.)
Student: The maid.
 
Me: The Big Billy Goat Gruff butted the troll off the bridge.
Student: He didn’t hit the troll with his butt. Look. See the big horns. He did a big push with his horns. Horns would hurt.
 
Student: My mum wanted to call the new baby Rose but my dad didn’t like it.
Me: What did Dad want to call her?
Student: Patrick
 
Student: Why are the plant eaters (dinosaurs) hiding in the water, and the forest?
Me: Because they don’t want T-Rex to get them.
Student: T-Rex only eats meat.
Me: Dinosaurs are made of meat.
Student: Only meat eaters are made of meat.
Me: Plant eaters are made of meat too.
Student: No, you are not understanding. Plant eaters only eat plants so they’re made of plants. T Rex won’t eat them.
 
Me: Triceratops is a long name so you can just say Tri every time you see that name.
Student: I’m going to call him Rose.
 
Me: What did you just call T-Rex?
Student: Team Red. He’s got a new name too.
 
Me: Does the tooth fairy come to your house?
Student: Only when she wants some teeth.
 
Me: Does the tooth fairy come to your house?
(Different) Student: Yes! My dad pulled my tooth out and it hurt and there was a little bit of blood!
Me: And did the tooth fairy come?
Student: She put $5 in Mum’s bag.
 
Me: Do you think that the mouse should be allowed to eat the bread?
Student: Yes
Me: But only Duck and Rabbit helped Magpie. The mouse wouldn’t do any of the jobs to make the bread.
Student: The mouse was too little. Little kids don’t do the food. It’s not fair if the mums and dads don’t feed them.
Me: The problem wasn’t that the mouse was too little. The mouse was too lazy to help.
Student: Look at it. It’s little.
Me: Maybe they gave some bread to the mouse later.
Student: They have to because that’s the law.
 
Thank you to all my students who enlighten me with their wisdom, and provide quite a few chuckles along the way.

 

Observation Survey

What is the testing that the Reading Recovery teachers are busy doing in preparation for writing reports? It is the Observation Survey. If you are interested you can read some previous posts I have written about it.

What is an Observation Survey?

End of Year Testing

Changes over time in HRSW

Decoding and Comprehension

Giving the Observation Survey (for the purposes of writing the reports) prior to the final testing for the end of year data gives me an opportunity to see what further learning needs to happen during these last few weeks.

Even though it is close to the end of the school year, please do not keep your child away from school more than is necessary.

Thanks

 

Testing times

It’s that time of the year again! The frantic testing and writing of reports signals it’s time for the picture on the left to make another appearance.

Most students are very close to finishing Reading Recovery and they are trying to do as well as they can before they are discontinued.

 

Some of the students may not be quite ready to finish their series of lessons by the end of the year so 1 or 2 will possibly continue at the beginning of 2018 when they are in Year 2.

The Reading Recovery students who finished earlier in the year are currently being tested so that this information can be added to their reports. The results so far have been very pleasing. Soon I will also be testing the current students for their reports. These students will continue with their lessons after this testing for as long as possible before their final testing when they will either be discontinued or carried over into next year.

Homework, especially reading, should still be happening every day. It’s not the holidays yet! (Unless your name is Melissa and you are getting married on Friday! Have a great day!)

The 1st word can be the hardest

There’s a song that says that ‘sorry seems to be the hardest word’. Well I think that the hardest word is often the first word of a sentence. Why? Because there is little or no context (meaning or structure) to support the look of the word.

If your child is stuck on the first word of a sentence don’t think that you’re doing the wrong thing if you just tell him / her what it is to move the reading along.

Sometimes I will tell the word. Sometimes I will give a prompt to action and if that does not work I will tell the word.

Here are some ways that I’ve helped students to get started :

Day after day “We’d probably say ‘every day’ but the author chose ‘day after day’. Say it with me. Day after day”. (‘Day’ might be a word that is usually recognized by this student, but it is not known in this context.)

Kieron “That boy is ‘Kieron'”. (Pointed to picture and pointed to 1st word.) “Can you say ‘Kieron’?” (To become familiar with the look and sound of the word.)

Matthew “Who is still making the card?” (A call to use some visual information and meaning (print and picture) to support a decision.)

They “Does it look like ‘They’ or ‘Then’?” (Reducing the choice to 2 words. Will need to look through the whole word.)

Then “What do you think happened then?” (Giving some context and putting the word ‘then’ into the student’s mix of possibilities.)

After “What do you think will happen after school?” (Context for the 1st word, and also a call to think about what might come next (structure and meaning).)

Thunder “Look at the black clouds in the sky. Look at the beginning of the word and think about what might happen”. (Giving some context and a call to crosscheck meaning with the look of the word.)

Everyone “Can you see a part you know? Can you say more?” (A call to take the word apart as I know he knows both ‘every’ and ‘one’.)

You have to know the reader well in order to choose an appropriate prompt. If in doubt- Tell.