Linking hearing words to reading ability

There was an interesting segment on Lateline (ABC 18/07/2017) about research proving what many of us have known for a long time; hearing words in context greatly assists us with identifying new words as we see them when we are reading.

To quote the corresponding article:

“The take-home message for parents is: ‘Talk to your kids. Try and use new and complex vocabulary. Take the opportunity to explain what that means during conversation or during shared storybook reading’.”

Click here to view the segment. The corresponding ABC News article can be read here.

I am currently on leave after a short stay in hospital. Hopefully I will be back after a couple of weeks.

Book orientation

A book orientation is the same as a book introduction. It happens before the student attempts to read a new book for the first time.

The following video was published on Mar 22, 2015 by UALRCenter4Literacy

The Reading Recovery teacher scaffolds (supports) the student during the book introduction and the first reading of a new L14  book called The Missing Necklace.

The Reading Recovery teacher provided her student with some information about the story and she asked him questions that prompted him to wonder about what was happening, and what may happen next. He was in control of the book. (He held the book and he turned the pages.) The student searched the pictures and he told the teacher what he observed.

Sometimes the teacher pointed out something in the picture in order to add to the meaning. She also asked him some questions to check that he understood the vocabulary (e.g. detective, chipmunk). He demonstrated a good understanding of the story when he reacted to the humour at the end of the book. The teacher responded to his enjoyment of the story, and she connected the story to his own experiences.

He is likely to read the book very well the next time he reads it as he understands it so well. Perhaps he will add some more expression to his voice to make it sound more interesting.

He is learning ways to orientate himself to a book when the teacher is not with him.

All of the teachers are currently very busy with writing reports. I am also gathering information in preparation for the mid year reports. I have been re administering parts of the Observation Survey in order to check for progress. It’s always interesting (and rewarding) to look back at what the student could do at the beginning of Reading Recovery, and to compare it with what is known now.

Reading together

Again, I am encouraging parents to read to their children because there are so many benefits.

This article (click on the picture) was written by Deborah Gough (Sydney Morning Herald, 2013) and quotes Bridie Raban (University of Melbourne’s Graduate School Of Education).

 Some quotes from the article:

Parents who stop reading to their children once they reach primary school are missing out on an emotionally rich time …

…a Galaxy poll of 1200 Australian parents found that just 23 per cent of parents read to their child every day… Just four per cent read daily to their child by the time they were aged 9 to 12 years.

Parents blamed making dinner and doing housework …, work … and tiredness… (for not reading to  / with their child).

Nine out of 10 parents encouraged their children to read… the most common incentive was giving children books as gifts…

Reading tips:

  1. Make a bedtime story something to look forward to (a treat).
  2. Be a good role model. Do your children see you reading?
  3. Join a local library.
  4. Read books on different topics that interest your children.
  5. Play word games together.
  6. Talk with your child. It’s a good way to learn new words, and to learn more about a language. (How children talk will influence the words that they will expect to see as they are reading.)

Reading aloud to children is important because it helps them pick up information and skills they need.

Children’s reading experts agree that reading aloud is the easiest and most effective way to turn children into lifelong readers.

Continue reading aloud after your children can read. All readers will enjoy listening to books that they can’t yet manage on their own.

Previous posts: Reading Aloud To Children,   Reading Aloud To Children 2,

Reading Aloud To Children 3Share The ReadingReading To Brothers And Sisters

See also Sharing Books With Young Children (Scroll down to the Reading section.)

 

Advice for parents and teachers

I find that searching around the World Wide Web provides lots of good advice (and some questionable advice too!).

I was very pleased to find this website- LiteracyLearning.net. It advertises itself as ‘a site dedicated to resources for literacy learning and teaching’.

There is a lot of very valuable information for parents related to Reading Recovery.

Parents will be especially interested to read Ways to Help At Home.
There are some ideas that you can use as your child is reading the take-home book, and unjumbling the cut up sentence that comes home each day.
Your own copy of Ways to Help At Home can be downloaded here.

Parents and classroom teachers may also be interested to read A Reading Recovery Lesson.

Each part of the Reading Recovery lesson is explained- Familiar ReadingReread of Yesterday’s New Book for AssessmentWord and Letter WorkComposing and Writing A Story, the Cut-up Sentence, and the New Book Introduction & First Read. There is quite a bit of ‘teacher talk’ so parents might like to revisit The Lesson page on this blog as it also explains the parts of the lesson without the ‘teacher talk’.

Phonological Awareness 2

The Prep and Year 1/2 teachers have been exploring more about Phonological / Phonemic Awareness. You may like to view the following Youtube presentation from the Neuhous Education Center. (It is intended for teachers but it is well explained for others to follow too.)

WHAT RESEARCH SAYS:

      • Phonological Awareness is critical to learning to read.
      • Phonological Awareness is a strong predictor of reading success. (Children who can hear the parts within words find it easier to learn to read.)
      • Phonological Awareness can be developed through instruction. (Children can be taught to hear the parts within words through a variety of activities.)

from the handout that accompanies the presentation.

During Reading Recovery we include Phonological Awareness instruction across the whole lesson, but mainly during Letter ID / Word Work (e.g. making a word with magnetic letters, changing the 1st or last letters, breaking a word into parts) and Writing (e.g. clapping syllables of a word before attempting to write it, sound boxes).

    

If you would like to know more about phonological awareness or phonemic awareness  go to http://www.k12reader.com/phonemic-awareness-vs-phonological-awareness/

You may like to read a previous post about Phonological Awareness.

You can download at handout with some ideas for home at https://www.superduperinc.com/handouts/pdf/172%20Phonological%20Awareness.pdf

Please note: There are some products for sale via this link. SAEPS will never recommend or ask that you buy any products linked to this blog.

The power of self corrections

 A self correction is when the child reads a word (or part of a sentence) incorrectly and then fixes it without help.

Sometimes adults give too much attention to the mistakes that children make which can be rather discouraging, especially during the early stages of reading. But when we give attention to the self corrections we are emphasising what the child is doing well, i.e. the solution rather than the problem.

You might ask “Why did you stop and change that word?” and you might get a reply such as-
It’s a d so it’s a dog, not a puppy.
Checking the 1st letter really helped you didn’t it!”

Because Little Chimp is asleep in the picture. (Not awake.)
It was good to think about what was happening in the story.”

I saw ‘to’ and I knew it was ‘today’. (Not they.)
That was clever. Sometimes you can see a part you know.”

When you bring the child’s attention back to a self correction by saying something like “You did a good job of fixing this word. What you were thinking?” you are not just focussing on the child recognising more words, you are encouraging the process of word solving. The blue teacher comments above are reinforcing the process. By doing this you may encourage him / her to think-

Yeah, you’re right, I really did do that and it worked for me. Maybe I’ll try that same thing again sometime.…..That wasn’t so hard. I did it all by myself. I’m getting pretty good at this stuff.
From One Child At A time by Pat Johnson

By focussing on what the child did to help himself or herself, the child may be more willing to take risks and try again on another day, on another book. (And not just wait for help.)
Feeling good about yourself is the best way of learning and strengthening skills such as reading.

Many new skills

longer textBy the time the students are finished Reading Recovery they know a lot about reading:

READING FLUENTLY
I need to read smoothly, putting the words together like talking.

I need to read using the punctuation, ( e.g. by stopping at a comma, and a full stop. Sounding like it is a question, or changing my voice for an exclamation mark).
I need to read with expression, making it sound interesting.
 
SELF MONITORING
What I read must make sense.
I need to stop if I’m not sure I understand what I am reading.
I might need to re-read to work out the meaning.
I need to think about the possible meaning of the word by using the surrounding pages / sentences / words.
I need to check that the words I say aloud match the words that I can see.
 
VISUALIZING
I create pictures in my mind as I read. It’s like a movie in my head.thinking
I feel what I read. (Little White Rabbit’s face is making me feel so sad.)
 
ACTIVATING PRIOR KNOWLEDGE
I need to look at the pictures. I need to think about what I know about that (topic, idea).
I need to think about similar experiences that I have had, or have read about, or have seen on T.V. or somewhere else.
It reminds me of when I read …because… (text to text).
It reminds me of the time I … because …. (text to self).
It reminds me of something I read because … (text to text, text to world).
It reminds me of something I heard about because … (text to world).
 
QUESTIONING and INFERRING
I ask questions and look for answers- before I read, as I read and after I read to help me to understand. (Who? What? Where? When? How? Why?)
Questioning will help me to make predictions (e.g. why did the magpie take Mother Bear’s vocabularywatch and will she get it back?), check and reflect on my reading. (I didn’t guess that Baby Bear would find it.)
When the author doesn’t tell me I must infer…. (Maybe…., I think…., It could be…, It’s because…., Perhaps…, I’m guessing….). (Maybe she wanted to make her nest look beautiful.)
 
VOCABULARY / SOLVING WORDS
I need to quickly recognise many most-used words.
I need to understand the words that are in this book, preferably before I first read it. (Talk about the book, look through the pictures before reading it to get the overall meaning.)IMGP1026
I can try different ways of taking a word apart, as I think about the meaning at the same time.
I search for more information that will help me. (The look of the whole word. Looking back to where I saw it before. Thinking about other words that are a bit the same. Checking pictures. Rereading. Looking ahead.)
 
It would be great if all the students kept reading for the remainder of the school year and during the holidays. We all begin to forget how to do something if we do not continue to use it, e.g. remembering passwords or a recipe. We do not want our children to forget their new skills over the long break.

Supported decision making

thinkingWe want our children to check their reading and make their own decisions.
Here is an example of supported decision making quite early in the series of lessons (2nd intake).

 

EXAMPLE 1
The sentence in the book was:bowl
Billy looked at the bowls.
The child read:
Billy looked at the bowls …. spoons.

Teacher: Is it bowls or spoons? What do you think?
Child: Mm
Teacher: (Covered the word.) What would you expect to see if it was spoons?
Child: s
Teacher: (Uncovered the 1st letter-b.) What is it?
Child: bowls
Teacher: You’re right. Billy looked at the bowls.

EXAMPLE 2
The sentence in the book was:
The fish are not coming today.fish
The child read:
The fish are not here … coming …today. (The student stopped reading and looked uncertain.)

Teacher: Which one is it? What do you think?
Child: coming
Teacher: Why?
Child: There’s a c.
Teacher: Read it again and check it sounds right.
Child: The fish are not coming today. It’s right!

It would be a lot quicker to just tell the child the correct word but we would not be giving her the opportunity to discover she could work it out herself.

See also an earlier post- Decision Making.

Reading fluently

Reading fluency is the ability to read quickly, accurately and with the right expression. Fluent readers understand what they read.  Ginny Osewalt

We do not want our students to sound like robots as they read. This is word by word reading, and it does not help the students to put the the words together in a meaningful way (like talking). I have written a previous post called Why do we want students to be fluent readers?

Here is a link to some strategies to improve the fluency of reading –

fluency7 Ways to Improve Reading Fluency

I think the following tips are the most valuable for our students and you might like to try them at home:

1 Model fluent reading

2 Try guided practice

3 Read together

4 Try repeated readings

7 Praise meaningfully

From the website: Understood for learning & attention issues

Discontinued students

graduateReading Recovery takes place with students in Year One in order to catch those who are already slipping behind the other students in the class. After 15 – 20 weeks of intense instruction the student graduates from Reading Recovery, but he or she is not to be considered ‘fixed’. He or she will probably need to be given extra assistance within the classroom (and at home) to ensure continual advancement, and no slipping back into bad habits.

As Marie Clay wrote:

The child has come a long way in a short time, but still has a long distance to travel (to become an independent learner) … (after Reading Recovery) some children may react with new doubts about their ability to cope. ( Literacy Lessons Designed For Individuals)

How can you help at home AFTER Reading Recovery?

Keep doing what you have been doing. Continue to hear your child read EVERY day. Keep up the momentum of all the good habits and strategies that your child has been using.

Think about these questions as you listen to the reading:
– Is your child reading smoothly or word by word?
– Are you jumping in to help without giving ‘wait time’?
– Is your child expecting you to do the reading work if he  / she is stuck?
– Is your child slipping back into a bad habit that you have not seen in a while, e.g. ONLY saying a few letters to guess an unsuitable word?
– Is your child rereading, taking words apart, checking that the reading sounds right and makes sense, and trying again?
– Is your child using the meaning of the story (by rereading, checking the picture) to support taking the word apart to solve words?

Use opportunities for reading and writing within your daily life. Here are just a few of the many websites that are full of ideas:

petaaParents’ Guide To Helping Children At Home With Reading And Writing

 

 

4299468726_4edf9b067e

Ideas to help with Reading, Writing and Maths

 

 

 

reading children11 Ways Parents Can Help Their Children Read

 

 

 

developingDeveloping Writing and Spelling at Home

 

 

 

You may also wish to read an earlier post about Discontinuation.