Where to point

Some children point to each word as they are reading for varying reasons:

  • he / she needs assistance to match one spoken word to one written word
  • to stop the eyes from wandering away from where they should be focussing
  • to take a closer look at the word to check it looks like the word being said.

Here is a handy tip from the Ballarat tutor-

Instead of the child pointing underneath any part of the word, e.g. the middle or the end-

Have the child point underneath the first letter of each word.

This will remind the child to look at the 1st letter before any other letter, i.e. to look through the word from left to right.

This child is pointing underneath the middle of the word. Now I know to direct the finger to be under the 1st letter (‘l’ in ‘looked’).

FYI

You may have noticed a few disruptions to the Reading Recovery lessons of late. On Thursday all of the Intervention teachers were required to cover grades so that the classroom teachers could attend some literacy professional development together. On Friday the students did not have their normal lessons. I heard the students read a book or 2 and swapped their take-home books, before I headed to some Reading Recovery professional development in Ballarat. AND Monday is a Curriculum Day so the students will miss out again. Hopefully after that we will be back to lessons as per usual!

On Friday I recorded the students as they read. I stood in front of each one with an iPad. It was very interesting to be able to replay the recordings later and to observe what the eyes were doing as each student was reading. (See previous post Where are the eyes looking?) When I hear students read I am usually sitting side by side with them and so I have a limited ability to check what the eyes are doing. I have a greater awareness now of what is going on, e.g. who is looking away from the book, who is scanning the words ahead or behind, and who is going back and forth between the words and the pictures to support the word solving.

I know that many of you were at the Information Evening last Tuesday and I hope that you enjoyed being lead around the school by your children. I was on Zooper Dooper duty in the canteen, followed by surveying parents duty, so I was not in the Reading Recovery room if you came to visit. Remember that you can come and see me in Room 12 before school on any Monday or Friday.

Did that sound right?

Last week I wrote about students who are not using the look of the words as they are reading. The problem might be that they do not know where to look, or they might not know how to use the letters within words that they do see.

Other students spend a lot of time looking at the words. They are so busy thinking about what each individual word looks like that they forget to use the pictures and to think about what’s happening in the story. These students are likely to have poor comprehension (not understand) and will have much less chance of predicting and solving the words that will come next. The following example is one I have used in an earlier post-

Text:         The little cat is in the big tree.cat tree

Student:  The like cat is it the big tree.

This student is using the general look of the words without checking that it makes sense and sounds right.

 

If your child reads something that does not make sense you can stop him / her at the end of the sentence and say – Did that make sense? or Did that sound right to you? You may have to read back the sentence so that he / she can hear the error.  You could then suggest- Try that again and think about…. (the story or the picture).

In an earlier post called Being Flexible I wrote about the need to challenge our students who rely on just one strategy (e.g. only using meaning, or only using the look of the words).

My students are currently learning to use the meaning of the story (look at the picture as you turn the page and think about what is happening, what has happened so far, and what is likely to come next) AND the look of the word (emphasis on using at least the 1st letter at this early stage).

We are encouraging the child to use meaning and print. We prompt to use what is not already being used.

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.