stories Children need to hear 100 stories before they are ready to read.
Why stories? They develop a wide vocabulary through listening to others. They develop an interest in books. They develop their powers of imagination. Many people in the community have stories to tell. Involve them!
Other ways to develop vocabulary Play situations, e.g. shops, restaurants, home corner, building together Play involved experimenting with language, making up scripts, using imagination Creating together Puppets Dramatizing stories Show and tell
Beginning to gain an interest in print Children will experiment with ‘pretending’ to write. Provide plenty of writing materials and let them experiment. Point out signs and place them around the classroom. Children can be shown that words can be written down and there are spaces in-between, by pointing to words in ‘Big Books’.
Parents can help to get children interested in print Make a photo album and add captions. Make shopping lists. Point out signs while shopping. Never make reading a negative experience.
Word shapes Words have shapes Children start by identifying shapes around them – circles, triangles, squares Teachers can help develop this ability by providing jig saw puzzles, toys of different shapes and ‘which is different’ activities.
Sounds Listening and speaking go together. Encourage children to identify sounds in the environment, near/far sounds; high/low sounds in music Play listening games Begin teaching the sounds of the alphabet using pictures first, not alphabet symbols.
Phonics or “look and say” These are like two wings of an aeroplane. They are equally important. Visual or auditory learners?
Beacon Media Phonics resources Bible Land Phonics Progressive Phonics
Bible Land Phonics Uses Bible stories and characters to teach the first sounds. Every sound has a catchy rhyme to learn. Dd d is for donkey “Hosanna,” the people sing. The rider is Jesus, Jesus the King.
Progressive Phonics Progresses gradually from simple to complex Initial sounds 3-letter words Digraphs, trigraphs Word families based on vowel groups
Language experience Make your own classroom books by asking children to draw pictures on a topic of interest, an interesting activity done in class or an excursion. “Our nature walk”; “Making popcorn” Children can then think of a sentence to go with their drawing. Drawings are compiled into a book, big enough to be read at group time.
Re-telling stories e.g. Bible stories; traditional tales; stories that community members have shared The teacher can help the children sequence the events – what happened first? What happened next? This simplified version of the story can be written on the board, transferred to individual pages for children to illustrate, then stapled together as a book.
Guided reading Small groups of about 6 children working with the teacher. The children will all be at a similar reading level. Other children in the class are working quietly and independently on other activities such as writing, puzzles, drawing. Each child in the group has a copy of the same text.
Format for guided reading Select a book at the right level for the group. Look at the front cover and look at the pictures in book. Ask the children to predict what the book might be about. Allow the children to read individually. The teacher moves around the group, hearing each child read a few sentences.
Phases of reading Level 1 – Direct match between text and illustrations One line of text per page plus a picture. Word count between 0 and 50 words Level 5 – 1-5 lines of text per page Direct speech used – “said” and “asked”
Phases of reading Levels 6-12 Sentences may contain more than one idea. A full range of punctuation used. Level 18 up The story may be in episodes. Several ideas in the plot.
Running Records Choose a book that you THINK might be at the child’s level. Make sure that the subject matter is meaningful to the child. Choose 25, 50 or 100 words from the text and photocopy it. Teacher sits next to the child in order to view the book. Teacher marks the text with a tick for each word the child reads correctly, and an underline for each word unknown or incorrect. Symbols are placed above the word to denote the kind of error. At the end of the passage, the teacher either asks the child to retell the story, or asks some comprehension questions.
Types of errors M = meaning S = structure V = visual Meaning This would be where the child’s words do not relate to the meaning of the story and its illustrations. Structure Example: a child misreads “He walk to the shop” instead of “He walks to the shop”. This is a grammatical error. Visual Example: a child misread the word “Dad” for “father”. The word “Dad” doesn’t look like “father”, although it does make sense.
How to use the test results Independent level – 100% accuracy. A good level to use for take-home books. Instructional level – 95% accuracy with 80% comprehension. Use these books in guided reading sessions. Frustration level - less than 95% accuracy and 70% or lower in comprehension. This book is too hard for the child.
How often to test More often for younger children At least of 3 times a term
Fluency Re-reading familiar texts Echo reading – rhymes or traditional tales with repeated lines. Listening while reading (audio books, or following the text while the teacher reads). Practicing a known text for expression. Class-wide tutoring – students of different levels are paired to help one another Sight word flashcard games
Fluency Sight word lists for memorization Reading one-on-one with a reading helper Following words to songs and rhymes (made by teacher as ‘Big Books’) Sentence flashcards (made by teacher) Reading classroom books that you have made. Cloze procedure – every 7th word deleted.
Special assistance for the under- achiever Format for on-on-one sessions: 1. Vocabulary – 5 minutes Child reads 5 and 10 high frequency words on small individual pieces of paper. Each time the word is said correctly, the helper places a tick on the back of the paper. When there are 5 ticks on the back, then word is replaced.
2. Familiar Reading – 5 minutes The child reads aloud a familiar short story or rhyme at the independent level. The aim is for fluency and enjoyment.
3. Reading Together – 5 minutes This is a book at instructional level. It should be read by child to the assistant but if the child is finding difficulty, then assistant may read with the child. It is not necessary to read the whole book – just a few pages. Use sticky notes to mark the place.
4. Writing a response – 5 minutes This is an opportunity for the child to enjoy a story read by an adult. The story must be short. Instead of a story you could use a picture for discussion.
Thinking hats for writing a response Red (Emotions) - How did you feel when…? or How do you think X felt when… Blue (Thinking) - What did you learn from…? Green (Creativity) - What else could have been done? What would you have done? White (Information) - What was …? Who was…? How many? Where? Yellow – good points Black – bad points Gold – what would Jesus do?
Reading buddies The whole school can spent half and hour a day working together on reading. Pair younger children with older children.
More Beacon Media resources I can read Bible stories for reading ages 6-8 God is love The Good Shepherd John 10 What is a shepherd? A shepherd looks after sheep. A shepherd loves his sheep very much. He looks to see if they have food and water.
Kanga Joe Eight stories about the fruit of the spirit Includes audio play and script for reading ages 9-12
On Safari Nine stories featuring the adventures of two children, as they encounter the wonderful animals of Africa. These stories teach about the motivational gifts of giving, serving, encouraging, leadership, compassion, teaching and insight.