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Essential Literacy Strategy – Results of the online collaboration project

I was reminded earlier this week that I hadn’t really said much about my own project in the course of these blog posts. I think you will probably have gathered I’ve had a lot to reflect on and had an absolutely fabulous time in the Carolinas. So let’s check out this Essential Literacy Strategy – Results of the online collaboration project.

To be honest, it’s probably taken a couple of weeks since I’ve been home for the enormity of what happened to sink in. I was really pleased at how well-received the project was at the school, proud to have become a semi-finalist alongside another great US teachers –  and truly humbled that out of so many wonderful projects it won first runner-up in the collaboration category! WOW!

That means that we are well on track for the collaborative ways of working that were mentioned in my previous post and how impressive are our students with their world-class achievements!

But there are many people to thank who made the project possible, because a project like this isn’t just something done by one person:

  • all those who have been involved in our collaboration work – the most important all the children who took part in the projects
  • all those who have supported from school –  all the governors, parents, colleagues and friends who have encouraged and supported
  • our learning platform provider (NJ City University)
  • all the teachers who have become part of the network that inspire me – for their support and encouragement

Research Perspectives

The reading-writing relationship has been well-documented in numerous publications by various researchers. Earlier theories suggested that the processes between reading and writing were different.

Both readers and writers seek meaning. Readers rely on their semantic backgrounds to understand print. Writers rely on their syntactic backgrounds to produce meaning. Because readers construct meaning as they read, they closely resemble writers who use active, constructive processes to create new meaning.

Comprehension at School and at Home

The following section of this website includes suggestions that both parents and teachers can use at home and at school to foster reading comprehension. The following conditions are adapted from Brian Cambourne’s The Whole Story: Acquisition of Literacy in the Classroom:

  • Immersion
  • Demonstrations
  • Engagement
  • Expectations
  • Responsibility
  • Approximations
  • Opportunities
  • Feedback

Teaching Strategically during Reading

As children read, they will come to words they don’t know. The parent or teacher has several choices. The wrong direction can make learning to read more difficult, make the child dependent on adults for help, or discourage the child. The right direction can help the child develop appropriate word-solving strategies, lead to independence and ensure success as a reader.

Suggested Teaching Points

    • Wait; allow the child time to problem solve.
    • If appropriate, ask a question.

“What would make sense?”
“Does that look right?”
“Does that sound right?”
“Is there a word part you know?”
“Would it help to look at the picture?”
“Were you right?”

    • Demonstrate correct problem-solving.

Re-read the text up to the point of confusion.
Say the beginning sound of the problem word.
Show the child the word part that will help.
Show the child a known word that can be used to figure out the difficult word by analogy.

Example: “If you can read ‘come’, you can read ‘some’.”

    • Tell the child what to do.

      “Go back and reread; maybe that will help.”
      “Get your mouth ready to read that word.”
      “Look for a word part you know that will help.”

    • Tell the child the word.

Sometimes it will not be possible to figure out the word; then give the child the word by saying, “Would _________ make sense?”

  • Praise and confirm the child’s efforts.

    “Good for you, you really worked hard on that word.”
    “Yes, that’s makes sense, good for you.”
    “You are smart. You are a fast learner.”
    “What a good reader you are!”