Friday, 23 August 2013
In Australia it is Winter and the second half of the academic year is under way. Not like North American schools who are starting back after their long Summer break. Here, our Kindergarten children have just completed their first semester of school.
At my school, after half a year of excellent literacy teaching, the teachers 'refer' any students who have not picked up the appropriate phonic skills or who just need to be 'checked', to our Learning Support Team.
We, as a team, assess each child's phonemic awareness skills and then form targeted groups for intensive instruction.
The Kindy kids love coming to these sessions. We have 38 students from 6 1/2 classes who need some revision or remediation in this area.
The kids have fun clapping out the syllables in their names. They love listening to rhyming stories and clapping when they hear a rhyming word.
Traditional rhymes are taught and learnt and recited with vigour and vim.
Pictures of objects are labelled orally and sorted into matching starting sounds.
Big books are read and the language of literacy is discussed; What is a word? What is a sentence? What are the capital letters and full stops for? What are the gaps between words for?
Books with different language features are read aloud to focus on rhyming, alliteration or onomatopoeia.
Boy, do we have fun with the noisy books!
At the end of this term we re-test each child and graduate the ones that have acquired the necessary skills. We keep going with the students who just need more time to learn these important skills and target the areas that they have not quite achieved.
It is a wonderful thing to witness how they blossom with some specific, strategic, explicit teaching in small groups catering to their individual needs while having F...U...N!