Saturday, 28 February 2009

Attacking words and guiding reading

This week I was lucky enough to have one of my guided reading lessons observed by Kathryn Birch an experienced teacher and a professional development mentor for teachers across New Zealand. Although initially nervous, her warm manner quickly put me at ease and her feedback was insightful and very helpful. I will be getting further PD from her in the next month. Some of my development points are to include more success criteria by discussing with my students what makes them better readers, really talking about the reading strategies and I believe to get them talking about them and recognising them in themselves. I also need to to focus on more student engagement and discussion, less teacher directed discussions!

After school she treated all the staff to a PD on word attack, based on her her own masters thesis; Chunk, Check and Cheer. It really is brilliantly simple to implement and a method I aim to teach my students which gives them a strategy to work out words they don't know. They first look for letter 'chunks' or patterns they already know to help say the word. Then they Check the sentence to see if the word makes sense. Lastly they give themselves a Cheer if it is right or 'cheer up' and try again. Thanks Kathryn for sharing your knowledge and experience.

Image by Môsieur J.