Thursday, October 15, 2015

Decoding Strategies

Hello to you all! We have been very busy in our reading group.  We have been looking at a range of strategies that help us decode. Here are some examples, and I will post some videos that show examples of this next week.

*Making connections with what they know  -to the stories we read. This helps them with vocabulary and context. This does not need to exactly match the topic - for example, they don't need to be scared of spiders to make a connection with a book about this, it might be something else that they are scared of that will help them make connections with vocabulary and feelings within the book.
  • Using the pictures to help read. While they have pictures to support meaning - they need to use them! Sometimes we examine the pictures without looking at the words and make a big list of words we might expect to see from what we can see happening in the text. This helps us work out tricky vocabulary in the text.

* Using meaning - thinking about what makes sense.  What is the word likely to be, based on what we a reading about?

* Looking at words I know that are like the one I don't know - If I know 'here' -it is not that much of a jump to 'where'.

* Using punctuation to help read - does it have a question mark - then there must be a question word in there  - 'how', 'who', 'when' etc. Punctuation also gives an idea about feelings of characters - and this can be used to help with making meaning.

  • Looking at the sounds in words.  It is important that children learn common patterns, for example, ‘ar’  If they know this, splitting a word like ‘part’ into sounds becomes easier  ‘ p ar t’. ‘Sounding out words is obviously important and works with all the other things that have been mentioned.

The main point from all of this is - 
Good readers do a RANGE of things to help them read.  Often they need to be using a variety of strategies together to help ‘decode’ tricky words.  :-)

Saturday, September 12, 2015

What have the Motorcycle Mavericks been up to?

Over the past few weeks we have been concentrating on combining decoding strategies to work out tricky words.

We have been using the book mark
(pictured in this blog) to remind us of all of the many strategies we can use to ensure our reading is accurate.

We look along the word to find familiar chunks such as blends, word endings and some medial sounds most often, now we need to check using other information, such as thinking about whether our guess makes sense and asking ourselves if the picture supports our guess too.

In order to build understanding of the texts they are reading, the boys have been spending several minutes making predictions and discussing each page in greater detail before reading.  This really sets the boys up for success!

The boys love an element of competition, so they earn points based on meeting the reading session goals. These points are sent back to the classroom to add to their Classroom Dojo total.

As we progress through the programme we will be working on

  • finding ways to understand what the more sophisticated vocabulary in the text means
  • Filling in missing words to complete sentences - this helps us to think about what makes sense
  • building our knowledge about how to make new words by making and breaking sounds

Don't forget to come and join us this Friday! 

Here is the invite...

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Technology at our fingers.....

Using IPADS :    Sometimes for our guided reading sessions we make use of the IPADs.  On these IPADS we have access to 'sunshine on line'  - effectively, tens of books we can access at an instructional level.  This is great for motivation and also great to ensure reading material is fresh and unseen. 

In the last few weeks we have also been working hard on our oral language.  It is so important that children are able to talk about skills they are learning and listen to others to help build on their understanding. We look forward to sharing more soon!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Learning in Action!

Welcome from the Motorcycle Mavericks reading group!
We spent the first week establishing some rules so our reading group runs smoothly. These include:
  • listening to the person who is talking
  • taking turns with the resources
  • giving everybody some thinking time to share ideas and opinions
  • celebrating when we are successful!    
We also created some learning goals. The most popular one being, how do we read 'hard' words?

Over the coming weeks we will be working on how to break these 'hard' words into familiar sounds and use this knowledge to help us read tricky words.

We have also been reviewing what good readers do. Here are the ones we will be focusing on
  • talk about the pictures before reading the text, making links to what we already know
  • stop at a tricky word and look along the whole word to help me read it
  • break words into chunks I know. For example: sh-out-ed
  • check my guess with the picture
  • ask myself - does my reading sound right? does it look right? 
  • miss the tricky word out and read on to the end of the sentence, then go back and think about what would make sense.
This week we have been focusing on suffixes ( knowing suffixes helps us to look right to the end of the word so we can read it- instead of just looking at the first sound!)

We played some games where we had to add different endings onto root words and write these down.
We became familiar with what a 'root' word is and how to add and take away a suffix.

 We even have a reading group mascot!  He knows all about tricky words! Great work, Motorcycle Mavericks!!

Monday, July 20, 2015


Welcome to the ALL (Accelerated Literacy Learning) group blog. On this blog we hope to keep parents updated with the latest readings, documents and information related to the ALL intervention, so that you feel informed and knowledgeable about your child's work.