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How important is accuracy when reading I can read text?

 
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wherenow



Joined: 22 May 2013
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:17 pm    Post subject: How important is accuracy when reading I can read text? Reply with quote

Hi Debbie,
I would be interested in your opinion on the importance of accuracy in reading the I can read texts.
As I have said before I am working with older children (11 and 12) who have struggled with reading. I have decided to start the programme at Unit 2 and I am happy with how we are progressing.
In each lesson I use the Sound sheets, refer to the Alphabetic Code Chart and then we try to do some reading of the I Can Read material.
In using the I Can Read material I am focusing on accuracy. I take my boys in pairs and we play a game. The object of the game is to read a page with no mistakes. If a boy does this he gets a point. If he makes any mistake and the second boy spots the mistake, then the boy loses his turn.
I have adopted this approach as I feel accuracy of decoding is a vital skill in working with older children who have struggled with reading. I find many weaker children guess unknown words and I feel a need to break this habit.
However, I do have concerns regarding fluency and reading for meaning. I would be interested to hear your views on my approach.
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debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think accuracy is very important - but I'm not altogether convinced that a competition to catch one another out at accuracy is the most advisable approach as it may well detract from a focus on comprehending what the texts are about!

Although the 'I can read' texts are one-side-of-a-page texts, they focus on a spelling word bank for a particular letter/s-sound correspondence - and also have some underlying morals, themes or strange English phrases which learners may not know already.

The story themes particularly in the second half of Phonics International are aids to memory of which words are spelt which way - which is supporting learners in spelling more than just handing out a spelling word list of words with no connections.

First of all, the learners can do a 'grapheme search' - underlining all the letter/s-sound correspondences which are central to the texts. They can count up how many words they found with the focus grapheme (letter or letter group).

Then the learners can read the texts, sounding out only those words which are unknown. They can 'circle' in pencil any words which they cannot decode and/or do not know the meaning of.

The teacher/supporting adult should only step in to help once the learner has had a good attempt at working out the texts as independently as possible. Support with the decoding as necessary - but note which elements of the alphabetic code are not known well enough!

Talk through the meaning of the texts with the learner. Questions are provided for oral work in Units 1 to 5 and for the option of written response in Units 6 to 12.

The 'Questions' resource includes literal and inference questions and points for thoughts and discussion.

Learners can list the words which are spelt with the same letter/s-sound correspondences - and these form the basis for recalling spelling word banks.

The learners can work in pairs to recall the spelling word bank - doing a count up of the words they can remember - helped by the story themes.

Once learners have decoded the words and discussed the texts, there is no reason why they cannot re-read them and build up their reading-aloud fluency.

I would like to say how pleased I am that you are contributing to the message forum. You are a very welcome visitor.

I also don't mean to sound critical of your methods for encouraging your learners - it may well be that your ideas are very effective for the boys concerned.

Perhaps you can add another layer of practice which, following technical decoding and reading of the texts (with your competition idea), is more time spent on the meaning of them and learning any new vocabulary.

I hope there is also time for illustrating the texts too!
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wherenow



Joined: 22 May 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Debbie,

Thanks for your quick response and don't worry about sounding critical of my methods.


My intention is to regualrly post here and raise questions I have regarding your programme. I welcome your detailed and honest responses and I will combine them with my own experiences to hopefully achieve the results we both want for childrn who have struggled with reading.

I am focusing on accuracy at this point as the boys can easily decode the texts they are being exposed to at the beginning of Unit 2. As the texts become more challenging I will ensure I take on your comments regarding giving the boys more time to work through the texts and to pinpoint any words of letter/s sound correspondence they are unsure of.

On a seperate point I would just like to tell you something that happend yesterday with my boys. Due to a meeting I had to cover the class the boys are usually in. I decided we would have a competition between my boys and the rest of the class. We looked at /sh/ words from the Unit 8 flash cards. The boys doing the programme were great and one of them got to the final and won. It was great to see how proud the boys were of their achievement and to see the response of the rest of the class to thier ability to decode complex words.

Two of my boys are sitting beside me now working on their Sound Sheets. D says, "The code is deadly." This is high prasie in Dublin.
J says, "I can read better because of the Alphabetic code."
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debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2448
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can see from the PI message forum that many people visit but few people 'post'.

I do receive many private emails from visitors to the forum but there is obviously a reluctance for people 'sharing' via the forum.

So I am very pleased indeed that you are happy to post and share your experiences.

At least some of the visitors to the forum may well benefit from this and shared future discussions.

Well done to the boys!

I think an intense focus on the fact we are teaching a 'code', and the use of Alphabetic Code Charts, is the way forwards for the teaching of reading and spelling (and writing). Every teacher, and all learners (and their parents if the learners are young), should have access to such charts - and I also have found children love to get involved with the notion of learning 'the code'. It puts learning to read and spell and write into a very interesting, and honest, context.

It is part of my training to encourage teachers to tell their pupils all about the complex and fascinating history of the spoken language in England (the combination of many languages over time) and the invention of writing systems (and the combination of different spelling systems from different languages) - and also about the notion of letters and letter groups 'as code for' the sounds in our speech.

Then, explain how the 'code' can be used reversibly - allotting letters and letter groups as code for the smallest sounds in our speech for the writing process - and translating the graphemes into sounds to 'discern' the intended word/s for the reading process.

And of course the English code is particularly complex compared to many other codes of other languages. The Spanish Alphabetic Code Chart illustrates the difference between our 'complex' or 'opaque' code compared to the more 'transparent' Spanish code.

Have you considered printing off the Spanish Alphabetic Code Chart for your boys so that they can compare it with an English chart?

You can find a Spanish version at www.alphabeticcodecharts.com .

Then, learners begin to understand why (some of them at least) find learning to read and spell in the English language so challenging.

Learners in Spain do not have the same level of difficulty and learn much more quickly to read and write in Spanish.
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Debbie Hepplewhite


Last edited by debbie on Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:10 pm; edited 3 times in total
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debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
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Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.alphabeticcodecharts.com/3_CaD_pics__Spanish_Alphabetic_Code_Chart.pdf
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Debbie Hepplewhite
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wherenow



Joined: 22 May 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 7:14 pm    Post subject: UPDATE Reply with quote

To date I am happy with our progress using the PI programme. The strong emphasis that was placed on the idea of the language being a code has been largely understood and is being applied in reading and spelling.

I used the Sound Activity Sheets from Unit 2 as a foundation for the approach I was using. However, in Unit 3 and 4 I have placed greater emphasis on the I Can Read texts in order to confirm understanding of the Alphabet Code.

To date this is working well and the boys, all aged 12, are enjoying the games we play when reading the texts and answering the comprehension questions.

I intend to return to a stronger emphasis upon the Sound Sheets as the graphemes we encounter become less familiar to the boys.

It also appears I may be getting the opportunity to use the programme with three other boys, aged around 8 and 9, on a 2 to 1 and 1 to 1 basis. In both of these instances it is likely to be for 25 minutes 3 times a week.
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debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2448
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great to have your update - many thanks.

As the programme progresses, the words on the Sounds Book Activity Sheets contribute to building up knowledge of the spelling word banks for the various spelling alternatives.

I highly recommend alternating the use of the Sounds Book Activity Sheets with the 'I can read' texts.

By this I mean, for each new letter/s-sound correspondence, try to use the Sounds Book Activity Sheet extending to the 'I can read' text.

Looking forward to the next update from you!
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