Six fundamental elements that should form the backbone of your school's reading strategy
Many schools complain that their literacy programmes are not yielding results although they are working very hard.
Perhaps there are critical gaps in your approach.
Does your school's reading strategy encompass these SIX fundamental elements?
SIX FUNDAMENTAL ELEMENTS TO GIVE YOUR SCHOOL'S READING STRATEGY A SOLID FOUNDATION
1. Understand deeply why learners need to be excellent readers.
We should know by now that a child who reads fluently, with comprehension at or above his age cohort, has mastered the skills to learn better and faster. Poor readers are doomed.
If there is any doubt in your mind that this understanding of the power of reading is not fully understood by all the staff members, you will need to build this mindset aggressively. Run coaching sessions on reading while you action the reading strategies as discussed below.
2. Make the Needu National Report 2012: Summary, one of the "handbooks" for the entire teaching staff.
Most poor performing schools WILL benefit from reading and actioning The Needu National Report (2012). The report makes realistic, actionable recommendations. Use the 29-page Needu Summary report as a book study for the teaching staff.
3. Broadcast the reading fluency norms at all levels.
- Every single person, including the parents should know the reading fluency norms for Foundation Phase via a sustained, intensive reading campaign.
- Refer to the Needu Summary Report, page 21. Here you will find the suggested Norms for Reading Fluency, Foundation phase.
- Because the majority of learners in a class falls into the average band, let's look at the suggested reading fluency norms for the average learner at each Foundation Phase grade.
4. Transform Every Classroom into a vibrant library.
- Ensure that each classroom has a set of graded readers for the learners in the class. This is a non-negotiable.
- Each learner should read a minimum 40 books (one book per week) for the school year.
- All learners' reading lists should be monitored and recorded by the teacher.
- Learners should be allowed to take their books home so that parents can help them with their reading.
5. Everybody should Monitor the reading habits of all learners religiously.
Make the monitoring and assessment of reading fluency one of the key deliverables of all SMT members. Design a rigorous feedback loop system and hold everybody accountable.
6. Build a school festival on reading
Prioritise Reading Celebrations on the calendar and stick to these activities. Choose creative, but simple, time-friendly ways to keep Reading high on the agenda at your school.
If your school gets this reading programme right, there is NO Doubt that you will see amazing shifts.
Now it's your turn to add to the conversation...
Are there other strategic programmes that we can share with others? How long did it take for you to implement those and what measurable results have you enjoyed?