Teaching all children to read and write is our core business!
Learning to speak in the preschool years comes quite naturally. However, learning to read is not a natural process and therefore needs to be explicitly taught. Our teachers use evidence-based practices (often referred to as the Science of Reading) to teach your child to read, write and spell - all interconnected proficiencies. There is general agreement that we all learn to read in the same way…
Over the course of your child’s first three years at Mullum Primary School, they will be systematically and sequentially introduced to the alphabetic code beginning with the simple code and moving into increasingly more complex aspects of the code with alternative spellings.
A daily, explicit focus on phonics instruction will build your child’s capacity to recognise the sound (phoneme) – letter (grapheme) correspondences and with increasing automaticity, blend these sounds in order to read words. As well as the reverse process, segmenting of sounds heard in a word in order to spell the word.
Once our students are reading fluently, greater focus is placed on building content knowledge and vocabulary, both essential to achieve our goal – comprehending what has been read.
An effective way to expand our students’ vocabulary is to study morphology (the meaningful parts in words) and etymology (the history of words).
Word Matrix – add prefixes and suffixes to the base to create a family of words with a shared meaning.
Oral language is the foundation for learning to read and to write.
Reading and exploring books with your child from a very young age helps to build their knowledge of print concepts (such as we read from left to right, starting at the top of the page). Most importantly, it builds a love for reading.
Building meaning from words uses mostly the same knowledge that is used to build meaning from spoken language: knowledge of concepts that words represent and knowledge of how words interact with each other. This means that developing the learner’s spoken language and their knowledge of the words is key to fostering their ability to read (and to write)
Which leads beautifully into how we teach writing. Talk for Writing.
“If you can’t say it, you can’t write it!”
This approach begins with orally learning to tell a story, with actions and visual prompts provided in a text map.
Next, we IMITATE on the story
Then, we INNOVATE on the story
Finally, we INDEPENDENTLY write our own version of the story following the same structure.
The kindest thing you can do for a beginning reader is to give them the time and encouragement they need to grunt and groan their way through sounding out words. You’re rewiring their brains and it is hard work.
(Dr. John Shefelbine)