Interesting follow-up

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chew8
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Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2003 6:26 pm

Interesting follow-up

Post by chew8 » Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:22 pm

My voluntary work at two schools (one infant, one junior) means that I can occasionally keep tabs on children for several years. A boy now in Y5 at the junior school is one of those I worked with from Reception to Y2 at the infant school, where he was one of the three weakest readers. I used a systematic synthetic phonics approach, but saw each child for no more than about 3 hours in total during the year and knew that I could counteract the school’s mixed-methods approach to only a small extent. Yesterday I gave him the original version of the BAS word-reading test, as used in the Clackmannanshire study.

At the end of YR, this boy had a reading age 6 months below chronological age. He then improved by 18 months in the next 12 months, so his RA was level with CA at the end of Y1. By the end of Y2, his RA was one month above CA. When I tested him yesterday, RA was 10:0 at CA 10:4, so he had dropped back a bit but not so much as to indicate that he is really struggling.

I also gave him an exercise which I used several years ago with Y6 children and which I described in some detail on the RRF message-board:

http://www.rrf.org.uk/messageforum/view ... f=1&t=4045

I had stupidly not equipped myself to note down errors, but he read ‘prairie’ correctly and read the timed bit in 73 seconds, which put his fluency well above that of the weakest Y6 children in 2009, despite the fact that he is still only in Y5.

Jenny C.

JIM CURRAN
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Re: Interesting follow-up

Post by JIM CURRAN » Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:00 am

It's these little successes that make it all worthwhile and change children's' lives in ways we could never imagine.

chew8
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Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2003 6:26 pm

Re: Interesting follow-up

Post by chew8 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 11:50 pm

And how, Jim. I really enjoy the extended contact I'm able to have with a few children. It's heart-warming to see how even the very small amount of extra phonics input I can give in the early stages, all in the context of text-reading, seems to ensure that slow learners end up reading at roughly average levels several years later.

Jenny C.

chew8
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Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2003 6:26 pm

Re: Interesting follow-up

Post by chew8 » Sun Mar 22, 2015 2:30 pm

I've now re-tested the second of the Y5 children who were the three weakest in Year R. She actually had the very lowest reading age of all the children in YR, but her reading age is now exactly level with chronological age. She read most of the words in the BAS test quickly and confidently and got to the very end, but made mistakes with words such as 'chaos' and 'jeopardy'. The third child is at a different school - I had some contact with the head many years ago and have e-mailed asking if I can go in and re-test her, but haven't had a reply as yet. I always had a specially soft spot for her - she often misbehaved at infant school but never with me. I'd love to know how she's getting on now.

Jenny C.

JIM CURRAN
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Re: Interesting follow-up

Post by JIM CURRAN » Sun Mar 22, 2015 2:47 pm

Jenny you are a marvel.

chew8
Posts: 4150
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2003 6:26 pm

Re: Interesting follow-up

Post by chew8 » Sun Mar 22, 2015 4:00 pm

Far from it, Jim! It suggests, though, that even if an infant school's phonics teaching is good rather than outstanding, and no more than 20% of children's reading practice is on decodable books, all children can probably become competent readers.

Jenny C.

chew8
Posts: 4150
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2003 6:26 pm

Re: Interesting follow-up

Post by chew8 » Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:52 pm

One snippet to add about the Y5 girl who was so slow to catch on at infant level and who now has a reading age level with chronological age....

They had a whole-school service in church this morning (300+ children). Apparently this girl had asked to be one of the readers and did her reading very well. That shows how confident she now is.

Jenny C.

chew8
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Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2003 6:26 pm

Re: Interesting follow-up

Post by chew8 » Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:52 pm

Sorry - duplicate post deleted.

john walker
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Re: Interesting follow-up

Post by john walker » Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:02 pm

Well done to you, Jenny. Jim is absolutely right about the 'little successes', about how important they are and the difference they can make to children's lives.
And, as you intimate, what a wonderful feeling of satisfaction it brings to have contributed to making that difference! :smile:
John Walker
Sounds-Write
www.sounds-write.co.uk
http://literacyblog.blogspot.com

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