IMPROVED LITERACY EQUALS IMPROVED LEARNING
LEARNING LITERACY IS KEY TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS
Mary Mackillop Catholic College, along with all other Toowoomba Catholic Diocesan schools, has embarked on a major strategy to improve literacy.
As part of the Diocesan Reading Improvement Strategy, all teachers of students from Prep to Year 4 are receiving four days of intensive training on the teaching of reading.
This training will be extended to teachers of Years 5 to 9 in 2018.
Teachers are learning how to conduct a highly effective reading classroom.
Some of the features of such a classroom include clear learning intentions and success criteria whereby both the teacher and students have great clarity around what is to be learned and how they will know that they have succeeded.
The approach to reading is one of gradual release of responsibility such as students reading with the teacher, students reading collaboratively and students reading independently.
Modelled, shared, guided and independent reading are common instructional approaches.
Included in the learning are explicit teaching-through-teacher modelling, small group reading sessions and collaborative reading.
Daily independent reading of at least 15 to 30 minutes is vital as the volume of reading students do on their own is significantly related to the gains in reading achievement.
Stamina or demand reading will also be practised to build up students’ concentration and perseverance levels and to develop fluency.
Teachers will conference with individual students to further assist in moving them forward.
Student discussions and questioning before, during and after the reading process will help build meaning making.