Highfields' Own - - Education -

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.

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