Thursday, 25 February 2016

A New Year - A New Inquiry!

Four days a week, for most of the year, volunteers from the community come into our school to support children in Years 5 & 6 whose reading age doesn't match their chronological age. I am the co-ordinator for this programme which is known as Reading Support. Most of the tutors come once a week, some twice, and they spend 15 minutes with each of 4 students. The time is mainly spent reading - that is, the student reading to the adult from texts that have been graded at the appropriate level. However, the conversation between the adult and child is also very important.
This programme has proved effective in raising student achievement in reading over the 20+ years it has been in operation. I feel it could be even more effective if the tutors were given specific training in helping students with learning difficulties. 
While most of the students on Reading Support have not been formally diagnosed with specific learning difficulties, there are clear indicators that this is the case for many of them. I would like to become a more skilled 'reading teacher' myself and to be able to teach the volunteers skills and strategies to become more effective. 

So this is what I am inquiring into this year.
How to recognise whether a child has a specific learning diifficulty, what it is, and what to do about it!


  1. That sounds like a huge goal. As a teacher I find it very difficult to recognise specific learning difficulties and know what to do with them. Perhaps, while looking at this yourself, you could provide your volunteer tutors with guidelines and a tool box for generally assisting learners with reading difficulties?

    1. You are right of course! I will need to assess the most useful/needed strategies and present them to the volunteer tutors in a practical way that doesn't overwhelm them! Thank you for your feedback.