Saturday, 26 September 2015

Finally I can write about an intervention program I have been trialling that has been a great success. After reading many books and spending time researching I created a read aloud program catering for the older students at my school who have a low reading esteem and motivation to read.  This is run by volunteers of all ages, hence the name HEART (Have Every Age Read Together) as some of my most valuable volunteers have been not only parents but grandparents, retired teachers or people in the local area wanting to volunteer.

Why the HEART reading program?

It is a research based program.  The main component of the program is the student reading aloud.  As the proverb says "Practice makes perfect".

In learning to read reading practice is a powerful contributor to the development of accurate, fluent, high-comprehension reading. (Allington, 2009)

If the student has poor fluency the tutor will read aloud to the student to model fluency.  HEART establishes that reading is for enjoyment and pleasure.

The success of this program lies in that the students are the centre (HEART) of the program as they select the books they are interested in reading and there are a wide range of reading material available such as magazines, comics and picture books to name a few.   The students are taught how to select the "just right" book using the five finger rule to check if book they select is a good level for them.  Tutors also have a 100 word grid to check if the book is at instructional level.

Students are assessed before commencing the program and reassessed after a ten week period.  The successes are celebrated and students are involved in discussing new goals.  All decisions are made in conduction with the students so that they are totally involved in the program.

HEART fosters fluency by ensuring the readers have books they can read accurately and engage in with enjoyment.  Another important component of the HEART program is the comprehension.

Readers benefit from comprehension strategies as fewer than 10 per cent of struggling readers have decoding problems.  Some struggling readers exhibit weaknesses in understanding what they read.
("What Really Matters for Struggling Readers" Allington, 2012 pg 137)

There is also a sight word component so students learn to read sight words quickly. (or by HEART)

I have developed a powerpoint presentation that can be used for training volunteers or can be used for a parent workshop.  It can be found on TPT.