“Literacy Lift-Off”, also known as “Power-Hour” or “Guided Reading”, is an intensive programme of Reading and Writing, which gives the pupils lots of opportunities to read books at their own level of competency. It gradually lifts the complexity of what they can do in both reading and writing by equipping them with the necessary problem-solving skills. Pupils on the programme would typically be expected to progress at the rate of one level per week.
The aim of Literacy Lift-Off is to make pupils constructive learners. It teaches them ‘how’ to problem-solve independently.
It is implemented in blocks of 6/8weeks in the Junior and Middle classes in the school. Diverse activities are essential for extending literacy processing power. Hence, the pupils work in ‘stations’ to carry out a number of activities in reading and writing, under the guidance of their teachers and Special Needs Assistants. The programme uses specially graded readers.
Our Stations/Activities work as follows:
Station 1: Familiar Reading
Pupils read previously seen readers.
Purpose: Development of enjoyment, fluency, comprehension and speed.
Station 2: Word Work and Phonics
They use magnetic letters on the whiteboard to make and break words. They also work on their phonics and phonological awareness in this station.
Purpose: To show children how words work, so that they can make a fast visual analysis of their reading.
Station 3: Writing
Pupils write sentences based on their own experiences, using words that they encounter in their readers.
Purpose: That they will learn how they can write their own messages by hearing and recording sounds in words, using analogy and learning unusual words
Station 4: New Reading
Encountering new texts each day challenges the pupils to discover new ways to go beyond their current operating ability and lift their literacy processing.
Purpose: Pupils learn to use strategic activities to read new texts.
Station 5: Listening
At this station, the pupils listen to a variety of audio stories.
Purpose: To develop their listening abilities and imaginative use of words.
Station 6: Comprehension Strategies
At this station, the pupils listen to a variety of stories and learn about comprehension strategies such as predicting, connecting, inferring and creating images.
We have found this programme to be very successful, and beneficial to pupils of all reading abilities in the Junior and Middle Classes. We believe that Early Intervention is the key to successful reading and writing.