The purpose of this project (inquiry) is to use the latest brain research and reading research to get non-readers at the intermediate level to finally learn how to read. The second goal is to take this same research and get these struggling readers to improve their writing and spelling.
The challenge that we face when teaching vulnerable children like this, is that the existing programs assume that the children have had a literature rich environment as babies/toddlers/preschoolers. They don’t go back far enough. In this inquiry, we are exploring what will happen if we were to go back and fill in the missing gaps (skills) that the children would have learned as a baby/toddler/preschooler. We are suggesting that when the children have learned these skills, their brains will be ready to learn how to properly read. (and write).
I am applying for this grant to cover the cost of purchasing approx. 20 picture/story books that are focused on phonological awareness. This is a word to describe being aware of the different sounds that letters and words make. Phonological awareness covers things such as rhyming, alliteration, etc. These are things that are usually learned through word play and games.
The targeted students will have a daily “reading and word play” time with an Educational Assistant, where these books will be read. They will also do finger rhymes, nursery rhymes, and other games to increase the students’ phonological awareness.
This time will be in addition to the whole class instruction that is already going on. The books will also be used with the whole class to reinforce the learning done in the small groups, and also for fun. We expect that being exposed to these types of word play will increase the phonological awareness of all of the students.
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