• Journal

    Day 4 Teaching of Reading – Ready or Not

    The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by A. Wolf as told to Jon Scieszka and illustrated by Lane Smith was an amazing read-aloud!  It certainly wet my appetite to read aloud, twists on children stories that have been staple favourites.  The poem Words added a soothing contrast to the read-aloud story to prepare me for the evening’s lecture.

    One reflective takeaway was that learners learn best when they are READY.  Whether relevant meaningful instruction is given or active participation and practice is encouraged, or modalities such as Reader’s theatre is employed the student will not learn until they are interested and ready.  For different learners being ready has different meanings.  The tactile learner, for example, responds best to the sense of touch; being able to turn the pages or feel different textures or objects related to the lesson stimulates their need for a hands on experience.

    Another key point was that the reading process is complete only when comprehension is attained. Some persons may be able to call the words of a sentence but do not understand the idea or expressed thought that the group of words is meant to convey.

    I am now more aware of the importance of order in a lesson.  Order exists in our sequence of reading from left to right and from top to bottom.  Order helps to orient the learner and create patterns of expectation.  For example this class will not be the same for me if Sister Annetta does not start with a story and/ or a poem as I look forward to this initial engagement before we dive into the lecture.

    Equally important is the material shared with the learner.  It must be something of interest. Males may be more sensory and perceptual learners while females may be more affective learners. A learner’s experience influences their engagement with learning.

    We had to create an alphabet related to our learning. Enjoy!

    A attitude  B books  C call & answer  D draw, dictate  E excitement  F focus  G grasp content  H hear  I inspire, interpret  J join the fun  K knowledge  L listen, love reading  M message, motivate, moral  N new material  O orate  P pace oneself, poetry, prepare  Q quiet place, question  R repeat, relax  S syntax, social process  T talk & tell, translate  U utter, understand  V visualize  W write, wissdom, win  X xenial  Y youth, yes we can read  Z zeal


  • Journal

    Day 3 Teaching of Reading – Everyone is Intelligent

    We were treated to Read Aloud The Wolf and the Lamb as well as the poem Precious Stones by Christina Rosetti.  Our collective contributions were referred to as ‘reciprocal learning’ as our individual varied expressions of thought regarding the class content enriched our altogether learning experience.

    Guided and shared reading is a technique that encourages students to read and follow.  As a mode of transmitting learning teachers should include the use of visuals to encourage the participation of all the senses.  This helps as each student learns differently.

    We looked at the Multiple Intelligence Model by Howard Gardener. It certainly is a concept that empowers all as it helps us discover our multiple intelligences as we assess our strengths and in the words of Thomas Armstrong, “ways of being smart”.

    Assess yourself

    The cone of learning created an aha moment for me as it reinforced the value of learning by doing.  Our remarkable brain relies on cognitive stimulus and processes for recall:

    • 10% of what we read
    • 20% of what we hear
    • 30% of what we see
    • 50% of what we hear & see
    • 70% of what we say and do/ write
    • 90% of what we do

    Further reading on the Cone of Learning by researcher Edgar Dale proved helpful to visually understand what techniques are most helpful to produce active learners.


  • Journal

    Day 2 Teaching of Reading – Literacy

    I love to read aloud!

    Today I learnt that stories are great ways to begin lessons, to connect the teacher with the student, to connect the student with their creative and imaginative self, with the goal to stimulate learning.

    Class began with the story of The Knee High Man by Julius Lester where the theme of self actualization was evident.  Then we decoded reading:

    1. Word Identification
    2. Vocabulary Acquisition
    3. Comprehension

    Here are some more takeaways. Reading and literacy are inextricably bound to each other.  Just as we cannot separate the clouds from the sky, if a person cannot read, functional literacy will be a challenge.  Reading is important not just for ourselves to negotiate our existence in the world, but also to help us become useful contributors within our community and spheres of influence.

    There are many types of literacy such as academic literacy, media literacy, numerical literacy, political, digital and financial literacy, to name a few.  Is it ignorant to postulate that literacy only encompasses the ability to read and write as literacy transcends many facets of one’s human existence?  Assuredly, yes.  As an aside I certainly think that a focus on sexual literacy in schools can help teens make better informed choices as it relates to their sexual behaviours.

    Another valuable nugget from class discussion was that literacy uses language.  For us to express language we utilize phonology (speech sounds), orthography (spelling patterns), morphology (composition/formation of the written word), graphology (shape of the language characters) syntax (grammar rules), and semantics (word meaning).

    Upon reflection I feel fortunate that English is my arterial language as it is riddled with language complexities and exceptions.


  • Journal

    Day 1 Teaching of Reading – Ready, set, go!

    I was there early anxiously awaiting the start of class and at the end I was pleasantly stirred up to embrace all the course promised to offer, not just from the teaching and content but from the imminent deposits made to my pedagogical bank from the experiences shared by my classmates from different parts of Trinidad and Tobago and the region.

    I became reacquainted with the word paucity which I intend to colour my next speech at an upcoming Toastmasters Club Meeting.  At class the concept of multiple intelligences was introduced to categorize the array of human talent that may be highly evident in facets of a human’s talent demonstration while a paucity of talent was not present in other areas.  For example, persons who display exceptional talent in the area of gymnastics may display less ‘intelligence’ in other areas.

    At the core of the lecture was the tenet that every teacher is a teacher of reading and ought to create a learning environment that is relevant, creative and FUN for students.