Saturday, 26 April 2014

Creating readers with students

When I realised majority of my students can't read let alone understand simple vocabulary like 'likes', 'care', and even 'old', I knew I had to get them to read Peter and Jane, a book series that accompanied me since young, and helped me to read and gain common vocab. Problem is, I do not have the books with me and definitely not in the quantity that I need...

So, inspired by some ideas from fellow friends, I got them to create simple Peter and Jane 8-page books. Using plain papers, I cut them into 8 rectangular pieces each, stapled together with coloured front and back, making simple booklets...

After distributing a booklet each to the kids, I started with guiding them to design their cover page, followed by Page 1. I had to do one page at a time with them because some can't even write properly and were copying with wrong spelling. But of course, there are also those who put in extra effort to create the best book they can.

Believe it or not, it actually took 3 periods for the students to complete their books (when I took less than 10 minutes to create a sample *with drawings included *). But you could see they are proud of their work. 

Once I was certain everyone has a complete book, I started drilling them on reading. It was hard at first because despite all the drilling, some are still reading 'likes' as 'lee kers' and 'he' as 'her'. Talk about first language influence.

Having said so, the kids impressed me with their effort to read the book with correct pronunciation. I carried out band 1 reading test, using the booklet, and they were practising hard for it. It was chaotic because while one is reading for me, many others were shouting out the pronunciation of the words to help their friend! Some wouldn't stop yelling, some were reading at the top of their voices and some kept coming to me to check their pronunciation, all while I was trying to test them individually! On a positive note, they were reading!

These kids were so proud when they passed band 1 lol. Some even asked me whether they can read again though they had passed. Some were simply showing off by yelling 'This is Peter. He is a boy. He is ten years old.' to teachers or students passing by lol.

Definitely chaotic.

But amazingly satisfying.

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