Literacy and consistency
This post aims to suggest some solutions to the problems faced in the classroom by learners having low reading ages and poor literacy skills.
Write it right!
With reading ages of our entry year group averaging 13 months behind their current age the importance of literacy can not be ignored when we talk about improving progress and raising achievement!
The reading ages of many students we work with can seem frighteningly low and expectations placed upon us to help them secure a high level or good GCSE/A-level grade are intense. Knowing that learners struggle more and more to read and write at their appropriate age level and you begin to see a dimension of our work which (in some cases) can be ignored/forgotten.
Ignore/forget it at your peril!
Do it often, do it right!
Literacy is integral to success in every subject and every lesson! You need to understand this! As a teacher you have a responsibility to raise literacy standards in your learners in order for them to succeed. Choose a method which works for you and use it, often, daily is my recommendation!
Simplicity = success
Simple tips to increase literacy in your lessons:
- In every lesson highlight key vocabulary on the board
- Give learners time to read and reflect on key vocabulary
- Use word search activities to highlight key vocabulary (they help learners spell the vocabulary by searching for letters in the correct order!)
- Mark work with a key focus on literacy (choose one task that you’ll mark with the focus and feedback only on literacy)
- Give learners time to make literacy improvements in their work
- On worksheets make sure key vocabulary is present and clearly highlighted (in a key Vocabulary box for example)
- Have learners write down their own key vocabulary
- Set subject specific spelling quizzes (to check they know how to spell ‘polygon’ in maths for example)
- With key vocabulary on your board or worksheet have learners peer assess simply to find key words (arm them with highlighters)
- Assign point scores to key vocabulary and award prizes for most often and most appropriate use of key vocabulary (as well as correctly spelled)
- Allow learners to create a subject specific dictionary/thesaurus as the course progresses (easily created in a word processed document they can update each time you introduce a new term)
There are many more ways you can increase the focus on literacy in your lessons but the above suggestions are ones you can easily build into tomorrows lessons. Good luck!
For more easy to use vocabulary resources check out my classroom support slips!