Developing Teaching Skills
When the phonics program was evaluated at the end of 2014 it was highlighted how much progress the children had made in reading and writing due to the skills the teachers had developed. An education consultant and the teachers from the community recognised that the teachers who work with the children in their first two years of schooling would benefit from similar training.
So this year we are working with 14 teachers from two schools training the Grade R (Reception) and Grade 1 teachers how to teach language skills by using a multi-sensory approach. The teachers will be teaching isiZulu but we believe the principles are the same as isiZulu is a phonetic language.
At this stage, two workshops have been facilitated. I shared about the initial workshop in March. At the second workshop the focus was on giving the teachers the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills of activities they could facilitate to support the children to develop word awareness skills and to play with words.
In small groups the teachers thought of activities they could facilitate to help the children develop an understanding of the concept of a word. The teachers shared their ideas and new activities were demonstrated and practised.
The teachers thought of rhymes they learnt as children and enjoyed sharing rhymes with the wider group. Through this the teachers developed an understanding of the significance of the learning of rhymes in relation to the development of phonological skills.
During the first half of the year we’re specifically focusing on working alongside the Grade R teachers. It has been amazing to see the teachers connecting the phonics teaching to the wider theme they are focussing on. Most of the Grade R teachers have identified that the children need to develop an awareness of word so are providing lots of opportunities for the children to develop these skills.