Parent and teacher responses
Teacher and parent feedback from the Lift Off With Language program have been positive. In addition to increased student performance in early literacy skills, teachers and parents also seemed to have acquired some valuable skills. Teachers agreed that the program increased their knowledge and understanding of phonemic awareness and pre-spelling skills and has provided them with strategies to develop their student's language. They also note that the program provided them with strategies to help their struggling students.
Parents have commented on the knowledge gain they have seen in their children. Parents especially note the improvement in the confidence level their child has with reading. Many were reluctant readers at the beginning. Over the ten weeks, parents noted many were now 'having a go' at reading. Many parents also participated in the activities sent home. This is known because some worksheets were returned to the class or parents informed the speech pathologist about the progress they were making at home with their child.
"We did some home activities. My son improved a lot in his reading. Now he tries to read all the time-all the signs on the street, papers with words on it. He can read so many words that he has gained confidence in himself."
"I have seen improvement. Three months ago she'd pick up a book and say, 'lick' for 'like'. Now she seems to apply some of the rules like the 'e' changes the sound. She is more confident in her reading."
"He is more confident in reading. Before he wouldn't try to sound words, but now he tries."
"I saw a lot of improvement, especially in his confidence. The main thing is he really enjoys reading now and attempts to read. Before, he was reluctant to even attempt. I am very grateful of this program. This has helped my son more than I expected. Keep up the good work."
"She has confidence regards to reading. She used to give up when she found hard words or if she thought she couldn't read. Now she believes she can read, and she likes to read. (She) tries to sound each and every word."
"I noticed improvement in reading. I see her segmenting sounds and sounding out words. It's much better."
"Children are better able to use sounds to help with spelling. Weekly test results reflect this. Children are more confident to have a go."
"The program has made me more aware of the possibilities (to incorporate phonemic awareness activities into curriculum)."
"Children have enjoyed lessons and benefited enormously. Lots of positive comments from parents and students."
"Some children are making closer approximations when writing words. Some have improved in their weekly spelling. The children are developing more self-confidence."
"I was very disappointed to hear that the program was finishing at Sandringham East. I was under the impression that you would be working with the children until the end of the year. The parents are also disappointed. The children are just showing signs of progress."
"The children loved working with you."
"As the program began in the 2nd half of the year, I already had developed an awareness of the different needs and abilities of the kids, however if the program had of started at the beginning of the year, it probably would have helped me to identify specific needs, so in the long run I think the program will assist in this area."
"I now know I need to work on blends more and also work on vowels. Both things I'd brushed over and the children needed more work in these areas."
Results from a questionnaire to grade 1 teachers whose students participated in program as preps
Have you noticed a change in reading levels comparing this class now to last year?
'Yes, lowest is level 6. Last year I had many 0, no level 0 this year. The one level 6 may have other things going on.'
Questions for teachers
How has the program impacted on children's learning?
'It has reinforced the knowledge they have gained during the year and with some students has helped further develop their understandings.
It has helped mostly with a few children in their ability to hear sounds in words i.e. c-a-t. They enjoyed the rhyming work and have benefited from revising things like that.'
How has the program impacted on your approach to teaching literacy?
'Program is the same but it confirms what I've been doing. It also reminded of ways to assist the weaker students.'
'I have incorporated some of what is taught into my literacy block for reading i.e.) syllables.'
Learn more about the program...