Thank you for hearing children read at school. These notes will give you some guidance about what you will do. Who you will hear read will depend on what the teachers feel will be the best use of your time. It might be that you will have a group of children who will read to you on a regular basis or you may listen to different children on each visit or you may concentrate on one or two particular children.
Whenever you are working with children in school you are under the direction of a teacher who is responsible for what the children are learning. You might work in the classroom or in a central area. The teacher with whom you are working might ask you to do certain things with certain children The guidance here is very general and what actually happens will – as always – depend on the age and ability of the children, as well as what the teacher wants you to do.
Here are some suggestions:
- Talk with the children about the book they are reading. What is it about? Do they like it? What has happened so far? What do they think will happen next?
- When a child does not know a word, ask them to try it and then tell the child what it is. Only get involved in word building if the teacher has asked you to so this and suggested how to approach it with the children.
- If a child misreads a word, stop them and say the correct word. If, however, it is a word which makes no difference to the meaning (for example ‘home’ instead of ‘house’ or ‘water’ instead of ‘sea’), praise the child for their very good attempt.
- Use lots of praise and encouragement, and avoid criticism. It is important that the children become confident with reading.
- Make full use of the time available. Hear children read, or talk to them about their reading, for as long as possible. This gives them extra practice and children often become more fluent if they read for longer than two or three minutes. However, don’t make them read for longer than they can keep their interest and attention on the task. Teachers will give you guidance on this depending on he age and ability of the children.
- We might ask you to make notes when you hear children read; the teacher will give guidance on this.