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First Steps Term One

First Steps is a literacy resource used in Scoil Phádraig Naofa to promote better teaching and learning in the area of literacy. It has three sections: Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing. The whole school approach of this literacy programme ensures continuity up through the school for the pupils.

This term all classes were focusing on recount and narrative writing. Our new reading strategy is creating images, which encourages the child to picture what they are reading. Finally, in Speaking and listening we were focusing on interest talks this term. Interest talks involve the children presenting on a chosen topic. The interest talks proved extremely popular with the boys, as they enjoyed listening and learning from each other.

First Steps

First Steps helps teachers address current literacy challenges in reading, writing, and speaking & listening.

First Steps provides teachers with steps that help them assess and monitor student needs. It also provides explicit links as to how to help children in the class improve their literacy skills.

First Steps Literacy 2nd Edition includes detailed support materials that will enhance learning and help teachers build effective literacy classrooms.

The First Steps literacy resourse (First Steps Reading and First Steps Speaking and Listening) is successfully being implemented in Scoil Phádraig Naofa. This term the teaching staff engaged in professional development workshops in First Steps Reading. First Steps is a whole school approach to teaching literacy with all classes throughout the school following a two year literacy plan. This term (Autumn '11) in writing the classes have been busy exploring
recount and narrative writing. The reading stratagies in focus this term were self questioning(I wonder why...) and connecting ( This reminds me of...), while speaking and listening focused on story telling and anecdotes. Evidence of the great progress in literacy this term is on display on the First Steps notice board outside Mrs. Twomey's office. Well done to the boys and teachers for embracing this valuable resourse with vigour and enthusiasm!

Reading Recovery and Lift Off

Reading Recovery is an effective early intervention designed to reduce dramatically the number of children with literacy difficulties in the school. Daily tailor-made lessons are provided to childern in a one to one setting. It is an intensive programme which is additional to the regular class literacy activities. Children are helped in a surprisingly short time to make rapid progress. They can quickly develop new patterns of learning and catch up with their classmates and become independent learners. Students read in excess of 500 words per lesson, construct written messages and learn how words work with magnetic letters. A spin-off of this is known as Literacy Lift-Off. Whole class groups recieve additional specialised literacy training. The same activities performed in the reading recovery programme are extended to the entire class. Scoil Phádraig Naofa has a "Lift-Off team" who spend several weeks at a time in Senior Infants, First Class and Second Classes. Assessments are carried out before and after Literacy Lift-Off to monitor each child's progress. The programme has proven to have a high success rate and we are delighted with the results.

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