Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent disruption to schools, many Australian parents have found themselves managing their child’s education at home. Parents of students currently completing first year of school have also found themselves assisting their child to learn how to read.
At Optimise we understand that students who are learning how to read, benefit from specialised support and guidance. It is vitally important for young students to be taught how to read. We also understand that parents are not trained to teach a young child how to read. In light of this, our education team has developed a series of online classes specifically for young students who are currently completing their first year of Primary school. Our qualified and experienced teachers will introduce students to a range of early print concepts, early reading skills and phonemic awareness.
As many families are currently experiencing COVID-19 related financial pressures, we have decided to offer our early literacy classes for FREE.
Reading is the process of constructing meaning from print and other symbols. It is the result of a complicated process that involves decoding abstract symbols into sounds, then into words that generate meaning.
It is vital that children who are just beginning to read are supported appropriately and provided with many opportunities to feel successful. Developing a young students reading confidence along with their early reading skills is key. It is so important to recognise and celebrate their efforts, because most children will find reading ‘tricky’ at first, and reminding them of how well they are doing will help them to develop their self-confidence, and a positive attitude towards this vitally important skill.
When a young student who is learning to read looks at a page in a book, this is what it would look like to them, see image below. The student can see groups of black squiggles, known as letters arranged in a linear fashion, across the page. There are spaces in between the groups of the letters. Some groups have many letters; other groups have just a few. The letters are different sizes, some are large and others are small. Some children might recognise some letters, perhaps they can recognise letters that are in their name, or in their sibling’s name but a few letters may still be unfamiliar.
As children begin to learn to read, they develop their understanding of how print works. They are constructing their understandings of what a range of print related terms mean including page, book, letter, word, sentence and picture. Print concepts include knowing how to hold a book correctly, turning the pages from left to right, beginning to read at the top of the page and reading from left to right and the return sweep, which is moving eyes back to the left hand side to read the next line. Students begin to understand that print contains a message, and that printed words are read the same way each time.
Have you ever wondered what is happening inside your child’s brain as they read?
Firstly your child’s needs to know where to start reading from on the page, they need to know which way to read, and what to do when they reach the end of a line of text. Your child’s eyes need to scan those squiggly lines known as letters, and recognise the groupings of letters as words. Then, areas of your child’s brain work to associate the written symbols with the sounds of language that are already known. As this association occurs, other parts of your child’s brain decode the writing into a mental message that your child can understand.
FREE LITERACY CLASSES FOR STUDENTS IN THEIR FIRST YEAR OF SCHOOL
Our teachers will be facilitating FREE ‘Developing Early Literacy Skills’ classes for students who are currently completing their first year of school. Students will be introduced to a range of early reading strategies, the letters of the alphabet and the sounds they usually make. Classes are live and taken by our qualified and experienced teachers. To maximise the potential for students to learn from our ‘Developing Early Literacy Skills’ classes, it is recommended that parents attend these classes with their child.