By Christy Porter, Managing Editor
The Licking Elementary Reading Tools Project, a program for building reading curriculum each year, received a $1,000 mini grant from Simmons First Foundation, of Simmons Bank.
Literacy Specialist Amy Antle received the grant in August and has carefully chosen items that reinforce and enhance the reading curriculum being taught in the elementary classrooms. The items enable a child to engage their senses while participating in the Science of Reading.
“We’ve learned how to better educate when teaching reading,” said Antle.
As we learn how the brain works when learning to read, the sound production, the manipulation of the letters and processing by the brain, we can improve teaching the science. In some ways technology can assist, and can hinder in others, she explained.
The Licking School District also contributed to the literacy program; they provided Sound wall posters, which assist the students in proper placement of the mouth, and differentiating between quiet and vibrating sound when reading aloud. They also purchased new reading books for teachers K-3 that assist them when teaching the new curriculum. Kindergarteners now have magnet boards that can be used when building words. Class sets were given to first and second grade classes; all third grades and one fourth grade class received small groups sets of the magnet boards.
Among the tools purchased with the grant are whisper phones that multiple students reading aloud in the classroom can use; they make for a quieter environment. Bold Roll and Read dice direct the student on what to read in the corresponding reading curriculum mentioned above. Several new card games teach and reinforce word building; this is achieved by adding vowels or rearranging letters, and building on the Greek or Latin root words used in the English language. Another new addition is Morphology, which also reinforces root words, prefixes and suffixes. A fun, hands-on spelling Kendore kit is an age appropriate “spelling in the sand” format that utilizes beads for a tactile sensory experience. Individual white boards, complete with a marker and eraser, allow students to practice many reading exercises. Fun wands used by the kids and teachers allow visual direction or response to word exercises in a group setting.
Engaging all the senses when learning a fundamental basis for life allows all students to achieve success.
Photos by Christy Porter