From Reading to INclusion (LS-DI-726)
One of the greatest skills a person can acquire during their education is reading. Reading affects all spheres of our lives. Only a man who reads fluently and with understanding can progress. In the first grade of primary school, each teacher devotes a large part of the curriculum to reading. Given the habits of today’s children, who spend more and more time on various screens, which are insufficiently read, there is an increasing number of those who have difficulty mastering the initial reading. As the school year progresses, and as we come to the end of learning all the letters of the alphabet, those students who have reading difficulties are crystallizing more and more. Everyone in the class notices that they need to read something longer and that they often swap letters with each other. That is why I decided as a teacher on this mini-project that, with the help of peer volunteering, I could succeed in the inclusion of weaker readers in the class, but also that volunteers – the good readers, could somehow identify with them and discover the charms of volunteering.
Students in the first grade still don’t know each other well enough. The task of each teacher is to raise awareness of the differences and peculiarities of each individual, but also through class management to make inclusion where necessary. That’s how I started this mini project – raising awareness and celebrating diversity. The students had to present themselves on their puzzle but also put their own into a class puzzle – under the motto: Every piece of the puzzle is important!
To continue the volunteer part of inclusive reading, I chose Judith Kerr’s picture book, The Tiger Who Came to Tea, an international children’s book, translated into many world languages. Although this LS was done in Croatian language classes, the concept is adaptable to be done in any language.
The students were paired in the following way: weaker-better readers, so they remained in the team until the end of the mini-project.
While performing inclusive reading, I relied on the Orton Gillingham method of learning – learning to read through a multisensory approach. In this way, students learned to read each other first by focusing on the vocabulary most commonly used in the picture book, using different senses – sight, hearing, taste, and movement.
During the inclusive reading, we conducted various types of evaluation – from peer to self-evaluation.
The inclusive reading project benefited everyone – students who were weaker readers realized they could read better and their self-confidence grew, but also students who volunteered and were teachers in this project.
– I am proud of myself!
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Public Domain Mark 1.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Jewish Historical Museum.
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