Implementation of “From Reading to Inclusion” (SOI-GR-385)

Author: Chatziloudi Maria, Primary & Elementary Teacher/Educator of Reception Class

School/Organization: 3rd Primary/Elementary School Didimmoticho, Evros

The educational scenario ‘From reading to INclusion’ was created by Anita Matić and implemented by the Greek educator Chatziloudi Maria. Its main purpose is the acquisition of the reading skill of first grade children who find it difficult to readeven after 4 months of systematic learning of the letters.  Through  playful activities students engage with aspects of Science, practice basic language processes and become familiar with citizenship skills. The implementation of the scenario was completed in one week  of approximately one teaching hour of activities each day. The educational scenario was tested in a mixed age class of 7, 8 and 9 year old students, in a special Greek language learning section.

mplementation framework and learners profile

This scenario ‘From Reading to INclusion’ (LS-DI-726) is aiming the reading ability, highlighting of the concept of diversity. The class in which it was implemented consists of Turkish-speaking linguistic minorities in Greece and specifically students who have mastered the verbal ability in both languages (Greek and Turkish), but have not sufficiently mastered the mechanism of reading and writing as a result of which they fall behind in their classes. They have already been taught Greek for 6 months through a holistic, syllabic, and communicative methods. The teaching was implemented within the educational program of the Greek Reception Classes Z.E.P. (Educational Priority Zones) where the students attend throughout the school year alongside their attendance at general education and within school hours.

  The different ages of the children (7,8,9 years old), their partial or total marginalization in the school environment due to their diversity, and the lack of sufficient support from their family’s environment due to high illiteracy rates were the main reasons for choosing this scenario.

The total number of children was 12 students. During the implementation process, more time was required than the suggested teaching time of the learning scenario. More specifically, it took 5 teaching hours (45′) over a week.

Implementation stages, tools, and student interaction

The duration was adjusted according to the student’s abilities and the time offered. Below are recorded activities per teaching hour, the materials used, and the actions of the children:

1st teaching hour

The children participate in a kinesthetic diversity game based on their external characteristics, following the teacher’s instructions. The students showed with their choices that they understood the teacher’s instructions, they had fun and in the end, it was a pleasant surprise for them to find out that everyone is so different from each other.

Students were then given A4 sheets of paper and asked to introduce themselves by drawing four specific pieces of information about themselves. The students cut and glued the puzzle pieces together. We were able to discuss how important each piece is to our picture being complete.

The children were then divided into groups and each group created graphs with the information from the children’s recommendations. The teacher’s support was necessary for them to understand how to measure their data and how to show it graphically.

2nd teaching hour

Students looked at the images from the Europeana repository and discussed in their groups their similarities and differences. It is characteristic that to a corresponding question from the teacher, the majority of the students answered that they do not have fairy tales or books to read at home, apart from school books.

The teacher reads the script book The Tiger Who Came to Tea in greek version  aloud to the whole class. Although not explicitly mentioned anywhere in the original learning senario, it was thought to be motivated to get the children to have the images and the overall story in mind before practicing reading the book’s vocabulary.

  The students are then divided into pairs of strong and weak readers and dictate to each other keywords from the book assuming that they are in the role of teacher they were excited to help their classmate write the word.

3rd teaching hour

Students play Bingo Game for the first time with words from the book and participate universally. Some children who struggle work by identifying the first letters of words by making sound-first-letter matches. Then the groups play a phonemic awareness game with cards. The groups then identified easy and difficult words written on Post-its. This activity has been transformed using both the Greek diphthong vowels and consonants so that it is a challenge for strong students as well. Many of those who did not know them managed to recognize them holistically. After this we had fun with Twister Reading Game. At the end of the day, the students were asked to read 3 words from the cards spread out on the central desks. The student who would read to his classmate at least 3 tabs correctly chose breakfast from the treats mentioned in the story.

4th teaching hour

The students, divided into pairs, take sentences from the summary of the fairy tale and cut it with scissors, separating the words. They are then asked to recreate the original sentences correctly, read them, and copy them into their notebooks. At this point – and while it was not planned from the script – the students suggested that we stick the words and sentences correctly so that they can create the story correctly together.

5th teaching hour

Students take the book summary and try to read the entire paragraph or most sentences in pairs allowing each other to correct each other as they read.

What did my students achieve?

Even though it has been a few weeks since the implementation of the learning senario, they continue to ask me to read words with games, to learn to read more! They were able to learn many new words and recognize them holistically and syllabically through continuous repetition games and this boosted their confidence to learn. Through the implementation of the above scenario, my students realized how different we all are and how we can all learn, read and enjoy books.

Furthermore, the cooperative activities improved the group skills of the children and they had increased opportunities to communicate with each other in both the Greek and Turkish languages. One of the most important lessons for my students is how important their cooperation and mutual support is to achieve their goals. I think they came out more responsible and prouder of themselves!

Due to a lack of infrastructure in the classroom, I had to print the images from the repository on paper, so that the students could not see the process of finding them through active links. However, the intended goal was achieved and the images of the Europeana repository managed to become an occasion for observation, discussion, and awareness of issues of diversity and reading.

Also, it is noteworthy that through the implementation of the scenario, I managed to activate a terribly passive student, who refused to speak Greek to me or did not follow the plenary activities. For me it is a real gain to change it and at the same time a lesson for me to use more pair-based activities and peer assessment.

Competition between pairs becomes the motivation for good cooperation between the good and weak reader of each pair. Finally, I realized that through the gamification of activities and cooperative activities, I save a lot of energy and time to achieve the teaching goals. It’s a scenario that really suited my teaching context and teaching style very well.
 You can find my teaching and learning materials in this folder.

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario? From Reading to INclusion (LS-DI-726) created by Anita Matić

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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 Albertina.

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