After the school visits, last week we started our planning for the teacher conferences. We also have ‘limited resources’, so no laptops. Back to pens, paper and sketchy internet access.
It was an intense and amazing process: 6 teachers all from different schools and 2 different countries all collaborating together. We planned 3 phonics inputs from scratch, with no flashcards, use of ICT or photocopied sheets.
Teaching reading here is mostly a whole word process relying on memorisation. And many of the children here can recognise a lot of words. When you teach phonics though, it takes a long time to lay the firm foundation of phonological knowledge required to read words. We’re planning on using the analogy of giving a fish or a fishing rod to illustrate the point. If you invest time in teaching words the children will learn quite a few words and maybe figure out some others. If the children understand phonics, they can figure out new words they have never been ‘taught’.
I have learned so much from my fellow teachers and I am so grateful to have the time to go back to basics and talk about what really matters.