Tag Archives: phonemes

Probationers Experience Active Literacy

 Sharon Wallace, Curriculum Support Team has delivered Active Literacy training this week to all primary probationer teachers in Falkirk.

The two sessions covered the range of strategies and methodologies used across all stages to develop skills in all areas of literacy.

The probationers enthusiastically participated in activities including a spelling test to highlight how we draw on our own phonological awareness, knowledge of spelling rules and phonemes to spell words. They also put a series of words into Elkonin boxes examining the 40 phonemes in the Active Literacy programme.

Sharon provided the primary probationers with a full overview of the programme from early to second level. They developed their knowledge of phonemic awareness, spelling strategies including: mnemonics, words within words and syllabification. Colleagues are aware of how the five finger strategy, effective use of resources such as Smart notebook tools, magnetic boards and letters and reciprocal teaching can enable pupils to become better spellers. Evidence is showing that pupils are transferring their knowledge of phonemes to other types of writing in different situations.

Sharon also explained how the six key comprehension reading strategies are used across a range of ‘texts’. Probationer teachers discussed the reading skills they are currently developing with their classes and how the six key comprehension strategies supports this development.

In terms of writing, Sharon provided colleagues with an overview of the seven different genres and how these should be addressed across the course of the year.

Sharon also shared the new Active Literacy for parents animation.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/TnXMSAcKcCo" width="425" height="344" allowfullscreen="true" fvars="fs=1" /]Feedback so far has been very positive and has included:

“Thanks very much for the course. I feel really enthusiastic and excited to try out the Active Literacy strategies in class.”

Active Literacy – Stirling University Initial Teacher Education

Sharon Wallace, Effective Teaching and Learning Teacher, Curriculum Support Team has been busy sharing the active literacy message with initial teacher education students at Stirling University. Third year students were provided with a brief overview of the Active Literacy strategies and methodologies before embarking on a practical workshop of activities. The third year students participated in a traditional spelling test followed by an active learning spelling test. They commented on the difference between the two and how much more effective the learning was using the Active approach. They also attempted to split words into Elkonin boxes learned about single phonemes, joined phonemes and split phonemes. They examined a range of ‘texts’ including recipes, stories, picture books and film looking at how the six key comprehension reading strategies can be applied at early level. Students were enthused by this creative approach to active literacy and ‘on a mission’ to try out some of the methodologies on their next teaching placement. It was a really enjoyable morning and Dr. Lynsey Burke commented on how important it is to have had a valuable input and insight into current active literacy approaches within Falkirk Council.

Active Literacy – CPD tv

Sharon Wallace, Effective teaching and learning teacher, Curriculum Support team, has been working on GLOW CPD tv sessions relating to Active Literacy.

The short CPD tv clips provide an introduction to each stage/ aspect of Active Literacy for class teachers.


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Active Literacy – What do the Pupils Think About It?

Sharon Wallace, Effective Teaching and Learning Teacher, Curriculum Support Team, has been carrying out some research with pupils in Falkirk establishments to see what they really think about Active Literacy and how they think it helps them to learn.

We first asked the pupils:

“How would you describe active literacy”?

It is fun and really exciting! It is also very helpful with spelling words, I really like it (P6/7)

Active literacy is a language task that is used to help children improve their spelling and sounds (P7)

It helps you see the phonemes in words (P6/7)

Fun if you are working with a partner (P4/5)

I would describe it as a fun lesson to learn different phonemes and spelling rules to help us spell accurately although I enjoy the tasks (P7)

Fun, great way of learning and very helpful for spelling and understanding of spelling (P6)

A better way than spelling tests (P4/5)

I do like active literacy, but sometimes it can be difficult (P5)

We then asked the pupils how they think Active Literacy has helped them in class and this is what they said:

The spelling rules and syllabification.

I understand my literacy work more using active literacy.

I have got better at spelling and I learn lots of new words.
It helps me get better at my literacy work because we learn different language rules that we remember to help us spell so our work is correct.

It has helped me get better because I really understand it now.

I have learned more about the sounds of words.

It helps you see phonemes in words.

I have learned loads using active literacy.

Here are a few pupil quotes:

“I like active literacy because it helps me improve on my story writing and phonemes. I really like the active literacy homework. I like the spellings”. (P4)

“I like active literacy because I am a better reader and speller and I like all the fun tasks for homework. My favourite task is bubble spelling”. (P4)

“I like active literacy, my favourite part is Elkonin boxes. I prefer Elkonin boxes to diacritical marking, but at least it is helping with my vocabulary and spelling. For homework I like the jingles. My spelling has improved since I started Active Literacy. (P7)