From Alan Duff’s original vision in 1992, the Books in Homes programme grew to reach 397 low-decile schools and 78,000 students by 2001, with well over a million books distributed. The evaluation was based on questionnaire responses from Year 5 students, teachers and principals. The results showed that Books in Homes is well established as a powerful force for change in these schools, with significant improvements in reported reading habits and attitudes to reading associated with the length of time the scheme had operated within each school.
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This research shows that focusing on peer and teacher talk about Year 5 and 6 students’ scripts creates significant increases in the quality of the students’ written language. Students’ initial comments about their writing were largely general, affective, and unfocused. After professional development teacher support, a follow-up survey indicated a 2-fold increase in talk and talk content that included precise and constructive comment. The students reported greater satisfaction in writing and recognised that their writing had improved.
Thirteen schools that produced high mean literacy scores, relative to their decile levels, in a nationwide survey were visited and studied to identify practices that might account for their students’ strong showing. Principals and teachers of Years 1 and 2 described their reading and language programmes and attempted to identify the key factors in their students’ success. These factors are discussed and a profile of a typical effective junior-class reading teacher is outlined.
Spelling – Write and Right! (Part 3)
In News and Views (No. 3 and No. 4, 2003) we gave you the lists of essential words that make up 75 percent of most writing. We left you with this question:
Q: The essential words make up about 75 percent of all writing.
What about the other 25 percent?
This article outlines Chinese-speaking students' perceptions of what helps and what hinders their learning of science in English in New Zealand secondary classrooms. Six students were interviewed to ascertain their views and explore their experiences.
How are children’s languages, identity, and confidence supported during transitions? This article describes participant research on innovative practices in transition at a Samoan-immersion early childhood "Centre of Innovation". The research investigated the relationship between learning and language continuity as children and educators make transitions from the point of entry to the centre through to beginning school. This collaborative action-research project is generating new findings on transitions.
Many students in an Auckland primary school were able to decode adequately, but still had difficulty in understanding what they read. A modified reciprocal reading programme was shown to improve students’ comprehension.
Specific phonological-based deficits may hinder student’s reading progress. This study found evidence for the presence of these deficits among a sample of older pupils with reading difficulties. Some implications for teaching practices are discussed.
For students to be most successful in their education, schools and teachers need to recognise, plan, and teach for the literacy demands inherent in the learning and assessment activities they undertake across the curriculum. McDonald and Thornley present a "scope and sequence" chart of literacy skills central to student achievement in Years 9–11. To exemplify the significance of this chart they report on their most recent research findings with a group of 57 Year 10 students.
This investigation attempts to identify what literacy practices are perceived as contributing to success by Year 6–8 Pasifika students who are achieving at their age levels or above in reading and writing in English. It explores the Pasifika community's perceptions of the relationship between home–school partnerships and success as a literacy learner.