The Learning Support Assistants have been working one to one with our tier 3 students (11) and in small groups with our tier two students and all students work with a Learning Support Assistant 4 times per week. A structured lesson plan, using resources from Agility with Sound, is followed using a variety of learning tasks that help support letter/sound learning; chunking, word building, word chains, word puzzles, dictation, sliding cards, reading fluency and text comprehension. Text comprehension starts only after decoding words is fluent and automatic. This may take some time for tier 3 students, who are well below the expected level and may also have a learning disability such as dyslexia, issues with processing, or other undiagnosed learning difficulties.
The Agility with Sound Initiative began in term 1 week 5. All staff in the unit had professional development using formative assessment developed by Betsy Sewell. We then planned a 30 minute session (10 minutes on Wordchain app, then 15 to 20 minutes with an LSA) per student or students depending on the need. This helped the LSA’s to be confident when supporting students.The Learning Support Assistants watched all videos and practised with each other using the letter/sound tiles, word sliders, dictation, word cards, word chains, decodable texts, discussions about texts and the Wordchain app.
- Students and Learning Support Assistants moved very quickly to use sounds rather than letter identification.
- Students enjoyed the structured lesson with a variety of skills being taught.
- Students enjoyed the challenge of the word cards and could keep track of their own progress.
- Students were able to decode and read the texts. This was really exciting as most students had struggled with reading for 6 years (we are an intermediate school).
- Reading comprehension improved.
- Students wanted dictation to be part of every session. They could spell words and because we included punctuation as well, achievement happened and students felt good about their learning.
- For some of our boys, competition with correct spelling using the word tiles was a favourite game.
- Students could work together using word tiles and word sliders. This helped with independence and supporting each other.