Moms tackle reading problem

2018-11-20 06:01
Sandra Hammond, Bay Primary learning support teacher from Ottery, Logan September (11) from Siverglades in Fish Hoek, and Elizabeth Nadler-Nir, inventor of VRG.

Sandra Hammond, Bay Primary learning support teacher from Ottery, Logan September (11) from Siverglades in Fish Hoek, and Elizabeth Nadler-Nir, inventor of VRG.

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Mothers are meeting with learners at Bay Primary School in Kalk Bay once a week to help learners improve their reading using the online reading tool, Virtual Reading Gym (VRG).

VRG can be used by primary school learners, with a focus on Grade 4 learners. With VRG the remedial reader now works online alongside a real life mentor who could be a therapist, a parent, a responsible and committed older child, or a teacher. Child and mentor work through a series of reading passages starting with the easiest and getting progressively more challenging.

Each piece comes with a set of questions and together they test the child’s reading speed, accuracy, comprehension and
vocabulary.

The programme has been designed with an inbuilt reward system. The child cleans up a polluted city with each successive victory. Children find it fun and mentors enjoy it too, but most importantly progress is real and the results measurable.

Teachers at Bay Primary have noted a marked improvement in the two months that the initiative has been running. The school has been using VRG since August.

Sandra Hammond, Bay Primary learning support teacher, says: “I have noticed an improvement in my students’ ability to re-read a question in maths problems. This skill is taught by VRG and the children are applying it, which improves comprehension in maths. My students are also reading more fluently and correcting their own mistakes.”

The “Lucky Bean” initiative aims to provide 80 learners from eight schools in the Cape Peninsula with access to VRG. These schools are Good Hope Seminary Junior School in Gardens, Timour Hall Primary in Plumstead, Ellerton Primary in Three Anchor Bay, Camps Bay Primary and Kronendal Primary in Hout Bay.

This online reading programme has found a unique way to teach the challenged reader how to be a better reader. VRG’s uniqueness lies in that it learns about the reader and it teaches them based on their reading challenges. With literacy among Grade 4 learners in South Africa at an all-time low, VRG and the “Lucky Bean” initiative could not be more timely.

Large numbers of South African children struggle to understand what they are reading. South Africa was placed last out of 50 countries in the recently released Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS). When the results of this study were released towards the end of last year, it sent shock waves through South Africa, as it highlighted that the education system is failing young learners. The study found that eight out of 10 Grade 4 learners cannot read for meaning. If children can’t read, they can’t learn, so are more likely to be trapped in the scourge of poverty, hopelessness and unemployment. Being able to read enables children to live a better future.

However, this problem is one that can be solved, given the right interventions. VRG is one such intervention. It was developed for the delayed older reader, who can cope with a basic Grade 2 text. Readers are not born with ready-made reading circuitry in the brain – this needs to be developed through a great deal of practice and encouragement. For many this process is painless, but for others, it is fraught with struggles.

Delayed reading can result in a fragile academic self-esteem and a lack of confidence around learning. VRG treats errors as treasures, because the programme is tailored to the area of need, and the reader gets rewarded for choosing to work on their errors. Readers work with a more experienced reading mentor who is able to create a supportive environment to practise targeted reading skills. The reading partner can be a parent, volunteer, peer mentor or therapist. The mentor is also supported through video demonstrations of every part of this reading tool.

Since its launch in 2017, VRG has been well received by the remedial community with many schools utilising VRG and recommending it to parents. The “Lucky Bean” initiative has given VRG the opportunity to make this tool more accessible and scalable to schools.

Inventor of VRG, Elizabeth Nadler-Nir, says: “We are absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to assist struggling readers to improve their reading accuracy, reading fluency and to build vocabulary skills so as to bolster the ultimate goal of reading which is comprehension of text. Technology is a great resource in changing the alarming statistics released in the PIRLS report.”VFor more information, visit www.virtualreadinggym.co.za or contact Alison on 076 690 0276 or at info@virtualreadinggym.co.za.

Mothers are meeting with learners at Bay Primary School in Kalk Bay once a week to help learners improve their reading using the online reading tool, Virtual Reading Gym (VRG).

VRG can be used by primary school learners, with a focus on Grade 4 learners. With VRG the remedial reader now works online alongside a real life mentor who could be a therapist, a parent, a responsible and committed older child, or a teacher. Child and mentor work through a series of reading passages starting with the easiest and getting progressively more challenging.

Each piece comes with a set of questions and together they test the child’s reading speed, accuracy, comprehension and
vocabulary.

The programme has been designed with an inbuilt reward system. The child cleans up a polluted city with each successive victory. Children find it fun and mentors enjoy it too, but most importantly progress is real and the results measurable.

Teachers at Bay Primary have noted a marked improvement in the two months that the initiative has been running. The school has been using VRG since August.

Sandra Hammond, Bay Primary learning support teacher, says: “I have noticed an improvement in my students’ ability to re-read a question in maths problems. This skill is taught by VRG and the children are applying it, which improves comprehension in maths. My students are also reading more fluently and correcting their own mistakes.”

The “Lucky Bean” initiative aims to provide 80 learners from eight schools in the Cape Peninsula with access to VRG. These schools are Good Hope Seminary Junior School in Gardens, Timour Hall Primary in Plumstead, Ellerton Primary in Three Anchor Bay, Camps Bay Primary and Kronendal Primary in Hout Bay.

This online reading programme has found a unique way to teach the challenged reader how to be a better reader. VRG’s uniqueness lies in that it learns about the reader and it teaches them based on their reading challenges. With literacy among Grade 4 learners in South Africa at an all-time low, VRG and the “Lucky Bean” initiative could not be more timely.

Large numbers of South African children struggle to understand what they are reading. South Africa was placed last out of 50 countries in the recently released Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS). When the results of this study were released towards the end of last year, it sent shock waves through South Africa, as it highlighted that the education system is failing young learners. The study found that eight out of 10 Grade 4 learners cannot read for meaning. If children can’t read, they can’t learn, so are more likely to be trapped in the scourge of poverty, hopelessness and unemployment. Being able to read enables children to live a better future.

However, this problem is one that can be solved, given the right interventions. VRG is one such intervention. It was developed for the delayed older reader, who can cope with a basic Grade 2 text. Readers are not born with ready-made reading circuitry in the brain – this needs to be developed through a great deal of practice and encouragement. For many this process is painless, but for others, it is fraught with struggles.

Delayed reading can result in a fragile academic self-esteem and a lack of confidence around learning. VRG treats errors as treasures, because the programme is tailored to the area of need, and the reader gets rewarded for choosing to work on their errors. Readers work with a more experienced reading mentor who is able to create a supportive environment to practise targeted reading skills. The reading partner can be a parent, volunteer, peer mentor or therapist. The mentor is also supported through video demonstrations of every part of this reading tool.

Since its launch in 2017, VRG has been well received by the remedial community with many schools utilising VRG and recommending it to parents. The “Lucky Bean” initiative has given VRG the opportunity to make this tool more accessible and scalable to schools.

Inventor of VRG, Elizabeth Nadler-Nir, says: “We are absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to assist struggling readers to improve their reading accuracy, reading fluency and to build vocabulary skills so as to bolster the ultimate goal of reading which is comprehension of text. Technology is a great resource in changing the alarming statistics released in the PIRLS report.”VFor more information, visit www.virtualreadinggym.co.za or contact Alison on 076 690 0276 or at info­@­virtualreadinggym.co.za.

Mothers are meeting with learners at once a week to help learners improve their reading using the online reading tool, Virtual Reading Gym (VRG).

VRG can be used by primary school learners, with a focus on Grade 4 learners. With VRG the remedial reader now works online alongside a real life mentor who could be a therapist, a parent, a responsible and committed older child, or a teacher. Child and mentor work through a series of reading passages starting with the easiest and getting progressively more challenging.

Each piece comes with a set of questions and together they test the child’s reading speed, accuracy, comprehension and
vocabulary.

The “Lucky Bean” initiative aims to provide 80 learners from eight schools in the Cape Peninsula with access to VRG. These schools are Good Hope Seminary Junior School in Gardens, Timour Hall Primary in Plumstead, Ellerton Primary in Three Anchor Bay, Camps Bay Primary and Kronendal Primary in Hout Bay.

This online reading programme has found a unique way to teach the challenged reader how to be a better reader. VRG’s uniqueness lies in that it learns about the reader and it teaches them based on their reading challenges. With literacy among Grade 4 learners in South Africa at an all-time low, VRG and the “Lucky Bean” initiative could not be more timely.

The programme has been designed with an inbuilt reward system. The child cleans up a polluted city with each successive victory. Children find it fun and mentors enjoy it too, but most importantly progress is real and the results measurable.

Teachers at Bay Primary have noted a marked improvement in the two months that the initiative has been running. The school has been using VRG since August.

Sandra Hammond, Kalk Bay’s Bay Primary learning support teacher, says: “I have noticed an improvement in my students’ ability to re-read a question in maths problems. This skill is taught by VRG and the children are applying it, which improves comprehension in maths. My students are also reading more fluently and correcting their own mistakes.”

Large numbers of South African children struggle to understand what they are reading. South Africa was placed last out of 50 countries in the recently released Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS). When the results of this study were released towards the end of last year, it sent shock waves through South Africa, as it highlighted that the education system is failing young learners. The study found that eight out of 10 Grade 4 learners cannot read for meaning. If children can’t read, they can’t learn, so are more likely to be trapped in the scourge of poverty, hopelessness and unemployment. Being able to read enables children to live a better future.

However, this problem is one that can be solved, given the right interventions. VRG is one such intervention. It was developed for the delayed older reader, who can cope with a basic Grade 2 text. Readers are not born with ready-made reading circuitry in the brain – this needs to be developed through a great deal of practice and encouragement. For many this process is painless, but for others, it is fraught with struggles.

Delayed reading can result in a fragile academic self-esteem and a lack of confidence around learning. VRG treats errors as treasures, because the programme is tailored to the area of need, and the reader gets rewarded for choosing to work on their errors. Readers work with a more experienced reading mentor who is able to create a supportive environment to practise targeted reading skills. The reading partner can be a parent, volunteer, peer mentor or therapist. The mentor is also supported through video demonstrations of every part of this reading tool.

Since its launch in 2017, VRG has been well received by the remedial community with many schools utilising VRG and recommending it to parents. The “Lucky Bean” initiative has given VRG the opportunity to make this tool more accessible and scalable to schools.

Inventor of VRG, Elizabeth Nadler-Nir, says: “We are absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to assist struggling readers to improve their reading accuracy, reading fluency and to build vocabulary skills so as to bolster the ultimate goal of reading which is comprehension of text. Technology is a great resource in changing the alarming statistics released in the PIRLS report.”VFor more information, visit www.virtualreadinggym.co.za or contact Alison on 076 690 0276 or at info­@virtualreadinggym.co.za.

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