Literacy and Numeracy Programs
First steps is a literacy resource for teachers researched and developed in Western Australia. It comprises a range of literacy strands in the areas of Reading, Writing, Spelling, and Oral Language. It is designed for schools and jurisdictions looking for a practical resource to improve student literacy outcomes at primary level. The strands adopted here in Ireland are:
- First Steps Writing
- First Steps Reading
- First Steps Speaking and Listening
First Steps has an in built diagnostic framework which allows teachers to assess where children are at in each if the 3 areas. Each phase of the continuum has direct links to appropriate teaching emphases and activities to support the student in moving further along the continuum.
Literacy Lift Off is an intervention that gives children lots of opportunities to read books at their own level of competency and gradually lift the complexity of what they can do in both reading and writing.
Reading Recovery is an intense research based early intervention to prevent reading failure developed in New Zealand by educator and psychologist Marie Clay. Reading Recovery operates as an individually delivered series of lessons based on what each child can do as indicated by a battery of tests administered to children who show signs of struggling with reading and writing following one year of formal teaching. It provides one –to one teaching for the identified children for 30 minutes each day and is supplementary to on-going literacy activities in the classroom. Depending on how a child progresses, the support last for 8- 20 weeks.
Talk Boost is a targeted and evidence-based intervention, which supports language delayed children to make significant progress with their language and communication skills. During the pilot of the project, some children were found to improve their communication by 12-18 months in a ten week period. It consists of three 30-40 min sessions a week, delivered over 10 weeks by a SET. Each session draws on four activities that cover the key components of language - Listening and Attention, Vocabulary, Sentence Building, Storytelling and Conversations.
Maths Recovery is an early intervention programme focussing solely on the number aspect of mathematics developed by R.J. Wright in New South Wales. Maths Recovery comprises the intensive, individualised or small group teaching of low-attaining children from first class by specialist teachers for 10-15 weeks. During this time the child progresses through a stage of early arithmetical learning. Finding out where a child is at along this is done through an assessment tasks. The actual teaching comprises a lesson planned for each pupil and typical characteristics of the lessons are problem solving, teaching just beyond the cutting edge, and close observation of the child’s behaviours.
Ready, Set, Go Maths
Ready, Set Go Maths was developed in Northern Ireland in the early 1990’s by educationalist Eunice Pitt. Its origins are rooted in a two-year action research project which identified use of mathematical language and purposefully designed activities the key factors in determining the successful teaching and learning of mathematics. It is a program pitched at teachers of infant classes and focuses specifically on the development of early number skills and concepts. Typical components include Sorting, Making patterns, Early counting, and are all designed to give a secure start in early number.