A good place to start...

By Katie Giseburt



We are a literacy organization that believes that the beginning of education is invaluable. So, when we saw in our most recent early grade reading assessment data that, even within the schools we were working with, the reading levels of primary one students were incredibly low we decided to refocus on the years of education we know to be the most formative.

So, we held three trainings: one for K3 (the last year of nursery school) and two for primary one teachers in the Gulu Municipal. We see in our observations and in our reading assessment data that many teachers are comfortable teaching children the sound letters make, but where teachers and children are struggling to make the leap is pushing those sounds together to read words: a process we call blending. Blending is a skill that is essential for children to master if they are going to use phonics to read new words.

So, we created stations where teachers could participate in hands-on activities that strengthen children’s ability to blend sounds into reading words.

These stations included learning aids and activities such as:

·       The Made-Up Word Eating Monster

·       Blending Flip Book

·       Blending Hopscotch

·       Sidewalk Blending Ladder

·       Sidewalk Match the Sound with the Word

·       Slate Drive over the Word Hill

·       Clothes Line Blending

·       Bottle Blending

·       Bottle Top Blending

·       Slide to Find the Missing Sound

All our learning aids are made with local materials. Clear tape can be used to laminate paper so that each literacy game can be played again and again by young learners who are developing and in some of their most formative years of learning.

We will continue to work and walk with the teachers entrusted with these most precious years until young learners are truly grasping the reading skills they need to fully engage with the rest of their education.

Follow our blog to follow our journey with schools here in northern Uganda. 

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