This week, staff from our reading schools were invited to the RedEarth Centre to make their own Reading Kits for their classrooms.
We provided a Reading Kit box to each teacher, filled with local materials like plastic bottles, cardboard and sugar sacks. The teachers have all received previous training in the teaching of reading using interactive methods. The materials in the box were used to support the implementation of this training, and teachers spent the afternoon making lots of different learning aids. These resources are now being used in their own classrooms to make learning to read more interesting and enjoyable, as well as successful!
RedEarth training focuses on teaching children to read using phonics skills. Until recently, the majority of Ugandan schools were teaching reading using alphabetic names and whole words rather than the phonic sound of each letter. Through the RedEarth phonics model, early learners become fluent Runyoro readers (the local language in Masindi), before transitioning and adapting their skills to the more phonetically complex language of English in P4.
Here are some great examples of the learning aids and resources made from our Reading Kits:
- Bottle Lines are made from plastic bottles and hung across the classroom. They are used to hold letters and words on pieces of cardboard, which can be used interactively to blend sounds and syllables together, or to make sentences.
- Once a child knows consonant and short vowel sounds, they can learn to blend these sounds together to make words using cardboard Consonant Blend Slides. This helps children build awareness of the sounds within words, enabling them to decode individual words.
- Children can practice using the words they have learnt with our Sugar Sack Sentence Maker
- We also use sugar sacks to make our own dual language books!
- Fun Bingo Boards help children reinforce the phonic sounds they have learnt. Here’s a great video from TES on how this learning game can be played.
- Using cardboard pieces, we create sets of Alphabet Flash Cards for each classroom. These are extremely versatile and can be used in lots of interactive ways to teach letter sounds, syllables, rhyming and words.
Currently, between 50-80% of Ugandan children in their second year of school cannot read a single word, which local studies show leads to low attainment and future dropout. The average drop out rate before finishing primary school still remains at around 75-80%. It is believed that equipping these children with vital reading skills, and thus allowing access to information across the curriculum, will motivate them to stay in school.
Learn more about the RedEarth Reading Programme on our website.