Word recognition and its comprehension are those cognitive aspects, which characterize the reading of the first graders. This essay is the result of the observation of the reading class, and communication with the primary teacher who taught this lesson.
When observing the children’s motivation to read it is significant to note that those who had more influence from the parents regarding both practising and simple conversations on the importance of reading have more positive attitudes to read. Thus, those children are more motivated to explore new horizons of reading. Apart from the parents’ education at home, the teacher’s role is to motivate the students to read by using interesting tasks.
The topic of the lesson was based on a fantasy story about a spook. Before the students started reading, they first had to answer the questions from the previous class refreshing their knowledge. Then, they were coherently taken to the topic of the lesson. The whole activity included not only reading but also learning how to do that in a spooky voice. The children first listened to the story and then tried to read it; after that, they had to draw what would be next. Based upon the drawings they came up with, their task was to create a title for the story.
It was very interesting to observe how the children tried to read in different voices. That element definitely motivated their desire to read correctly. Those children, who enjoyed drawing, and it looked like everybody enjoyed drawing, seemed to be in a hurry to read so they could finally start drawing. The teacher was well-prepared for the class, and she was very much involved with the children. Her drama skills were very useful in demonstrating how to speak in a spooky voice. The teacher asked the students correct questions, which would provoke them for more creativity. What is also important, she could create such an atmosphere that children would not feel uncomfortable having a stranger observing their class activities.
After the observation of the reading activities, there was some time to communicate with the teacher. She mentioned about the importance of the development of a firm basis for reading during this year. The teacher stated about the importance of guided reading especially with the first graders. She said that it is important to assess the students’ reading abilities and gather corresponding materials so the children have enough motivation to develop their reading skills. The teacher drew high attention to the planning of the lesson and individual approach to every student.
The children had all the needed materials in their classroom for developing their reading skills. The atmosphere in the building was very inspiring and the game moment was an inseparable part of the whole learning process. As the children of this age need many illustrations along with the other visual and audio materials, they were provided with everything needed. Moreover, the students could use various markers, paints, colored pencils and templates depending on their tasks respectively.
If I had a chance to go back to this class, I would ask the teacher about other methods of presenting that kind of material, as when you observe something, you are convinced that those methods fit the students’ needs the best. When the time passes, one can come up with new and good methods of reading as well. The other questions that I would ask are as follows:
- How much time did the teacher spend for that class preparation?
- Is the work with the children of non-native English speakers harder or easier?
- Does the motivation process occur naturally, or the students are inclined to be motivated?
- What is the fastest way to teach complicated tongue twisters?
In conclusion, this was a well-organized class. The children were highly motivated to read and the teacher did all the best to involve her students in the topic.