Month: May 2014

Can’t Read, Won’t Read: Part One

The Matthew Effect Or, how resolving reading difficulties at secondary school is different from teaching beginning reading. Sam* was not happy at being pulled out of class. Suspicious and wary, he sat down at the computer to complete his assessment while questioning its necessity. We already had the scores for his completed sub-tests, so knew that he was a certainty for beginning a programme in the Literacy Centre. Sam completed the assessment with a flourish – by forcing the wheel of the mouse through the casing, rendering it unusable. Now I had the tricky task of ‘selling’ the intervention to him. A Year 10 student reading at the level of a six-year old. Proud, lively and engaging. A talented footballer who was also on the verge of exclusion, Sam had had help with his reading in the past; that hadn’t helped, so why would this? Kids aren’t stupid. They can tell apart the time-wasting activities from the things that work. One thing that Sam wouldn’t tolerate was his time being wasted. It was important to …