Month: October 2014

So what is it that you do . . . ?

Answering this question can prove more difficult than you might expect. Over the last fifteen years, I have developed a programme that helps secondary students with the most serious reading problems to catch up very quickly; now I work with schools to develop a cohesive whole-school literacy strategy, and train staff in close assessment and how to deliver the Thinking Reading programme. That’s simple enough. But there is always the next question: so how does the programme work? It’s not just  that there are so many elements in any given half-hour Thinking Reading lesson; there is also trying to explain that there is a rational, research-tested basis for the way they are arranged, and how each stage progresses to the next lesson. And, of course, there is the tricky business of language, so that when I say ‘precision teaching’ or ‘direct instruction’, an entirely different conversation may be happening in the other person’s head!  First of all, we start with really thorough assessment. We want to know whether the student has problems with decoding, comprehension, …