Saturday, July 27, 2013

Innovative teaching methods improve reading ability of first graders

Innovative teaching methods improve reading ability of first graders
Garima Mishra | Indian Express. Pune | Thu Jul 25 2013

Word games, attractive charts and pictures, teaching lessons through stories and songs, parent-teacher coordination are some of the innovative methods adopted last year by teachers of PMC, PCMC and volunteers of Door Step School. The result — a sharp 43 per cent increase in the reading ability of over 6,000 first grade students from 120 schools.

Interestingly, by the end of the last academic year, percentage of students reading all alphabets and composite letters increased to 53 per cent from 10 per cent. The percentage of students promoted to the second grade, but not able to read dropped from 39 per cent to 12 per cent.

"We have been working with PMC and PCMC schools for a decade. We conducted reading classes and distributed books for first graders. We observed several third and fourth grade students could not read properly. Even parents gave the same feedback. Hence, we came up with a pilot project, which was introduced in 10 schools in 2011-2012 — five each in PMC and PCMC schools," said Mandar Shinde, one of the representatives of Door Step School.

In 2012-2013, the project was introduced in all 120 schools run by PMC and PCMC. Amruta Kulkarni, one of the teachers at Ganapati Matha School in Warje-Malwadi, said the introduction of new methods have not only brought improvement in the reading ability of students, but also resulted in an increase in the attendance of students.

What was missing earlier, according to Shinde, was personal attention and regular evaluation of students. Now, depending on the response of students, teachers have changed their techniques. For instance, if charts didn't work, they tried word games. Day-wise plan on topics-to-be-covered was made and implemented. " Instead of sharing six-month reports with parents, we started monthly reports," Shinde added.

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