My reading clinic in Corpus Christi is still closed this fall. We will silently wait until the health officials announce that it is safe for children younger than 12 years to be vaccinated and return. One of our rules is “to do no harm.” We want to teach children to read, and we do—very successfully, but we will never put children at risk. We can easily catch the children up later—no problem. We have had children move up four grade levels in reading in one year. The children who have fallen behind in reading during the pandemic can definitely be taught to read at age level after it is safe.
Our reading clinic is not meeting during the coronavirus pandemic. Area schools are closed and all activities at St. John's United Methodist Church, which provides our space, have been cancelled. We'll be in touch when it is safe to begin meeting again.
At the reading clinic today, the children will be starting a new unit about the oceans. Last week, the children launched pop bottle rockets, each covered with 100 new words that the children had captured, and they finished their alligators, also covered with new words that they had captured.
To capture a word, the child writes the word correctly, spell it, say what it means, and sound out the word and use it in a sentence.
The free reading clinic meets 4:00-6:00 pm in the Community Life Building at St. John's United Methodist Church, 5300 S Alameda St, Corpus Christi, TX 78412. This is not a religious program; the church provides meeting space and financial support as part of their community outreach. We do, at the moment, have openings for children (grades 1-3). Volunteers are always appreciated. Click the email link above if you're interested. We would love to see you!
We had a fantastic day at the Reading Orienteering Club on Thursday in Corpus Christi, Texas. We concluded our unit on outer space by launching our Saturn V rockets.
Each rocket contained 100 words that the students had been working on for the past several weeks. We call it simply capturing tricky words. The 100 words were words that each student could not read, spell, or did not know a definition for. To launch their rocket, each student had to capture 100 tricky words and write them neatly on their rocket, using correct spelling and manuscript style writing.
We also ended our session on Thursday with three puppet plays. Two of the puppet plays had been written by two of the students. We use puppet plays to teach reading fluency; it’s the best way. I was also especially proud of the teamwork and cooperation displayed by all of the students as they worked together to present their puppet plays. Working to become a cooperative cohesive group is one of the counseling strategies that we use at the reading clinic.
Next week, we start learning all about the ocean, especially coral reefs.
We are ready to get started again with the reading clinic on January 13th at 4:00 PM at St. John's in the Community Life Building. We still meet every Monday and Thursday from 4:00 to 6:00 PM. We naturally will not meet on January 20th for Martin Luther King Day. We observe all school holidays.
Test scores were excellent this fall. We had two students who moved up 2 grade levels in reading, just from September. Fantastic!
We return with new emphasis on comprehension. We have several students struggling in comprehension, so I've written some new comprehension workstations. For students who are ready, there will be comprehension skill-building activities at every session.
We still have room for 6 new students. If you know of a child who needs help in reading, have the parent contact me. (Click the e-mail envelope at the top right of this page.)
A dedicated group of volunteers continues to help children learn to read in Corpus Christi. The program is intended for first through third grade students, although we often include other ages. We use hands-on projects, puppet skits, and group-centered prevention techniques to teach vowel clustering. We are seeing exceptional results as students improve their reading skills week-by-week. St. John's United Methodist Church sponsors this non-religious program by offering space and financial support. We are located at 5300 S. Alameda St, in Corpus Christi, Texas. We meet on Mondays and Thursdays when school is in session from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
The program is absolutely free to students. There is no charge and all materials are provided. We are always looking for volunteers, and we currently have room to add a few more students. To contact Elaine, click the email button at the top right of the screen.
The children are making fabulous progress at the reading clinic. One little boy went racing over to greet his parents at the end of the session to show them the new words he could spell. Each day we’re seeing improvement. No, we cannot erase reading failure in one or two months, but everyone is improving. The children use creative art therapy hands-on projects to encourage them to work on difficult tasks and to take the new words that they have “captured” home with them. When the child encounters a word they do not know, cannot read, or cannot spell, the child captures the word and uses 4 steps to learn that new word. Then, they place the word on their project and take it home to practice. Afton the Ant, shown here, is just one example. Afton is covered with 30 new captured words. (See my previous Reading News post for details!)
In October, we did a special workshop on “Reading for Details” to sharpen comprehension skills. Even beginning students, read a chapter book and worked on comprehension skills.
Each Thursday, the children end the session at 5:45 PM with a puppet play. The children practice reading out loud which builds reading fluency. Guests are always welcome for the puppet play.
We still need volunteers to help the children learn to read. We appreciate your support. Come and help us teach a child to read. Reading failure stops many children from being successful in life. When we stop reading failure and teach a child to read, we change that child’s life forever. I truly believe: If you teach a child to read, you can change the world.
Each of these puppets, which the children made themselves by following step-by-step directions, is covered with dozens of words that the children have captured. One group of children read the puppet play out loud, while another group displayed their puppets to illustrate the different characters.
Reading and following directions is an important skill.
To capture a new, tricky word, a student spells the word and says the letter sounds, gives the definition, uses the word in a sentence, and writes it correctly - four steps!
A wonderful group of children and dedicated volunteers continue to work on reading skills at the Reading Orienteering Club in Corpus Christi. The children are learning letter sounds using the principles of vowel clustering. Here are two of the projects that children completed to improve their reading skills.
As the children make their hands-on project of Afton the Ant, they also learn 30 new words. To capture a word, the student must spell the word and say the letter sounds, give the definition, write the word correctly, and use it in a sentence. Each of Anton's legs is covered with 5 captured words. Projects like this make it fun to learn new words.
Here's another project that a student completed during the reading clinic. Each of Sharigan the Snake's scales contains a carefully written manuscript letter. Research shows that when children learn to write in careful manuscript style, this helps them learn to recognize letter shapes and read more efficiently.
Please keep your eye on our Reading News. We'll soon report about the children's puppet plays, in which they learn to read out loud with expression and fluency.
The reading clinic meets from 4:00-6:00 pm on Mondays and Thursdays at St. John's United Methodist Church in Corpus Christi. The program is not religious; but the church simply provides space and support as part of their community outreach.
We're always looking for volunteers. Click the email link above and contact Elaine if you're interested.
Thank you to everyone for a fabulous week at the Reading Orienteering Club. The children are working hard and making progress, and we sincerely appreciate the work and support of parents, grandparents, university student volunteers, and community volunteers. A special thank you also to everyone at St. John’s United Methodist Church for making this project possible. The Camp Sharigan Project is truly an outreach and community endeavor.
This week, our first week in the Reading Orienteering Club, the students captured or worked on learning 20 new words to make puppets for their puppet play and to take home and practice. I hope all parents will encourage the children to sit down and practice the new words on their puppet. If your child did not finish their puppet, they will finish this next week.
We had excellent readers and puppeteers to close our weekly program on Thursday. I gave the puppet readers the task of reading the puppet play “cold” - without practice. They did an excellent job. This is important because many times children are asked to read out loud in class, so, they need to practice picking up a script and reading on the spot.
We are meeting on Mondays and Thursdays from 4:00-6:00 pm.
See everyone back on Monday. Have a good weekend
We had a fantastic kick-off week at Camp Sharigan, but there is more to come. We have 22 children enrolled at Corpus Christi. Thank you to parents, grandparents, and volunteers for all your hard work. I especially want to thank those who stayed and helped to pack up on Friday evening. Your help was greatly appreciated. Thank you.
We still need volunteers to fill all the slots for the coming weeks, so, if you would like to join us, please come. The children are eager to learn and appreciate it when you help them learn to read. You can contact me for more information at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I was very proud of all of the children for standing up and reading their stories so well on Friday. Fantastic job!
We start with very simple stories because we want the children to be able to actually read the story they write. Often, when we as adults try to help a beginning reader write a story, we let the student dictate an oral story to us, we write it down for them, and then have them copy what we wrote. Yes, this produces a more complex story. The problem then is that the student cannot read that story. The student becomes frustrated. If we start with simple stories, then the students develop step-by-step and are able to read what they write.
One Step at a Time!
We learn to speak before we learn to read, so, our oral language system is more advanced than our written language. If we begin teaching children through very simple stories, then we allow their reading skills to catch up with their oral skills. At the Camp Sharigan Project, we start with very simple stories—some only one sentence. We will build upon this concept. By the end of the year, we will work to help the students write each and every story they desire. As a piano teacher explained to me once, if you want students to learn to read music, they must begin with simple songs. The same is true in reading and writing.
This week, our schedule changes. We meet only on Monday and Thursday. We still meet from 4:00 to 6:00 PM in the Community Life Building of St. John’s United Methodist Church in Corpus Christi. We are all grateful that the church provides housing and funding for this non-religious program as part of their outreach.
Our theme starting September 23 will be Let’s Go Exploring. The children will also present their first make-believe TV show on Thursday. Come join us.
Children read and follow directions to make the pop-up books. They had already listened to a story about following directions. They wrote a story and pasted it inside the house to make a book. During our closing time Friday, they read their stories to their friends and families. This helped them to develop their oral and written language skills. The children all did a great job!