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Discuss the teaching methods used in the literacy hour. Use references to relevant reading to support your discussion.

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Discuss the teaching methods used in the literacy hour. Use references to relevant reading to support your discussion. The following essay will consider some of the components of the literacy hour and discuss the strategies teachers use to utilise these methods within the classroom. Literacy is at the heart of the drive to raise standards in schools (DfES, 2001, pg2) The above quote is taken from the National Literacy Strategy framework for teaching which, since 1998 has highlighted the importance of teaching English to all schoolchildren. The framework was introduced to couple the National Curriculum document and builds on theories and ideas from previous reports (such as the Kingman report: 1988 and the Cox report: 1989) and documentation which since 1975 have highlighted the importance of having certain attainment targets that children should be achieving. These targets are the acquisition of good speaking, listening, reading, writing and spelling skills, and the Literacy strategy influences teachers in planning and delivering at least an hour long literacy lesson each day, focusing on one or more of these targets. According to the National Literacy document children use a range of strategies, or searchlights, when reading to help them make sense of text. ...read more.


(QCA 1999:p8) Although speaking and listening goes on right throughout the school day teacher's will normally try to introduce a short speaking and listening session at the beginning of the literacy hour. This is commonly known as 'circle time'. It is during this speaking and listening activity that teacher's can utilise a number of ways to develop children's language. For example, children can always be asked simple questions such as 'How are you?' 'What did you do at the weekend?' or 'Did you enjoy your holidays?'. In most cases children will respond greatly to the practitioner and reel off a long list of activities that they participated in. However, the above are examples of closed questions and some less confident children may just as easily answer in one word. To combat this problem good teachers can use a combination of open questions that will allow the child to reflect and answer in greater detail. So questions such as 'How can we... 'Do you think... 'Where did....or 'Is there.... May open up a child-teacher or class- teacher conversation, which will benefit the whole groups language skills greatly. From personal experience in an early years setting it can be suggested that allowing individual children to bring in toys or other items from home ...read more.


During this time the teacher should also maintain a vigorous pace and focus on his set objectives. During guided writing pupils should be set a specific writing objective (writing a letter or a short story for example) they should then be told to return to their groups and have a go of completing their work on their own. Pupils should also be allowed to view some past examples of good quality writing before they start so they have a general idea of what is expected of them. When the activity is being undertaken it is important for practitioners to remember that although this is independent work some students will still need support from their teacher. The guided writing sessions will allow for the practitioner to spend time with one or two of his/her ability groups so as to re-enforce the learning objectives and aid in the correct writing composition. To conclude, it is thought that this essay has highlighted the importance of having a literacy hour and a national strategy from which to work from. Although the NLS is not compulsory it can be seen that by using the framework along with the national curriculum document teachers can plan and teach effective lessons using a range of fun and interactive methods. ...read more.

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