Monday, January 22, 2007

kidsREAD 2007: Pre-Test

Date: 20 January 2007

kidsREAD has officially restarted for 2007 with us conducting the pre-test for assessing the children's reading age. This helps us assess the reading level for the children so that we can group them into classes condusive for their development needs.

We have about twenty plus children in the programme this year which is slightly less than less year. This is normal because a number of parents learn about the program from other parents or when they drop by the student service centre to use the library or attend the tuition programmes.

Most of my original class of nine from last year are still in this year's class as they were aged 7 then and have become 1 year older at 8 this year. The kidsREAD program caters for children aged from 4 to 8 and hence Primary 2 is the last year for most students.

It was refreshing to see them again and their energy and enthusiasm certainly made the morning enjoyable for me as I conducted the pre-test. The pre-test is a written test where the children are required to circle the correct stimulus word that I read out in the following sequence:

  1. Stimulus word e.g. walk
  2. Sentence e.g. Can you walk over to the store now?
  3. Stimulus word e.g. walk
  4. Choices: work talk walk wok
It reminded me of listening comprehension but tested the child's understanding and recognition of words. The older children (primary 2) breezed through the test though the younger ones (primary 1) took a bit longer since they were 1 year behind the older children.

The class looks to be promising as I have some of my very good readers with me for the second year plus some of the younger children that I need to help bring up to speed. I have to remind myself that this is not an academic programme and the main objective is to inculcate in the children a life-long love for reading and not just reading to score "A"s in their English (though that is a good by-product of this programme!). :-)

I am also thankful that many of last year's volunteers are continuing for another year and we even have new volunteers coming on board. This will give the programme the foundation to touch more lives of the children in our community for better.

kidsREAD 2007 - Ladies and Gentlemen, please start your engines! *vrooom*!!!!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Beginnings: KidsREAD 2007

Our kidsREAD program will be starting on 20 January 2007 with a pre-test for the children whose parents have enrolled them in our program for 2007.

Currently we have 17 applicants and it looks like we will have 3 classes this year instead of 4 last year. I am hopeful that we will have a better student-volunteer ratio this year so that we can try more innovative programs and get some 1-to-1 coaching to some of the students whose foundation in English is weak.

My aspirations for kidsREAD 2007 at Jurong Student Service Centre:

  1. To conduct monthly story telling sessions for combined classes.
  2. To measure the child's progress through the kidsREAD program is a more structured manner.
  3. To be patient with the children and to inject enthusiasm and fun into reading.

Let's see how the program turns out this year. I am happy that there could be new (young and enthusiastic) volunteers joining us this year and hope that the existing experienced volunteers (who are young at heart and equally enthusiastic!) would continue on as that would make it a more dynamic and sustainable program.

KidsREAD 2007, here we go. :-)