Let’s take a look at the next principle of SLOOM! teaching:
Little and Often
“Little and Often” means to teach in small time frames... often!
Rocket science it is not!
If you’ve spent any amount of time in a school, you know that teacher and support staff time constraints can make it difficult to deliver interventions to students. As a teacher, I know that shorter (10-15 minute) sessions require me to be clear and concise with the skills I am teaching.
When it comes to teaching students with literacy difficulties it is vital that targeted intervention and support is delivered in lengths of 5-20 minute (at most) blasts rather than a prolonged, full 1-hour of teaching. If you have a child (or work with one) who needs reading support, think of this as providing them with their “three-a-day” (a few minutes of intervention, a few times a day) as opposed to giving them one giant time slot in which they may lose interest, concentration, attention, and motivation. By doing so, you will likely see their energy and engagement levels increase because of the shorter sessions.
Here’s an example of what a Little and Often 10-15 minute teaching session might look like once you know a student’s current ability:
2-minutes- Sight word/target word practice
2-minutes- Decoding (sounding out) practice
2-minutes- Verbal (out loud) spelling practice using the sounds of words
2-minutes- Word reading practice previously mastered words
2-7 minutes- Story reading (either listening to you read, or they read within their independent (97-100% accuracy) or instructional (93-97%) level.
I hope this advice gives you a clear structure to work from. Have a go at some Little and Often teaching with your student or child at home.
I’d be willing to bet that these shorter sessions will help keep them onside a bit longer!
If you've got any questions send them on over!