Literacy Lift-Off is a reading intervention introduced in Senior Infants in 2008. It is modelled on elements of a Reading recovery lesson and runs for the entire year. There are at least two trained teachers present, primarily at the Reading and Word Stations. The children are assessed at the beginning of the school year on the Letter ID test and a running record is taken of all the children using the Bench Marking Kit. Six copies of PM books were purchased and a wide variety of both fiction and non-fiction books were chosen. Each year we add to our book collection. All books were levelled according to the Reading Recovery levels and boxed. Each box was then labelled. The boxes were placed on trolleys to be shared between the four classes.
There are 4 ability groups in each class and they rotate around 4 stations spending 10 minutes at each. These groups are regularly reviewed against a checklist and change according to need. The stations are as follows and are led, in as far as possible, by an adult:
Here, children with the same reading needs, read a new book daily, with the teacher. This book is at their instructional level i.e. it is challenging but not too difficult. They learn to use visual, meaning and structural cues and a big emphasis is placed on reading with fluency. As the children read, the teacher uses prompts to help them work out unknown words. This book is brought home that night.
Here the children read books to a parent helper. This book is one that is below their instructional level and they can read independently. They read silently, in pairs, as a group or take turns to read aloud. The emphasis here is on enjoyment and building confidence with phrasing, fluency and problem solving.
Here the children look at how words work. They sort magnetic letters and look for similarities and differences in words. They write their words in dictated sentences and are shown how to use elkonin boxes to record sounds in words.
Here the children free write every day. They put into use what they have picked up at the word and reading stations to compose and communicate a message to a target audience. They use blank copies and are encouraged to problem solve.