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Frequently asked questions

The Reading Discovery Club

Is Reading Discovery Club the same as Early Literacy Support?

Basically yes. Yolanda devised this programme in the U.K. where it ran for many years with Yolanda at the helm, running training and supporting programme delivery. It was called Early Literacy Support and was run under the auspices of Reading Recovery.

Back in New Zealand, Yolanda was excited years later to take up an offer again for Reading Recovery teachers to run Early Literacy Support in their schools. Having run it before, she knew what to do and enthusiastically took up the challenge.

However, the New Zealand version of Early Literacy Support is intended to be team-taught with the New Entrant teacher. This was not possible in Yolanda’s school and so because the programme could not be run as the MOE intended, and because a more child-friendly name was wanted, it was called Reading Discovery Club instead.

Reading Recovery teachers running Early Literacy Support are welcome to use Yolanda’s Reading Discovery Club lesson plans, ideas, and activities for their own programmes.

Can I use decodable readers for the guided reading part of the lesson?

Yes, you can use any reading book you like. Decodables provide excellent opportunities for children to use decoding skills. But to ensure variety, consider mixing them up with other reading materials too.

My students are doing well except one who is struggling. What shall I do?

If the group is too advanced for your student, probably they should not be coming because they need teaching at their level. Struggling every day is not fun for them. Perhaps take the student out of the club and have them come back next term with a new cohort at the same level when they are ready. But if you believe that the student is best to stay, have them sit beside you and give them more support with the activities.

Four books/words a week is too fast for my group. They are forgetting it the next day. Can I go more slowly?

Yes, do one book/word every second day and spend two days on the same book/word with a focus on fluency and expression for the second day. You might find once the children are underway, you can go faster. But only if they are coping well. Don’t lose the pace of your lesson though.

We don’t have the Early Words Readers in our school? Can we use PMs or another scheme?

Yes of course you can. You will need to work out an effective teaching sequence for your reading books so that children aren’t reading books with too many words they don’t know yet. The advantage with the Early Words Readers is that the sequence is worked out for you.

We do Jolly Phonics in our school. Can we use that for the phonics component?

Yes, you can use any phonics scheme you like. Just ensure you can get cards with the letter on one side and a picture of the mnemonic on the other for quick revision.