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SSP Approach - Assessing Reading Comprehension - BURT Reading Test


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It is not only the teaching of reading that must change, but the content in 'readers' and the way we assess their progress within every strand.

Overview of the Speech Sound Pics (SSP) Approach to evaluating reading comprehension, from the very beginning stages of decoding.

Burt Reading Test available for download in Member's Area.

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SSP Approach - Assessing Reading Comprehension - BURT Reading Test

  1. 1. Speech Sound Pics (SSP) Approach ~ Copyright 2014 ~ SSP Approach – Evaluating Reading Comprehension. Most reading comprehension assessments do not start at a level that enables beginning readers to decode the sentence/s independently so that they can critically analyse content. While struggling to decode, the content cannot be explored independently. The reason so many schools push sight words/ magic words is because this is the only way to ensure that children can ‘read’ whole language based text such as PM readers. Most are not reading them however, using strategies employed by effective readers, as this relates to the brain ~ eyes ~ information processing system. This ‘whole word recognition’ can only take them so far, and many will struggle to recall them anyway. Not only do we need to re-evaluate how we teach reading, but also the reading material itself (as it relates to the code) and how we assess progress. There are 5 main strands that must be assessed; phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary knowledge and comprehension. Fluency and comprehension cannot develop quickly and easily without PA and phonics, taught in a way that is understood by the child. Saying ‘ aaaaa’ and running fingers up their arm does not mean the brain is linking the phoneme ‘a’ with the speech sound in the middle of ‘pat’. These type of strategies can actually confuse many brains. In Prep the Speech Sound Camera is introduced in the first week. Can you hear the speech sounds in the word ‘sat’? If I take a picture of the speech sound ss I wonder what the picture would look like? What is this a picture of? t It is ONE of the pictures of the speech sound ‘tuh’. Concepts are clear, and any child in Prep will understand them, regardless of socio economic area, first language etc. The effective reading brain understands the speech to speech sound pic links, and can process these to make sense of text. So we start there. It can process any word, even without knowing the meaning. However to decode and pronounce the word correctly the student needs to know that word (vocab knowledge). They may decode the word ‘gallimaufry’ but not be sure if the code they chose was accurate for this word. This can be more clearly seen here. If the child sees this speech sound pic, they are limited with regards to accuracy until they have heard the speech sound. We use ’visual clues’ to indicate the correct pronunciation.
  2. 2. Speech Sound Pics (SSP) Approach ~ Copyright 2014 ~ When going through the Burt Reading Test words SSP students at the Blue Level can decode any of the words given, even if in Prep. They will only accurately say the whole word if they know how it is pronounced, so this checks for decoding skills AND vocab knowledge. There are essential, if students are to become fluent readers. The test shows how the ‘reading brain’ is progressing, as there are no picture clues, and the children cannot guess from content. Pure decoding skills plus vocab are used. Even if they do not know how pronounced, students using SSP will confidently tackle these words after only one term perambulating efficiency perpetual mercenary
  3. 3. Speech Sound Pics (SSP) Approach ~ Copyright 2014 ~ The King’s ‘Code’ is taught within 4 basic levels (Green, Purple, Yellow, Blue) within which around 90 of the most commonly used ‘Sound Pics’ are taught, discovered, explored, and used within real reading and spelling activities. (Phonics is not taught in isolation) Alongside this systematic approach the students are able to explore the remaining 60 or so Sound Pics that make up the whole Code. The Spelling Clouds are vital.
  4. 4. Speech Sound Pics (SSP) Approach ~ Copyright 2014 ~ So within even 4 terms a student can be taught, and discover, 47 speech sounds and around 150 ways to represent these speech sounds. Before these are even introduced the students experience intensive, fun, meaningful phonemic awareness training within SSP Orange. If SSP Orange is used in pre-school every child enters Prep with good phonemic awareness, and ‘phonics ready’. The rate at which each student progresses through the 5 Levels depends on each individual. Please refer to A3 poster, and SpeedySSP Station Boxes, used after tem 1 in Prep. Within a daily 30 minute session all core skills are covered, with every student working at their own level. They quickly become used to a fast, intensive pace. Students are also reading every day from their SSP Level. The SSP Approach is then used throughout the day regardless of subject. Teachers know how to adapt written maths questions for example, to link with their SSP Level. Activities within general literacy sessions cover phonemic awareness, phonics, reading, spelling, writing, vocabulary knowledge, comprehension, critical thinking / problem solving, working memory and more. Ask about activities such as Speech Sound Detective. There is a clear process for spelling any new word, and for decoding any unfamiliar word. Teachers develop a deep understanding of each student, and are able to fully meet their literacy learning needs. Because every aspect of their literacy learning is interlinked their SSP Level is a clear indication of their overall ‘Level’ for every strand – ie phonemic awareness, phonics, vocab knowledge, fluency and comprehension. It would be much easier if teachers simply had to record their SSP Level for progress data, at the end of every term. They will actually have a running record anyway. This would be especially useful for P-2 teachers, and more time can be spent teaching, and children can make use of every learning opportunity at their level. Children who are absent simply continue at their level, for all core skills. Students also benefit from this clarity. They understand which level they are working at, and that they may be on one level for reading, for example, and another for SpeedySSP or writing activities. They benefit from teachers having more time to teach and guide them and assessments become a natural part of simply recording progress. Standardized assessments are not necessary, as this is an ongoing process. This means, however, that when assessed within NAPLAN, at Year 3, they are fully prepared. Students who have used SSP for 3 years will far exceed expectations set out by the National Curriculum. When the teacher feels that the student is ready to move up to the next SSP Level a formal assessment may be recorded – also to satisfy external bodies. SSP Levels do not link with ‘Reading Age’ because most students using SSP from term 1 in Prep are reading and writing independently in
  5. 5. Speech Sound Pics (SSP) Approach ~ Copyright 2014 ~ 4 terms. So the goal is not that they are reading at a specific reading age, but that they are reading and writing at a level that allows them to focus on content. If every student enters Year 2 as a fluent reader and independent writer, what relevance is ‘reading age?’ And what does that really mean anyway? When evaluating ‘reading comprehension’ the student reads text at their SSP Level ; which means that words are build using the sound pics they are learning (or have learnt in previous levels) along with the King’s Helpful Words. These are around 100 high frequency words. The students also understand how to decode all of these words by the time they reach the Blue Level. So the comprehension task can be as long or short as you wish, as the number of words is not important. What is important is that the children can decode the words quickly enough to be able to visualise and comprehend. Even within the SSP Green Level we are still using these types of questions, when evaluating reading comprehension, even though the words will consist of only s,a,t,p,I,n and helpful words I, was, the, is Literal, inferential, and evaluative questions help learners read and think in different ways. To help students monitor their comprehension, it helps to ask questions while you read. The three levels of questions are:  Literal. The answers to literal questions can be found in the text. They are directly stated. We sometimes say this information is on the surface. Examples: What is the main character's name? What happened in the story on that page?  Inferential. The answers to inferential questions can be found in the text too, but they are implied, not directly stated. We often say the information is in between the lines or under the surface. Examples: Why did the main character laugh? What do you think will happen next?  Evaluative. The answers to evaluative questions require information outside of the text. We sometimes say the information is in the head or somewhere else. Examples: How are you similar to the main character? Why did the author write this book? Rather than simply tell students they are right or wrong, students are asked to support their answers. For literal questions, students can go back to the text and show you were they found the information. For inferential questions, students can explain their reasoning and show the part of the story that supports their idea. For evaluative questions, students can explain their ideas and identify the other sources of information.
  6. 6. Speech Sound Pics (SSP) Approach ~ Copyright 2014 ~ This type of learning is reinforced every day though ‘Speedy Decoding’ and also ‘Critical Thinking/ Problem Solving’ activities. When Speedy Decoding the student scan and then read in a ‘speaking voice’, or could be asked to read as many as they can in a certain time limit, or to say them in a silly voice, to tag or twin read them with a partner… SSP Green
  7. 7. Speech Sound Pics (SSP) Approach ~ Copyright 2014 ~ SSP Purple SSP Yellow
  8. 8. Speech Sound Pics (SSP) Approach ~ Copyright 2014 ~ (SSP Blue) When given Critical Thinking’ activities the students have to not only read the words/ sentences but also make sense of them, and justify their answers.
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  11. 11. Speech Sound Pics (SSP) Approach ~ Copyright 2014 ~ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Example Ongoing Reading Assessment – Early Purple Level – s,a,t,p,i,n,m,d,g the then Pam the Pig, and Stan the Man, spin on mat and then stand in the pan Comprehension Measure (ask orally) Grammar check. Do you think the Speech Sound Frog has been mischievous? (the word ‘the’ is missing and there is no full stop)
  12. 12. Speech Sound Pics (SSP) Approach ~ Copyright 2014 ~ Literal What did they do on the mat? What are their names? Inferential How big do you think the pan was? How many people were there? (has to critically analyse as there is 1 animal and 1 person) Evaluative What do you think would happen if a pig tried to spin on a mat? Semantic What does the word ‘spin’ mean? What were they doing on the mat?
  13. 13. Speech Sound Pics (SSP) Approach ~ Copyright 2014 ~ Example Level Check. Are you read to move from SSP Green to Purple? Assessment includes comprehension, but covers all 5 strands (phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocab and comprehension) At this level vocab is not the priority. This follows the order of activities within their daily SpeedySSP session (30 minutes). (There are more visual prompts available, this is just one set) Can you say the green level word, use Duck Hands, Spelling lines and number them. Give me the speech sound.
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  16. 16. Speech Sound Pics (SSP) Approach ~ Copyright 2014 ~ When I say a speech sound please point to the right sound pic.
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  19. 19. Speech Sound Pics (SSP) Approach ~ Copyright 2014 ~ I’m going to use these to build a word on your board. Show me how you work out the word. (follow the sounds left to right, blend) spin tap pit pants
  20. 20. Speech Sound Pics (SSP) Approach ~ Copyright 2014 ~ Now you do it. Can you build these words? sat nip spin pants Follow the sounds, say the word – as quick as you can.
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  22. 22. Speech Sound Pics (SSP) Approach ~ Copyright 2014 ~ Can you match the words on line (choose 1, 2 or 3) with the words on the cards (previous activity) How fast can you say the SSP Green Level Rap?
  23. 23. Speech Sound Pics (SSP) Approach ~ Copyright 2014 ~ Which of these words do you recognise? Then randomly ask them to write some of the words they know, without looking at this sheet – using the SSP Spelling Strategy (s/ai/d etc) Speedy Decoding Scan it in your head, then say it in a speaking voice.
  24. 24. Speech Sound Pics (SSP) Approach ~ Copyright 2014 ~ What has the frog eaten? (full stop) How quickly can you say all of these sentences?
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  27. 27. Speech Sound Pics (SSP) Approach ~ Copyright 2014 ~ The students know to say the sound, follow the sounds in the word and blend to say the whole word.
  28. 28. Speech Sound Pics (SSP) Approach ~ Copyright 2014 ~ Spell this word using the Speedy SSP Spelling Strategy. This is the picture for ‘d’ in this word. d Give the word stand. 5 duck hands, lines, numbers, sound pics. If I give you this word (you write it and tell them what it is) please copy it and underline the sound pics. cents (I spent ten cents) What did you learn (that c can be a picture for sss) Hold a Sentence Please listen, hold, write, read, check. the ant sat in the pan
  29. 29. Speech Sound Pics (SSP) Approach ~ Copyright 2014 ~ (if you think read, use this one the ant sat in the pan and Nan sat on the tin. Read this to yourself, or aloud. Nat the Nit spins on a tin. Oral questions What did Nat spin on? What is Nat? What is a nit? (tell the student if unsure) Do you think a nit would spin on a tin? Has the frog eaten anything? (no) Close your eyes, and think about the nit spinning on a tin, using your imagination. Tell me what you can see? You will know how easily they are reading SSP Green level books as doing this every day – see poster. If they do the above with confidence, and with no difficulties, they are ready to move on!Teachers will see which elements the student finds easy, and know which to focus on. For example they may have read the comprehension sentence but have poor problem solving skills, verbal reasoning or visualisation. We are also in the process of adding comprehension questions at the end of Dandelion Readers, which are used primarily within SSP Purple and Yellow, but also within Blue (especially useful for split vowel digraphs) Fitzroy readers are used within SSP Yellow and Blue, and include comprehension questions. A range of SSP readers are being developed, to access on tablets, laptops and as hard copy readers. SSP Book Tier- Scaffolded Readers – Including over 250 from Oxford Owl, sorted into SSP Levels.
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