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Useful Information for Parents

STELLAR

STrategies for English Language Learning And Reading (STELLAR)

Objectives:

STELLAR aims to strengthen both language and reading skills as well as promote a positive attitude towards reading in the foundational years through the use of well-established, learner-centred and developmentally appropriate pedagogical approaches using authentic children's literature.

The three strategies at the lower-primary level:
  • Shared Book Approach (SBA)
  • Modified Language Experience Approach (MLEA)
  • Learning Centres (LC)

STELLAR & Language Learning

  • Teaching and learning of English using more speaking and listening activities.
  • Children learn reading and writing using rich and interesting books, with discussions led by the teacher.

SBA 1: What’s the focus?

  • When preparing questions for SBA1, the focus of the questions should be on
    • stimulating thought and understanding
    • providing opportunities for the pupils to talk
  • When conducting the lesson, open questions are asked in getting pupils to predict or recall the story plot

SBA 1 Procedures (Global Understanding & Enjoyment)

Procedures:
  1. Tuning in: Share a relevant poem or song.
  2. Reread a familiar favourite Big Book.
  3. Introduce the new Big Book.
    • Relate the cover content to prior knowledge.
    • Show cover and read the title, author and illustrator.
    • Ask questions / ask for predictions about the story.
  4. First reading:
    • Read the book aloud, pointing to the words fluidly as you read.
    • Ask for predictions or ask questions to focus on illustrations.
  5. Second reading:
    • Reread the book straight through without stopping.
    • Have pupils respond to the story in some way (book-based).

SBA 2: What’s the focus?

  • Main focus is on follow-up activities after completion of big book reading.

SBA 2 Procedures (Explicit teaching of language)

Procedure:
  1. Tuning in: Share a relevant poem or song.
  2. Reread a familiar favourite Big Book.
  3. Rereading the current Big Book:
    • Recall the story.
    • Reread the book straight through without stopping
    • Have pupils relate their personal experience to the book.
  4. Follow-up activities.

What are the 3 stages for MLEA?

MLEA Basic Principles
MLEA 1: The Experience & Class Writing
MLEA 2: Group Writing
MLEA 3: Individual Writing

From SBA to MLEA

  • During SBA, children learn about speech & print, language structures, high frequency words and interesting vocabulary. The Big Books provide models of stories, poems & other forms of text.
  • In MLEA, children think about the experiences, talk & write about & read them supported by the teacher & then by peers in a group.

MLEA 1: What’s the focus?

  • The MLEA experience should be linked to target language.
  • Use children’s own contributions to promote language skills.
  • Make links between what is said to what is written.

MLEA Experience & Class Writing

Procedures for MLEA 1
  1. Tuning in: Sing a song or recite a poem related to the current Big Book.
  2. Reread a familiar Big Book chosen by the pupils.
  3. Reread the current Big Book.
  4. Provide a thematic link.
  5. Provide experience.
  6. Class Writing.
  7. Reading class writing.

MLEA 2: What’s the focus?

  • Further practice & use of target structures & vocabulary from the Big Book & Class Writing.
  • Opportunities for varying the content & structures of the writing.
  • Practising important social skills
  • Post (& remind pupils about) rules for working in groups.
  • Encourage every group member to contribute ideas.
  • Circulate and guide the groups.
    • Encourage use of new words and creativity.
    • When appropriate, show briefly use of word identification skills in writing.
    • Encourage groups to edit and revise drafts on their own. (once pupils are familiar with the routine)
  • Have the groups read their writing to you once they have finished. Find time for them to read their final copy to the class.
  • Collect the writing pieces for ‘publication’ in a folder or booklet or post them on display.

MLEA Experience & Group Writing

Procedures of MLEA 2
  1. Tuning in: Sing a song or recite a poem.
  2. Rereading a familiar Big Book chosen by the pupils.
  3. Rereading the current Big Book.
  4. Rereading the Class Writing from Part 1.
  5. Brainstorming.
  6. Group Writing (Mixed Ability Grouping)
    a) Drafting
    b) Editing
    c) Publishing & IIlustrating
  7. Reading the Group Story

MLEA 3: What’s the focus?

  • Recreate or recall an experience for pupils who need it. (e.g. LP pupils)
  • It is important that pupils can use the target language orally before asking them to use it in writing.
  • Encourage pupils to be creative & vary their usage of the target language.
  • If time permits, let pupils illustrate their writing.
Importance of scaffolding for LP pupils
For some pupils who are unable to begin writing:
  1. Have them draw a picture and then write about it with your help.
  2. Do a group story with them – they talk, you record.
  3. Before copying their piece of writing, they can change a few content words.

MLEA Indvidual Writing

Procedures of MLEA 3
  1. Tuning in: Sing a song or recite a poem
  2. Rereading a familiar Big Book
  3. Rereading the current Big Book
  4. Rereading Class Writing from Part 1
  5. Rereading Group Writing from Part 2
  6. Individual Writing
    a) Drafting
    b) Conferencing
    c) Publishing & Illustrating
  7. Reading Individual Writing
In the Mid to Upper Primary curriculum, pupils will be able to consolidate and extend skills already learned in the earlier years as well as acquire new skills and knowledge about how language works. There will still be opportunities for cooperative learning but more emphasis will be placed on independence in listening, reading and viewing as well as speaking, presenting and writing.

STELLAR at Upper Primary

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What are the Upper Primary strategies?

Sustained Silent Reading (SSR)
Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) is a regularly scheduled, fixed period of time in which everyone in the room including the teacher reads a book of his/her choice quietly and uninterrupted. This strategy provides pupils with authentic opportunities to enjoy reading while practising their silent reading skills.

Supported Reading (SR)
Supported Reading provides a bridge between teacher-supported reading aloud and independent silent reading. It provides opportunities for pupils to make predictions, read assigned section silently, discuss the text and difficult words as a whole class, led by the teacher. This strategy is usually carried out for narrative and information texts.

Know - Want to know - Learnt (KWL)
Know - Want to know - Learnt is used mainly for non-fiction texts such as information reports. This strategy helps pupils to extract information and relate it to what they already know about the topic. Teachers guide pupils to organise, access and remember information. This enables pupils to understand and follow the logic of information presented in a text, recognise information that is repeated and distinguish between main ideas and details. The teacher’s support is gradually reduced as the pupils learn to be more independent in extracting information from what they read.

Retelling (RT)
Retelling is a reading comprehension strategy that engages pupils at different levels of language: from interpreting meaning at the whole text level, to individual words and phrases and back to the whole text again. It provides opportunities for pupils to engage in a whole range of important language and cognitive processes including recall of events/information, main points and characters, text structures and language features. It also provides opportunities for all of the major language skills to be applied - listening, reading and viewing as well as speaking, presenting and writing - as pupils actively make meaning of texts and share their understanding with their peers.

Language Activities and Sentence Manipulation
Oral and written activities will provide pupils with explicit instruction in oracy, word study, genre, grammar and language use at the various levels of language (word part, word, phrase, sentence, text, inter-textual).

Writing Process Cycle (WPC)
Building on the principles of the Modified Language Experience Approach (MLEA) at the Lower Primary, WPC continues to provide pupils with guidance in the processes of planning, writing and reviewing before they apply these skills in writing, independently. At the Upper Primary, the focus is more on the creative aspects of writing and encouraging the voice of the young writer.

Differentiated Instruction (DI)
Pupils are provided with differentiated support at various points of instruction to optimise their learning. Appropriate activities are designed to support, reinforce and extend their learning.
Information retrieved from http://www.stellarliteracy.sg/