Power Hour Reading Programme
Power Hour is a fantastic literacy based hour which is currently being used in Straffan NS to teach literacy in the junior and middle classes. It gives the pupils lots of opportunities to read books at their own level of competency. This is done through station teaching. We have 4 stations – 2 reading stations, 1 writing station and 1 station which deals with word work i.e. spellings, phonics, grammar etc. Power Hour takes place Tuesday,Wednesday and Thursday in blocks of 6/8 weeks and it is run by the class teacher and learning support teachers.
Children are divided up into small groups and they spend 10 minutes at each station. By the end of the hour, they will have visited each activity and will take their “new read” book for homework. The books that are used are called PM plus, which are a carefully graded reading scheme. On the days your child has a book to read, it is very important that you read with your child. Look at the Shared Reading Tips for more information on this.
Station One: Familiar Reading:
Pupils read previously seen PM+ Readers.
Purpose: Development of enjoyment, fluency, comprehension & speed.
Station Two: New Reading
Children will explore and then take home a new reader each day. This challenges the pupils to discover new ways to go beyond their current operating ability and lift their literacy processing.
Purpose: Pupils learn to use strategic activities to read new texts.
Station Three: Phonics/Grammar/Tricky Words
Children are supported to improve their abilities in blending and segmenting words ( to make and break words), grammar and tricky words through lots of games and activities.
Purpose: To show children how words work, so that they can make a fast visual analysis of their reading.
Station Four: Writing
Pupils write sentences using words that they can encounter in their reader and the high frequency words that they are studying.
There are many positive benefits to this type of approach to literacy. The children are given more opportunities to express themselves orally. Quieter children find their voices in a small group setting and children learning English gain confidence. The teachers have a chance to assess individual needs and to get to know the children better. Small group supervision of writing and phonics/spellings encourages the children to focus and to take more care with their written work.
Power Hour In Action: