BEd NewsDate Released: Wed, 28 June 2017 08:33 +0200
The BEd Co-ordinator, Ms Jenny Hodgskiss, and the School Support Facilitator (SSF), Mrs Johanna Muroa, undertook a fieldtrip to the Northern Cape from 29th to 4th June 2017. The purpose of the trip was to observe and assess teaching practice, provide support and guidance in the classroom and present a district workshop to twenty-eight funded teachers who are registered for the third year of a Bachelor of Education (Part-time) Foundation Phase Degree at Rhodes University.
Thirteen teachers were visited from Monday to Friday in the Deben, Cassel, Maphinki, Pepsi, Seodin, Kamden and Maruping areas. We travelled long distances on tarred and gravel roadsin some of the deepest rural areas of the Kalahari. The gravel roads were corrugated, sandy and frequented by farm animals such as donkeys, horses, cattle, sheep and goats. A familiar sight was the many donkey carts which are a common mode of transport for collecting fire wood and travelling between the poverty-stricken villages.
Our focus this year has been on setting up effective book corners and implementing group guided reading in Grades 1 to 3. We were delighted with the improvement of the book corners. With regular support from the SSF, the books corners have transformed from rather dull, untidy, dusty or non-existent areas to attractive, inviting, comfortable book corners where children can access storybooks to read for pleasure. The journey of establishing operational book corners in Foundation Phase classrooms in the Northern Cape was strengthened by the generous donation of storybooks in both Setswanaand English from Biblionef SA. In fact, Biblionef SA donated new books to the value of R289 000 to the twenty-four schools represented by the teachers on the BEd programme.
Implementing and teaching group guided reading (GGR) has been challenging for most of the teachers because they have received little in-service training on the methodology of this instructionalapproach to reading which is a requirement of CAPS. With regular theoretical and practical input from the lecturers, the teachers are now getting to grips with sorting graded readers into levels, forming ability groups and sending books home in plastic sleeves (provided by CSD) so that learners can practice reading on a daily basis. Ms Hodgskiss presented a group guided reading demonstration lesson at the district workshop on 3rd June. The evaluations revealed that 98% of the teachers learned how to implement GGR as a result of the demonstration which highlights the value of concrete experiencessuch as video clips and practical demonstrations when teaching new or unfamiliar concepts. One teacher said. “The group guided reading presentation done by Jenny was really interesting and helpful as I could identify my mistakes.”