Two weeks before the end of Iranian Year of 1394, RWM experts traveled to South Khorasan to run the second series of Read with Me workshops for teachers and tutors and to visit the project’s implementation process in this region. This year is the second year that Read with Me is implemented in Birjand, Darmian and Khusf and teachers and tutors who have recently joined the project, beside more experienced teachers, cooperate well to implement the project and convey their experiences. Creative and experienced teachers in South Khoraasn have got further than RWM workshops and they, themselves design and perform interesting activities for children.
RWM experts report that in most schools, RWM has changed the appearance of classrooms. In most of these classrooms, RWM books are hung on the walls or exhibited in small libraries. Activities related to Reading Aloud are seen on the walls or showed in a corner of the classrooms.
Teachers and tutors also report the positive effects of project’s implementation on children. Children, who were covered by RWM project during the previous year, are used to reading and they wait for Reading aloud sessions and doing follow-up activities. Their skills in fluent reading, writing and social behaviors have been improved, they have more concentration and imagination and it is visible in their speaking and drawings.
Teachers and tutors mention cases of complete or relative cure of stuttering or other speech disorders after working with “Learning Sounds” book. In some classes children with speech disorders participate in dramatic activities with high self-confidence and other children accompany them by acceptance and respect.
In some schools, teachers have conflated concepts of science and math with book related activities and it has made the learning more interesting for children.
Using recycled stuff, reusing waste material, growing plants in pots and school garden in relation with books with environmental theme are some of children’s favorite activities.
Most of children like to take books home with them. In some schools, teachers have made library cards so children can borrow books and practically learn the library system.
During these visits, Read with Me cloth pocket libraries were given to schools who didn’t have proper facilities for class libraries and they were installed on walls by children’s cooperation. Children put their books in these libraries by enthusiasm. So now on, books are visible and available to children in classrooms.
RWM complementary workshops were also held on this trip, in addition of visiting the schools; and teachers, tutors and some of schools’ principals participated in “Reading Aloud”, “Learning Sounds ۲”, “Dictionary of Riddles”, “Living Values”, “Environment” and “Peace Globe” workshops. In these workshops the experts also solved some of the problems which they observed during visits and answered teachers and tutors’ questions.
In “Living Values workshop”, teachers and tutors recognized the concepts of “Need (Right)” and “Demand”, the skills of solving problems and priority of values and they practiced related games and activities in groups. In “Dictionary of Riddles workshop”, RWM experts did practical activities in relation with books and introduced games such: phoneme puzzles, picture puzzles, riddles, pantomime, alphabet name game. And they explained about entry titles and how to find them, choosing the entry and writing an explanation and the alphabetical order activity.
In “environment workshop”, the environment definition, connection between RWM project and environment, ecosystem definition, classification of books upon the subjective relevance to environment and possible environmental activities in relation with books, were discussed with teachers and different habitats in Iran and their animals were taught and practiced.
In “Peace Globe workshop”, trainees learned the concept of peace, things which support peace on earth and things which threaten or destroy it.
Also on the final day a “Read with Me Introduction” workshop was held for 15 school principals. In this workshop RWM project was introduced briefly and a summary of all workshops were presented for principals so they understand the RWM goals and how it is implemented.
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