Back to school: A reading routine you can rely on
by Cat Roberts Young on June 24th 2020
To truly understand someone’s job you have to stand in their shoes before you can empathise fully. If you’re a teacher – the nation has more empathy for you in these challenging times than ever before. As parents across the country struggle to keep their children motivated and fulfil a role they’re not trained to do – yours. Teaching through lockdown. But at Fonetti, you’ve been in our thoughts personally as well as professionally.
We know that many of you are parents too. And just like others juggling full-time work with childcare and home-schooling, you’ve got more than your fair share of the workload. So how are you coping? Be honest, we’re all friends here and it’s ok to feel overwhelmed. It’s ok to feel anxious about not recognising the workplace that you love when you can welcome your pupils back into class again, whenever that may be. You face what feels like an impossible task of creating a ‘new normal’. Rules and social distancing strategies that you’re under pressure to implement first so that other sectors can follow.
Right now, you’re probably doing more than you ever signed-up to do. But you’re doing it because teaching is more than a job to you, it’s a vocation. You care about the children in your care and are committed to supporting your school family. We appreciate the juggle you face daily – planning lessons and distance-learning, calling parents to offer support and being strong for your colleagues. While all the time feeling guilty that you can’t fully commit your time to the classroom in your own living room, for your own children.
Time is a luxury
You have the skillset to your advantage – home-schooling is your forte. But time is against you. You’d love to have the time to sit and listen to your children read. To check their pronunciation, know which words they’re finding tricky and hear their progress first-hand. So, what if we told you, you can – without needing to clone yourself in the process? It’s all thanks to one little word: Fonetti.
The reading assistant at home
Fonetti listens when you can’t. When you’re working from home, running a house and supporting a classroom of 30+, Fonetti gives your children the freedom to read without you. Aloud and independently. Approved by the Department for Education’s Hungry Little Minds campaign, as a platform for children to practice their reading, Fonetti is the world’s first listening bookshop. It’s a world of stories, fun and fiction that helps build confidence through encouragement and rewards. It’s a reading revolution. And right now, it’s the reading assistant available to every home and is the technology behind interactive reading.
How does it work?
Imagine reverse Karaoke, for speech rather than song. Children choose a story and start reading aloud. When they get the words right, they turn green. If they get stuck, they double tap for help. When they finish a book, they win rewards, instant praise and improve their literacy in the process.
Fonetti also keeps parents, like you, up to date with what your children are reading. You’ll receive regular weekly updates that tell you:
- how long your child has read for
- which stories they’ve read
- the number of times a book has been chosen
- and what words they’ve struggled with.
It also tells you when they’ve reached a new reading level.
And it’s free for 3 months in the App Store
Establish an easy reading routine
Routine during lockdown has had its challenges – many caused by the calendar. Easter holidays, May bank holidays and the recent half term break have been difficult for children to accept. Their location hasn’t changed and, for many, going ‘back to school’ simply means swapping their PlayStation for their pencil case without even leaving their sofa. Although the holidays may signal a well-deserved break to your working week, they attract all the risks of routine-rebellion as your children may find it hard to focus after a break. Fonetti provides a fun, independent and disciplined reading routine, regardless of term-time.
Reading isn’t necessarily a social activity. It can be enjoyed as much as a solitary pastime as it can in a group so you could say it’s the ideal activity for a socially-distant classroom. With the potential changes to the academic landscape, 1-2-1 reading assistants may be postponed for some time. And teaching resources, particularly classroom assistants, will be inevitably stretched. Fonetti offers a lifeline to literacy, a world of escapism and structured support to every school. Developed with linguistic professors at the University of Edinburgh, Fonetti can recognise readers speaking English as a second language, those with dyslexia and SEN. It also offers teachers insightful analytics that reduce the average workload. With Fonetti you can say goodbye to traditional book logs. Instead you can keep up to date with the progress of every child in your class with one simple click.
We don’t just want to stand in your shoes. We want to take the weight off your feet. To give you some valuable time back, to make managing your classroom – wherever it may be – that little bit easier. And most importantly, so that reading aloud isn’t relegated because of restrictions.
We can’t control all the things our younger generation are missing out on at the moment. But we can ensure that reading isn’t one of them. Drop us a line to start using Fonetti with your class.