Last year, some colleagues and I decided to start an Inner North Melbourne Early Language and Literacy Community of Practice (INMELLCoP), to bring together local teachers, speech pathologists, psychologists and others, build knowledge of language and literacy best practices, and share resources, ideas and experience.
Our inspiration was Pam Snow and colleagues’ Bendigo group, BELLCoP. We sought to complement not compete with Nathaniel Swain and colleagues’ inner Melbourne group MELLCoP, since renamed Think Forward Educators. Our focus is further north, on the Yarra, Darebin and Moreland local government areas.
We decided to gather some data to inform our work, by surveying local primary schools about how they currently teach reading and spelling, and offering a prize draw for those assisting. Then COVID-19 hit, and we had to focus on other priorities for a while.
Our survey is finally available, so if you work in a school in Moreland, Yarra or Darebin, please complete it before 30 October, by clicking on this link. It takes 5-10 minutes. We’ve also emailed information about the survey to relevant local schools.
We’re a bit astonished by the thousands of dollars worth of prizes we’re able to offer to those filling in our survey, thanks to the extraordinary generosity of Nessy, Dyslexia Victoria Support and Little Learners Love Literacy. The prizes are:
- Three Nessy school licences comprising 10 Dyslexia Teacher training programs, 30 Dyslexia Quest Screeners, enough Nessy Reading and Spelling programs for all the students in Years 2 and 3, 10 Nessy Fingers typing programs and technical support from Nessy (each valued at more than $4000), plus some Nessy games.
- A full set of Little Learners Love Literacy Pip and Tim books (Stage 1 to Stage 7 Unit 5) valued at $480.
- 24 decks of the new Spelfabet “short vowel” wordbuilding card game, valued at $288. These are hot off the presses and currently only available from DSF (I’m yet to make a new video and work out how to sell them as they’re printed cards not downloads).
- A Spelfabet Teacher/Clinician Whole Kit of download-and-print materials, valued at $209.
- A full set of 81 decks of Spelfabet download-and-print phonics playing cards valued at $90.
The survey closes at the end of this month and the prize draw will take place at the next INMELLCoP virtual meeting at 6.30pm on November 4th. This meeting will also consider the de-identified survey data, and how to respond to it in 2021.
If you’re a local and would like to attend the meeting, you can register here. We will send out the Zoom link on the day. I’ll put an INMELLCoP home page on my website soon, to publicise our news and schedule.
If you’re not in our area, maybe you’d like to start something similar? We’d love to hear about it if you do.