Thursday, 11 September 2014

A German Reading Series by Kathy Waldner



 

In many Hutterian schools, the primary text to teach reading has been the ABC Fuchs.   However, as teachers learned more about how children acquire reading and literacy skills, the need for a different reading series became apparent and aufdenWeg came into being. Each book is carefully written using story ideas and experiences that are relevant and engaging particularly for Hutterite children.  The story texts increase gradually in complexity in a child-friendly way. Illustrations and photos enhance the stories but are also a necessary support for early readers. (Excerpt from the Level 1 Teacher's Guide) 

The Teacher's Guide comes with helpful Blackline Masters for the activities used with this Series, songs and poems, assessments, resources and much more.

 The author of these books is my friend and colleague, Kathy Waldner, who lives and teaches at the Decker Hutterite Colony. 

I used the first level readers for part of last year. What is evident from the minute students lay eyes on the books, is their excitement to have books/readers with Hutterite characters. Which is understandable, as they can relate very well with them, and this is the first Hutterite reading series! My students were also in awe when I told them I know the author of these books very well. They never forgot to say 'written by Kathy Waldner', after reading the title. Of course, the students are young, but it seemed like they realized that this is something special. 

 My students were always eager to do the activities that go with each book: 
  • responding to the suggested questions, 
  • taking part in discussions, 
  • alphabet picture sorting,
  • interactive writing,
  • shared writing...
In this first level, the easy, repetitive text help students learn sight words in context, and quickly feel success with reading, and using them in their own speaking and writing. Each activity is explained thoroughly, and also why it's an important element in learning to read. The photos and illustrations are precious. (:Yes, I know I'm a tad biased as they are clearly Hutterite:) But they also do enhance the learning experience of the child, as they generate discussions, besides helping the students read the words.



I'm looking forward to getting the second set and using it in class!

For more information on this reading series, click here.

1 comment:

Katie Troyer said...

Wow, these books will always be a treasure.