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ScienceDaily

University of Alberta researcher Lori Friesen’s classroom assistants are very attentive, love to listen to children read and can keep their composure in a classroom full of energetic Grade 2 students. However, her assistants are more likely to lick the students’ faces than give them a gold star.

Friesen’s says her work with her “literacy dogs,” Tango and Sparky, in one city-area classroom yielded some highly positive successes for the children and her research.

In Friesen’s research, children signed up for weekly reading or writing sessions with her and one of the dogs. During that time, they would read student-selected, high-quality children’s literature, or work on the student’s writing.

Friesen said the small group work seemed to ease some children’s trepidation when it came to reading aloud. Using picture cues or clues to provide context in the story, Friesen helped students learn new words or overcome challenges with other words — lessons, she says, the students grasped and applied to try and help the dogs understand new words as well. She said that the students perceived her dogs as “little buddies,” whose presence encouraged the students to read aloud.

Read in Full:  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101001105606.htm



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