The Reading Pens cost about $150 each, and Wairakei have purchased several as part of the programme. Each Pen contains audio files for the books that form part of the Rainbow Reading Text.
After students have read the stories four times using the pens, they have a variety of activities to complete including word finds, cloze reading (fill the in gap), sequencing and comprehension activities. It takes about a week to complete the reading and related activities for each book.
Students are chosen for the programme based on school wide data. Regular assessments including running records are taken to track progress and students are discontinued when they are reading fluently and understand what they are reading or have reached a reading age of 10 or 11.
Wairakei Primary have been using the Rainbow Reading programme for about six years. It is the brainchild of Nelson based teacher Meryl-Lynn Pluck who developed the programme with the aim of improving competency in reading and developing confidence in reluctant and or ESOL learners. Sadly, Meryl passed away in 2019, but her family is keeping her legacy alive with an ever-increasing variety of texts available. Click here RainbowReadingWebsite to read more about the history of Rainbow Reading.