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Ratheniska National School

Partnering Children on their Developmental Journey

What is TSI?

TSI stands for Transactional Strategies Instruction.

This  means we use all our skills in comprehension such as predicting, visualizing, questioning, making connections, using prior knowledge, decoding and determining importance to help us improve our literacy skills.

How do we do it?

In fifth class we work in groups of three and we work on TSI three days a week.

Each session lasts for an hour. We read a variety of books. Teacher has picked a selection of books for us but soon we hope to pick some ourselves. Each person in the group has a role or a job to do. You are either a leader, a predictor or a questioner in  your group. You have to spend some time at the beginning of TSI learning how to do each role. Each person in the group has their own job to do.

Each new session we change our roles so in one week you get to have a go at each role.

Why TSI?

In fifth class we’re big fans of TSI because:
•    It helps train us to work as a team.
•    It gives us more confidence.
•    It helps our reading.
•    Reading is more enjoyable.
•    It helps you use new words in your writing.
•    It helps train your reading, literacy and vocabulary.
•    It helps you get through your reading better.

Read about our experiences below


The Guns of Easter Blog #15


We started T.S.I way back in 5th class. We were so excited and couldn’t wait to get started. Back then there was lots of paperwork and we didn’t get as involved. Now we are experts at T.S.I and just finished our last cycle .These days we know everything we need to know about T.S.I. We have just finished our last book called ‘’The Guns of Easter’’ by Gerard Whelan. We really enjoyed it. It was like an emotional rollercoaster, some parts were very sad and some parts were very happy. As this was the centenary year of the 1916 Rising we had studied it in class and this novel gave us  another perspective on the lives of the ordinary Dubliner caught up in the rising.

During this cycle we only had small bits of paperwork and we moved on to free coding and it helped us a lot! Free coding is when you don’t have to do vocabulary sheets and you just code words your group don’t understand, not the one’s the teacher predicts the whole class will not know. We also did a strategy called discussion.  This is when instead of doing a comprehension sheet you discuss the questions on the sheet instead of writing them down.

In this book Mae’s favourite character is Jimmy because he is so brave .Jack’s favourite character is Mick because he is really kind .This book really made us think about how lucky we are to be so privileged to live in a warm house with family to look after us.

We all think that this T.S.I cycle was one of our best because our book was so good and we got really involved and now that we are experts T.S.I comes easily to us!!!

Now that we are leaving Ratheniska we hope that next year’s 6th class enjoy their cycle as much as we did!!

By Sean, Mae and JackIMG-20160601-WA0000

Desirable Blog #14



Hi our names are Amy Hurley, Aisling Lalor and  Aisling McCullagh. We called are T.S.I group The Bubbles! We are in Fifth Class. We are going to tell you all about our T.S.I.  experience.

We think T.S.I helps you to learn by teaching you new words and finding out their  meaning and how to put them into sentences. T.S.I helps build up your confidence when reading to people and learning to lead a group. We really enjoyed T.S.I. It was real fun! We enjoyed making connections, doing predictions and listening to other people read.

The book we read was called Desirable written by Frank Cottrell Boyce. It was about a boy called George who didn’t have any friends. When he got some aftershave and lucky cufflinks from his Grandad for his birthday things go from lonely to well….. adventurous! We enjoyed listening to George’s funny story about the magical aftershave, we thought it was really entertaining and  we  loved this book. We would recommend this book to everyone because we laughed our heads off throughout the book and we thought the characters were very interesting and funny! We would rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

We would recommend T.S.I because we got to know new people in our group and we had so much fun reading and doing activities as a group. The next time we do T.S.I we would like to read a different book and get more free reading just because we didn’t do much of it. Aisling Lalor enjoyed sitting down and reading and she found it got her reading more at home. Aisling McCullagh enjoyed doing free reading and predicting. Amy Hurley enjoyed listening to other people read.

If we were all told we couldn’t do T.S.I next year we would be really disappointed because we enjoyed sitting down and talking about the book and we learned lots about each other through  our connections.

We all really loved  T.S.I and we can’t wait to do it next year!!



The Butterfly Lion Blog #13



Ella, Roisin and Sophie.

Hi my name is Ella. This year we had T.S.I in our classroom. I really enjoyed it and I’m really going to miss it next year because I will be heading off into 1st year. It was a great time. This year my group and I read The Butterfly Lion by Michael Morpurgo. I really enjoy his books and I would recommend this book to all ages. I really enjoy reading out loud to a small group of people. It boosts my confidence and it prepares me for speaking in front of a BIG group of people. I really like the book varieties that the school gives us and I think many people will agree. At the start of T.S.I. in 5th class I was not so confident reading in front of people but now I know I can because T.S.I. helped me. I would recommend T.S.I. for all primary schools around the world. I really enjoyed it and I think that you will to. Thank you for reading.


Hi my name is Roisin and I’m here to tell you about my last year of T.S.I. The book I read  was The Butterfly Lion. I really enjoyed this boo. I would recommend this book to all ages. Last year I started T.S.I. and I have enjoyed it ever since. I think that T.S.I. is great for ages 8 and up. It helps our reading and it builds up confidence. The T.S.I. groups are chosen by the teachers and they are sure to put you in a good enough group. In T.S.I. we get sheets called Vocab sheets that have words from to book and we need to put them into proper sentences. I think it is a really good idea and it helps us learn new words. Once we get the hang of it we get to discuss the words orally instead of writing them down. This really helps us to use new words easily and use them in sentences right. This year I enjoyed T.S.I. and I will really miss it next year. Thank you for reading.


Hi my name is Sophie and I’m here to tell you about T.S.I. The book I read this year was The Butterfly Lion. It was really good, the book was written by Michael Morpurgo. I think this book would be good for all ages but I think people from the ages 9 and up would like it the most. I think the idea of T.S.I. is good because you can get better at reading, speaking out loud, using new words and you get to read more books too. The book selections are really good but some books can look good and they could be bad. At the start of T.S.I. you are put into groups of 3 people, you get  a choice of three books and you have to choose one book to read. After you pick your book you start to read the book you choose. During T.S.I you get sheets called Vocab and comprehension sheets, about half way through T.S.I. your teacher can let you do these sheets orally.  I think T.S.I. is really good and that all schools should do T.S.I.

Thanks for reading.

Ella Róisin Sophie

Cool! Blog #12


Hi guys its Ciara, Annie and Jimmy here from 4th class.  We have just finished our second cycle of T.S.I.

We think T.S.I. helps you to learn more vocabulary in a fun way. We enjoyed reading with new people, helping people if they get stuck on new words and discussing connections, predictions, codes and interesting words.

We read the book Cool by Michael Morpurgo. This book was about a boy called Robbie Ainsley who was in a terrible car accident involving his dog Lucky. He was in a coma for at least a month. Robbie suffered a serious head injury and a broken leg and was on a life support system. We loved  this book because we were always wondering if he was going to wake up.

We would recommend this to a younger class because there are not very difficult words in the text.

We would recommend T.S.I. because you get to read with other people and make friends. Also you learn more vocabulary.

If we could make any changes to T.S.I for next year we would have less paper work and more reading.

Our TSI experience was very interesting and fun. Bye guys!!!!!!!!