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.
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
In 5th Class we are just finishing our second cycle of T.S.I. This is our fourth cycle of T.S.I since we began in fourth class and overall it’s been a very enjoyable experience.
During this T.S.I cycle we have read a large variety of books including The Honest Truth, Brock, The Butterfly Lion, Mr. Stink, Faraway Home and The Boy in The Girls Bathroom. These books have covered a broad range of topics. For example, David Williams’ Mr Stink is very humorous while also discussing current topical social issues such as homelessness. Some other books have covered dark themes such as Marilyn Taylor’s Faraway Home describing the struggles of World War 2 and The Honest Truth telling the story of a boy fighting cancer.
We find this greater in depth analysis of these books has helped us in other areas and subjects. For example, Faraway Home helped us to empathise with the suffering of people during World War 2. Other books like The Honest Truth and Brock taught us very important life lessons such as resilience and determination.
T.S.I has evolved for us since we began two years ago. We now read more, write less and have more meaningful discussions. We now clearly focus on different comprehension strategies each week while consolidating strategies already learned in previous TSI cycles. This TSI we focused mainly on inference, determining importance and summarising.
One of the main advantages of TSI we believe is working independently in small groups. This allows us greater book choice so that we can pick books that suit and interest all of us in the group. Also, it has given us more reading time which has improved our fluency greatly. We are more comfortable in small groups and not as self-conscious about making mistakes.
TSI has greatly improved our vocabulary which has helped our comprehension across all areas. This has had a hugely positive effect in our writing and would you believe it, it has even improved the way we speak.
All in all we have found T.S.I a fun and easy way to enjoy books and learn. We definitely read more books independently now as a result of the confidence TSI has given us.
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 Jack
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!!
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.
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!!!!!!!!
In T.S.I., Roisin, Chloe and I [Lily] read a book called The Honest Truth. We are in Fourth Class.
This book is about a little boy called Mark and his dog Beau. Mark has a big dream to climb a huge mountain called Mt. Rainer, but the only thing holding him back is his family, friends and the fact that he has cancer. He is so fed up of the doctors, the medicine and all the help that he runs away to the mountain to die.
We would recommend this book to 11-13 year olds and for people who like exciting but sad books.
We like T.S.I because in a big group you don’t have much time to code or ask questions but in T.S.I you have all the time you need to do that. We also like T.S.I because it is fun to work with your friends and you get to pick books that you want to read. The thing we enjoy most about T.S.I is the reading and the thing we would change is less paper work and more reading.
T.S.I helps with our vocabulary, literacy and our reading skills. Our vocabulary sheets help us to know better words that we can use when we are writing instead of using boring plain words. Our readings skills help us speak better so we are not stuttering over are words.
We would recommend T.S.I because it is very helpful and is really fun.
Another 5th Class group to give T.S.I a go are Derinn, Adam and Devin. They really enjoyed getting stuck into T.S.I this year and read no less than three books during this cycle – “Who’s a Big Bully Then?” and “Wartman” which were both written by the great Michael Morpurgo, and they also read Mad Iris which was written by Jeremy Strong.
Adam said he enjoyed learning more vocabulary which helped improve his reading but his favourite part was making connections and then being able to talk about them with the book. Derinn loved reading for the other members of her group. She also loved helping out when people got stuck on a word in the book. Devin also enjoyed being part of a group and reading aloud.
And what was the group’s favourite book out of the three? The winner is…..Mad Iris! Adam thought this was by far the funniest one. He liked that it was not as serious as the other books. Derinn enjoyed the main character – the ostrich! Her favourite part was when things started to go very wrong in the book and instead of the ostrich burying it’s head in the sand it buried it in someone’s jumper. They all agreed it was a super read!
Roll on the next T.S.I Cycle.
Hello my name is Conor.C and I am in a T.S.I. group with Isabel and Matthew. This is our first time doing T.S.I and we really enjoyed it. T.S.I was really fun and improved our confidence and our comprehension. We like being in groups because your group help you when you’re stuck on words. The book we were reading is called “There’s a boy in the girls’ bathroom” by Louis Sachar. Personally we think this is a bad name for the book. The book is about a boy called Bradley who is a bully, he tells lies and picks fights with girls and only one person likes him and her name is Carla. We like this book because it makes you think differently about bullies because it shows you what’s going on in their heads. It shows you that not all bullies are actually that bad. It teaches us that there is no such thing as bad people but just bad behaviour. My favourite character is Bradley Chalkers because of the way he turns from having bad behaviour at the start of the book and ends up with good behaviour at the end. I would rate this book 9\10 because I like this book and its funny but I’ve read better books.
Hi my name is Isabel I really enjoyed T.S.I it was my first year doing it .It helped me with my confidence for reading out loud. I would give this book 10\10 because it was really good and it made me think differently about bullies because it shows that bullies might look tough and hurt people but on the inside they can be really lonely and a nice person. My favourite character is Bradley because I kind of feel sorry for him and because he changes from having bad behaviour to having good behaviour.
Hi I’m Matthew and I thought it was really fun. I think it really helped build our confidence. It also improves reading skills. My favourite character from the book is Carla because she is nice and gets people to think for themselves. I rate this book 8/10 because it’s not that funny also I like other authors and books more.
We really enjoyed T.S.I. We hope that if you are going to do it you will enjoy T.S.I as much as we did. That’s us signing off. Bye!
New book choices get rave reviews!
Over the past few weeks me( Meadbh), Bobo and Kevin, have been reading a very interesting book called Brock. When we read we compare our life to the characters in the book. The introduction of the book caught our attention straight away. Nicky was the main character of our book. He has a hard life because his brother has special needs and Nicky has trouble controlling him. His dad is in trouble with the guards and his mother left when he was at a young age. They are living in fear of their dad going to jail. They were accidentally involved in the death of an innocent animal and the boy’s lives change forever.
We enjoyed T.S.I because when we are judging a character in a book it is better with friends to help you understand the character more. The coding this year isn’t too hard or too easy. This book taught us to look at other peoples lives and not to take anything for granted. When our teacher recommended this book to us we were immediately drawn it. This book is a page turner, when the teacher calls time up we never want to stop. We recommended this book to ages between 11 and 14. You should definitely go read this book.