I love to read. There is no greater gift we can give to the children in our charge than a love of reading. Saying you don't like to read is like saying you don't like films because you watched Scream 2 and didn't enjoy yourself. You just haven't found the right book!
With so many distractions outside of school - dance class, computer games, homework, family time - it can be hard for children (and adults!) to find the time to choose and get into a good book. So, why not build it into the school day? Now, I know what you're thinking: when?! Luckily, many of the reading objectives can be covered through other lessons: topics you're covering, writing lessons, etc. So, really, dedicating some of the English slots to building a love of reading is not too much of an ask. Plus, the impact is well worth it. Plus, it's worth noting that I hate, hate, HATE Guided Reading! So, for me, this is one of many reading activities that replaces that time-drain. It's like having their own little book club!
Without further ado, here is my guide for implementing Paired Reading:
You've probably heard about this. It certainly isn't my idea. Pinterest and Instagram are full of wonderful, elaborate set-ups with table cloths, menus and all that jazz. I didn't do this. So, here's how I did it:
Each time we read, the children start by discussing what they've read so far and where they're up to. (The first time, they discussed what they expected). I give them a choice of four ways to share the book:
Quite often, we just do the reading. Sometimes, I give them something to do as a reflection task. These include:
Well, the idea came from the fact that hardly any of my Year 4 class had every read a chapter book!!! It can be very daunting. This way:
Final tip: if they give the book a try and don't like it, let them change it! There is nothing harder than reading a book you don't like. Plus, that wouldn't exactly help foster that love of reading!!
So, this week I have been trying something new.
At my school, we use the Maths No Problem scheme. For those of you who haven’t come across it, this is a Singapore Maths scheme that uses equipment, textbooks and workbooks. The lessons start with an ‘In Focus’ task, in which the children discuss approaches to a problem and then share their ideas.
To prepare for this, I have recently started giving the children ten minutes with the textbook at the end of each day. They ‘pre-study’ the lesson. They just take some time to look at it. They think about it. They can discuss it with their partner. Many of them flick back to the previous day’s lesson and begin to make links between their learning. Today, one pair even asked me if they could grab the equipment to start to make tenths and hundredths.
Only a few days in, this is already proving to be a very useful ten minutes. When I start the Maths lesson the next day, many of the children already have ideas or questions about the topic. They have begun to think about the Maths involved.
It is also encouraging independence. The children are learning to be less reliant. They are using study skills and reading skills along with the visuals in the book. I think that as we go on, I will be able to accelerate through some of the lessons, allowing more time for using the Maths Journals, which are used for deepening understanding, explaining different methods and reasoning.
My tips on how to implement this
(...so far! I'm sure that I'll have far more to add to this once I've been doing it for a while!)
Plans to expand!
So, obviously time is an issue here, but I'd like to roll this out across more of the curriculum. My plan is to give them some notes to study before some topics. We have LearnPads, so I'm going to put some presentations, notes and maybe even video clips (we have headphones!) on there about grammar topics, Science units etc. It's very similar to what we did for revision before the exams, but kind of in reverse. I think it might have a bigger impact than revising, but we'll see.
If you've done anything like this, please do comment and let me know any ideas or tips! Thanks!
Don't forget to comment and share if you like this or have anything to add (or if you spot one of my frequent typos!).
Hi! I'm Mrs P: passionate primary school teacher!