Reflection on PP2 – Promoting Reading for Purpose and Pleasure
From the very first ‘joint-planning’ evening it was clear that the whole Year-One team in which I was placed for my PP2 were extremely committed to incorporating reading into as many lessons as possible. The team, comprising of three teachers and three TAs, relentlessly sought ways to plan weekly lessons around a central theme stemming from a book. It became abundantly apparent that all the teachers were incredibly knowledgeable in children's literature, not just for their own year group, but throughout KS1 and KS2.
Whilst observing shared reading, it was interesting to see the difference between a teacher who read a text with enthusiasm and conviction and a teacher who reads for the sake of reading. The children, especially considering their age, responded extremely well to changes in pitch to represent different characters as well as alteration of volume and speed to mark intensity. As a result of these simple techniques the children became noticeably more engaged in the story.
As already mentioned above, every week a new book was introduced to become the foundation of the subsequent 5 literacy lessons. In the first week I read and taught five lessons using the book ‘The Gruffalo’. By re-reading the book daily the children were able to confidently rewrite the main events in a story board by the end of the week. In addition, the book lent itself well to being incorporated into lessons on adjectives and repetition. Another important story I was introduced to over my PP2 was ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’ in which we were able to use the ending as a perfect opportunity to ask the children to think about writing a “What happens to the Troll next” scenario.
I believe that as a teacher I am often quick to forget how imaginative children really are when they first begin school. In my last week I used a story about aliens to incorporate a home made 6ft rocket which the children and I had to find in the school. Once we had found the rocket and brought it back to the class room I used the book to spark the children's imagination as to what we could expect to see within the rocket. When I opened the rocket up and took out the ‘mystery’ objects, which were in fact nothing more then obscure household objects, it was fascinating to observe the ideas the children came up with. In the end the children produced long descriptive sentences about their objects which in any other lesson would have been beyond expectation. It reconfirmed that used in the right way, books can have a tremendous impact in stimulating children's ideas and creativity.