All entries for September 2011

September 27, 2011

PP1 experience

Smartest Giant

I read this book to a year 2 class, who absolutely loved it. I would say it is appropriate for any KS1 class, but it worked particularly well with this age group. I chose to read it partly because it fitted in nicely with the PSHE topic of feelings and helping people, but mostly because it is an enjoably book! Also, it is written by Julia Donaldson who wrote 'The Gruffalo', so I knew it was likely to be well written. It follows the trials of George who is the scruffiest giant in town. He then buys some smart clothes to feel better, but ends up giving away various items to help animals. As in most books for children it all ends happily, with him back in his comfy and familiar clothes and with a golden crown given to him by all those he has helped.


To read to the children I had them gathered on the carpet around the chair I was sat on, so that they were comfotable and could see the pictures as I held up the book. During the story I asked them questions such as "What do you think will happen next?" and "Was that a good idea?" It promoted discussion and allowed the children to get really involved. I also encouraged them to join in with the repeated rhyme that went through the whole book.

I think this was my favourite part of PP1, as it was the first time I was really engaging with the children. It was also one of those moments that the children enjoyed and allowed them to learn some social messages without experiencing a lecture. They loved and engaged with the beautiful pictures as well as the actual text. After I read it I asked a few cihldren what their favourite part of the story was and why, and I think that helped them to think about the text further, so I felt I was teaching and not just reading a story.

September 26, 2011

Memories of reading…

 Bif, Chip, Kipper et al. from the ORT Like most people, I can't really remember learning to read. My Mum tells me that I refused to learn until I went to school because I was 'the most stubborn' child she's ever met! However, once I got to school I fell in love with reading and went through the Oxford Reading Tree series of books in the first couple of years of school. All I remember of reading pre-school is my Mum reading to us every single day, letting us follow the words with our fingers and just absorbing what was being said.

I think a really important step in my reading journey was when I finally got to choose my own books. The day I was let loose in the library and allowed to choose one of the books with a green sticker on the spine was such a good day! Of course, I immediately wanted to progress to the more exciting coloured stickers, but I had to wait for that. It just felt so good to be able to choose what interested me and to read it at my own pace, which was significantly faster than I had been allowed to read the reading scheme books.

I have three favourite books from varying stages of my life. The first book I ever described as my favourite is 'Walk Two Moons' by Sharon Creech. It is a genuinely good read! Even though it is aimed at children I still go and read through it every now and then, just for pleasure. I would particularly recommend it to any child who is perhaps struggling to come to terms with the death of a parent, as that is one of the main themes of the book and is handled with great care.

walk_two_moons.jpgJourney to the River Sea Life of Pi

The next book which has really stayed with me is 'Journey to the River Sea' by Eva Ibbotsen. It opened my eyes to the wonders of the Amazon rainforest and makes me want to visit it every time I read it. I am actually currently re-reading this book since I found it was being used in an English lesson in the year 6 class I saw on PP1. It is a great adventure story with a girl at its heart, which is very unusual and really appealed to me as a child because I was quite the Tom-boy.

My final favourite is a book which I recommend to adults to read. 'Life of Pi' by Yann Martel won the Man Booker Prize, but don't let that fact put you off! It is the tale of a young Indian boy stranded in a lifeboat in the middle of the Pacific ocean...with a Bengal Tiger. It has some great twists and tales in it, as well as lots of opportunity to think about the nature of life. Well, not necessarily that cheesy and deep, but I hope you get the picture!

So, that's the first blog entry done. Not quite as scary as I thought it would be, but I feel I have rambled for too long. Basically, just read. Everything and anything.

September 2011

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