January 09, 2012

Reflection on PP2 – Promoting Reading for Purpose and Pleasure

During my PP2 placement I found my Year 2 class teacher to be an incredibly enthusiastic reader, someone who takes a great deal of enjoyment in her reading, both for purpose and pleasure. This was initially communicated to me through personal conversations with her about hobbies, holidays etc, in which the topics of what books we had read and were reading played a major role. She also reminisced on how during her PGCE she had hugely missed being able to read anything for her own pleasure other than children's stories, something that I strongly agreed with her about!

Her passion for reading was also highly evident through her teaching, particularly her daily guided reading sessions, which definitely seemed to be enjoyed by the pupils just as much as they were by their teacher. It was very clear that her infectious enthusiasm had rubbed off on her class, and the vast majority cheered with very real excitement when they discovered that it was their turn to read, and hurried joyfully over to the book corner every time they were given the opportunity. The book corner itself also played a key part in this, being well stocked, colourful, stimulating and surrounded by comfortable seating in order to make it even more appealing to the children. I later found this to be the case in the majority of classrooms in the school, all of which had very well stocked and looked-after supplies of relevant fiction and non-fiction literature to engage the children. Literary displays were also a prominent part of the classroom learning environment, displaying the children's work on the current text or range of texts being studied. At the time this was the 'Katie Morag' series of stories, selected to deliver the 'stories from a familiar setting' unit. Although I had never come across these stories before, I found them incredibly useful and engaging, as they are written in a very quirky and interesting manner, which the children loved. They also very easily promote themselves to a whole variety of cross-curricular activities, such as geography and art.

The one thing that particularly struck me from me placement is just how difficult it is for a Key Stage 1 class teacher to find the time to listen to individual readers themselves, something which most teachers I have spoken to believe to be absolutely vital in their pupil's reading development. My class teacher told me that it was a rare treat to have the opportunity to listen to their pupils read one-on-one, and that this was only made possible by me being there and taking her class. This comment was also echoed by many of the others in the staffroom, with the general consensus being that it was not only incredibly difficult, but also incredibly vital to try to find this time for one-on-one reading.

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