November 06, 2011

Reading autobiography

Some of my earliest memories of childhood are based around story time and a tendency to become easily absorbed within an exciting tale. I think that my enjoyment of reading and what then developed to be an interest in Literacy, originated from sitting with my Mum at bedtime and listening to a variety of stories, such as "The Tale of Jemima Puddleduck" by Beatrix Potter, "Alfie Gets in First" by Shirley Hughes and "Aesop's Fables" by Aesop. I remember initially following my Mum's finger as she sounded out the words, to then joining in with her as she read. I also had a selection of audio books which I would willingly read along with on my own, to then reading a book alone at bedtime and having a debate with my Mum about turning the light off, as I didn't want to put the book down! This was particularly the case with Roald Dahl's books, such as "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me".

As a typical girly girl, towards the end of primary school and throughout my early teens, I particularly enjoyed Sophie Kinsella's "Shopaholic" collection and Louise Rennison's books, such as "Dancing in my Nuddy Pants", as they were light-hearted and fun and depicted the trials tribulations of puberty. I found them so entertaining that I can vividly remember having to put my face in to my pillow repeatedly as I read them at bedtime, so as not to wake anyone up during my outbursts of laughter.

If I am being honest, since the large influx of reading that took place during university, my reading for pleasure has somewhat decreased compared to that of when I was growing up. I always promise myself a good book when I get the time, which of late has been mainly autobiographies which is probably due to my Psychology background and my interest in people. I have recently read Russel Brand's autobiography whilst on holiday and have not long purchased "Moab is my Washpot" by Stephen Fry, which I am looking forward to reading.


November 01, 2011

PP1 Reading experience

Killer Cat

At the end of PP1, I took my opportunity to read the first two chapters of "The Return of the Killer Cat" by Anne Fine, an author who was a personal favourite of the year 3/4 class teacher who had selected this text for me to read. This was a great opportunity to engage the children as I had the advantage of being able to begin reading the next book planned for shared reading with the class and the children were familiar with the author and enjoyed her style of story writing.

The children were organised on the carpet, with the children who were more likely to be easily distracted within my line of sight, should I have needed to regain their attention. I looked up from the book throughout reading the story, trying to involve all the children to become absorbed within the story and to also identify who was paying attention.

This piece of Non- Fiction text explored the use of a story written in the first person, with lots of use of "my" and "I". This was achieved by the use of inner speech from the cat's perspective as it is telling the story, but also included sections of dialogue from the other characters, written in the second person. The Return of the Killer cat was a brilliant piece of text to read as my first whole class shared reading experience, as due to the nature of the story coming from being from the protagonist's perspective I had to use quite a lot of expression, including the necessity to alter my tone of voice depending on what happened at certain points in the story and to be able to imitate the appropriate corresponding reactions.

I was anxious to take centre stage to begin with, but once I became used to what was the appropriate tone and expression to use and I could see that the children were enjoying it, I became more comfortable and thoroughly enjoyed it. My class teacher even took a picture of my shared reading session, which was given to me as a little souvenir!

I think nerves led me to perhaps read a little too quickly, which I will aim to improve on during my next shared reading session. For future sessions, the class teacher suggested that a good introduction of the blurb and particularly the author would be a nice way to set the scene. If the teacher has read books by this author before, it will allow children to reflect on previous familiar stories and maybe even think of previously discussed literacy techniques that the author tends to use.


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