April 30, 2012

Reading Poetry

Reading Poetry

Activity A

Thinking back I don’t really have any vivid memories of being read poetry at school, especially in Primary Schools. I remember poetry being introduced nearer my GCSE’s and I was mainly interested in rhyming poems. I remember often sitting wondering at how individuals could take so much from poetry and was often puzzled at how they could do this as I myself just read the poem as it was written. I believe the creativity in poetry is mesmerizing at times and how metaphors, similes and different language is used is good for helping individuals think outside the box and help with their imagination skills.

I can see the merits for children learning a poem by heart. It provides opportunities for the development of speaking and listening skills and allows for the interpretation of rhythm and rhyme through performance poetry. However, I feel for children to appreciate and interact with poetry, recitation by memory is not essential and may be challenging for some.

Activity B

During PP3 I was fortunate enough to teach the Poetry unit although it was not what I had first thought. Instead of teaching poetry as I had remembered there was a stronger emphasis towards teaching children how to be creative with words and phrases to create Kennings, Calligrams, Riddles and Acrostic poems and then moving on to word searches and crosswords. The lessons were fun, engaging and children enjoyed the creative element associated with the specific topics. I feel that before this placement I had a completely different view on poetry in Primary Schools and was clueless about some of these topics, however I now feel better equipped to teach poetry in an enjoyable and successful way.

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Reflection on PP3 – Promoting Reading for Purpose and Pleasure

I was at Battling Brook School for PP3 in Year 3 with 32 students and one TA and one volunteer who came in on a Thursday afternoon to help children read. In my class there were five literacy ability groups. Every day would include a guided reading session in which one group would read with me, the teacher, one with the TA, one group would practice handwriting, one their weekly spellings and the final group could read in the reading corner a book of there choice or what interested them. As there were five groups and five days in a week then the groups would rotate around the different activities. I as the teacher and the TA would fill in a reading assessment sheet and also the children’s reading diaries. Children were also encouraged to read at home and it was clear to see from their reading diaries that they read a lot at home. The children in my group would read a line at a time and then the next child would take over. They seemed to all enjoy reading and were very helpful in that they prompted children struggling with words and ones who found it hard to follow. I believe this was an extremely successful method of guided reading as all children were occupied with meaningful tasks, reading assessment could happen and also children got an opportunity to read in the book corner a book which interested them.

Through my observations it was apparent that the class teacher was an enthusiastic reader and in addition to the guided read my class had ‘Charlie and The Chocolate Factory’ which was read throughout the term in spare 10minute slots. The terms topic was geared towards Chocolate and the class had a trip to Cadburys World planned for the end of term which was why that particular book was chosen. During these periods of whole class reading each table would read a line then it would move on to the next table with the teacher guiding and stepping in accordingly. I feel this was a good method to use at it enabled children to learn from each other and realize what makes a good reader.

On the timetable there was a weekly library session in which children could take out a book of their choice to use and read at home or in there free time. My teacher always encouraged children to have a book available to them at home which they found interesting in order to try and encourage as much reading as possible. The idea of allowing the children to choose a book they liked was that if they were interested in a topic or a book then they would be likely to pick it up more often.

The classroom had a designated reading area which provided an inspiring and secure environment for reading, which the children enjoyed using. There was a small selection of books to read in the classroom; however the range of books used for guided and home reading was extensive and included a variety of genres.

February 07, 2012


Teaching EAL in Literacy

Book: Rabbit Pie

Author: Penny Ives, 2007.

I have chosen this book as a suitable book to support children with EAL for several reasons. Firstly the book has simplistic words in a large print which will help the learner to break down the words phonetically and not get an overload of words on one page.

Secondly within the book there are vast amounts of pictures which link directly to the text. This should help EAL students understand the words and again will aid their reading and word recognition and association.

In addition there is limited punctuation within the book just full stops and capital letters. This will aid the EAL learner again as it will not be overloading the child with information too quickly.

I believe the book would be useful for children of all years depending on the level at which the EAL is at.

January 16, 2012

Story Telling 2

When watching the two clips of the different reader’s it was apparent to me that the second reading was better. I felt that their was more expression in their voice with good facial and hand gestures in order to help with the understanding of the book. The book was almost being acted out. I also felt the pace of the reading was quick but not too fast so that you couldn’t understand what was going on, this helped for a free flowing pace.

My own philosophy on reading is that it should not be a chore but should be enjoyable and should enable the imagination to run wild. With story telling you have the responsibility to entertain an audience in the same way a comedian for example does. The tone of voice and emphasis on characters different characteristics is crucial to help with understanding and enjoyment. Reading itself is a vital part of life and needs a strong focus from the early years. It can be a great way of gathering information and acquiring knowledge. The written word for centuries has been the way information or knowledge is passed on through generations and needs to be recognised as a very important part of life. It is for these reasons that to be included in everyday life children need to realise the importance of reading and understand that it is an empowering ability.

Story Telling

Storytelling is about children listening to stories which are 'told' to them. It is most commonly used in Literacy within school however can be used in other subjects to help with learning objectives. e.g See my blog post about The Little Bear and how i used the book in Science.

Storytelling can be extremely enjoyable for children for many reasons, these include the books being funny or exciting in telling an intriguing story. To continue the books may have interesting charachers which may draw the children in along with interesting pictures which may interest the children. Finally the books may have a good story line which will capture the childrens imagination about what may happen at the end of the book. With this also children will gain a sense of anticipation about what will happen so will be eager to listen to find out.

However for the children to fully enjoy the book then the teacher much possess several skills. I believe the teacher needs to have a clear expressive voice in which the children are interested and excited by. To continue I feel it enhances the read passage if the reader tries to get into the roles of the different characters and tries to change their voice and tone in accordance. This will not only help with the children differentiating between characters but will also make the story more enjoyable. Finally I feel it is vital good eye contact is made with the children.

Story telling can be vital for children's learning in that it will help with their reading and writing skills which they can then transfer into their literacy work. Story telling can also help with children's imagination skills in that they can think about what is happening in the book and what may happen at the end. Finally many stories have a moral to them and by reading these stories and getting the children to understand the meaning of them this can help with morality in the future.

January 05, 2012

Review of PP2

From my second Placement at Goodyers End School in Bedworth, in Year 2, I found it interesting that the class teacher aimed to hear each child read every week. She used a plan whereby 5 children per day she would hear read to help their development and track progress. Whilst I was at the school I also helped listen to readers and looked at children’s reading diaries to assess how much they had been doing at home. I found myself competent in this area and enjoyed listening to the children read. I asked lots of questions about the passages read to try and improve children’s understanding of what they were reading. I found it encouraging that there was definitely a strong push at the school to develop children’s reading from an early age to help them in the future.

My own personal reading to the class I believe had developed greatly from PP1; I believe my voice was clear and expressive during the passages that I read out to the class. One book in particular called ‘The little Bear’ in which I used to help introduce the Light and Dark topic in Science I believe was a huge success. The book was about a little bear that couldn’t sleep because it was too dark so the father bear had to help him by explaining light and dark. The children enjoyed the book and there was a real anticipation and silence in the class as I read on. After I had finished I asked the children to share with each other their thoughts on light and dark before moving on to discussing types of light in every day life.

I believe as the placement went on I grew in confidence with my reading ability, expression and eye contact with the class. I also feel that my loud tone of voice also helps with my reading in the classroom.

Review of Science Prezzi

Hi Fliss

I have just reviewed your Science Lesson during my lunch. Probably not ideal to eat and read but I enjoyed the lesson plan and think the children would find it amusing and enjoyable. I think the idea of using different materials and asking them to think of other materials they could use is very good. I also like that you have given them a method of recording their results and given them clear guidlines as to what to do.

One way that I feel that you could adapt the lesson is to ask children to make predictions before about which material they think would work the best at plugging the hole in the boat.

Hope this helps and hope your placement has been a success.

(Copied From Email to Fliss Hyett).

October 05, 2011

Where Did I Read and Who Too

Follow-up to My Reading Experiences from Thomas's blog

The majority of my reading occured at school however if I was interested and enjoyed a book I was more likely to take it home or read the book at home in my own time either to my parents or at night to myself. Classroom books which were studied in lessons were also set as homework reading in which we had a homework book which our parents had to monitor and sign to show we had done the required work.

My Reading Experiences

It is difficult to remember exactly what my early reading books were and my thoughts on these books. I remember being a keen sportsman, which has followed on through my life, which influenced my reading. I look back and my favourite books seemed to be associated with sporting themes in particular football books directed at one individuals experiences in a team. I believe the focus of my reading was due to my passion for the game even at an early age. I feel being able to relate what you read to what you activley do and enjoy makes the reading more enjoyable and also aids learning. i.e. If you enjoy a book or topic you are more likely to remember and learn from the book. Also if you can relate to the characters within the book, such as the footballer, you are more likely to gain familierality with these characters. Again this will help improve understanding within the book and will help with Literacy.

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