Lots of my favourite Twitter people were at Oxford Reading Spree yesterday. A whole bunch of people talking about how great reading is and how to encourage children to read more sounds hugely inspiring to me! I was sorry to miss it, so thought I’d tell you about some fun reading spree moments from my week…
- We’ve been reading Charlotte’s Web and the random plastic spider in my classroom (you know what I’m talking about, Primary teachers!) has now been named Charlotte, and she is taking on a life of her own. She shows up in unusual places and often has some wisdom for us! (Constructing mental models, anyone?!)
- I’ve been super strict on reading at home at the moment. Bring your reading record in, signed and you get a star sticker. Don’t bring it in and you’ll spend your playtime reading. The message is, it’s *that* important. I wasn’t quite sure about being so uptight about it – would it just destroy a love of reading? Was it too much to expect for children who don’t have much support at home? However, one of my least engaged readers has brought in his signed book every day for 2 weeks now, mostly at first, for the stickers. But this week, ah, this week, he has discussed his book with me every morning! “Miss King, that How to Train Your Dragon, it’s really good Miss!” His behaviour has also really improved, so I called him to the front of the class to big him up. But, get this: he didn’t hear me calling his name to come and get a prize because he was so engrossed in his book! I could have cried for joy.
- Books are so important for offering children a wider experience than their daily lives often allow. For one reason and another, a lot of our children don’t have a lot of life experiences, but books can give that to them. Books can allow our inner city little ones to find out about life on a farm, or in a different country, or different culture. If you’re going to be a “good” reader, with all that entails, in it’s broadest sense, you need rich experiences and an ever-increasing vocabulary. Books can help you with that when your own life doesn’t.
- I was sad to miss Sue Cowley’s talk on writing for a living yesterday, so I read her book, The Seven M’s of Writing for a Living, instead. It is a brilliant little book, full of helpful hints and tips. It taught me things I didn’t know, but also felt encouraging, and like making a living from writing is possible. I’m sure I’ll be returning to it a lot over the coming months.
Finally, if Mr Galway can post a picture of his nephew reading, I’m going to finish with a photo of my gorgeous goddaughter, Connie-Joy and I, reading together of course!