Sunday, 30 March 2014

Helping Students to Choose Appropriate Books

I became aware that during the silent reading time some boys were trying to read books that were not engaging and were a waste of valuable learning time. So, as a way to help fix this problem and to hopefully help the boys in my class to choose more appropriate books, my team and I went to Whitcoulls on a book finding mission. After an hour or so we managed to find around 50 titles that we thought would both challenge and motivate our boys.

My question now it how do I sell these books to my boys? How can I make these as exciting as possible? My main hope is that they get so hooked into these books that they are looking to continue their reading at home.

I am really looking forward to creating more mini libraries of books to help hook my class into reading.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Using Silent Reading as a Hook

From the beginning of this term we have been starting off our learning day with silent reading. The students have had a chance to choose a book that is at their level and is something that interests them.

This has been an awesome way to start the journey of hooking the students into reading. I have had many conversations with the students about their book choices and if they would recommend it to others. The interesting part of this conversation for me is their reasoning behind whether or not someone should read their book. They have been very focused on how fast the plot moves and the characters depicted in the story.

Another set of conversations that we have had has been around the purpose of silently reading. More than ever before the students in my class are very aware of their reading age and have become more and more driven to improve this. They are now aware of the relationship between practising their reading every morning and improving their reading age. This is very exciting!

The next step for silent reading in Class 8 is to teach my students how to choose a book. I have noticed that most of my boys pick their book based on the cover or a 'boyish' sounding title. The girls however, choose books based on characters, or a 'girly' sounding plot. I want to teach my students how to choose a book that is challenging for them, is going to motivate and keep them engaged and ultimately help to accelerate their improvement.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

My MIT14 Proposal

In 2014 Manaiakalani, with support from the Telecom Foundation, have given me the amazing opportunity to follow a line of enquiry into my own teaching. Below is an outline of my proposal.

School: Pt England School
2014 Teaching: Teaching in an open learning environment with Year 5/6 students along with three other colleagues.
My class Blog link is here.
Our space site is here.
My blog where my MIT14 Inquiry is shared is here.


Hooking Kids into Reading

How do you hook and cognitively engage students in reading a range of texts? I want to create a classroom that is filled with highly motivated readers who devour books in order to learn, create and share! I want to look at ways that can motivate and cognitively engage students with reading. Be it with ebooks, netbook friendly versions of texts or the humble paperback book! I plan to create age and maturity appropriate mini libraries that are a mix of physical books and ebooks, which will help to motivate and capture a wide range of students (see this Stuff Article from the 14th of November ). I also plan to look into ways that kids can interact with a text via internet based applications and websites. For example, imagine a year 6 student plotting the path and places that Phileas Fogg and his companions traveled on Google Earth while reading ‘Around the World in 80 Days’. The possibilities are endless.