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Getting children reading …

Getting children to read has been a great debate for many years. There has been so many researchers that have tried and claimed to know how to help children learn to read.

To me, a child’s love of reading and a child’s first educator -their parents have a significant influence on a child’s reading development. Not to mention us as the teachers too!

As part of my MA and my interest area of reading in school, I will be researching and carry out action research on the parental involvement of children’s reading.

I will most likely publish the action research on my blog after the submission as I don’t want to plagiarise myself! But I am looking forward to putting in place new strategies for reading in school.

My first strategy is to invite parents in every Monday morning to read with their child for 10 minutes. When I reflect on the mornings it involves parents and children stood outside waiting for the doors to open in the cold and us teachers rushing around like crazy.

Why not let them in and invite them to snuggle up with a good book to start the week off? That way teachers can also address and catch any parents about any issues too.

What are your thoughts and strategies for parental support and getting children to read?

I would love to hear them!

#MissPinnock

The life of me

Philosophy for children?

Philosophy for children (P4C) is a topic I came across in my first year of my MA in Education. It’s one that is full of great debates but the more I researched into it the more I became to love it.

Getting children to think for themselves and listen to other people’s opinions is definitely a well needed life skill in the society we live in.

Children learn that other people have different perspectives in life and we have to respect it but we don’t have to agree to it either.

I have started small P4C sessions with my class. At the moment we are learning all about th Arctic. I started off by asking my class if they would like to live in the Arctic. Without prompts I just listened to each child’s response.

As you can imagine some children said no because it’s too cold. Other children said they would love to because they could play in the snow all day.

I placed a yes and no sign in my classroom for children to decide and stand next to.

I then added more to the scenario. What if you could have a heated coat to keep you warm in the Arctic, would you live there then?

Some children began to change their decision and perspective of it after listening to others and after the scenario changed.

It was great to see fantastic listening skills from 5 year olds too!

tell me know yours views on P4C in education!

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The life of me

Writing with Alison Philipson

Teaching early writing skills for children in Year 1 has always been a topic I continued to reflect upon. I didn’t feel 100% sure whether the writing opportunities we offered them really met the potential of all of the children’s needs.

I really really wanted to make children much more independent with their writing. As the class teacher I also wanted to feel much more confident when assessing what the children can do without a heavy amount of adult support.

I just couldn’t put my finger on how I could do it.

Until Alison Philipson arrived!!!

So many questions I have been itching to know have been answered.

What does it look like for a child to be meeting in writing?

What is greater depth?

What is classed as children writing independently?

Children can have prompts during independent writing such as ‘what should go at the end of your sentence?’

To me, this simple question makes much more sense to help facilitate children’s writing without heavily telling them – you need a full stop at the end.

After the talk I was motivated and recharged with new ideas. I looked around my classroom and reflected on the session.

Do I give children opportunities to use their environment to help them independently write?

The answer was clear to me- no! Most of my displays were focused on showing off children’s end outcomes, which I still think is important. But… I realised my focus on maths was much stronger than writing.

Now it seems so obvious. I am constantly reminding children to remember capital letters, full stops, finger spaces. Let’s have it visual stuck up on the wall – around the classroom to remind them.

I’m constantly wanting them to use and spell high frequency words in their writing. Let’s cover my display in high frequency words. Let the children create a bookmark full of the words and have that in their writing books.

After looking in further detail at the National Curriculum expectations for writing with Alison Phillipson, it is clear to see that Year 1 needs that practice, practice, practice of an objective. It needs to be instilled before the greater demands of year two!

I could literally talk about this session for hours on end. I feel so passionately motivated about it now! It has always been in the back of my mind but now it all makes sense!

Here is my plan of action!!

  • Children will hand write every afternoon during registration. Not handwriting random letters but handwriting the 100 high frequency words, numbers in words, spellings based on certain phonemes that they need practice with.
  • High frequency words will be sent home to practice reading and writing every week.
  • Children will write about what they did at the weekend in new writing books every Monday afternoon. We will also use part of Monday afternoon to discuss misconceptions of writing and play a phonics / sentence structure game.
  • I will remove part of my maths display and create a working wall including the things children need to remember to include in a sentence.
  • My working wall will have a WAGOLL on and it will be broken down into simple steps of what we want the children to achieve over the half term.
  • Children will receive a special pencil if they write neatly and form letters correctly and consistently and can use this at all times.
  • Every half term children will write independently based on a taught topic. This will be used to assess where every child is at and what they can do on their own!
  • We will use Alison Philipsons writing grid to assess all children at different points of the year.

Take a look at Alison Phillipson’s website for further ideas. It is truly amazing!

https://apliteracy.com

I am so excited to get started with all the new writing ideas. I will blog again with lots of pictures of my changed classroom and evidence of improvements in the children’s writing!

#MissPinnock

Uncategorized

Arrrg Pirates!

Last year I taught a new theme for the beginning of year one, pirates!! We turned the role play area into a pirate ship and I put lots of eye patches, stripey clothes and treasure inside. I have to say the children absolutely loved it.

The pirate theme was linked to a book called a new home for Jed. The children also made their own houses using junk materials and we linked it to their locality too.

 

 

At first I wondered how worthwhile a pirate theme would be, but I was surprised with how much we managed to get out of it.

Children were eager to read pirate stories, dress up and we also created amazing pirate face self portraits too! I changed my maths area to gold coins for number recognition too!

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I recommend that you give it a try sometime!

Feel free to comment your thoughts, they are much appreciated!

#MissPinnock