Welcome to WBJS Love for Reading Evening “Between the ages of four and nine, your child will have to master some 100 phonics rules, learn to recognise 3,000 words with just a glance, and develop a comfortable reading speed approaching 100 words a minute. He must learn to combine words on the page with a halfdozen squiggles called punctuation into something – a voice or image in his mind that gives back meaning.” (Paul Kropp, 1996) Contents • • • • • What is it like to be a reader? How children learn to read? Reading at school Reading at home Useful links Tell the person next to you the last thing you read. Being a Reader • Why do we read? To learn new things, understand complex ideas and challenge thinking. To improve language skills, word recognition, builds vocabulary and spellings To find out about what’s going on around us and in distant places. To tell us what to do and how to do it. To escape. To dream. For pleasure. Or even just to pass the time! Tell the story What skills did you use to read the story? C'era un volta, una famiglia di tre orsi che viveva in un bosco. Papà orso era il più grande, aveva una grande testa, delle grandi zampe e una possente voce. Mamma orsa era di grandezza media, con una testa media e un corpo medio e un tono di vocina troppo bassa per essere un orso. Il più piccolo era un simpatico orsetto con un corpo strano, piccole zampette e una vocina strana, quasi sibilante. Being a non-reader • How did it make you feel when you could not read some of the words? • What clues did you use? • How did you make sense of the text? Once upon a time, in a thick forest, there lived three bears. One was a great big father bear, with a big head, and large paws and a great voice. The next was a mother bear, of middle size, with a middle sized head, and a middle sized body, and a voice quite low for a bear. The third bear was a funny little baby bear, with a strange little head, a queer little body, wee bits of paws, and an odd little voice, between a whine and a squeak. How do children learn to read? Learning to read begins very early in life. Babies are fascinated by bright colourful books. If an adult talks about the pictures and reads the words, this helps to develop language skills. The young child also begins to understand that the content of a book never changes. Later on, after much sharing of books, children begin to play read and turn the pages of a favourite story while chanting parts of it aloud. During this phase your child is remembering word patterns and learning about the language of books. This is a very important part of learning to read. There is no need for actual teaching at this stage: your child's interest in and enjoyment of written language is supported through the regular sharing of books. Before starting school, some children take the next step and begin to notice letters from their name or recognise a word or two as books are read together. Many children don't, though. This is normal, because children all develop at very different rates. Reading at School • Do you remember how you learnt to read at school? You may have learnt to read through being taught words on cards. Then, when your teacher decided you knew enough, you were given a book to practise. Some teachers even covered pictures up because they felt looking at pictures was a form of cheating! We now recognise that quality texts, where the language sounds good and the illustrations are often stunning, play an important part in developing children's reading skills. Often a whole class is taught to read together through the use of big books or a shared texts on interactive white boards so everyone can see and join in as the teacher points out letters, words and sentences. Building Reading Confidence Children become confident independent readers through•knowing how to build words using letters and sounds •recognising words at sight •understanding how words go together to make sentences •knowing about different sorts of books and how they work As teachers share books with their classes all these skills are taught and developed. Guided Reading A lot of reading practice will take part in small Guided Reading groups where each child has a copy of the same text. The teacher or teaching assistant will introduce the text, ask questions, discuss different strategies then set a reading task. Children are encouraged to read at their own pace while the teacher works with every child in turn. At the end of a session the whole group discusses the text to check they have understood. This allows the teacher and children to spend much longer working with a piece of text than is possible if every child reads a different book to the teacher. Becoming an Independent Reader As well as group reading and reading to an adult, children will also begin to read and enjoy books in pairs or by themselves. Time is set aside during the week for this to happen. Reading Records are sent home for you to record how your child responds when reading at home. We have Parent Helpers who may also hear your child read and make positive comments in the Reading Record. An equally important part of learning to read independently is hearing books read aloud. Hearing language in this way allows your child to focus on the meaning without having to concentrate on working out the words. This really helps children to develop an understanding of the different sorts of texts and will assist your child in tackling similar texts independently. Questioning Questions with different purposes can be asked and answered before, during, and after reading. Before children read, they often use questions to activate prior knowledge, make predictions, and wonder about big ideas that are not always answered in the text. During reading, children form questions to compare and generalise, identify the theme, and clarify meaning. After they read, children use questioning to locate information, understand and remember events and characters, and identify the theme. Our School Reading Scheme Provides a structured route for progression of skills Enables teachers to monitor and assess reading skills £2000 worth of new books are now part of the school Reading Scheme, we are however, looking at ways in which to develop the reading scheme further both in terms of resourcing and assessing. Reading at Home As a parent you are probably helping your child with reading much more than you may realise. If your home contains books, magazines and catalogues and your child sees you reading, if you read to your child and talk together about familiar stories and if you also use printed materials to find things out, then your child already has a head start in this area. How You Can Support Reading Remember that talking about reading is very important, so if your child is sometimes reluctant to read aloud, discussing a book will also help to develop their reading skills. Concentrate on enjoyment and grasping the meaning rather than absolute accuracy. Keep reading time relaxed, comfortable and pleasurable, in a quiet corner, with the television turned off. Talk about the cover and read the title before rushing your child into the text, asking questions, such as: What do you think it will be about? What sort of book is it? Have you read one like this before? Look through the book, noticing interesting pictures and words, then read the opening together. Don't correct too quickly. If your child makes an error suggest having another go, searching the pictures for a clue, sounding out the first letter or reading on before you 'tell' the problem word. If your child is really struggling, take over the reading yourself and let the teacher know. When your child brings home a book that has been read before ask for a summary before reading it again, then discuss the book at a deeper level than last time. As your child progresses, talk about authors, characters and plots or what new information has been learnt. If your child reads silently ask her to re-tell the part that has been read and encourage the 'pointing out' of relevant sections in the text. Join your local library together and use it regularly.