Yvonne is passionate about children's books, reading and learning. This has come about since having children of her own and helping them develop their own love of books. She has a huge thirst for discovering new books, rediscovering old ones and studying children’s literature generally. She plans to study the level 3 Open University course, Children’s Literature, this September and perhaps the MA in Children’s Literature available at Roehampton the following year. After studying law at university, Yvonne worked in project management within the telecommunications sector for ten years. After having children, she then worked as a paid and voluntary teaching assistant. Currently, she is working with students who are learning English as a second language as well as producing Babbleabout and writing for other websites.
It is well documented that there is a “reading gender gap” between boys and girls and that it is growing. Schools are attempting to address reading issues by using synthetic phonics to teach the mechanics of reading from Reception onwards. And quite often children are introduced to letter sounds and shapes even earlier. So why are some children, in particular boys, falling behind in their reading and what resources are out there to help them get back on track?
Children’s author Michael Morpurgo, who provided evidence to the All-Party Parliamentary Literacy Group Commission on this issue, says:
There’s no way of avoiding them. The times tables are a necessity if one is to progress along the mathematics learning journey. So, like them or not, knowing your times tables is important. They are the building blocks for further maths study later on – division, long division (urgh!), long multiplication, fractions, calculating area and so on.
Not only that, but knowing the times tables is important for tasks in our daily lives too – working out quantities in recipes (especially if doubling or quadrupling quantities); working out money-off discounts at the shops; measuring for furnishings around the home (widths of curtains for instance).