Every year I make the attempt to alter my voice to become characters in stories that I read to the class. Every year I try to set the tone for our reading with pictures, lights, and sounds. Every year I some how fall short. I either forget the dialect I originally used, I play the wrong kind of music in the background, or I’m honestly just having an off day.
The iPad has been a great tool for teaching children to become better readers.
There are many apps available that parents can use to help their kids improve their reading skills significantly, whether they’re just starting out or brushing up on some basics. Here are some of the best:
Developed by Preschool University, Sentence Reading Magic helps your child read and build sentences. With this app, you can use two learning modes to improve your child’s ability to handle sentences, which makes it a great tool for driving home key reading lessons.
Here is the second article in our series on maximising the use of visualisers across different curriculum areas. We'll be looking at literacy and English classes from key stages one to four.
Use visualisers at key stages one and two to help in building a foundation of basic literacy concepts:
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:
Perhaps the biggest challenge for myself as an English and Media Studies teacher, and educators more broadly, is the constant fight against the steady decline of reading ability, and the capacity for reading for pleasure, that we find each year in our schools. Without wishing to sound like a jack-booted CBI spokesperson (who seem to exist only to reduce corporate taxes and demonise the state education system), there is undoubtedly a decline in reading that has a pervasive effect on our students and their life chances; affecting their capacity to read both functionally, and as equally importantly, to experience the imaginative delights that reading literature has to offer. I am sure many teachers could provide lots of anecdotal evidence of a decline in reading habits (by this, I must stress ‘traditional’ reading – web reading is in rude health in many aspects), alongside some hard statistical evidence.
There are many different views on educational policy but one thing everyone agrees on is the importance of independent reading as a cornerstone of educational development.
How to make reading attractive isn’t easy in a world where children are sophisticated consumers and budgets, space and time are limited. Competition for children’s attention is fierce and if we are serious about encouraging children to read more and develop a life-long love of reading we have to look at the whole experience. Presenting books so that they appear irresistible and children just can’t help but reach out and take them is the first step.