Keep on sharing reading
The Teachers’ Reading group at BGU has been running for two years now and we probably could never have envisaged two such different years! However, despite the extraordinary circumstances that teachers and students have found themselves in I have been so impressed by the resolve and dedication they have all shown to make sure that they can continue to develop reading for pleasure from home.
We began the year with the audit and identified our theme – building a reading community amongst staff, children and parents. At each meeting we shared ideas and looked at sample case studies. Students and class teachers tried out many of the suggestions from the case studies. Benjamin Harris’s use of Book blankets to encourage children to engage with a wide range of texts was taken up by everyone in the group and at each meeting we did a book blanket of our own. We also wanted to develop our knowledge of great children’s books so our Book Blankets covered (pun intended!) picture books, non-fiction and poetry across different sessions.
As the year went by, ideas for case studies were shaped and we began to reflect on impact. We used the Venn diagram of readers at age 11 from the NLT to identify which of our pupils were still not demonstrating the affective behaviours we’d hoped to see. These became the children we focused on. Alternatively, student teachers considered their own reading behaviours and identified ways in which they could move themselves towards the centre of the venn diagram.
Things were going swimmingly…until…COVID struck!!
Undaunted, the teachers and student teachers found new and innovative ways of continuing to develop their practice and subject knowledge. Joining to discuss on-line, we shared ideas for continuing the work through virtual methods. Teachers recording videos of read aloud stories, building reading communities with children via Google classrooms, students using Padlet to share ideas for interactive reading displays and compiling read aloud video lists from Youtube, the teachers and student teachers have shown dedication, resilience and perseverance to ensure that reading is Learner led, Informal, Social and uses Texts that tempt.
So, it takes more than a global pandemic to stop this Teachers’ Reading group!