Education · Uncategorized

#ReadingRocks_17

Yesterday was my first ever Twitter CPD event and I was not disappointed. It was a packed day full of inspirational speakers and the opportunity to meet like-minded teachers, who are all passionate about reading. First speaker was Teresa Cremin who started by reading the thought proving book ‘Angus Rides the Goods Train’. Her voice was so captivating, you could have heard a pin drop. The main message (which was constantly repeated throughout the day) was that children need the opportunity to read for pleasure. They need to have teachers who are readers, who have a love of books and who are able to share that enthusiasm with children. . Research carried out made me realise how Dahl-dependent schools are. No one would criticise Dahl as an author as he’s opened up books to children for generations, but children have the right to be introduced to more than a few select authors that currently dominate book shelves. The other message that I will take away with me is that reading for pleasure should be timetabled into the day, so it’s not squeezed out because teachers have simply too much to do. Next speaker was the wonderful Mary Myatt. I loved that she said children should not be labelled e.g. Lower Ability, if anything named Lower Prior Attainment. She was very thought provoking and again the message that children need demanding texts as they love to rise to a challenge. My next workshop was led by Jules Pottle and probably the one I enjoyed the most. Firstly because it was about science and second is that I now want to go back and try these ideas at school. Jules explained how to use storytelling in science. The model she used followed these stages: The idea is to initiate a science topic with a story, then use this to base the science learning. Jules modelled this by telling us a story based on a lighthouse, then we mapped the story, stepped through the events to help retell the story ourselves. We watched video clips how the science was used alongside the story in schools and also made links to writing and songs. I absolutely loved this idea and know that I want to buy the book and try out these ideas as soon as possible. After lunch (which was delicious) we were treated to a talk by the author S.F.Said. As someone who loved the book Varjak Paw, this was something I looked forward to. I was amazed to learn that he took 5 years to write that particular book and wrote 17 drafts before it was published. A lesson in perseverance! The one message I took away was children’s books are books for everyone. Something I strongly agree with as I prefer reading children’s books over adult books any day. The final treat of the day was the legend Pie Corbett. For someone like me who has been in education a while, I have used Pie Corbett’s resources lots but have never met the man in question, until now. Again the message was that all teachers need to expose children to demanding texts, not just Y6 teachers. Also I realised through video clips how much time he spends questioning and drawing out aspects of reading from the children, where sometimes it’s easy to rush on when teaching, not leaving enough time for reflection. So that was my day. Some friends thought I was slightly crazy to attend a course on a Saturday but who would miss that opportunity all for £15? An absolute bargain. Thank you very much to the organisers.

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