As much as I loved all my traveling to different schools and libraries for Book Week, it is absolutely fabulous to be back at my wonderful school with my little Year Ones again.
I wrote a sequel to one of my poems! I’ve never written a sequel before — it was exciting! Billy and his doubting Mum are back in Bear Beneath the Chair.
Billy ran outside shouting,
“There’s a BEAR beneath the chair!”
Billy’s mum said,
DON’T BE SILLY!
There’s no bear beneath the chair!”
“There is a bear beneath the chair!
He escaped from the circus in the town!
He’s dressed up like a very scary clown!”
Read Croc Around the Block before Bear Beneath the Chair to familiarize your children with the format of the story. It’s a great opportunity to compare the two and it’s an incredibly easy story to innovate if you’d like to create a writing task around it.
Remember: the art of listening is an acquired one. It must be taught and cultivated gradually — it doesn’t happen overnight.
-Jim Trelease, The Read-Aloud Handbook, pg. 73
Our children build up their ability to sit still for and listen to stories over time. The more you read to them, the more their listening endurance will grow and the greater their attention spans will become. A child that has a greater attention will learn more than one that hasn’t developed the skill. It’s like a muscle that needs daily exercising to improve.
The trick to building listening endurance is to make sure that you pick books that are appropriate for your child’s/children’s LISTENING level. If you’ve been reading picture books to 6-year-olds for months, move onto small chapter books. Don’t get stuck thinking that because they’re little they need big, bright pictures on every page. If you’ve been talking to them, teaching them and reading to them consistently at a high level all their lives, you can be guaranteed that they’re listening level is way beyond their current reading level.
A listening level is the level that your child is able to understand the things that you say and read. A 7-year-old who reads at a 5-year-old level may listen at a 12-year-old level. Keep cultivating their listening level by reading to them daily and their reading skills will eventually catch up — guided-read, shared-read, predict, relate, discuss, question, role-play, innovate, rinse and repeat!
Have a fabulous weekend and happy reading!