Hello Amazing People,
A very special welcome to all the amazing educators and parents I met during Children’s Book Week! Thank you for bringing your children to join in with some ridiculous stories.
This week's read-aloud poem is about a Duck who falls desperately in love with a Horse. Duck tries his best, but it just doesn’t work out for him…
“Oh four-legged lady,
How happy you’ve made me!
Let’s marry with rings,
And have a family of horslings!”
All Horse heard was, “QUACK, QUACK, QUACK!”
But she couldn’t speak Duck so she couldn’t speak back.
I have to admit that I’m not 100% sure about the themes in this one. Will primary school children have the emotional maturity to understand love and loss? My guess: probably. Explore Duck’s feelings and motivations with your kids. It’s definitely an attention grabber.
“There are really only two efficient ways to get words into a person’s brain: either by seeing them or by hearing them. Since it will be years before an infant uses his or her eyes for actual reading, the best source for vocabulary and brain building becomes the ear.”
- Jim Trelease, The Read-Aloud Handbook, pg 5
Today there is tremendous pressure for children as young as 4 to start decoding and reading. I’m not going to debate the validity of this pressure because it stems from educators’ and parents’ deep and sincere desire for their children to excel academically. It makes sense.
The problem is that some children will simply NOT be ready to read until they reach age 7 or 8. These children are considered ‘under target’ in terms of their school’s reading goals. The standard solution for the situation is to put them in intervention classes where they’re exposed to an extra dose of the same techniques that have FAILED to inspire them to read in the first place. What’s the definition of insanity again? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?
I’m completely aware of and respect the research that tells us that some children need the word ‘and’ flashed to them 20 times to cement it into their brains and others need it 1000 times to make it stick. What I’m saying is why not try a different approach to provide real motivation for reading? Stick with the sight-word/phonics flash card drills because they work, but include a shared read-aloud where a reluctant reader can finally experience some reading success.
With a shared read, they can finally feel the joy of being an accomplished reader. It inspires. Phonics doesn’t inspire — no one has a favourite digraph or consonant blend.
Have a fabulous week!