Showing posts from December, 2013

Maintaining Student Reading Across the Summer Break

Annie Dillard in her book, The Writing Life, suggests that a writer must be careful what he or she reads, for that is what will be written. The writer is careful of what he or she learns, because that becomes what is known. But what happens when the reading and consequently the writing ceases?
Reading is essential to every writer, so when the school year ends it is critical that these developing skills continue to be fostered in our youngest literate citizens.
Reading research indicates that many children’s reading abilities decline between the end of one school year and the beginning of the next when reading ceases. Some parents see reading as the province of the school. It may not be valued in the home.  Amazingly, this phenomenon of summer reading loss can be offset by reading as few as 4- 5 books across the summer break. (Rinn 2006)
Professors, Richard Allington and Anne McGill-Franzen completed a three-year study (2001-2004) showing a significantly higher level of reading achievemen…

The Continuing Writes of Summer

It’s almost the end of another Australian school year, so I am aware of the level of exhaustion that abounds in schools, and the need to tie up a multitude of loose ends prior to school closing for the summer holidays. Teaching becomes a race to the finish line. The last week of school seems to take the longest time of all the many school weeks. It is fatigue central.
Summer is taking its own sweet time to materialize this year, but  come it will.  I am also aware that on summer’s horizon teachers will have some free time to relax and regenerate their energy reserves.- A time for relaxation, holidays, family and recreation. For those of you who have intentions of adopting a new approach to aspects of your teaching in 2014, may I suggest that the summer holidays might present a great opportunity to embrace the inner writer and embrace your very own writer’s notebook. I know many of you read extensively when you are on vacation. Free of the pressure of the classroom, it is possible to in…