There will not be many of these. As we have been focusing on the links and sites, in this post we wanted to turn our attention to strategies again. Ideas. We don’t want to be eCoaches who are just known (are we?!) for lists of links. So, here we look at a few ideas. They are based on the Reading Milestones, earlier in this series, and the DareDevil Missions from our book, TechnoTeaching, Taking Practice to the Next Level in a Digital World. In case you are concerned about learning being impacted by screens in a negative way, or on the other hand, believe that screens can improve results in reading instruction, here are some Missions to encourage reading with no screen time to start …
Age 7-8: Creating Confident Readers
Reading Support: Encourage your child to read & read easy books.
Dare Devil Mission: Create mini-libraries for your readers
Why? You are now asking young readers to read books, either by sharing them with you, or reading them on their own. But with so many children’s books in the world, how will you choose? Begin by finding out which subjects interest the children you are working with and what subjects they want to learn more about. (Also encourage discussions about possible titles with your school librarian and fellow-teachers at break time.) By offering children a range of titles, you are helping them develop their skimming and selection skills. In other words, you will be giving them a chance to voice opinions and have a sense of ownership over what they read with you and on their own.
Children in this age group are ready to decide what they want to read, and can do so independently. They are also ready to start bedtime routines in which reading plays a central role.
Tools: Create a reading box, shelf, bookmark and/or online folder to help organise children’s favourite books—ones they have selected themselves. Ask them 'new' questions about their dog-eared favourites to help them seem them in a different light. You might even refer to a book they read two years ago. This time asked them about the representation of the characters and themes. What might be a good alternative ending?
In a similar vein, find eBook versions of children’s early years books and ask them to switch roles with you; now that they can read them aloud to you! Capture their reading using a camcorder. Or ask children to ‘play’ the part of a character and interview them. Alternatively you could do a ‘#Mystery Skype’ with learners guessing who the character is, if you have a game teacher or parent volunteer who is willing to dress up and be interviewed via web cam! Otherwise record the interview yourself and play/pause in the lesson so children can guess what character is speaking.
If you have strong feelings about using edtech (or not) with children in this age range, we would love to hear your thoughts.
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This is where Jules and Nic will post articles, links to interesting sites and things that we think our TechnoTeachers will like.