Following on from our series on reading milestones and Missions, here are our top three tips for using media to enhance children’s reading development.
1. Personalise (Nic's favourite word at the moment!) your approach as much as possible for each child. Once they have read one book, which will they choose next? Which are the ones children enjoy most? Online or hardback? How would they sell this book to another student?
2. Keep your eyes and ears open to finding new digital resources to support reading instruction. Many books now have websites, puzzles and apps that all excite young learners (see for example PBSkids.org). Remember that it’s all about creating a healthy balance between carefully culled screen time activities and good old-fashioned reading time together. Above all, make the time you spend learning to decode, exploring a story’s narrative, and discovering new books (print or electronic) a special time in the life of every reader.
3. For extra impact, we suggest that you share these strategies with the families of the children you teach. Emphasise the fact that, like most educators, you do not believe children should be exposed to huge amounts of screen time. Research generally tells us that moderation is key. The focus needs to be on helping children learn to read—and love it--using these ‘games.’ How are their experiences helping them develop as readers? Which apps are helpful and work in parallel with your reading instruction at school?
Give parents three key questions to ask when reading––from literal comprehension to learning to understand the feelings books inspire (either through conversation, home 'bookmarks' or based on student targets). Home reading can be linked to levels, but sometimes it is better to just promote reading for reading's sake. The essence of reading is well, reading! At anytime of day or night, paper or digital.
Do you agree? Did we miss something? Or have these ideas changed the way you have now approached a lesson? We would love to hear from you! Or if you want some help to integrate technology and/ or improve literacy skills, send us a message or check out our new eCoaching services!
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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.