Visualisation and Art

Visual imagery is essential for memory, day dreaming and imagination. It can also be used as a powerful classroom tool and, when embedded in the writing process, can produce amazing results. I originally discovered this technique a few years ago during a training course led by the CLPE. I am a big fan of their... Continue Reading →

Reading Aloud: The Poet-Tree Project

This project was inspired by the Teachers as Readers (TaRs) research and through my role as the leader of an Open University/UKLA TaRs Book Group (you can find out more about that here). Our book group is based in Blackheath and meets approximately once per half term. We share and discuss children's literature and explore... Continue Reading →

The Power of Reading Aloud

"Reading to children should not be presented as a chore or duty. It should be offered to them as a precious gift." (Kate DiCamillo) Everybody loves to be read to. Almost everyone has nostalgic memories of being read to as a child, or reading to their own children or grandchildren. I was lucky enough to... Continue Reading →

Cosy Reading

Just because independent reading does not have a learning objective attached to it, does not mean it isn't valuable. Just because it cannot be tested, does not mean it should lose curriculum time. Sadly, creating time and space for reading is something that many teachers struggle with (given the ever-increasing demands on our already crowded... Continue Reading →

Encouraging Book Clubs at Home

The Teachers as Readers research project (Cremin et al, 2008) highlights the importance of relationships between children, teachers, families and communities and how this has a strong influence on RfP (Reading for Pleasure). I wanted to build reading relationships beyond the classroom not only between the kids in my class but also between the children... Continue Reading →

Writing Rivers

I originally saw Jon Biddle's excellent Reading Rivers report on the Open University's Reading for Pleasure website. It stems from an idea originally explored by Pamela Burnard (2002) whereby the 'river' was used as a reflective tool to represent key musical experiences. It was then further explored by Gabrielle Cliff-Hodges (2010) with secondary readers and... Continue Reading →

Blind Date with a Book

I was thinking about National Libraries Week (taking place from 8 - 13 October 2018) and how we might celebrate our much-loved school library, when I stumbled upon the idea of having a blind date with a book. The aim is to encourage children to explore new genres and authors in an exciting, engaging way and the 'blind... Continue Reading →

Happy New (school) Year!

The start of a new year always brings a raft of changes and challenges. As teachers, we are constantly reflecting on our own practice but, at times, it’s important to remember not to be too self-critical. Obviously, reflecting on what you would improve is a worthwhile pursuit, but it’s also important to focus on what... Continue Reading →

The Literacy Calendar 2018-19

A calendar of literacy events is something I've wanted to sink my teeth into for a long time. I've always felt it would be useful to have and to share with all staff. I think it will put an end to all those last minute attempts to conjure up activities and resources for special whole-school... Continue Reading →

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