Monday, 19 October 2009

Happy graded readers

I was glad to be able to put a couple of ideas from yesterday into effect immediately in my classroom today! New classes and a new graded readers gave us all the chance to talk about the books we were going to read - predicting the genres, storylines etc. Some group work so we could all see what the titles are for the next 20 weeks (each class will read one title a month), and pair work describing what the plot might be. Every time we changed partners, we had less time to get our message over - led to much speedier descriptions and less concern about making mistakes. Lovely!

I also showed them that, given the books are at a level they can manage, they ought to be able to read them relatively quickly. Of course, they didn't believe me. Work it out for yourself. Say you have 7,000 words in a book, and you know most of them, even a slowish reader should be able to read at least 250 words per minute. So...really, that book you could read in your lunch hour, right?!

Of course, it doesn't work out that way, but I hope with a bit more carrot and less stick this time (I am not insisting students turn in written work to show they have comprehended the story - that is for self-study. Don't do it = missing a great opportunity to improve your reading skills. The students' reading skills - not mine!) I am looking forward to seeing a fresh crop of reactions to these readers in three/four weeks here.

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