Wednesday, 13 May 2015

From Guided Reading to Whole-Class Lessons - An Overview

In 2013, my school made the move from carousel-style Guided Reading to teaching reading through whole-class lessons.  I've blogged a huge amount about our rationale, reasons and resources so thought it was time to collate these blog posts together so they are easy to navigate.  All links should open in a new tab. 

Our Solution to the Problems with Guided Reading - It all started with Rhoda suggesting that we try something different because it seemed children were making progress despite the teaching of reading, not because of it.

Read with RIC Resources and Logos for Reading (FREE TO DOWNLOAD) - With the new curriculum in place and our whole-class reading lessons tried and tested, I shared the resources we used, called Read with RIC.  This includes logos, display materials, planning formats, assessment sheets and sticker templates.  All resources are free to download from a Google Drive folder (no account required). 

How Do Whole-Class Reading Lessons Work? - After that, people kept asking exactly how this works in year four and across the school.  This post has a complete plan with resources and a commentary of its use, as well as other examples.

RIC Starter Activities: What are they? - The starter activities we use encourage children to Retrieve, Interpret and comment on Choice.  We call them RICs. This post shows how to write them, what they look like and an example based on a video stimulus.

RIC Starter Activities: Examples - Here are over 40 examples of RIC lessons starters from various teachers.  They are available to view and download.

Teaching Reading in KS1 with some whole-class sessions - Some KS1 colleagues have written about how they teach reading (including phonics) and how they use RIC in whole-class lessions.

Assessing Reading in the New Curriculum - As we came to the end of the year, we looked at assessing children in reading and making judgements about their progress.  Objective sheets (view and download in the blog post) helped us to make these decisions.

Whole-Class Reading Lessons FAQs - Many people have had questions about moving to whole-class lessons.  I am collating and answering them here.

List of Primary Age-Appropriate Books - I've had emails and questions asking for a list of books used in EYFS, KS1 and KS2 so I compiled this huge list of 350+ books with help from teachers.

Free Texts for Whole-Class Reading Lessons - I am always asked about how we resource whole-class lessons. We have bought 3 half-class sets of books we read throughout the year but we make good use of many free texts.  This post provides links to some examples and advice about finding texts online.

Whole Class Reading - A New Method - In 2017, we trialled a new approach to reading lessons, more focused on vocabulary and understanding.  This post details the method and includes sample plans and lesson slides. 

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Time-Teller of the Day

Having previously blogged about how I organised teaching time in my classroom, fellow edu-blogger, Jo, inspired me through her response to my post, to try her Time Teller of the Day idea.  She explained how she had bought a simple watch which children wear to be the Time Teller of the Day.  I thought this was a really easy thing to introduce to encourage children to interact with each other about the time.  Full of inspiration, I set to starting this up in my classroom.

I searched for the perfect watch to use for my Time-Tellers.  I wanted two so that children get a turn approximately every month.  Ideally it needed to have the "to" and "past" language on it with minutes and hours labelled as well.  Eventually, I chose this watch from Amazon which, although advertised as a product for boys, is fairly gender-neutral and very easy to read.  Also, I bought some clock stickers from PTS and personalised them so they said, 'Ask me: "What's the time?"'


UPDATE RE: The Watch
The straps and links broke after a couple of months so I wouldn't recommend buying one of those.  I have replaced them with two of these below. I went for the green one as that matches our school uniform and is gender-neutral, although advertised as "boys"!
Click on an image to open the Amazon Link.



Each morning, as part of registration, I choose two children to be our Time Tellers.  In the box which contains the stickers and watches, I put a class list on which I can tick them off as they get their turn.  If they are chosen, they get a watch and a sticker and wear both proudly for the whole day.   I started off with children opting to be Time Tellers and, after we'd covered analogue clocks in maths, it became more random.  



Since starting this, the most visible impact is children are now happy talking about the time and discussing the different ways of saying the same time.  They love wearing the watches and are happy to have a go at saying what time it is.  Children help each other and give hints and tips when others are struggling.  Other classes have asked what the time is and why they get to wear a watch so I think it might be something that could work across a school.  As with most things in school, the enthusiasm children have gained from this has allowed them to improve in their understanding.