Reading is more than decoding text. When first beginning to read, students learn to use a variety of strategies that experienced readers incorporate, often without being consciously aware that they are using them. Teachers use different names for the strategies, but basically they break into strategies for word attack and for meaning.
Readers that get stuck on words
Readers that get stuck on meanings of stories or books
If you are a reader, you probably use these strategies without even being aware that you are using them. Talking about the things you do as you read can help children develop and internalize these strategies as they gain independence in reading.
For many students, introducing humour is a great way to help them remain engaged in reading and also be sure that they are getting inferences from what they read. One author who has a cheeky way of doing this is our featured author this week. Mr. Hawken's favorite author is Roald Dahl.
Roald Dahl's humour often includes things like body system noises (in the BFG) and sarcasm (in Revolting Rhymes). Throughout his books, his character development is strong and as you read you certainly get a clear image of how he visualizes his characters, even without the captivating art of his frequent illustrator, Quentin Blake.
If you haven't read any of his work, a good place to start is with James and the Giant Peach. This book, like many of his others, have been made into movies, but it is always best to read the book and create your own ideas of what everything SHOULD look like before you watch the movie since it may not match your own.
If you click on the image of the book you will be taken to a Youtube link of a grade one teacher reading the first two chapters of the book. I have chosen this one because he reads with voices and shares the images as they arise in the book.
This book is Roald Dahl's imaginative retelling of famous fairy tales in poetic form. For some older students who may not enjoy traditional poems because of the regimented way they flow, will love these retellings. These were not written for a very young reader, so please preview it before sharing it with your child.
The story I am linking to is a Youtube video by Abbey Home Entertainment (A.H.E.) of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, but from a very different perspective than the traditional. Have you ever considered that Goldilocks actually was guilty of several crimes? This poem proposes that she broke into the bears' home, stole their food and damaged their property.
Updates from the Office
Remember to check out our school website - http://schools.cbe.ab.ca/b347