Exemplary teachers routinely have children actually reading and writing for as much as half of the school day – often around a 50/50 ratio of reading and writing to stuff (stuff is all the other things teachers have children do instead of reading and writing). (Allington, 2001)
Sometimes it can be more challenging engaging boys in learning than girls. There are a number of reasons for this which I won’t cover here but these are a few suggestions of ways to make learning more engaging for boys. They benefit girls as well.
It is now common practice to see teachers begin their lessons with clearly stated learning intentions or goals and success criteria which students dutifully copy. I recently asked a student why he was copying these things. He replied, ‘I don’t know – we just copy them down while Miss marks the roll.’
Summarising is a difficult skill but one that has, according to John Hattie, a high effect size (0.63). Other high impact literacy approaches associated with summarising also have similar high effect sizes (note-taking [0.59], organising and transforming notes [0.85], synthesising information across texts [0.63]). Therefore, the ability to summarise information is a worthwhile skill that has a significant impact on learning.
While not everyone agrees that reading is one of life's pleasures, few would dispute that reading is an essential skill for a rich and full life. Certainly, without learning to read well, schooling becomes a lot more challenging. If you're not a good reader and writer, you will encounter many hurdles in a school environment.
There are five skills that we see in all good readers. These skills are necessary for readers to recognise words easily and quickly, focus on the meaning of the words they are reading and make sense of what they have read.
The idea for Helping children become better readers came to me many years ago when I was working in schools with parents and teacher aides helping children learn to read. It became clear to me that some of the prompts being used weren't particularly helpful.