Improving Reading

This is my big aim for this term. My class aren’t really into reading at all. I have about 6 children who enjoy it but most of the rest simply go through the motions.  Quite a large group don’t really at all. They read the words on the page but don’t think about what they are reading. If it doesn’t make sense, then they often don’t notice. If you ask what happened on the previous page, they often have no idea.

Guided reading activities with structured questions for the AFs are a real battle. AF2 is generally OK if the text is quite short but inference or comparing texts is a closed book to a lot of them.

So the question is what to do about it?

There was a thread on PTRC about texts for inference which followed a research paper on getting children to actively read for inference. The paper is really interesting (although not the lightest read at times) and makes some interesting points about when teachers should intervene and ask questions about what they are reading. One suggestion is that a good way to develop the skills in the children is to model them when you read aloud. This means that they aren’t struggling with decoding text but can concentrate on what is being said.

I think that I often do this in literacy lessons but have decided to make more of an effort to model questions while I read a story and involve the children a lot more in actively listening.

As an aid to this I have created a display which can be added to as we progress through the book. Our book this term is ‘A dog called grk’ by Joshua Doder. It is on our recommended list of books for boys but is a good tale and girls enjoy it too. The main character is able to have wild adventures but still remains believable

I also want to put up a reading learning wall with prompt questions to get them to think more actively about their independent reading.

Hopefully all of this will have some impact on improving their attitude to books and reading although I don’t expect any miracles.

If anyone out there has any bright ideas then I would love to hear them.


Author: Janette

Recently retired Ex-Assistant Head of a large primary school in Leicestershire although I seem to be in school teaching quite a bit still.

One thought on “Improving Reading”

  1. I introduced Free Choice reading, 10 minutes a day they can read anything of their choice, it can be too easy, too hard, about Justin Bieber, a comic…whatever they like. Once a week they get to read their free choice for half an hour. They can’t get enough of it. They settle down, twiddle their hair and get engrossed in their books. I was aiming to foster a love of reading. Reading results shot up. Coincidence?

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