In this blog post, I introduce you to a new resource that helps students to synthesise across multiple texts. The reading comprehension skill of synthesising is important – let me tell you why! What is Synthesising? A reader who successfully synthesises content is able to “summarize the information, listen to their inner voice, and merge their thinking so that the information is meaningful to them.
The Importance of Oral Language Discussions
Research shows that children’s discussion skills and vocabulary knowledge are incredibly important factors in reading development: the ‘thinking and talking’ in a discussion is where the learning happens. Oral language discussions develop vocabulary, critical thinking skills, and students reading comprehension. Learn more about the importance of oral language discussions below. Oral vocabulary is key to reading comprehension Reading was traditionally seen as made up of
3 Ways to Implement Mental Clarity breaks in your Teaching Day
Learn more about implementing mental clarity breaks with our guest-post by teacher life coach, Michelle Weeks. Once the school bell rings in the morning, or the sliding doors open to the waiting faces of inquisitive, excited little people, your day as a human adult can seem like it floats away at a rate of knots. Now, this is not to seem like a bad thing
Using Novel Studies In Your Reading Programme
There are many ways to explore brilliant novels in your reading programme. Novel studies can be a great way to dive deeper into your class read-aloud novel. You can also use novel studies to provide a structure for your literature circles and to build oral language skills through discussions. To read more about using literature circles in your reading programme, click here. In this blog
Using Literature Circles in your Reading Programme
I’ve put together this blog post to explore using literature circles in your reading programme. I also look at the benefits of literature circles, the research behind their use, and how they can be run in the classroom. Remember, literature circles are not a one-size-fits-all approach – there are many ways they can be run. Trust your own professional judgement and use this tool in
Running a reading programme when you have a large range of abilities
I apologise for such a wordy title, but I struggled to shorten it! As the title says, this blog post is a variety of suggestions for how to run a reading programme when you have a large range of ability levels. These are ideas that have worked for me and are presented to you as just that – possible ideas you could try in your
Grouping for Reading: A Discussion
Grouping For Reading When I surveyed teachers to find out what questions they had about reading, I received a range of questions related to grouping for reading. I’ve listed the questions below and added my thoughts and links to the relevant research. Please note: The context for these answers is year 3-year 8 classrooms. Before I answer these questions, just a friendly reminder: These are
What is Reciprocal Reading?
What is Reciprocal Reading? Have you heard about reciprocal reading (also known as reciprocal teaching)? I love the way this strategy enables independent readers to work together in a self-managing team to discuss a difficult text. They teach each other and take turns leading. Let me tell you more about it! The four comprehension strategies students learn and practice are: predicting what might follow and why.
Practical Tips for Running a Guided Reading Lesson
In my previous blog post, What is Guided Reading? I defined guided reading and shared the research and history behind this approach to building comprehension. In this blog post, I wanted to follow-up to give you some Practical Tips for Running a Guided Reading Lesson. If you are not a fan of guided reading, no worries. Perhaps you would like to try reciprocal reading or
What is Guided Reading?
I’ve previously explained how my reading programme featured four main aspects: Reading to, Shared Reading, Guided Reading and Independent Reading. In this blog post, I am answering the question: What is Guided Reading? I’ll also look at some of the research and history behind this approach to building comprehension. What is guided reading? Guided reading is a small group approach to the explicit teaching of
The Research Behind Our Reading Comprehension Resources
In this blog post, I explore the research behind our reading comprehension resources and the “why” behind the way we set out our activities. At the heart of it, here at Top Teaching Tasks, we provide reading passages and activities on engaging topics that help students to understand what they read. We do this by taking a researched-based approach, focusing on reading comprehension, rigorous texts,
How to Explore New Zealand History in the Classroom
I am beyond excited to share with you our latest resource – a great way to explore New Zealand History in the Classroom. Imagine your students have been taken in a time machine back in time. To get back to the present day they need to complete tasks and collect mosaic tiles. Once their mosaic tile is complete, they can use the time machine to
Digital Reading Comprehension for Distance Learning
With many of thrown into an unexpected period of distance learning, I wanted to highlight how my digital reading comprehension activities can help your students maintain and improve their reading skills. I’ve put together a free activity so you can trial Digital Reading Comprehension for Distance Learning. Let me unpack this free resource for you. The Purpose of this Free Digital Reading Comprehension Resource The
Shared Reading is for Upper Primary, too
Shared Reading is for Upper Primary, too. Often when people think of shared reading, they think of a teacher in the junior school sharing a big book with a class of 5-7-year-olds. However, I am here to tell you today that Shared Reading is for Upper Primary, too. I’ll give you a quick rundown of what shared reading is, why it is important, and how you
Setting up a reading program
Setting Up a Reading Program (Year 3-Year 8) When I studied teaching at University, one of the things I was most surprised with was the lack of practical advice given to teachers about the day-to-day workings of actually running a classroom. Yes, I got some “thrilling” lectures about the theory behind learning to read (obviously important), but what I wanted to know was the nuts and
4 Reasons To Use Myths and Legends Reading Activities
Kids loving learning about myths and legends from around the world. The stories are big, bold, exciting and stretch the imagination! In this blog post, I look at four reasons why you should use myths and legends reading activities in your reading and writing classroom. What is the difference between a myth and a legend? A myth is a story passed down from generation to
Explore New Zealand Geography and Kiwiana Culture
If you ask your students to name some of the major symbols in New Zealand or “Kiwiana” culture, most could rattle off a few: gumboots, kiwifruit, L&P, hokey pokey ice-cream, pavlova, number 8 wire… and the list goes on. Ask those same students to point to where they live on a map and the likelihood of success is less! Our latest resource helps you to explore
Offering Choice in your Reading Response Activities
Reading Response activities will likely form a major part of your reading programme, whether you are running guided reading groups, a daily 5 system, literature circles or a reading workshop set up. It is time-consuming to create follow up activities for every book or text that your students read, so it is great to have ready to go activities that work across a range of genre.
6 Fun Sight Word Activities for Early Readers
Learning the sounds of letters and developing phonemic awareness and phonics skills are crucial steps in early reading. However, there are some words that can’t be sounded out and require a different approach. This is where sight words come in. Fun sight word activities draw on both kinaesthetic and visual learning and help develop fluency when reading. What are sight words? Sight words are words that
4 Ways To Engage Students In Reading Comprehension Activities
It is a great step once students can decode the words they read on the page. However, the real power in reading comes when they can understand and interpret what they are reading. With this in mind, it is important to ensure students are engaged in their reading comprehension activities. If you are not careful, your reading program can easily become dry, repetitive, and incredibly…boring. After some