Setting Up A Reading Nook - 5 inspiring ideas

reading quoteChildren need to be encouraged to develop a love of reading and what better way than setting up a cosy area in your home or classroom as a reading nook.

In this last blog of the “reading series” we share 5 inspiring ideas that will have children wanting to curl up with a book in no time. All these ideas are simple, inexpensive and easy to recreate in the home or classroom.

If you have missed the first two blogs of the “reading series” please click on the links below to catch up on what you have missed.

Reading Strategies to teach children 4- 9 year olds

Concepts about Print – 22 concepts that all parents and teachers need to know

Use a tent

tentA tent inspires children to be transported into an imaginary world that is separate from their daily routine. You can decorate it how you wish and it is easy to set up in any space. There are many tents for sale in shops at the moment or some creative people might find a pattern online and create their own. Fill the tent with cushions and blankets and have the children’s reading books close by.

 




Using book shelves

book shelvesUsing book display shelves is a great way of storing even the largest of book collections. It is easy for a child to see which book they want and an effective way of keeping all the books in a neat way on the wall. Rotate the books continually so children have new books to select from. Book display shelves are inexpensive and can be bought from many shops including IKEA. This would work really well in a child’s bedroom, a play room or on a wall inside the classroom.




Create a space within a space

own spaceChildren love to feel like they have found a secret room so why not create one at home or in the classroom. A secret room can be made with curtains, bunting or any other material lying around. Display books in the secret space with comfortable seating that children really want to sit in. Involve the child in putting the room together and have books on a rotating system.

 




Reading bench

readingbenchUsing an old bookshelf, turn it on the side and buy some foam to go on top of it. Buy some material to go over the foam and put some cushions on it. You may also have an old mattress (like a cot mattress) that you could use instead. If you prefer the reading bench to be off the floor screw in some legs at the bottom of the shelf. Put the collection of books on the shelves underneath. If you attach wheels to the bottom it will become a movable reading bench.

 

Choose a theme

themed areaUse your child’s interest to create a unique spot for them to read. There are so many free printable templates online that you can use to create a great reading nook with any theme. This would also work well in a classroom as it can relate to the theme that the class is studying. You can incorporate reading tubs or reading shelves nearby to hold the book collection.

 

This concludes our reading series blogs. Hopefully you have been inspired to create your own reading nook in your home or classroom. We will be starting a new Mathematics series of blogs soon so stay tuned.

If you would like to read some more blogs from this author please click on the links below.

20 ways to help your child learn their sight words

Literacy in the Primary classroom: Lower Case Letter formation

20 ways to help your child learn their sounds

Until next time …

Kelly Pisani

Click here to email this post to yourself or a friend

 

Concepts about Print - 22 concepts that all parents and teachers need to know

imgres-2Welcome back to Creating A Learning Environment. This is our second blog in our new reading series. If you missed last weeks blog, which was the first blog in the series, click on the link below to read it.

Reading strategies to teach children 4- 9 year olds

This blog is all about the essential concepts about texts that children need to know in order to become successful readers. These concepts develop over time and it is hoped by the end of Kindergarten most children would know all 22.




Below is an outline of what each concept is, how you can check if your child knows each concept and a free concepts of print table that you can print off and use with your child or children in your classroom.

The concepts of print can be categorised into five sections.

Section 1 - Book concepts

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1. Identifies front of book - does the child know where the front cover is?

2. Identifies back of book - does the child know where the back cover is?

3. Identifies the title - can the child find where the title is?

Section 2 - Reading Concepts

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4. Words carry meaning - does the child know that we read the words and not the pictures?

5. One to One correspondence - can the child point to each word when an adult is reading?




Section 3 - Directionality Concepts

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6. Identifies the beginning of the text - can the child point to the beginning of the text on the correct page?

7. Left to right and top to bottom - does the child understand that we read left to right and top to bottom?

8. Return Sweep - does the child know that when you finish one line you go down to the next line, starting on the left?

Section 4 - Letter and word concepts

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9. First word on page - can the child point to the first word on the page?

10. Last word on page - can the child point to the last word on the page?

11. Identifies one word and two words - can the child point to one word and then show two words with their fingers?

12. First letter in a word - can the child show the first letter in a word?

13. Last Letter in a word - can the child show the last letter in that word?

14. Identifies one letter and two letters - can the child point to one letter and then show two letters with their fingers?

15. Naming 3 letters on the page - Can the child name and point to three letters?

Section 5 - Punctuation marks

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16. Capital letter - can the child point to a capital letter on the page?

17. Lower case letter - can the child point to a small letter on the page?

18. Full stop - can the child name this punctuation or identify why it is used?

19. Question mark - can the child name this punctuation or identify why it is used?

20. Exclamation mark - can the child name this punctuation or identify why it is used?

21. Comma - can the child name this punctuation or identify why it is used?

22. Quotation marks (Speech Marks) - can the child name this punctuation or identify why it is used?




If you are checking to see if your child or a child in your class has an understanding of each concept you can use the questions below to guide you. You can pick any book with large print and ask a few questions for each page. Do not try and ask all questions on one page. Ensure you read the child the story as well so it is an engaging task for them. You can start the session by asking them to help you learn about books.

Concept

 

What to ask
Identifies front of book “Show me the front of this book.”

 

Identifies back of book “Show me the back of this book.”

 

Identifies the title “Show me the name of this book or story.”

 

Words carry meaning “Show me where I start reading.”

 

One to One correspondence “You point to the words while I read the story.” (Read slowly, but fluently).

 

Identifies the beginning of the text “Show me with your finger where I have to begin reading.”

 

Left to right and top to bottom “Show me with your finger which way I go as I read this page.”

 

Return Sweep “Where do I go then?”
First word on page “Use your finger to show me the first word on this page.”

 

Last word on page “Use your finger to show me the last word on this page.”

 

Identifies one word and two words “Move your fingers until I can see one word. Now, show me two words.”

 

First letter in a word “Show me the first letter in a word.”

 

Last letter in a word “Show me the last letter in a word.”

 

Identifies one letter and two letters “Move your fingers and show me one letter. Now, show me two letters.”

 

Naming 3 letters on a page “Show me three letters that you know on this page and tell me the name of each one.”

 

Capital letter “Use your finger to show me a capital letter.”

 

Lowercase letter “Use your finger to show me a small letter.”

 

Full stop “What is this called?” or “What is this for?”

 

Question mark “What is this called?” or “What is this for?”

 

Exclamation mark “What is this called?” or “What is this for?”

 

Comma “What is this called?” or “What is this for?”

 

Quotation marks (Speech marks) “What are these called?” or “What are these for?”

The questions above can be used every time you read with your child. You wouldn’t ask all these questions each time but you may pick a few to focus on. It is important for children to know how texts work in order to have a great start as a beginning reader.

Below is a free card that we have made that you may want to put in your child’s book or somewhere in the classroom as a reference point for you. Click on the document link and simply print.

Concepts about Print CLE

We hope you have found this article insightful and helpful. Next week the third blog of the reading series will be uploaded. If you would like to read more from this author please click on some of her recent articles below.

10 Ways To Help Your Child With Math

10 Ways To Help Your Child Learn To Read

How to increase your child’s achievement through a “growth mindset”

Until next time …

Kelly Pisani

Click here to email this post to yourself or a friend

 

Reading strategies to teach children 4 - 9 years old

imgresWhen we start teaching children to read, it is essential that we give them the “tools” to be successful. The main purpose when teaching a child to read is that they develop their level of comprehension. There are many elements that affect comprehension such as fluency, level of vocabulary, field knowledge (Are they familiar with the concepts that the text presents eg Antarctica or a circus?), reading strategies and their critical thinking skills.

This blog is the first article in our new series about the little details every parent and teacher needs to know about reading. In the blog today, we are focusing on 12 strategies that children must be taught to be able to work out unknown words.




Successful readers are confident at using many of these strategies and are able to select the correct one to use when faced with an unknown word. Many children plateau on a reading level because they have insufficient strategies. Their strategies may work at lower level texts but as the text gets more complicated they need to develop other strategies.

Below is a list of the 12 strategies with a brief description about each. How many of these does your child use?





imgres1. Look at the Picture

The child needs to do a “picture walk” through the book before reading it. Ensure that they understand what could be happening. Get the child to look for clues in the picture to help them decode an unknown word.

imgres2. What sounds are in the word?

Try not to use the words “sound it out”. Encourage your child to look for all the familiar sounds they know and put them together. eg ing, sh, er, br, ough




imgres-13. Look for smaller words within the word

Encourage your child to find smaller words in the unknown word that may help them. Eg homework

imgres-24. Break word into syllables

Breaking the word up will help the task of working out the word seem more achievable for your child. eg unbelievable    -un be liev a ble

imgres-35. Use the punctuation to help

Get your child to look all around the word to see if there are any punctuation clues. A question mark at the end of the sentence could help your child work out what type of word it may start with. Speech marks or quotation marks helps the child realise that it is what the character is saying. This may give them another clue.

imgres-46. Go back and read it again

When your child solves an unknown words, especially if it took them a little while always encourage them to go back to the beginning of the sentence and read it fluently to ensure they are reading for meaning.

imgres-17. Read on

Children can skip a word and read on until the end of the sentence. This strategy is like a cloze passage and checks to see if they are reading for meaning.

imgres-28. Listen to your voice

Many children do not listen to themselves while they read. This is essential at the beginning stages and children need to hear how they sound to check they are saying the correct word. You can even record them reading and play it back to them.

imgres-39. Does the word look like another word you know?

Ask your child if they know any other words that look similar and could help them work out the word. eg trough for an animal is like cough. Same sound ending with the same spelling.

imgres-510. Imagine what is happening

Get the child to visualise what is happening in the text. This will really help them to connect with what they are reading and work out possible words that may come up. eg Reading about putting out a fire usually would include the words fireman, hose, ladder etc

imgres-611. Ask a question

The child can think about a question that might help them work out the unknown word if they are reading for meaning. Eg What is the name of a car that has no roof? = convertible

imgres-412. Does it make sense?

Get the child to ask themselves, does their reading make sense?. If it did not then they have to go back and read it again.

Below is a table with all the twelve strategies for you to share with your child and help them to remember what tools they have in their reading tool belt to help them solve unknown words.

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 4.44.59 pm(Copyright) Creating A Learning Environment

How to use the table?

  • Put colour counters on a strategy each time they use one
  • Use it as a memory card that can fit into their home reader. (like a bookmark)
  • Talk about two strategies the child is going to focus on by pointing to them.
  • When a child gets “stuck” on a word, give them the table and they can choose a strategy to try.

It is important that children can name their strategy that they are using. This helps with their metacognition - deep understanding about the concept of reading. The strategies increase in difficulty but it is important for children to use all strategies to be a successful reader. It can be tempting to just give the answers to a child but they learn nothing from that experience. They need to try and use some strategies themselves to work out the unknown word to experience real learning. As adults, these strategies are built in from years of reading. For a beginning reader (4-9 years old) they need to be explicitly taught.

Next week, part 2 of this blog series will be online. In the meantime if you want to read more articles from this author click on the links below.

20 ways to help your child learn their sight words

20 ways to help children remember multiplication facts.

20 ways to help your child learn their sounds

Until next time…

Kelly Pisani

Click here to email this post to yourself or a friend