The children have all decorated their reading journals with illustrations from books by favourite authors. Here’s Azeeza’s depiction of the Animals of Farthing Wood.
I’ll try to give the children opportunities to read in the course of each day and there will be longer sessions of independent reading on Thursdays and Fridays (so books will need to go to and from school every day). The children will also update their journals each week with a narrative about the story-line of their book, the characters in it, predictions about the plot, and anything else they want to say. Since I’ve been teaching, I’ve yet to come across a child who reads widely and is not flourishing academically and so I’d like to make independent reading an important part of the year.
The class made a start in their journals by writing about the our class book, A Bear Called Paddington. Here’s what Annie and Kenza had to say.
Paddington is a very funny very messy bear. He comes from Darkest Peru. Mr Brown took him to a cafe. Paddington is a very very messy bear. He stepped in a Victoria sponge and he took a bit of the sticky bun. When Mrs Brown came back she looked very cross with Mr Brown. Annie
Paddington is a bear from South America. The place where Paddington is from is called Darkest Peru. Mrs and Mr Brown found Paddington at Paddington Station so they named him Paddington obviously. Anyway let me get back to the story. They took Paddington to a cafe where they bought some sticky jam and loads of buns. Paddington ate all of them. I’m like wow he’s great but he got all sticky and stepped in Mr Brown’s tea! Kenza
Today I told the children that I had jumped ahead to the end of the school year and was writing them all an end-of-year report saying what a great year they’d had. All they had to do in return was to write me a letter to explain why it was that they had had such a good year.
We talked about what makes a good learner and discussed the saying ‘Those who believe they can do something and those who believe they can’t are both right.’ The children wrote some great letters, showing they understood that if we believe in ourselves, work hard, and listen to and help one another, then there are no limits.
Sam: Every day I believed in myself and I was determined to learn. No matter how hard it was, I always gave it a try. I was especially proud when I produced a nice piece of art, even though it took a few attempts until I got it right. When things went wrong I asked my teammates for help. I worked together with my class; they learnt things off me and I learnt things off them.
Azeeza. I was determined to learn and never gave up, but when I was stuck my team mates helped me.
Oscar: If I was stuck with something one of my teammates helped me and if they were stuck I would help them.
Hollie: I found that when it comes to art I enjoy to help others and coach they if they really need my help. If any of my friends needed help I would always go over to their table and help them out.
Adam: Even when things went wrong, I just put a line through it and started again.
Alamine: In my team I was a really good teammate because I cooperated with my team really well and when I needed help I would ask a teammate or the teacher. I would never be afraid to ask for help and whenever my teammates needed help I would coach them. Every day when I go home I would always read. I think in class I worked really hard. Whenever I do work I always like to do it with pride.