Friday, 26 June 2015

Making Ice-cream / Reading

A couple of things are spinning through my mind tonight as I write this.  I have just read through the home fun   - thanks for all the comments on reading. One of them stood out for me, I left them at school so can't remember the exact words but it said something like ' she was so pleased when she worked the word out' .  It is a great feeling for them. Just thought I'd give you an idea of what we might do as part of a reading lesson. We look at developing an understanding of many strategies they can use to work out tricky words.

We start with a 'Learning Intention' - (during the early stages in reading this is usually based on decoding.  Some of our readers are starting to move onto a heavier comprehension focus now).

In conjunction with this- we have Success Criteria - in a nutshell - what the learner will do to be successful with meeting this Learning Intention.  We don't just focus on 'sounding out words'.  There are many other aspects that are super important for children to achieve reading success.

Here is an example of a Learning Intention

WALT:  Read tricky words
SC :       We skip unknown words
              We read to the end of the sentence then reread.

I might then, in a modelling book,  provide an example of what this might look like and go through this with the children.

In this case the reader has had trouble with the word 'jumped'. When they read-on and successfully read 'up on the stool' -  going back and rereading, the word 'jumped' becomes much easier.   As we go through the book and at the end we constantly refer back to our learning focus)- we then look to use this strategy  (it doesn't always work -and that is why is is so important the children have a range of things they can do like:

*Making connections with what they know  -to the stories we read (this helps them with vocabulary and context) This does not need to exactly match the topic - for example they don't need to be scared of spiders to make a connection with a book about this, it might be something else that they are scared of that will help them make connections with vocabulary and feelings within the book

* Using the pictures to help read. While they have pictures to support meaning - they need to use them! Sometimes we examine the pictures without looking at the words and make a big list of words we might expect to see from what we can see happening in the text.

* Using meaning - thinking about what makes sense.  What is the word likely to be, based on what we a reading about?

* Looking at words I know that are like the one I don't know - If I know 'here' -it is not that much of a jump to 'where'.

* Using punctuation to help read - does it have a question mark - then there must be a question word in there  - 'how', 'who', 'when' etc. Punctuation also gives an idea about feelings of characters - and this can be used to help with making meaning.

* Looking at the sounds in words.  This is obviously important and works with all the other things I have mentioned (I have probably missed some too)

The point here is that good readers do a RANGE of things to help them read.  :-)


Today in Room 9 we made ice-cream, as part of our Inquiry on milk and also as part of our PB4L focus on 'collaboration'.  The group identified what they needed to work together and they all had defined jobs.  They helped each other and worked together and we all had fun. To do this, we put a small bag of milk with vanilla essence and sugar into a big bag of ice and salt and 'shook, shook, shook'.  Unfortunately one group ended up with salt in the ice-cream  -not so nice! The other four groups had great success and they shared with the less fortunate group.  Great collaboration!

Unfortunately, I forgot to take my camera -so the shots are taken from my mac.  Hopefully they come out clearly.


  1. Ruth (Peter's mum)30 June 2015 at 01:34

    Thank you for the reading advice! Really helpful and interesting! :) I've never tried making ice-cream myself! I must give it a go...looks fun :)

  2. Thanks for the reading advice - it is really helpful :-) Jo

  3. Was the ice cream delicious Room 5? This is my kind of learning - I LOVE ICE CREAM!! oh p.s so does Lily :)