I went on the Muckle Reading training course with Anne in June and was inspired! The next day I decided to use some of the activities with my P5 class. The first one I did was a Picture It task. One of the children in my class always struggled with reading comprehension tasks, finding it difficult to verbalise answers and record them. He excelled at this task, highlighting all the relevant information and picking up on less obvious clues as to the character’s appearance.
This school year I decided to implement Muckle Reading approaches from the start. Paired reading was an instant success for myself and the children. I am able to hear all children read three times a week by using this approach and give coaching where necessary. The class all loved it. They said they felt more confident reading to a partner, they got to read more, they didn’t have to wait their turn for ages and they got more opportunities to discuss the text. Within a couple of weeks I noticed a marked improvement in their reading. They self-correct more, they give feedback to each other to improve and they set themselves targets.Task Maps allow me to provide a range of questions. At first I was creating a Task Map for each chapter, which was too much, so I soon adjusted that to one for every 3 chapters. I always try to include the same teaching point for each group such as similes, alliteration, onomatopoeia, aspects of punctuation etc. Some weeks each group has to create a poster, fact file or character study. These common elements are either based on the type of text we are using or development points identified from their work. I feel that I am able to discuss the texts in a lot more depth now as I have read them in greater detail myself in order to create the Task Map.
I had two children in my class who were individuals and were reading very basic books with little to discuss in them. I decided to move them on to Rapid Readers which do allow me to create Task Maps. They were both delighted to be doing the same kind of work as the rest of the class. One of them has completely changed her attitude to work. At the start of the year she wanted other people to tell her the answers and thought everything was too hard for her. Now she tells me she wants a challenge. I’ve not to make the Task Map too easy!
I have found using the mixed ability trios on a Monday for a Textplorers task enhances the discussion about the texts. My class love using the chopsticks to read and say they look forward to what we’re going to do as it’s always different.
They now come in and suggest things that I could make a Task Map on such as the John Lewis Christmas advert because they loved analysing Monty the Penguin. My next step will to be to get them to start creating some questions and tasks themselves.