Day 47 (of 187) PALS & @pernilleripp 💜
Parents As Literacy Supporters. A great program. One that I loved to support when it first came out and I was a librarian and continued to support whether in the classroom or as principal/vice-principal.
Sessions for parents to work with (ideally) a kindergarten teacher (and others as available) to help provide some support, some answers to FAQs (frequently asked questions) and what typically happens for learners at this age. Leaving ideally with a swag-bag with items that can help encourage further reading and writing skills at home that can reinforce what happens in the school!
My goal (not the goal of our classrooms or teachers): kindys can spell their name and decode letters and letter-blends with the ultimate goal being all letters and digits). I know many will want “more”, but I am patient and am reminded that in many schooling systems don’t start reading (especially boys) until around the age of 7.
My worry: the lack of confidence of rhymes and rhyming that learners know and use. This isn’t new as for about the past five years I’ve heard (literally and figuratively) the “lack of kids rhyming” has become more common. I know we always have a focus and emphasis of reading words from left to right, but sometimes how words end is even more important. And the best “app” is singing, reading, and playing with words with other people!
What I love: literacy leaders like Pernille Ripp talking about the importance of loving literacy. Reading (in particular) should be more than a strategy to get information. Decoding letters into words as part of sentences is important, but understanding (and inferring) the “why” behind the words is what brings reading to life.
Introducing good questions such as:
Who are you as a reader
What are your good reading habits
What are your bad reading habits
How do you choose a book
Who do you talk about books with
-in short, not keeping reading an individual/isolated activity! But celebrate reading.
Moving away from “programs” (esp ones that reward reading for key words instead of deeper meanings)
Modelling reading (kids do what they see)
Modelling reading a variety of books – f’r instance do you read what is “new” that your students maybe could connect with? If it’s hard to stay up to date www.pernillesripp.com has absolutely inspiring lists!💜
Many of us (maybe just me) encourage 20ish minutes of reading as “homework” – knowing that when it’s a good book, it ain’t work, and it’s a good example about how passions change homework to work-at-home (when students want to extend their learning and doing, not because they “have to” but because they want/get to) …. but I wonder how often we do the same….(I admit I slipped out of the habit for a bit – but I feel better when I am reading…)
And I strongly believe that passionate readers start even before kindergarten, and also believe that programs like PALS are important to show the value in the home-school relationship/partnership. Reading should not just be done at school or home but both! And I hope PALS creates chaos:
—> Kids with flashlights under the cover for one more comic
—> Kids reading under their desks (and if paper texts don’t make you made, neither should etexts – distraction is distraction or rascals are rascals)
—> Kids (older ideally) tired because they had to read that “one more chapter”
—> Kids struggling to decide what they read next
Some are born readers. Others become passionate readers. Some struggle. And while I am a strong advocate for reading recovery and sight words and and and…. I also believe that “reading for pleasure” can come in many ways: audiobooks; picture books where stories can be “seen” thanks to the visuals; re-reading favourites (even if/especially if they are “too easy”); trying “hard books” because they may be cool; co-reading a book (my youngest hates Read Aloud sunless she has a text to follow along with); exploring and validating non-fiction as a powerful library shelf
I’ve heard (and said) that one of the best ways to be a better reader is to read more…. it you also need to want to read and read more.
For more on PALS: https://www.sd47.bc.ca/Programs/earlylearning/Pages/PALS.aspx