Parent Friday – Reading focus

Thank you to all the parents that came to see what reading looked like in the classroom. A great turn out from the lower years but, parent feedback suggested, the parents of older children think their children can already read. If that is accurate, I wanted to quickly explain how reading is not just decoding (making the right sounds to match the letters) but far more important is the understanding behind the words – Why did the author use that word? Could you use a better word? How does this make you feel? What do you think will happen next? What do you think happened before? and before before? How did the character feel? Why did they do that? How do you know that from the text?

Age appropriate bookmarks have gone home with all the children – please spend a minute to glance the ideas on the bookmark and use as a handy reminder when you are reading with your children. Together we make the biggest difference.

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Parents as Learners…

I was delighted to welcome 31 parents and carers to our reading celebration on Friday. Rather than tell you how brilliant it was,
I thought I’d share some of the actions that the learners who attended will try to carry out.

What the parents said:

-Let my child pick a book and see how they react to something they chose themselves.
-Make sure we keep reading and make it important.
-I will encourage the questioning and stress the ‘red words.’ Also, I will make sure children look at pictures.
-I tend to read the book without looking at the pictures or asking questions – I will do that now.
-Change some of our books.
-I will encourage my child to go more often to the library.
-Put a reading time in place before bedtime rather than hit and miss as it is now.
-Organise more time reading at home.
-Ask more questions.
-Make time each night before bed to read with my child.
-Make sure we set aside ‘proper’ reading time at home.
-Go home and read books with girls [in them] and ensure I make time for it every-day.
-Maybe start swapping books between friends.
-Make more time.
-Spend more time with children reading books. Encourage them. Make reading a routine.
-Ask more questions at the end.
-Try to approach reading so the children choose their books more often. Pause more to ask questions.
-Be more inventive with reading + making it more fun.
-Read more, ask more questions and make it more fun rather than a chore.
-Read more with the little one. Make it as a daily part of day.
-Not rush reading time so much.
-I will definitely take time [to consider] type of questions and structures illustrated to break a story down.

Why not try some of these approaches yourself?

This Friday we warmly invite you to observe your child’s class teacher sharing a story and sharing their own approaches to reading with children. Come and see what we get up to!

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Advice if recent news is making you feel upset…

In assembly for years 3,4,5 and 6, I shared some of the recent news regarding the terrible incident in London this weekend. We used the BBC Newsround website to discuss the event and associated feelings and I also shared this video to support anyone who may be feeling worried or upset. We found it useful to help us understand how we are feeling and what we can do about it:

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Are you the best parent you can be?

Emotion Coaching may be something to learn about that makes you even better…

Firstly, thank you to the 27 parents that were able to attend one of three Emotion Coaching Workshops last term. It was incredibly useful to share what current research suggests about supporting learning behaviour in our children. Please do send in your ‘homework’ when you get a moment – I have one so far.

To anyone who was unable to attend but would like to – I know there were many – I will be repeating the workshop on Tuesday 20th June at 9am.
Ask around to find out what other parents and carers thought of the experience.

To try and tempt you: during the first sessions we discussed different behaviour management approaches that we use with children. The attendees, including myself, shared some of their own:

‘Stop crying, I’ll give you a treat.’
‘I’ll buy you another one tomorrow.’
‘Don’t worry about it.’
‘You can go on the iPad if you do as I ask.’
‘In the morning when I am trying to make sure everyone is ready for school and one child decides to just not cooperate I tend to shout at everyone.’
‘Let them have some TV time so they stop bothering me.’
‘When my son gets whiny, I get shouty’
‘I say don’t be silly, stop crying.’
‘Stop crying like a baby.’

Research suggests there is a more effective way of supporting your child’s leaning of behaviour management: One that will lead to more academically successful pupils with stronger friendships and who are able to embrace what the world has to offer.

If these are aspirations you hold for your children, why not come and hear for yourself – you can always disagree!

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Emotion Coaching Workshops

Thank you to everyone that was able to attend our first session on Emotion Coaching. I saw nearly 30 members of the community and hope that this begins some of the ripples in the pond. There will be a follow up after half term to revisit these ideas – if you were unable to attend yesterday, please do try to make time for the second session. I attach the powerpoint I shared which will give you some indication of what was discussed and suggest ways in which you can securely acknowledge your child’s emotions, while ensuring behaviour is effectively dealt with.

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