Book Reviews

We’re starting to share our book recommendations within classrooms but now need a better (and more formal and accessible) way for students to read each others’ thoughts and ideas on books they are reading. I’ve read and modelled a book review in most classes now and shared the book reviews by kids for kids site Book reviews by kids for kids.

How can we make writing book reviews interesting and meaningful? Pen and paper is just the beginning; oral presentations, book sells, book circles, featured articles in the newsletter, video reports…the list goes on.

Let’s promote reading and recommending!!

March 7

We’re over halfway through the term and there’s a buzz happening in the classrooms. The ‘new’ approach to writing in the upper school is starting to take hold and many kids are showing skill and passion for the craft of writing; others are still in the process of avoiding it at all costs (this is becoming harder and harder for them to do in the current climate across the school of write, write, write!) This is the stage where we need to persist; if we keep ‘rescuing’ the avoiders and the reluctant writers, we are sending the message that it’s OK for them not to be in charge of their learning. We need to have high expectations….that students will learn, that they will commit and that they will strive to achieve. If we ask them to give 20%, that’s all we’ll get. If we expect everyone to give us their own personal 100%, and we acknowledge their effort and their success, we’ll get 100% every time. Think of it in terms of the old Boy Scout motto – Do Your Best.

 

Feb 20

Very excited about the progress of daily 5 in the senior school; there’s a buzz in the classrooms and a common language being used by teachers and students. It’s not a structure that happens overnight; it takes time, patience and consistency. It goes without saying that high expectations, teacher support and guidance, well-organised learning spaces and strong routines will all help our students to become confident, independent readers and writers.

All the research shows that teachers who talk about the craft of teaching with their colleagues are the ones who grow and develop as learners themselves, who become more confident in their own abilities and are more prepared to take on new challenges, knowing they will be supported by their peers. Change does not happen without taking risks.

Feeling very proud of the team on their daily 5 learning journey!

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