Following on from the list of things i like i wanted to share some things i have learnt teaching reading across three different countries.

England – where i trained, taught and learnt so much in my first two years of teaching.

Australia – where i gained my passion for teaching again and learnt a whole new style of teaching.

New Zealand – where i’m starting to see the importance of some basics i’ve taken for granted.

  • Promoting reading – Start a class book club, for each 15 minutes you spend reading you move closer to joining the 10, 25, 50, 100, 150 hour club. Give each child a  tag which moves around the room on the poster for that club. Reward for reaching each milestone reading club.
  • Responding to reading – fold a piece of paper into four to create a booklet, use a side of the booklet to respond to what they’ve read under these headings:

– Personal responses

– Important passages

-Interesting vocabulary


During their group reading time they share ideas, responses and questions and help to answer each others questions. Use one booklet per book if small or per chapter for longer texts.

  • Sharing reading responses – In their reading response journal they should write a letter to me if i’m off school. They can write about what they have read (summarise), questions they may have had and any answers they’ve found and a personal response to what they have read so far.
  • Literature Circles – For my last year teaching the UK i felt there had to be a better way for fluent readers to engage with a text in a less guided and structured setting, which killed any joy of reading. I began trying a system a teacher friend suggested which encouraged the children to take on roles in the reading group. This didn’t really work as i couldn’t envision what should be happening.

In Australia i encountered literature circles and after watching a few different classes use this and questioning the children involved i could finally ‘see’ how this should look. I took may notes, photographed many different resources in classrooms i visited and soured Pinterest for many different resources (some Here, Here and Here).

  • Younger readers – structuring their reading can be tricky as you want them to have choice over what they can read. One class had their own book boxes which they could choose from during free reading time. They were all levelled books aimed at their reading ability. They swapped their take home books from this box and once a week got to change their all their books in the box.
  • Other reading activities – such as reading aloud to an audience. They select a levelled text and take it in turns to read this aloud to their group. Giving them a chance to practise fluency, reading aloud and reading with expression.
  • Creative literature project – The first time through study a book as a class. The children complete a selection of prompt sheets, group activities and teacher conferences. All children have a task sheet for individual tasks to complete including extension activities. Evaluation at the end through a presentation of some kind; a play, puppet show, graphic novel etc. The second time, group into small groups of 6 and choose a book of their own preference.

So there are just a few of things i have learnt, been inspired by and want to try in my future classroom. Not of them at the same time, obviously lol, but definitely want to see which ones work best.

What have you learnt recently?

Is there any good reading ideas you could share? 

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