Tag Archives: pupils

Reading is Rubbish?! Engaging Families in the Learning

 Sharon Wallace, Curriculum Support Officer, Curriculum Support Team has taken part in a recent workshop activity held at Falkirk High School.

The title of the event was ‘Reading is Rubbish’ and was aimed at parents and families of pupils in Falkirk schools. There were several workshops on offer at the event, which was led by author and patron of reading at Falkirk High School, Catherine MacPhail.

Sharon delivered two workshops to several parents, carers and pupils entitled: ‘Using Chocolate Cake to Demonstrate Reading Strategies’. Sharon used Michael Rosen’s poem ‘Chocolate Cake’ as a stimulus for developing reading and writing skills.

Participants engaged in several activities which addressed the six key comprehension strategies in active literacy reading. They were tempted by the lure of a piece of rich, icky-sticky, ooey-gooey, scrumptious chocolate cake and used fabulous adjectives to describe the treat.

Feedback from the workshop was extremely positive and families went away learning several new strategies to help their children with the development of reading skills at home.

Feedback included:

“I just wanted to say how much we thoroughly enjoyed the “Reading is Rubbish” event on Wednesday. Having attended the “chocolate poem workshop” – My daughter, who is 3, stood up in nursery and told all of her peers that “reading is not rubbish, it’s great fun and you even get chocolate cake!”  My son who is P5 (and my reluctant reader) actually enjoyed it more than I thought he would have, he was telling everyone how great it was. I thought the workshop I attended was excellent.”

Active Literacy – What do the Pupils Think About It?

Sharon Wallace, Effective Teaching and Learning Teacher, Curriculum Support Team, has been carrying out some research with pupils in Falkirk establishments to see what they really think about Active Literacy and how they think it helps them to learn.

We first asked the pupils:

“How would you describe active literacy”?

It is fun and really exciting! It is also very helpful with spelling words, I really like it (P6/7)

Active literacy is a language task that is used to help children improve their spelling and sounds (P7)

It helps you see the phonemes in words (P6/7)

Fun if you are working with a partner (P4/5)

I would describe it as a fun lesson to learn different phonemes and spelling rules to help us spell accurately although I enjoy the tasks (P7)

Fun, great way of learning and very helpful for spelling and understanding of spelling (P6)

A better way than spelling tests (P4/5)

I do like active literacy, but sometimes it can be difficult (P5)

We then asked the pupils how they think Active Literacy has helped them in class and this is what they said:

The spelling rules and syllabification.

I understand my literacy work more using active literacy.

I have got better at spelling and I learn lots of new words.
It helps me get better at my literacy work because we learn different language rules that we remember to help us spell so our work is correct.

It has helped me get better because I really understand it now.

I have learned more about the sounds of words.

It helps you see phonemes in words.

I have learned loads using active literacy.

Here are a few pupil quotes:

“I like active literacy because it helps me improve on my story writing and phonemes. I really like the active literacy homework. I like the spellings”. (P4)

“I like active literacy because I am a better reader and speller and I like all the fun tasks for homework. My favourite task is bubble spelling”. (P4)

“I like active literacy, my favourite part is Elkonin boxes. I prefer Elkonin boxes to diacritical marking, but at least it is helping with my vocabulary and spelling. For homework I like the jingles. My spelling has improved since I started Active Literacy. (P7)