Thursday, June 07, 2007

story time

Alongside half a dozen kids I got a certificate in assembly today - a 'Principals Award' - mine for helping the children with their reading, theirs for effort and/or achievement in various aspects of their classroom activities. I'm not sure who was most suprised to hear my name being called out, me or the kids! Glenys reckons I should put it on my cv =)

The class the kids come to me from straight after morning tea is probably the largest in the school and getting them organised can be a bit chaotic so I've started popping my head around the door on my way to 'my' room to collect my first reader. Today the teacher wasn't there at the time and the Teachers Aide happily let one of the kids come with me who was jumping up and down with excitement to be able to come first... he had to be retrieved a few minutes later and replaced by the correct child who probably wished the other had been allowed to stay by the time we'd got to the end of her 15mins! She now knows more than she ever wanted to about earthworms... not the most exciting of books and not an easy read for her either.

It's fascinating seeing the differing levels of enthusiasm, learning mechanisms and achievement - especially over time. One wee boy manages to memorise books once they are read to him so when he goes through it he just has to work out the first letter of a word he isn't sure of and can usually then remember what it is - an amazing memory skill but completely hopeless for getting him to learn to work out words for himself. We're trying both covering up the pictures and finding stories he doesn't know - it took the whole 15mins to do 3 sentences today but practically every word had to be broken down and worked out. He was soooo pleased with himself when he'd done it though! It felt like a huge breakthrough.

I was an early and avid reader (still am!) so it still seems somewhat incomprehensible to have one girl come who sees the daily extra reading as something to be endured rather than enjoyed. To me the skill of reading and love of books is one of the greatest gifts you can give someone. Much of my weekend time is spent reading stories to children rather than listening to them - some stories I'm beginning to remember off by heart I've read them that many times lately! So some sneaky putting books from the basket back on the shelves and swapping them for new ones has had to be done for my sanity's sake, if Alfie lends a hand once more I think I'll cry never mind Min... but the Taniwha is safe in her river for a while longer, people say its a log - but we know it's a Taniwha.


Lovin' Life Liz said...

Cool! Where in NZ are you at?

Anna Dunford said...

I'm waaaaay up in the north of the North Island near Kaiataia, staying at (WGYF) Jonathan's parent's place =)

Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach are the tourist 'must sees' around here, it's so beautiful - but then so is most of this fair country!

Check out my photos to see for yourself - there's a link somewhere on the righthand side of my blog!...