Teacher blog – delivering the Think2Read programme

Year 2 teacher, Shannele Cowban

Year 2 teacher, Shannele Cowban

Think2Read’s Comprehension Skills ‘Reading Mission’ programme

Module 1 in Year 2, St. Marys and St. Peters Catholic Primary School

The children have completed module 1 and have really enjoyed the activities that they had to do in each session. The literal patroller’s focus on who, where and what within in each text helped the children to develop an understanding of what to look for as a reader in order to gain an understanding of the text. They are starting to apply this to their home reading books and library books.

The focus on who, where and what has been transferable into their writing as when story planning they now know that these are the 3 key questions they need to think about before constructing a plan.

As the module progressed the children had to start writing their own questions about who was in the text, what they were doing and where. This really helped the children to practise the use of question marks, which is something that can often have a limited role within their own writing. The module had a definite impact on the sentence structure of the Year 2 class as they became familiar with the patterns and structure of the language, realising that sentences starting with who, what and where would be questions. The children scored more on the writing questions element of the assessment this time than they did in September.

Within the group sessions it became clear that some of the roles such as challenger were being taken on by children who had not been given this role. The children have become more comfortable with discussion and debate throughout the module and as such we have lost the rigidity of the roles where one child is responsible for one element. The majority of children are challenging, caring or wanting to report without being prompted to or without being assigned this role. As this enthusiasm is a positive thing, the roles are being changed faster than anticipated simply due to the way the children are responding to the sessions and sometimes the roles are more like elements that we consider as a group rather than assigning them to a specific person.

The children now have a good understanding of literal retrieval and we are looking forward to moving on to predictions in module 2.

Year 2 ‘Team-Building’ activities in practice

Teacher blog - Shannele Cowban JW-020914122634TB_illustration

Teacher blog by Year 2 teacher Shannele Cowban, St Marys and St Peters Catholic Primary, Bradford (start of Autumn term 2014)

The team building sessions created excitement amongst the children for the ‘reading missions’ that were to come. At the start of the sessions the children found it difficult to listen to the ideas of others and to extend their own ideas when speaking but were more comfortable with this by session 15. This is an area that will hopefully develop through the whole think 2 read scheme.

The children particularly liked the sessions where they looked at their own strengths and weaknesses. However, when filling the self-evaluation sheets in it was important to remind them to be honest as the children did not really like to admit that they found things difficult. This made allocating them a role more difficult and roles were allocated by session 8 once I had got to know the children better.

Some of the sessions were easier to deliver back to back as the children seemed to respond better and develop the language of agree and disagree within prolonged sessions whereas after a few days away from the scheme they needed a lot of prompting to remember the language structures again.

The team role badges really helped the children to engage with their own role within the group. As the sessions went through the responsibilities of each role the children became quite animated when it was their role that was being discussed. At first it seemed like a lot of information for the children to take in but it was definitely worth taking the time to study the roles in detail as now all members of the teams understand what the other members should be doing and know exactly how they personally contribute to the group.

The children were engaging with each other more by the end of session 15 and understood clearly what being a good listener entailed. This took quite a lot of reinforcing but it has paid off as all of the children, whatever their ability can explain how to be a good listener.

We are looking forward to starting the reading missions next week.