Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Create to Learn: Purposeful Reading

Source: Rebecca Jessen, Woolf Fisher Research Centre

I have been giving Rebecca Jessen's feedback to the Manaiakalani group of schools some thought. There is a section in her feedback that pertains to the reading that students undertake in order to successful create to share their learning. Rebecca states, "Rather than reading for the sake of reading, students need to use their readings as sources for creating." She continues, "Reading provides students with the ‘‘knowledge fuel’’ they need for creating."

With this in mind, during our term 2 topic of 'Floating and Sinking' we were focusing on the Titanic. I found that this topic was hugely engaging for my students and provided them endless opportunities to create their own lines of inquiry. However, during our guided reading sessions I found myself getting stuck in old boring literature that was all that engaging to the students. Most of the reading was helpful to their inquiries but didn't extend their knowledge or understanding. So where was the 'knowledge fuel'?

I decided I needed to go hunting for some extended texts for my students. However, these were hard to find in hard copy. This lead me to creating my own digital books (Titanic example). I found a whole lot of information and interesting readings on the internet and created books in Google Docs. My students were suddenly hooked! I found they couldn't read these books quick enough and became sponges, thirsty for more information. This lead to the following two outcomes. The students enjoyed the process of using extended texts that they started creating their own digital books. I also noticed how easily they were now able to share and in greater detail.

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