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Thursday, 30 August 2012

Discussion: Do you remember learning to read?

Because I don't. Not really.

I've been thinking about the physical process of learning to read this summer.
I read this book: 

And to be honest, it was a bit too research based for me and lacking in actual practical things to implement in the library but it did get me thinking about my experiences of learning to read.

This is what I can remember:

  • Reading Billy Blue Hat and Roger Red Hat
  • Reading words out of a tin. I still remember the smell of the tin.
  • In Year 6 my teacher telling me to "sound it out" when I stumbled over a word
  • Magic e
  • Reading The Twelve Dancing Princesses (many times) a Ladybird book
  • Going to the public library and borrowing the same poetry treasury over and over
So not much. I have no memories of my parents listening to me read or reading to me. Seriously. None. I find this so strange. I think it's because it was never made into a big deal. If I read, I assume it was because I enjoyed it. Not because I had to. I became a librarian so I guess this method worked for me.

Do you remember reading aloud in class?
I know some people hated it. I didn't. But whenever I read aloud to the class I was so busy making sure I said every word correctly that I had no clue what was happening in the story. I lost my ability for comprehension.

From reading the above book, I'm taking away this: For pupils with weak comprehension skills recommend illustrated novels and graphic novels. Pictures aid comprehension.

Okay. I'm taking away more than that really but I can't manage to summarise my thoughts enough for this blog post. 

But I'm interested to hear from anyone who can remember any aspect of learning to read? Positive or negative experiences? Anything that transformed how you felt about reading?


Clover said...

I remember pestering my dad to read and reread my favourite pile of books when I was very little. There was once when I was really insistent about it even though I knew he was tired and just wanted to sit on the sofa and watch sports on TV. But he did it anyway, for me.

When I was older, I remember reading out loud in class. I really hated it. Not so much the reading out loud part, but we always had to stand up and I didn't like being the person that people stared at.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Reading aloud in class always freaked me out. If I had to do it right now, I would probably still freak out. I don't remember learning how but I remember being sucked into it by great stories that spoke to me like The Lion, the witch, and the wardrobe. Good luck!

kirsty at the overflowing library said...

I can't remember learning to read either. I do however remember words from a tin and magic e!!!

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

I remember reading and re-reading Harriet's First Winter with my mum when I was very young. She always tells me that that was how I was taught to read.

Even though I was a fluent and confident reader, I hated reading aloud purely because when other people read badly it makes me cry inside so I didn't want to risk inflicting that on anyone else!

Sam (Tiny Library) said...

I could read a bit before starting school but I don't remember learning to do so. My mum is a big reader and we were always reading books together, I think that's how I learned to read harder words.

Speaking with my Year 6 teacher hat on, comprehension is so hard to teach and many fluent readers find it very challenging. The only thing that really works is lots of reading for pleasure, but inspiring that is certainly easier said than done!

Becky said...

Michelle, thanks for sharing. It really helps to know the things children take away from school both positive and negative.

Juju, I think it's completely valid to be freaked out by having twenty-odd people listening to you read. It's good to know this as I think as adults we can forget what it's like to be in that situation.

Kirsty, ah, the tin and the e! We used to watch a video with magic e.

Sophie, that's true too. It is difficult for listeners as well as the reader if there is a difficulty with fluency.

Sam, the book I was reading did have some strategies about how to improve pupils' comprehension. According to the book, it seems like the weakest pupils do not even realise when they don't understand something. Confident readers will check back to the previous page for example if something doesn't make sense. I can't remember the strategies now but it may be worth getting hold of a copy for the comprehension chapter.

Thanks All for sharing your experiences.

Julianne said...

I can't remember a time when I couldn't read! It's interesting to read what other people remember though.