Our First Excursion- A Trip to Como House

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Posted by foundation | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on July 29, 2014

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On Monday, 21st July, the Preps had their first excursion. We went to Como House to find out the story of the Armytage family who lived there from 1854. We learned that Caroline and Charles Armytage had ten children. We had a tour of the house and looked at all the artefacts that helped us to know about how the family lived. We also discovered what life was like for the servants who worked for the family. We found out the the servants needed to know the tone of each bell so that they knew to which room they should go. We had a turn at doing washing and practising carrying glasses of water. We played games on the lawn such as croquet, skittles, skipping and tug of war, just as the Armytage children would have done. Lastly, we read clues around the beautiful garden to try to solve a mystery that is 139 years old!

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Reading Workshop

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Posted by foundation | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on July 22, 2014

The daily Reading Workshop begins with a ‘whole class’ focus which is based on the Shared Reading strategy. Shared reading entails reading a range of materials together, such as books, charts, poems, songs etc. and provides opportunities for the students to read and respond to a range of fiction and non-fiction texts.  It is used to read and enjoy books that students may not be able to read independently, and to introduce and reinforce literacy skills and strategies before students are expected to apply them in guided or independent reading. Shared Reading exposes students to the language structures and organisational features of written texts and to the sounds and patterns of English. It provides opportunities for the students to read and respond to a range of fiction and non-fiction texts and supports students in learning to use illustrations, charts and diagrams. It presents vocabulary in the context of a text and extends students to make text to self, text to text and text to world connections. Shared Reading also exposes students to the language structures and organisational features of written texts.

Following Shared Reading the students work in small groups or independently on a range of reading activities. In a literacy learning centre, children participate in purposeful tasks which may be cooperative or independent in nature.

While the students are engaged in their small group learning activities, the teacher works with a group for guided reading. Guided reading focuses on the explicit teaching of  reading strategies to students  who demonstrate similar reading behaviors and can all read similar levels of texts. Guided reading is a strategy that helps students to become good readers. The teacher provides support for small groups of readers as they learn to use various reading strategies eg context clues, letter and souns realtionship, word structure etc.  The teacher chooses a  text that offers challenges and opportunities for problem solving, but is easy enough for students to read with some fluency.

The Reading block always concludes with a whole group share time during which some students articulate their learning.

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