One Stop Reading Shop

Some of you may have been following us a while, some of you more recently and we thought it might be useful to reflect on a few of our most searched for and read posts.

This selection relates to the teaching of reading:

Need some support with Guided Reading? Want to find out what other teachers in schools across the country are doing for Guided Reading? Need to focus on inference and deduction as a school priority but not sure how?
Really want to 
read aloud to your class but not sure which books to choose?

Need recommendations for books and resources to use in class? Really love picture books and looking for the team’s favourites?

Primary English Team

UkEd chat – CPD from the comfort of your own home

Have you ever taken part in CPD whilst sitting on the sofa in your living room?

You may well ask what’s CPD? Well, it’s a bit of teacher jargon for continuing Professional Development (what we used to call training). But it’s more than one person standing at the front of a training room imparting their wisdom to the passive listeners. CPD can take place anywhere, anytime and be conducted by anyone.

The rise of Web 2.0 and the ability for internet users to interact and upload material heralded a change in direction for teacher professional learning. Peer to peer learning, the upwards transit of information from the grassroots of the profession and the ironing out of traditional information hierarchies have altered professional learning. Add into this the demise of Local Authorities (the traditional providers of CPD) and ever tighter school budgets, which restrict the amount of professional learning available to staff, and you can appreciate why there is such a shift in the CPD landscape. Teachers don’t just receive learning, they actively shape it.

Earlier this month, the social networking site Twitter was seven years old. What an impact it has had on teaching and learning in those seven years. By devising hash tags such as #edchat #SLTchat #globalclassroom and #ukedchat, Twitter users have been instrumental in shaping the form and nature of CPD.  Partly used as a means of categorising and organising Tweets about the same topic, these hash tags can be searched by teachers to find information on teaching and learning. It is though as a means of organising synchronous discussions on a pre-determined topic that these Twitter hash tags come into their own as a means of facilitating teachers’ professional learning.

On March 21st, 2013 we were lucky enough to host one of these synchronous web discussions on #ukedchat. Throughout the preceding week, educators from across the UK (and beyond) voted for their preferred topic. And the winning question was…

“Is guided reading fit for purpose?”

Highlights from the discussion included: teachers commitment to the carousel as a classroom management strategy for guided reading; the efficiency of the model for hearing all children read; the use of APP (Assessment Pupils’ Progress) as the prime means of assessing children’s reading; the use of Book Banding as an approach to meeting children’s needs as readers; and, a belief that guided reading remains fit for the purpose of teaching children to read but within a rich diet of read-aloud-texts, shared reading, phonics, paired reading and reading for pleasure.The discussion was fast and furious and undoubtedly one of the most enjoyable hours we’ve spent talking about teaching and learning.

The full summary of the discussion is available on the ukedchat website. The discussion thread is included below:

Archive Session 143

If you’ve yet to take part in a ukedchat we urge you to take the plunge and join in. If you’re an experienced participant why not have a go at hosting? Just tweet Martin Burrett at @ukedchat and have a go at being a leader of learning  – from your sofa!

Rachel Clarke,  Primary English Consultant

Guided Reading

Love it or loathe it, guided reading is probably the most well-used strategy for teaching reading in the UK. This popular post collects together a range of ideas to help you plan for meaningful guided reading sessions.


Have you ever added up how many minutes per day you spend with each child in a class of 30 – not much is it? Guided reading ensures that every child gets 20 ring-fenced minutes of your time every week of the year. Put guided reading immediately after lunch and you can guarantee that lost sweatshirts, grazed knees and football disputes will eat into your reading session. Likewise, put it on a Friday after awards assembly and you can rest assured that you’ll only have 5 minutes before the bell goes for play. Choose a time for guided reading that won’t slip away and use it to give the children that extra special bit of time with you and a book.

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Watching the detectives: teaching inference and deduction skills

The answer is in the text.”

Come on, hands up everyone who’s uttered those five words to the children in their class. It’s fair comment when asking them retrieval questions such as the name of the main character, or recalling which character said a particular phrase. But what about those “Reading between the lines” questions that we ask? Not so easy then, is it?

Asking children to be reading detectives can be quite challenging, which is why we decided to tackle it here. First things first. Do you know the National Curriculum Reading Assessment Focuses? You do? Brilliant. Then you know that being a detective is Assessment Focus 3 (AF3): Inference and Deduction. One assessment focus, two skills.

Inference – finding the clues

Deduction – solving the clues

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