"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." - Samuel Beckett
What to do in times like these? Experiment. Try new things. Talk to others and see what they are doing. They say it takes a community to raise a child and I couldn’t agree more. Although, with my children, I think I need a back-up community to step in when my first community drops everything and runs away when it gets too hard! But in truth, it will take a caring community to get us through these times. We may be physically in isolation, but our communication is not isolated, and we must embrace the opportunity to connect and support each other whenever we can.
In my role as a Literacy Leader, I want you to know that you can do many things to support your child at home. And here are just a few:
Reading for 20 mins per day. Ask your child to read for 20 mins and then engage in conversation about the book. You can even model this behaviour and sit down with them and read your own book.
Engage in conversation after the reading. You can use the Five Finger Retell model. If it is fiction, ask these questions: Orientation (When and Where), Problem (What went wrong?), Event (Then what happened?), Event (What happened next?), Solution (How did it end?) If it is Non-fiction, ask these questions: Main Idea, Fact 1, Fact 2, Fact 3, Connection to Self Again, model this, by discussing your book/text first so you lead the way and your child can see what a good conversation about a book/text looks like.
Writing. Writing to Learn activities are fun, low stakes tasks, that just get our students to put pen to paper, not fingers to keyboards. You can do simple things like an A-Z lists of all the foods they like. They can do a Mind-Map of activities they can do in the house. They can do a Top Ten list of their favourite movies. You can do any topic and give it a time limit to add a bonus challenging element to it.
As a Literacy Specialist, all I ask is that you give it a go. Because who cares if it fails. When I make an error, I turn to Samuel Beckett’s saying: "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."
For more ideas around literacy, please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ms. Claire Hanley
Literacy Learning Specialist