This month, we are preparing to launch our Class Magic programmes in schools. We cannot wait to deliver these sessions in-person to schools all around Manchester, West Yorkshire and Northern Ireland. So far, we have been delivering The Magic of Books virtually, and we were delighted to receive the following feedback from a parent recently:
“Since your sessions, my son’s reading has come on unbelievably. He actually wants to read and now wants to sit and help his little sister too. He has suddenly started reading pretty much fluently and with expression. He has also advanced by two book bands at school. I can only put this down to your sessions, so thank you so much!” - Amy, (Charlie's Mum)
Reviews like this are the reason we created our education through entertainment programmes. We want to teach in as many schools as possible and continue to have this impact on children who have not got confidence in their own ability and don’t yet see how brilliant they can be.
Books are Magic.....
Our Director of Education and lead Class Magic presenter, Super Sophie, has some exciting book-related news. When Super Sophie aka Sophie Edgar Author, puts down her magic wand, she picks up a pen and writes educational and entertaining children’s picture books. She is passionate about encouraging children to read and write and injects this passion into all of her Class Magic planning and delivery.
Her first book, When Mr Bumble Came to Stay, illustrated by the talented Loren Grosvenor, is due to be released at the end of this month.
Books are fun....
Let's get your children reading!
The Oxford Owl website is a great place to look for support with reading at home. There are lots of e-books that are levelled to suit your child’s reading ability. The website helps you to carry out a simple check to see which level is best for your child. Use the suggested level as a guide, you may find that your child needs to go up or down a level. If they can read 90% of the words in the book without having to use their phonics skills to sound them out, it is the correct level for them. It is important that your child gains confidence by reading and re-reading the same books so that they can hear themselves reading fluently and understand the story/text too.
The Magic of Books.... Is for EVERYONE!!!
Children who are just starting to read may have to sound out all of the words until they become more confident. At this early stage in independent reading, books should contain a few simple words on each page. Most of these should be CVC words (consonant - vowel - consonant, such as cat, pen, dog). There may also be common exception words (sometimes known as tricky words), such as I, the, to, no, go. At school, your child will be taught that they cannot sound these words out, instead, they have to learn to recognise them instantly.
Always talk about each page of a book and ask your child questions to make sure that they understand what they are reading. Here are some examples of questions to ask when you are reading fiction books:
- Who is the main character?
- Where is this story set?
- How does the character feel?
- How would you feel?
- Can you predict/guess what might happen next?
- How do you think the story will end?
- Can you think of another book like this? How are the two books similar/different?
- What do you think that word means? Can you think of another word that has the same or similar meaning?
- Can you find any words that rhyme?
Some children may find it easy to answer these questions and you could encourage them to think of their own questions. Other children may find it more difficult and you may need to start by answering the questions yourself, for example: “I think the character might feel sad here because they’ve lost their toy. I’d feel sad if I had lost something that was special to me.”
The important thing to remember is that children need to read and be read to as often as possible. The image below shows the impact.
Super Sophie’s Recommended Reading for the month of May:
Waterstone’s website always has great recommendations for children’s books.
Below are suggestions for children who might need more encouragement to get into the habit of reading regularly.
By Pippa Goodhart and Nick Sharratt
A brilliant book for children who prefer illustrations to text. This book is full of pictures that encourage discussion and conversations with your child that will spark their interest and yours too. Find out where they would choose to go on holiday, what they would choose to wear and what their ideal meal would be, to name but a few. Others in the series include: Just Imagine and You Choose Your Dreams.
How To Be Extraordinary
By Rashmi Sirdeshpande and Annabel Tempest
A non-fiction book filled with 15 stories of real-life extraordinary people. Includes David Attenborough, Mo Farah and Michelle Obama. Could it inspire your child to be a future Olympian?!
The Tree House Storey books
By Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton
Looks like a novel but lots of illustrations as well as a manageable amount of text with speech bubbles too. Great for children who want to read longer books but might be put off by pages full of text. The humour is a big hit too.
The Boy Who Grew Dragons
By Andy Shepherd and Sara Ogilvie
A wonderful novel to read together. Take it in turns reading a chapter each or start with a sentence each. Great illustrations that break up the text, nice short chapters and an exciting storyline.
Tom Gates and other books
By Liz Pichon
Liz Pichon and her son are both dyslexic so she knows how frustrating it can be for children with dyslexia to try and read a book with lots of the same looking black text on a white background. Her books are really accessible and enjoyable.
We write a new blog each month and would love to include information and guidance that helps you the most. So, if you have any requests or want advice or additional support for your child/children, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll do our best to help.
We’ll leave you with this positive thought for the day:
- The Magic 4 Children Team