On Monday 24 August, readilearn will be four years old, and what an amazing four years it has been — one day, one week, one month, one year at a time. We haven’t been without our hiccups, but we haven’t been without our successes either. I express my sincere gratitude to everyone of you who has supported me along the way. Rest assured, the journey is not over yet.
About Norah, founder of readilearn
For those who don’t know, below are #12 things about me that preceded and contributed to the establishment of readilearn, a collection of teaching resources to support teachers of the first three years of school.
Education is my life, my passion, especially literacy development and the education of young children.
I decided at age 10 that I wanted to be a teacher. That desire has never waned.
When I left school, I went straight into teachers’ college, and from there back into the classroom, but on the other side of the teacher’s desk.
I wasn’t always happy with everything that was expected of me as a classroom teacher and read widely about education and alternatives to schooling.
I undertook further study into language and literacy development.
Poetry is a wonderful tool for learning language. When children listen to or recite poetry, they are learning the rhythms and sounds of language, exploring ideas and how to express them, expanding vocabularies, deepening understanding in nuances of meaning, and having fun with thoughts and their expression.
Children are exposed to rhythm and rhyme from their earliest days through nursery rhymes, chants and songs as well as the text of picture books. It is important for children to have opportunities for appreciating and exploring poetry into and throughout their school years. The Australian Curriculum places poetry firmly into the literature strand of English teaching each year. But it is not necessary to relegate poetry just to a poetry unit of work when stipulated by the curriculum. Poetry, rhymes, chants and songs can be easily incorporated into the daily class program.
Michael Rosen, who you may know as the author of Going on a Bear Hunt and who I previously introduced to you in this post, shares some recommendations for teaching poetry on his blog. Although the suggestions were written for a year one teacher, I think the suggestions could be extended out to other years. Following his recommendations would more than cover the expectations of the Australian Curriculum, and what a wonderful way to turn children (and yourself) onto poetry.
I’m only sharing a few of his recommendations here. Please visit his website to read the others.
Michael Rosen’s suggestions for teaching poetry
Get as many poetry books into your classroom as possible. Encourage the children in pairs to browse, choose and read.
Read poems to them every day, use vids of poets (check out Michael Rosen’s YouTube channel) , use national poetry archive. Writing poems with no poems in your head is too big an ask. Fill their heads with ‘What poetry can do’ ie loads of poems.