Here is what we’ve been up to over the last few weeks:
- Possums: We’ve uploaded 6 new titles at the early literacy level. Written by Cheryl Semple and Judy Tuer they are beautifully illustrated by Jan Wade.
- Read Along: We now have audio tracks uploaded for most titles. This means that the books can be read with or without the audio. The audio player can be found at the top of each page and can be played when the play button is clicked.
We suggest the following steps in approaching the story either as a parent or as a teacher….
- Talk about the book with the student and discuss what the story might be about using the illustrations as a guide. This provides context for the reading process.
- Read the story to the student pointing to the words and linking the text to the illustrations. Identify difficult words and help as required.
- Let the student read the story with the audio if required. This will bolster confidence and familiarity with text.
- Guide the student to read the text without the audio.
Teachers please note that these stories are wonderful starting points for students’ writing. Use City Kids and Country Kids as models for students’ own writing.
- Ask the students to tell of an experience that they have had that is similar to the one in the story they have just read.
- Write a wall story so that each page has an illustration and some text.
- Keep the sentences short. One or two sentences per page. Maximum 16 pages.
- Stories have a beginning, a middle and an end.
- Illustrate each page with a picture which describes the content of the text. Use features such as speech bubbles and descriptive words in the illustrations.
- Too Cool Teacher’s Notes: We have now uploaded all the original teacher notes for the 24 Too Cool books by Phil Kettle. These include black line masters which you can download to give you ideas for writing activities.The Teacher Notes are full of useful activities and teaching suggestions. They follow a similar pattern for each chapter….
- What’s Cool? Introducing the chapter. Introducing the language.
- That’s Cool! Identifies some key word usage, grammar and spelling.
- Let’s be Cool! Usually provides a relevant activity or piece of research to be undertaken by the student or the whole class.
- Cooling Off. Usually an extension activity for a whole class
At the end of each book there is a section called Who’s Cool? Which offers a range of extension literacy activities associated with the book. Each title also has two black line masters which aim at extending students’ thinking about the story. There is also an introduction to each group of 8 Too Cool titles which provides an overall teaching perspective to using the books in a literacy program.
Please follow the instructions to download/print the teacher’s notes.
- Our Village: Tatana Island: This wonderful photographic essay about a village in PNG slipped off our radar but we have re-instated it now. A very simple text – it was designed for use in PNG schools – great pictures.
- Rhyme, Rhythm and Song: If you are using the Pat Smith rhyme books then you should read the teacher notes that are published on the site as Rhythmic Play. These are an excellent guide for early childhood and elementary teachers and parents of young children. This is a unique approach which emphasises the importance of music, chant and rhyme in the pre-school and early elementary school.