What a week! Its been non-stop at Nursery with loads of different things going on. I feel like I’ve barely had a minute to myself!
We kick started the week with the first of our transition events. We work really closely with the teachers in Primary 1 and plan a number of different events and activities to allow the children to become familiar with the P1 environment so that when they move up to school after the summer holidays its not such a daunting experience for them. We try to have one day every week when we open the doors between the Nursery and P1 so that the children can move between the two areas and explore. The kids loved it and the big p1 kids were great with our little ones. For some of our kids its a really big deal and they need lots of support and for others it just shows how ready they are for school.
Tuesday was our outdoors day and we had a bit of a bike-a-thon. In our small outdoor area adjoining nursery there is only a very small space – too small really for bikes – and the kids don’t get much opportunity to practise their skills, but when we are out for the whole session we are able to use other areas of the school playground and that meant there was loads of space to cycle. The kids had a ball and were able to really start to develop their balance and pedal skills.
Wednesday saw us undertake our sponsored obstacle course – what a giggle! The kids again had a brilliant time and raised loads of money for new equipment. A big thank you to all those friends and relatives who sponsored us!
And then there was Thursday…World Book Day! The children were invited to dress up as their favourite book character (which they did) and bring along their favourite book (which they also did!). We read stories and talked about reading. It was a great day which created a brilliant atmosphere for promoting reading and for books. This leads me on nicely to the project I want to share with you today – World Book Day bookmarks
Now, there is more to each bookmark than meets the eye. Yes, our kids decorated them themselves and we laminated them and added a tassle, but on the reverse there is something which is quite important – a parent’s guide to reading aloud. In the picture below you can see what was printed on the back of each bookmark.
We have found that a lot of parents struggle with knowing what to do when they read with their child. Some of our parents have commented to us that they don’t know what they need to do to support their child and help them to develop good reading habits. This is where the idea of the bookmark came from. Whilst I cannot claim all the credit for this project (I have to thank the lovely ladies I work with for their input and ideas) I was responsible for combining everything and making up the template that I am sharing with you today.
My colleague scoured the websites out there with tips and advice for parents and then combined this with our own suggestions for good reading habits. The main focus was to draw parent’s attention to the fact that they should encourage their child to become familiar with the conventions of print, talking to their child about the different technical parts of a book, and should promote critical reading where they make predictions, recall facts and really understand what is happening in a story. Comprehension skills can often be poor even in the most able readers, so we hope that by raising parents’ awareness of the skills they need to teach their child we will be able to raise attainment in this area.
The bookmarks were a great success, at least in the sense that the children were all desperate to get home and start using them. We have to hope that the parents are as enthusiastic and find the tips and ideas useful. We plan to further develop the support we offer to parents through workshops and other resources but we felt that World Book Day was the perfect day to launch our project.
Click on the link to download the PDF template so you can make your own bookmarks with your kids or your class: World Book Day Bookmark Template
Feel free to share it with friends or colleagues but please remember to link back to me or give me credit for my work.