I have re-structured Library lessons this year, in such a way that:
- There is a focus on learning outcomes
- They follow a modular structure in line with the Academy’s curriculum
- I lead the sessions, so that teachers know that they merely need to support
- Each lesson follows the same structure
In terms of actual reading time completed during Library lessons, this has been organised so that is forms the lesson’s starter activity for every lesson. This has been implemented to counteract the very loose, unstructured reading time given in last year’s lessons, where very little reading of value was engaged in.
In order to habituate valuable reading time during the starter activity time:
- Pupils are encouraged to bring their own reading book for their Library lesson, so that during the starter they are reading something that they are interested in.
- They are rewarded for bringing their own book using the Academy’s reward system
- If a pupil does not bring their own book, they have to choose a book from the selection picked out in advance and given out for each table
- There is a countdown timer displayed on the interactive whiteboard, showing exactly how long pupils have left to read (usually no more than 14 minutes)
After six weeks of utilising this strategy, I feel that pupils are now engaging in some reading of value. It is generally silent, and all pupils are reading a book without distraction, which is a significant improvement on last year.
The opportunity to take control of Library lessons, and lead them as the teacher, gave me the chance to structure lessons in a way that I felt would address the weaknesses from previous years. This has meant that I am responsible for planning and leading the lessons, and can now structure lessons as I see fit.
Implementing a new structure has demonstrated my ability to identify weaknesses in my practice, and develop ways of addressing them. I took into account the observation that many pupils struggled to read for a sustained period of time or independently choose books that were suitable, and developed a structured activity that would address these issues.
I hope that through further habituation of this activity, I will be able to extend the time allocated to independent reading time beyond 15 minutes. This will help to show that this structured approach has had an impact on behaviour, and result in greater amounts of time engaged in reading for my pupils.
From my own perspective, this has shown me that a more definite structure has a positive impact on pupils expectations and achievements. I will be able to take this forward in planning lessons in the future, particularly for classes that I will see on a regular basis.