Maxwell Grantly

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Archive for the tag “schools”

Children and eBooks

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Surveys show that many adults prefer to access their reading material in a paper format. Children, however, are more open to using digital devices.

The use of eBooks is on the rise in schools, by children as young as three, and digital devices are making a large difference to the reading habits of boys in particular. The School Library Journal has reported that tablets or laptops are currently used in about two-thirds of schools across America, however their use is rather more sporadic in British schools. Over the past year, the National Literacy Trust has been conducting research into the impact of digital reading devices upon the literacy development of a sample of 800 children from 40 schools. Interestingly, in a period of just four months, boys made (on average) a progress of 8.4 months, compared to an average of 7.2 months among girls.

Researchers are now beginning new studies to try and discover why boys respond so well to digital media.

There is still a place for a wide range of different reading formats in both schools and the home but it is encouraging that, despite the reservations of adults towards the introduction of eBooks, many children flourish with the acquisition of sound literacy skills, using digital formats.

If your child is interested in using a tablet or laptop to access reading material, you may like to know that Maxwell Grantly has produced an exciting range of original reading material, all of which can be downloaded from Kobo and iTunes completely free of charge.

(Source of information: BBC website)

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Reading and Examination Progress

Jack Reading

Parents have longed guessed that, if their children spend a disproportionate amount of time on computer games or in front of the television, their children might fail to develop important academic and social skills. Today, a comprehensive study by researchers from Cambridge University was released. It verified that even an extra hour of “screen time” a day at Year 10 is linked to a significant poorer attainment at GCSE level.

More than 800 14 year-old students were followed for two years. It was found that those who spent an extra hour a day on computer games, the Internet and television saw a fall in their GCSE results, equivalent to dropping a grade in two subjects. Those who spent an extra two hours a day on these same activities saw a fall, equivalent to dropping a grade in four subjects.

More importantly, it also found that pupils who did an extra hour of homework or reading performed significantly better than their peers.

While common sense may explain how time spent on homework may boost students’ performance at GCSE level, it was interesting the note that the same effect was achieved by simply recreational reading too. This is the result that many parents may find the most surprising. Could it be that reading for pleasure assists students in the assimilation and processing of the written word: an important skill to acquire when tackling written examinations? Perhaps there could be other factors involved: students who are more academic are simply more likely to enjoy the written word. This would be a useful area of research to investigate further.

However, it can be inferred that time spent reading different forms of literature can be time well spent and it can have major benefits in the subsequent growth and development of young minds.

Top Ten Children’s Stories

Jack Knows the Answer

A sample of five hundred teachers has ranked “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” as the top book that all children should read before leaving primary school, explain The National Association for the Teaching of English and the Times Educational Standard.

“Fiction teaches children how to navigate the journey of life,” explained the TES editor, Ann Mroz.

As well as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, another Roald Dahl book (Matilda) also made it into the top ten.

The final top list reads as follows:

  1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  2. Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian
  3. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  4. Matilda by Roald Dahl
  5. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
  6. The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis
  7. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  8. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
  9. Dogger by Shirley Hughes
  10. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Of note, it is interesting to understand that many of the children’s favourite books often have dark and unsettling themes, works by Roald Dahl being the obvious example of this.

Ann Mroz added that many of the books chosen by teachers are “not full of joy and mirth but are instead dark and full of horror – tales of ferocious monsters, abuse, abandonment and even death

“Not what you’d think the average primary child would want to read. But these books serve an important purpose, giving children a safe place where they can take control of troubling subjects, where evil can be glimpsed and then shut within their pages.”

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-33644201

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