The words on the banner above state that I possess a desire to make reading and writing more inspired for children. They are not spoken lightly.
As part of the Coomera Rivers SSBook Week in May festivities, I have the privileged honour of being their guest author. Throughout the week I've been presenting writing workshops and reading sessions to over 500 primary aged kids and their teachers.
Nothing gives me more of a buzz than a room full of enthusiastic faces and arms thrust so far into the air (to proffer answers and anecdotes) I'd swear their fingers were full of helium. Together we explored the purpose, importance and structure of story telling. They discussed what makes a good read. They shared their reading secrets and writing aspirations with me. They set free their creative selves with exuberant abandon. And they committed to every writerly task asked of them.
They enthused over the marvellous Book Fair displays in their i Centre with it's rollicking Show Time theme, enticing them to roll up and get their tickets to read. All appropriate, important aspects to embrace in the promotion of a healthier literacy environment, especially within this National Year of Reading.
It's no small thing assuming the role of custodian of at least some useful information to encourage kids to read and write more. I hope I have managed to inspire a few. Notably it is I who is more frequently inspired...by them.
Part of the writing workshops aimed at Grade 4 to 7s included a group based RAFT activity. Not a completely new idea, but many had never attempted writing using this technique before. The results were more spectacular than I anticipated. So impressed was I by some of the writing that I have had to include it on my blog for all to share. Have a look at a couple of samples of RAFT writing on my Kool Kidz Page. Of course I can't include every stand out collection of words that gets produced but from the number of them created this year, I have realised, with no small amount of mixed foreboding and gratitude, that I'd better keep my own pencils sharpened and watch my back for fear of getting struck down by some other (younger) person's creative genius.