Sipping hot chocolate drinks, ICS students enjoyed some cosy, pre-holiday classroom time last week engaging with an interactive story our Primary Principal read to them.
It is a proven fact that young children learn to read by reading and by having others read to them. At ICS, our Primary students develop good reading habits and benefit from opportunities to select from a wide range of books that appeal to them in the supportive and stimulating environment of our school’s libraries. In addition to their independent reading, they also enjoy listening to stories that are read to them in the classroom. Read-alouds create a positive classroom community and help build a shared repertoire of stories that encourage young learners’ participation at the appropriate level of their ability.
During the weeks before Christmas break, our Primary students listened to the captivating story 50 Below Zero by Robert Munsch when the Primary Principal visited their classrooms. Seated comfortably distanced at their classroom desks, they immersed themselves in the story about Jason, a boy who gets woken up by strange noises in the night that lead him to find his sleep-walking dad in the most unusual indoor and outdoor places.
As they engaged with the story, the students demonstrated the communication skills needed to actively participate in the read-aloud experience. Right on cue, our Primary students willingly provided the “sound effects” needed to embellish the reading. As the pages of the book were turned and new illustrations were revealed, the students began to tell the story themselves. They “filled in the blanks” when the reader paused and responded enthusiastically to the reader’s questions, based on the information they recalled from previous pages of the book. Their inspired and amusing responses made the shared reading experience even more enjoyable!
The final page of the book, a page without text, challenged the students’ imaginations with an illustration that needed “interpreting”. Reflecting on what the illustration might mean, the students made predictions, anticipated possible outcomes and contributed a host of creative ideas on how the story could have ended.
As an IB school which provides personalised education for students aged 18 months to 18 years, ICS is committed to encouraging and expanding all of our students’ language skills. While it is important to emphasise the importance of comprehending a wide range of texts within the framework of the curriculum, reading for pleasure from an early age onward ignites our children’s imaginations and promotes a love of learning. In addition, reading connects our Primary students on a daily basis with the rigorous, inquiry-based ICS learning experience, helping them become self-directed, resilient and life-long learners.