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  1. Adam Lancaster CPD for secondary school librarians in Staffordshire

  2. Who am I? • Librarian • Assistant Headteacher • SLA School Librarian of the Year 2012/13 • Libraries, Literacy & Reading Consultant • Save the Child • Civitas • Unesco • Secondary schools • Primary schools • MLS • Past Chairman FCBG • Founder National Non-Fiction Day • Founder Illustr8or • FCBG project coordinator • SSAT Lead Practitioner • Past SLS advisory resource librarian

  3. What do I in school? • Lead on literacy and information literacy (prep) • Collapsed timetable coordinator (extended learning days) • QiSS coordinator • Cultural Diversity Award coordinator • Trust Partner • Governor • Governor Mark coordinator • Reading Partners founder/coordinator • Secondary school librarians CPD coordinator • MPS trainer • Middle managers training programme • Charity coordinator


  5. The science of reading Why understanding how young people read can help improve reading comprehension

  6. The brain “Thinking is not only effortful, it’s also slow and unreliable” Henry Ford

  7. Purposes • See • Move

  8. The mind – a simple form Environment Working memory (site of awareness and of thinking) Long-term memory (factual knowledge and procedural knowledge)

  9. The mind – a simple form Environment Working memory (site of awareness and of thinking) Thinking occurs when you combine information (from the environment and long term memory)in new ways. Long-term memory (factual knowledge and procedural knowledge)

  10. Example – work out the problem There are three rings of decreasing size on the leftmost peg. The goal is to move all three rings from the leftmost peg to the rightmost peg. There are just two rules about how you can move the rings: you can move only one ring at a time, and you can’t place a larger ring on top of a smaller ring. A B C

  11. The mind – a simple form Environment (rules, game board) Working memory (rules, board with current position of discs, potential new moves) Long-term memory (factual knowledge and procedural knowledge)

  12. In the inns of certain Himalayan villages is practised a refined tea ceremony. The ceremony involves a host and exactly two guests, neither more nor less. When his guests have arrived and seated themselves at his table, the host performs three services for them. These services are listed in the order of the nobility the Himalayans attribute to them: stoking the fire, fanning the flames, and pouring the tea. During the ceremony, any of those present may ask another, “Honoured Sir, may I perform this onerous task for you?” However, a person may request of another only the least noble of the tasks which the other is performing. Furthermore, if a person is performing any tasks, then he may not request a task that is nobler than the least noble task he is performing. Custom requires that by the time the tea ceremony is over, all the tasks will have been transferred from the host to the most senior of guests. How can this be accomplished?

  13. In the previous example there are too many factors to remember and keep in your working memory. This is why it is so hard to work out as you are trying to keep too many plates spinning whilst trying to link all the plates together! Stoking fire Fanning flames Pouring tea Host less senior guest more senior guest

  14. So… • Our brains are not geared towards ‘thinking’ • Thinking really occurs when we link environment to long term memory • Factual knowledge is key to learning

  15. Reading implications • Factual knowledge is key not necessarily decoding skills ‘Physical model for the decay and preservation of marine organic carbon’ Science Today • Students must acquire background knowledge parallel with practising critical thinking skills.

  16. Background knowledge “I’m not trying out my new barbecue when the boss comes to dinner!” Mark yelled. IDEA A Mark is trying out his new barbecue IDEA B Mark won’t do it when his boss comes to dinner

  17. “I’m not trying out my new barbecue when the boss comes to dinner!” Mark yelled. IDEA A Mark is trying out his new barbecue IDEA B Mark won’t do it when his boss comes to dinner RELATIONSHIP People often make mistakes when they first use a new appliance and Mark would like to impress his boss

  18. Reading comprehension relies on combining the ideas in a passage and not just accessing each idea on its own. “I’m not trying out my new barbecue when the boss comes to dinner!” Mark yelled. Then he added, “Let me make clear that by boss I mean our immediate supervisor and not the president of the company. And I’m using dinner in the local vernacular, not to mean ‘noontime meal,’ as used in some parts of the United States. And, when I say barbecue, I was speaking imprecisely because I really meant grill, because barbecue generally refers to slower roasting, whereas I plan to cook over high heat. Anyway, my concern, of course, is that my inexperience with the barbecue (that is, grill) will lead to inferior food, and I hope to impress the boss.”

  19. Background knowledge is therefore essential to not only understand a single idea (A) but also to understand the connection between two ideas (A&B) • But what about multiple ideas?

  20. Multiple ideas (A,B,C,D,E & F) Now, it is plainly a labor of love for Captain Sleet to describe, as he does, all the little detailed conveniences of his crow’s-nest; but though he so enlarges upon many of these, and though he treats us to a very scientific account of his experiments in his crow’s-nest, with a small compass he kept there for the purpose of counteracting the errors resulting from what is called the ‘local attraction’ of all binnacle magnets; an error ascribable to the horizontal vicinity of the iron in the ship’s planks, and in the Glacier’s case, perhaps, to there having been so many broken-down blacksmiths among her crew; I say, that though the Captain is very discreet and scientific here………

  21. Demonstration XCN NPH DFB ICI AFC BGX

  22. Demonstration How many can you remember?

  23. Try this one X CNN PHD FBI CIA FCBG X

  24. Try this one How many?

  25. Working memory? • Working memory has limited capacity • By forming relationships between things we can chunk • Chunking turns many ideas into one • Freeing up working memory capacity

  26. Background knowledge is key When we see someone apparently engaged in logical thinking they are actually in the process of memory retrieval • Background knowledge allows us to chunk together ideas with a text so we are able to process them • So what does this mean for reading?

  27. Fluent reader Dyslexic reader

  28. Good recognition + good comprehension = good reader

  29. Phonics • Phonics (when it works) builds reading ability only to decode • Surface understanding not deeper • No comprehension • Good for initial reading but not further

  30. Word recognition • It’s how we read as we get older • Improves recognition & comprehension • Comprehension allows chunking freeing up space in working memory to understand longer paragraphs • Student views as easier than phonics • Can reboot interest/ability in reading • Instigate a change of attitude

  31. What is word recognition? • Students learn by seeing and doing • Once they come across a word they don’t know it is pronounced and a definition is given • Seen in ‘real time’ it also appears in context • Second time a student sees the word the remember it • Need to come across the word often to embed meaning • Word is recognised – so decoded & comprehension is also gained

  32. Reading implications • Young people need to read whole texts to see new words in the correct context • They need to have access to a high frequency of low frequency words • They need to create and cement neural pathways in reading • Support needs to be given in embedding new words • About understanding individuals • All about RfP

  33. Strategies in secondary schools • Disregard phonics • Concentrate on word recognition • Challenge weaker students to read harder books (new tech etc) • Teach reading skills • Change attitudes • Share strategies whole school • Encourage RfP as much as possible!