Sharing Early Literacy Learning Journeys

The morning sun struggles through grey clouds and a gentle breeze greets me as I walk to the beach. The sand is cold beneath my feet. Small waves tumble forth leaving frothy white lace at the water’s edge. A dozen thoughts race through my head. It’s back to school tomorrow for the start of second semester. What’s in store for the first week?

Monday – Early Years’ professional development
The first day of a new term is traditionally pupil free with professional development (PD) for teachers. Today I present a session, in keeping with the brief, ‘focus on literacy in the early years’, with practical ideas for the classroom and links to the curriculum’. More on my session later…

Tuesday – children return
Talking, talking, talking. That’s Tuesday. The children always have so much to say after two weeks away from school, classmates and friends. Everyone gets to share – and to draw and write. Journal writing is especially exciting because as always, the children are free to write on topics of interest – no need for the restrictive request:  What did you do in the holidays?

Read more in my related article, Children write about items of interest – holidays or not’,  published in Practically Primary in February 2010.

Wednesday – new ‘old’ books to share
I can’t wait to share some new books with the children on Wednesday. I am not a shopper but sometimes I browse – books stores and second hand stores are my favourites. On the holidays I found several ‘old’ books and snapped them up:
The cat on the mat and friends, by Brian Wildsmith

Cat on the Mat and Friends

Arthur and Always Arthur, by Amanda Graham

Arthur and Always Arthur

A Sausage Went for a Walk, by Ellisha Majid & Peter Kendall
I remembered this one because one year a boy came to school already reading and he read this book to the class on the second day of school – interestingly, I hadn’t seen it since.

A Sausage Went for a Walk

Say ‘Hello’ Wombat by Steve Parrish
This one is new. It has superb Parrish pictures of Australian animals with a repetitive and rhythmical storyline – so it will be interesting to see if the children take to it or not. Will it be taken as a ‘story’ book or as an appealing book to read? Stay tuned.

Say "Hello" Wombat

Friday – 100 day party
We have been counting and recording the number of days at school all year and it’s time to celebrate 100 days in Year One. Well, actually it will be day 99 for us – but we could not have a ‘party’ on a Monday!

Last year's 100 day count

P.S. Twitter
Over the past few days I had a taste of the Australian Literacy Educators’ Association (ALEA) conference in Melbourne via Twitter at @ALEA. Participants tweeted during sessions with notable comments from presenters, including Debbie Miller, Gay Su Pinnell, Susan Hill and Trevor Cairney. Yesterday I received Trevor Carney’s plenary address on his blog at and I was excited to read his statement ‘the words of literature are economical and powerful’ – with clear examples from books to demonstrate his point.

For people still on holidays, enjoy!
For children and teachers returning to school this week, enjoy!

Are you trying something new with your class this term?

Comments on: "Second semester starts: What’s in store?" (4)

  1. I so love Arthur. I didn’t know there was a sequel! Thanks for the tip off.

    • Hi Ms ecks,
      I’m glad you like Arthur too.
      It will be interesting to see what my class thinks of the books tomorrow.

  2. Coral – Sounds like a great first week! Looking forward to hearing about your presentation and the response you had. Also looking forward to hearing about what your children write about for the Talking Tuesday. I have not heard of any of the books, great to hear about some “new” ones for me! And wow Friday 100 days, I bet that will be a fun filled day with lots of learning and literacy. What happens on Thursday?

    • Hi Laura,
      Thanks for your comments and questions.
      Happily, the response to the literacy session yesterday was positive. Many teachers said they took something from the session to try in their classrooms – always good to hear that.
      The children talked lots today – and journal writing was certainly varied. It will be interesting to share the books tomorrow and see/hear the responses. Thursday is ‘just another ordinary day’! (do you know that book??)
      Our 100 day parties are loads of fun. One little boy brought 100 coloured cupcake papers today – so he is well prepared!
      It is an exciting first week.

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