A recipe for reading success

Our whole school community has just celebrated their love of reading this afternoon with our quarterly reading picnic – a great sight to behold: 400 students, their teachers, students’ parents and toddler siblings, spread out in groups scattered throughout the school playground, enjoying books and nibblies in a wonderful picnic atmosphere.

These celebrations have become an end-of-term tradition here over recent years, and they are so effective at bringing a community together with a literacy focus. This term we has an emphasis on procedural writing as our reading matter, with student-made recipes collected in a school cookbook, and baskets of commercial picture books, School Magazine issues and recipe books. There was also a quiz about bizarre foods, with prizes for successfully completed entries.

The last of my Wilfrid book rap groups had an opportunity to finish off their elderly resident outlines yesterday – it was frantic here last week, with Book Fair and Grandparents’ Day – and I’ve just taken digital photos of their work, which I’ll add to the rap blog’s Gallery tonight.

It’s been a busy end-of-term. While the rest of the staff were at the student disco, I presented the Wilfrid rap blog and wiki pages to a group of our parents on Tuesday night and they were surprised/enthused/fascinated at how we had harnessed the capabilities of Web 2.0 to share such meaningful learning and teaching, especially that their children had been communicating with students all over Australia and even Vietnam. While preparing my talk, I re-read the early introductory messages again this week, and it was a great reminder at how far the groups of rappers and their teachers had come in such a short time!

We are always looking for opportunities to improve community involvement in school life and promoting our website, blog and wiki URLs for parents to access at home will go a long way to fostering such involvement.

Next term’s reading picnic coincides with ALIA’s simultaneous reading of the picture book, Arthur. We have big plans for that one. Watch this space!

2 thoughts on “A recipe for reading success

  1. Yesterday afternoon I made a quick dash to the supermarket and, on a whim, decided that I would gather up the ingredients to make the “Quick Chocolate Mousse” recipe from my school’s cook book that was made for, and distributed at, the reading picnic described above. I’d been given a sample of the finished mousse on the big day, and I have been curious to see if it was really as easy to make as it seemed.

    I guessed a little enthusiastically on quantities while shopping, and managed to buy twice as much chocolate, cream and marshmallows as necessary, so I simply doubled the amounts. Unwise, on reflection, because the melting marshmallows grew enormous in the microwave oven, and the mid-procedure cleanup was tricky – melted marshmallow mixture is not only very, very hot, but it sticks like the strongest adhesive ever invented. If the mess didn’t attract ants, it would make amazing quick-set glue!

    The sensible quantities, as described in the actual recipe, required 125g dark chocolate, broken into small squares, 100g marshmallows, 300ml thickened cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla essence. (Oh, I just realised I used ordinary cream last night, and it worked fine!) You then simply combine the chocolate and marshmallows over a double saucepan, stirring over simmering water until melted, or microwave on “High” for about one and a half minutes. You then just gradually stir in the cream and vanilla, and pour out into separate serving bowls if liked. (I left mine in the big bowl I’d turned my melted marshmallows into, and it worked.) Refrigerate overnight.

    Serve with more cream and more chocolate. Mmmm, pass the mousse, but hold the antlers.

  2. In my own opinion, it is really good to explain about web 2.0. I hope many parents will have the chance to learn this things so that they will know about blogging and the power of reading.

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