Big Reading works! Big Reading provides a school with a definitive, comprehensive model that ensures both teachers and children know what they can and can’t do, identifying any gaps to accurately inform the next steps in teaching and learning.
Roald Dahl once said, “I have a passion for teaching kids to become readers. To become comfortable with a book, not daunted. Books shouldn’t be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful; and learning to be a reader gives a terrific advantage.”
From its conception to its current success in schools, Big Reading’s driving force has always been for all children to learn to become readers. The term ‘reader’ means, to us, more than to be able to decode. To be a ‘reader’, children should find books ‘funny, exciting and wonderful’; a rich source of amusement, entertainment, escapism, information as well as thought-provoking and, at times, challenging.
At the heart of Big Reading is the Oxford Reading Criterion Scale which provides a criterion referenced reading ‘journey’ for children, from their very first ‘pre-reading’ steps to their complex and intricate understanding of texts at Standard 7 and beyond. The Oxford Reading Criterion Scale is a detailed and effective form of reading assessment. However, it is also the reading ‘teaching’ journey for the children you teach, therefore answering the ‘What to teach’. True ‘Assessment for Learning’ happens when the teacher knows exactly what the child needs to do next; this is communicated to the child so they also know, then teacher and child work together towards a common goal, engaging with and thinking about the journey, regularly pausing along the way to reflect on the learning that has taken place.
The Big Reading lesson and associated resources then give you, the teacher, the skills and knowledge by which you can effectively ‘teach’ reading in order for the children to ‘learn’ and rapidly ‘progress’ in their reading. Therefore, the Big Reading lesson answers the ‘How to teach’.
The Big Reading Mini Missions are an integral part of the planning, teaching and assessing of Reading. Each Mini Mission (there are more than 450) is linked to a point on the Oxford Reading Criterion Scale. An inspirational resource for teachers and children alike, the Big Reading Mini Missions make reading fun and rewarding and provide a consistent framework that informs teaching. The Big Reading Mini Missions software includes exciting and motivating videos and can be used as a teacher tool to print missions and challenge sheets and as a classroom tool to display missions on the interactive whiteboard for the children.