EEF in Tes: ‘Coping with Covid - Reading key to closing learning gap’

In a newly published Tes article, EEF Literacy specialist Caroline Bilton explains how to boost students' attainment and develop their social and emotional learning skills through high-quality shared reading sessions. Here's an excerpt:

“Ensuring that every pupil has the tools to read strategically is crucial to success,” Bilton said.

“Whenever we open a book, pupils need to draw upon a wealth of prior knowledge, while also gathering evidence and squeezing out vital clues to support their predictions and inferences as they grapple to comprehend.”

Bilton explained that in her classroom she demands that students have their "I wonder" brains on, so questions can “fly around” the classroom at every pause.

“Also, ‘I love a link maker’ is a key phrase in my classroom,” she recounts.

“At every opportunity for a shared-reading routine, pupils must be looking to make links in the text, to other texts and to the real world. ...

Weaker readers, she noted, don’t always ask questions to connect what they already know to their new reading.

The simple act of making summaries can help – however brief – so that they can cohere and retell the text, Bilton explained.

“This can extend to retelling the text to someone at home – I advocate the dog if everyone is busy!”

Read the article in full here.