During my second year placement, I was placed in Year 2. After discovering that the children loved learning about space and also loved using books as a stimulus, I decided to plan a two week unit of work based on ‘Man on the Moon’. This is a fantastic book, suitable for year 2, as it has a variety of both text and pictures. I couldn’t wait to use it! Inspired by CLPE, I decided to create a class journal. In the journal, we would record all of our work based on ‘Man on the Moon’ (See Talk 4 Writing post for more information on this). I would use this as an incentive for the children – the child that worked the hardest or produced a fantastic piece of work would be given the chance to write it into our class journal. This was a form of positive reinforcement, used in an opposing way.
When I began my placement, the reading corner below was Julia Donaldson themed as that was their theme of work for the previous term. Therefore, I thought it would be apt to transform this area into ‘Man of the Moon’. The children loved using this area as it stimulated their engagement with the book and enabled them to explore this further. I recognise the importance of creating stimulating learning environments, specifically within KS1 settings, so I wanted to make the area interactive. I did this by implementing specific tasks on the whiteboard for the children to engage with. Not only did this engage them further, it also enabled them to gain a better understanding of the story.
Overall, this area proved successful within my Year 2 class as they loved using the area and looking through our class journal. As it was specifically linked to our class topic, this enabled them to work together to engage with the text in a variety of different ways. Nevertheless, it is important to consider that not all classrooms may have the space available to create areas like this. Therefore, it is important to consider a variety of different ways to create stimulating learning environments to encourage reading. Additionally, the areas may need to be adapted to suit the needs of the children in your class. For example, an interactive display as shown may not be as effective with Year 6 pupils. Therefore, implications for future development would be to ensure that I have a thorough knowledge of all of the children in my class as well as their interests. This will enable me to create learning environments beneficial to them.