Griffin Park Primary School, Blackburn (Year 4)

Year 4 teacher Carl Howarth, used the The Day I was Erased unit with his class. The class has 28 children; they are roughly at national average level and their engagement with reading is quite high.

How have you implemented the lesson plans? What has been successful? Have you adjusted activities to suit your class at all?

We used The Day I was Erased unit and followed it quite closely. The resources and scheme were followed quite closely and I have found the planning really good quality. Some lessons were differentiated with reading challenges for more able and simplifications or scaffolding for less able. I was also able to adapt some lessons to suit a child with quite severe educational needs by having her support read her the story, scribe answers and draw answers.

Is the resource flexible? How?

I did find it quite flexible. I was able to condense certain lessons or span out longer ones over more than one session. Some of the topics opened opportunities for research into other curriculum areas.

In your opinion, what are the benefits of exploring a whole book rather than shorter extracts?

The children really like the book and want to get into it –see what happens. Also, we covered quite a lot of reading ground by having extended reading sessions as there was a high expectation for reading in the planning.

How did your pupils respond to such an in-depth study of a book in terms of their enjoyment and engagement?

The children enjoyed the book and would talk about it. They also liked to read ahead to a degree during quiet reading sessions. The book choice itself was well received as they children liked her style because she was rude and funny. I was keeping copies of work to share but our school is locked up.

How effective was the Read in to Writing approach in improving reading skills?

I think what struck me was the reading activities had real purpose. Early on there were extracts where children needed to look for what the character was feeling and back that up with evidence. There was a useful template for doing that too. The planning was full of clever bits like that.

Have you used the resource to make cross-curricular links to other foundation subjects/topics?

Yes, there was a nice link to historical figures built in. I set homework on researching them.

Do you have any tips for other teachers using the Read in to Writing unit?

I would say use it as intended for the most part. There are lots of good ideas and the planning makes sense. There is a temptation to dip in and out but I found it useful to use it as is. Also, be aware of how much reading there is – you don’t want any nasty surprises.

Learn more about The Day I was Erased and the Read in to Writing teaching unit around the book here.

Carl Howarth, Year 4 teacher
Read in to Writing
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