Sunday trefoil 29.09.19


Sunday trefoil 29.09.19

29 Sep ’19 Teaching 0

Ahead of teaching Year 9s Dickens’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ and Year 8s Conan Doyle’s ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ my first responsibility was to broadening and deepening my own subject knowledge.

For example I learnt that the Victorian’s interest in the supernatural might have seemed at odds with the growing body of scientific and technological knowledge, many argue they were intimately connected. Printing offered a commercial opportunity for authors, the telegram offered disembodied communication, photography the opportunity to capture spirits in the background, and lastly, candles were replaced by gas light, (improved reading conditions and carbon monoxide hallucinations a heady mix). In fact, the pace of scientific advancement was so significant, that the distinction between natural and the supernatural often became blurred, meanwhile, witchcraft and Spiritualism remained extremely popular.

In addition to reading the spooky novella and serialised detective story, I downloaded podcast versions of both classics to my mobile device and mp3 hard copies to my resources folder. For some reason, although readily available on almost all mobile devices, podcasts do not seem to have captured students attention in the same way as “Youtube subscribing” has. And yet, they are essentially the same thing.

Which led me to post this weeks trefoil on freely available audio resources to support reading in the classroom, English or otherwise.

Podcasts for A Christmas-Carol and The Hound of the Baskervilles are both available and serialised on iTunes.

Librivox offers free public domain audiobooks, read by volunteers from around the world, a fantastic source. Again, both ACC and THOB is available.

Youtube hosts numerous audiobooks and various media versions too. More familiar to the yute scholars. In fact our spring text audiobook, Lord of the Flies listed.

Audio versions of text offer another routeway into the story with added ‘information’ courtesy of readers inference. Some video-audiobook even offer the text on screen, cue prompter / karaoke style options too.

For those of you who may query this advice. Listening to an audio version is exactly like reading text if appreciating the language and the story is the aim. Or as Daniel Willingham says

The point is getting to and enjoying the destination. The point is not how you travelled.

Decoding, by contrast, is specific to reading. If decoding is your focus, for students who have not yet developed these reading abilities, these skills require your/their attention.

Wednesday and Thursday this week, I shadowed one of my new English colleagues as part of a hand-over process, ahead of heading taking on her Key Stage 3 classes and my return to the classroom full time. Thank you – for being so supportive.


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