Swing school elementary sixth graders have succeeded in what many schools are aiming for: everyone is hugely excited about reading.
3,553. A total of so many books on Swing School Primary 6B have been read on the day of the interview. When this story comes out, we will certainly be closer to the final goal, the figure of 5,000.
The class attending school in Kontula, Helsinki, has eighteen students and twelve mother tongues.
Eighteen are all super readers. It is heard from the students ’responses that they are genuinely excited.
“It’s great in our class when you get to read so much,” he says, for example Jasper Lehikoinen.
“We’re really proud to have been able to read so many books,” he also commented Avin Zaid Fawzi.
Teacher Johanna Lehtinen has taught the same children since first grade. Like teachers often, he also thinks that reading is important. All children should be given an equally good lunch for life.
The big reading contract started a little by chance. When the children were in second grade, the school’s own small library closed due to renovations and the teacher decided that he would start taking his class on a regular trip to Kontula Library.
Then a small argument arose with the children when someone threatened to have already read dozens of books. The class decided that let’s try to read two hundred together – not after a thousand. And so on.
“Little Prince The book says that adults need numbers to understand. But the children themselves suggest what to aim for next, ”the teacher says.
The figure is solemnly recorded on the blackboard on Mondays. The even numbers are also visible in the foil balloons at the ceiling of the class.
Achieving big goals is rewarded, for example, with a reading party. The awards have been, for example, movie tickets and eartags made by a teacher. The big numbers have also garnered attention in industry magazines, and even in HS Children’s News, the class was already there when a thousand broke.
But the goals alone have not been achieved. Teacher Lehtinen says that reading requires systematicity. There is a need to create structures on the school sheet so that there are opportunities to grab the book often, regularly.
“I think it’s important to ignite that flame of reading throughout school. I have not invented anything particularly new here. But the children are to be praised: they have already exceeded all my expectations. ”
The class does visit the Kontula Library regularly. One hundred books on a common library card in the class is just the usual amount of loans. On top of that, there will also be loans from the school library and the teacher’s own bookshelf.
Some of the books are chosen by the teacher, some by the children themselves and some by the librarian. Of course, each student also has their own library card in addition to the class joint.
There are always lots of books to choose from in the class. There is one actual reading lesson per week, but the book may be picked up on your own desk or in a comfortable reading corner in the corner of the class at other times, once the assignments have been completed.
Which a reading lesson is given on the Friday of the week: at least 20 pages of a self-selected book must be read at home. During the spring exception, when the library was closed, it was decided that 20 minutes of listening to the audiobook would also be accepted.
“Lasse-Maija Detective Agencies are good. They hurt and happen all the time, ”he says Samir Alam.
“In the beginning, quite thin books were read, now much thicker. I like to read Risto Räppääjiä and non-fiction. I want to know more, ”he says Erjona Maksuti.
Emilia Antell again admits that he likes From the diaries of Neropat and Risto from Räppääjä. She reads the latter not only to herself but also aloud to her little sister. The reading place is a house built in your own room.
“They’re good at the fact that their characters and events don’t seem at all unbelievable.”
The teacher adds a list of very popular books Timo Parvelan books as well Supermarsut and Warrior cats. But students don’t just choose them. There has to be a wide range of options that can grab what interests you and is suitably difficult.
Then, of course, there are the books that the whole class reads. In October, a special school month was celebrated at Keinutie Primary School, and that’s when everyone read Tove Jansson Moomin and tail star, Louis Sacharin Toast and one non-fiction book.
Those read together are also written and discussed together. Heat for example, it was also viewed as a film and one wondered whether one’s own image of the main characters was at all similar to that of the filmmakers.
Parents acknowledge that the reading lessons of the self-selected books have been completed. However, teacher Lehtinen says that he notices everything that students really read a lot.
It can be seen in Finnish language skills and vocabulary, as well as in learning outcomes in general – not only for the most ambitious readers in the class, but for everyone.
“Self-esteem too. I look forward to seeing what else they become. ”
Students also all say they will continue reading in high school as well. So at least to some extent, though perhaps not as greedily as now. Because then it is no longer a common thing in the same way.