Friday, 12 July 2013

Inspire your Pupils with TeacherFeedback

Imagine… a real author reading your pupils’ work and giving them 1:1 feedback! We’ve put it into practice using a new webservice and app called ‘Teacher Feedback’.

Teacher Feedback was launched by Leading ICT Teacher James Blomfield on Professor Stephen Heppell’s ‘Learning Together’ stand at BETT 2013. They invited me to join them by live video link up to talk about my experience.

Teacher Feedback lets teachers (or in my case guest authors!) record feedback for students to hear. When students log on they can listen to the personalised feedback that has been recorded for them. The student hears a teacher or writer talking directly to them, giving constructive critique, suggestions and possible improvements. Students can rate how well they understand the feedback and post comments or questions back.

In busy classrooms, Teacher Feedback can also multiply the teachers’ effectiveness. For example a whole class could begin a creative writing lesson by listening to their own bespoke feedback on how to improve a current piece of writing.

I worked with Year 3 pupils at Capel-le-Ferne Primary School near Dover. All of the class wrote their own 'Haunted House Stories' and sent them to me. I was able to record a personal response for each of the children, which they loved. They also wrote performance poems in the style of 'Whiffy Wilson' that I gave 1:1 feedback on to improve. The project was inspirational for pupils and impressed teachers, parents and governors.

Visit the Teacher Feedback Website

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

The Princess and the Peas Shortlisted for Award

The Princess and the Peas has been shortlisted for not one, but two regional awards.  The Stockport Mad About Books Award and the Oldham Brilliant Books Award are two very prestigious awards that take place in November this year.

You can see all the shortlisted books here:

Stockport Mad About Books Shortlists

Oldham Brilliant Book Awards Shortlists

I was lucky enough to win both awards last year with my book How to Grow a Dinosaur, illustrated by Ed Eaves and published by Simon & Schuster.  The two ceremonies were jam packed with glitz and glamour and we all have a fantastic time!  Here's hoping for another win later in the year...

The Princess and the Peas is illustrated by the hugely talented and totally delightful Sarah Warburton, and published by those clever people at Nosy Crow.

Whiffy Wilson on Bookaboo

The mucky but adorable Whiffy Wilson has made his first television appearance!  

Thanks to the wonderful team at Bookaboo, Canadian Actor Zaib Shaikh put in a fantastic performance with the famous book-loving pooch, reading a cleverly animated version of the book.

You can watch it here until 27 July

A story a day or I just can't play!!

Watch Whiffy Wilson on Bookaboo

And if you want to listen to something totally adorable, here's Max reading Whiffy Wilson with his Daddy.

Listen to Max reading

I am Patron of Reading for Fairfield Prep!!

I am very pleased to announce that I have recently become the Patron of Reading for Fairfield Preparatory School in Loughborough.

If you haven't heard of it before, the Patron of Reading Scheme aims to create personal bonds between schools and designated authors or illustrators. 

The author (or illustrator) then works with the school on a regular basis to raise the profile of reading for pleasure.  This, in turn, improves reading standards and can also motivate children in creative writing and other activities.

Last week, I made my second visit to Fairfield Prep, following a very successful day on World Book Day.  It was lovely to see the children again and I hear that my visit was anticipated with much excitement!  I spent the day working with Year 2 children - reading stories and making up poems.
Martine Saperia, Pre-Prep English Co-ordinator said, "We are delighted to have Caryl as our Patron of Reading.  The children love the fact that they know a real live author!"

Personally, I think the Patron of Reading scheme is a brilliant idea.  It enables me to develop a proper relationship with both teachers and children.  It helps children see the relevance of reading and writing, and, perhaps more importantly, it helps them realise that even the professionals don't get things right straight away. 

"Seeing Caryl's exercise book from her own school days really helped one child understand that we all have to start somewhere, and not to be daunted by what might seem an impossible task.  Caryl was able to give the children individual attention which made such a difference to their confidence."

Both Martine and I are really looking forward to developing our relationship and to working together in the future. 
Find out more about the Patron of Reading Scheme