The corners of knowledge

The corners of knowledge

In today’s age of technological gadgets and accessories, it is hard to inculcate the habit of reading in the little ones. Reading is integral to academic studies, professional success and personal development.

In pedagogic literature, reading is recognised as a distinct developmental area in the formative years of schooling. So far, reading for pleasure has remained more theoretical a concept than an actual educational goal.

Millions of children learn reading every year but a large number of them fail to achieve lasting reading skills. Reading for pleasure, especially, has remained passive and perfunctory in the school curriculum.

The National Curriculum framework-2005 emphasises the need to focus on reading skills during the primary school years and on creating a print-rich environment in order to encourage reading as a lifelong habit.

The Reading Development Cell (RDC) at the NCERT was set up in 2007 which has taken a several activities to make students independent and motivated readers. Literature helps in fostering imagination, generating curiosity and inculcating values. It also promotes opportunity for reading and writing.

“Reading well helps students to fair well in all subjects, but reading well requires the development of a knowledge base and the academic vocabulary to go along with it,” opines educational researcher
Dr. Robert J Marzano.

A special space
Reading corners bridge the gap between the wonderful world of books and children. A reading corner is a space in the classroom where colourful books are kept along with some basic stationery. This space allows the child to discover new things and explore different worlds.

Creating a reading corner is not that hard. All you need would be a couple of books, pens, pencils and chairs and tables and you are good to go. Do remember, easy accessibility of books encourages children to read more. Make sure you create an inviting and exciting environment in your reading corner.

Splash some colour across the corner in the form of colourful posters, banners, tables and chairs. This helps to catch the attention of the children. Initially, it will prove to be quite a task to get them to read constantly  but once they experience the magical world of reading, they will never let it go.

Bring in more kids to make the reading process fun. Reading in groups enhances the knowledge to a great extent. Such reading corners helps students develop a taste for literature and they also learn to build relationships. Reading corners act as the stepping stone for many students who will then move on to explore the school library.

The role of teachers becomes very important when it comes to reading corners. They are the facilitators between knowledge and the young minds. When a child has learnt to read, the teacher’s job is to make sure that the child uses reading for a variety of purposes.

Many of our primary schools tend to associate reading with textbooks and examinations. This regressive attitude robs a child of the wonderful world of reading and hampers their overall development.

Another important point to be noted here is that reading with comprehension and writing with purpose is essential. Since reading and writing are complementary to each other, children will benefit more if they jot down interesting points from what they have read, regularly.

The young minds need writing to help them learn about reading and they need reading to help them learn about writing. Moreover, research points to the fact that reading and writing skills develop at the same time and are intimately linked.

Print-rich environment both at home and in school has proved to be very effective in creating world-class citizens of the future. In this environment, a variety of pictures related to real-life situations are provided in order to make a child familiar with the happenings of the world.

Print awareness refers to the forms, conventions and functions of print, including alphabets knowledge and getting familiar with the major book elements such as the cover, title or author.

These basic skills enable children to understand what print looks like, how it works and why it used. Print-rich environment can be created by displaying colourful material, different types of pictures related to children, printed cards and boards.

Reading corners have a plethora of benefits and have the capacity to greatly influence young minds. Use them to sow the seeds of creativity, imagination and passion in children.

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