Posts by Corinne

What do you think of children’s eBooks?

At one stage eBooks were the fastest growing sector of children’s publishing.  Everyone was sounding the death knell on paper books, bookstores, libraries, etc.  All major publishing houses have eBooks and apps sections and all major book selling sites such as Kalahari, Amazon, Exclusives have them too.  In addition to story books, the apps teaching children how to read had also increased exponentially and many parents were buying them hoping for a fast track to literacy. Today there’s a slightly different picture.  According to The Guardian, ‘while book sales through shops increased 7% in 2016, ebook sales declined by 4%. It
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7 Comprehension Strategies

In a world inundated with information it is more important than ever to know how to extract meaning and understanding from text and to be able to apply that elsewhere.  If your child is battling, try these comprehension strategies and help them to master this skill. 7 Strategies to Improve and Build Comprehension Skills. Sit with your child and ask them to read a paragraph or a few sentences to you – adjust according to their age: Make connections – connect what they are reading to what they already know about the world, themselves, etc. “This makes me think of our
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Metacognition or Deep Reading

Simply put, metacognition is the ability to think about thinking.  Metacognition implies an understanding of one’s own thought process.  When reading, we instinctively infer meaning, deduce what the characters will do, make associations between earlier texts or quiz ourselves to understand what is happening.  This goes beyond literal comprehension and factual knowledge. When we metacognise we put information in context, connecting it to prior knowledge, interpreting, analyzing and contrasting it to previously held understanding with a view to revising that understanding. We employ all these metacognitive skills to detect the deep meaning – which is why I call it deep
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Little Moments of Joy (or What the Frog Taught Me)

It’s the little moments of joy in life that add up to give meaning and shape to our lives.  Don’t get caught in the trap of busyness to miss them. We play a ‘what was your favourite part of the day’ game when we’re all sitting at the table for family dinner. It gives everyone a chance to share and often brings up topics of discussion that continue way beyond the table. What always amazes me is how often its the smallest things that brought me the most happiness that day. A bunch of  flowers that look just perfect in a
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Teach Creativity

If you watch  this inspiring video cartoon clip and feel a bit sad that this could be your child, or you – then take action! It’s no surprise that school and our regular, regimented life can kill any creative instincts we’re born with.  If we expect all children to fit into the box of schooling we’re doing them a great disservice.  Schools should inspire learning and growth, not merely conforming and basic ABC’s. Teach Creativity Children obviously need reading, writing, math, and other content subjects but this shouldn’t be taught at the expense of a child’s natural instincts for creativity and wonder. We
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How To Grow A Reader

Want to grow a reader? Make reading a habit. Unless you get your children into a daily habit of reading you will battle endlessly to grow them into lifelong readers. Yes, they may have a reading session at school.  And they may read perfectly well. But the average child who is busy, sporty and often over-extended may not turn to a book when he has a break. If you have a child who does do so, congratulations, go read something else 🙂 This Sunday we banned our kids from watching TV.  I stopped the 10-year-old as he sleepily made his way
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So you want to write a blog?

Blogging is writing. Just in shorter, more caffeine-fuelled sentences that need to get to the point quickly or be clicked over at the first sign of a clumsy sentence. Or a long explanation that wanders off topic.  Of course there are exceptions. Some blogs are creative showcases for literary prowess. And some will lose their readers as soon as they get too content-heavy or just plain heavy. As a feature writer, blogging poses a challenge. You have to reign in all those long descriptive sentences and paragraphs and become a master editor.  You can’t leave it to the copy editor
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Bespoke Book Tree Orders

A friend asked me a favour – could I draw up a list of book suggestions for her four boys – ranging in age from 10 – 17. Her boys are not big readers, don’t like fantasy and are put off by ‘big fat books’. I love a challenge and having kids who don’t always want to read, I know all about reluctant readers… I came up with a springboard list to get them started – a good mix of reality, biography, action and adventure with some altruistic choices too – from an environmental book that help teens understand the major
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Save the world, one reader at a time

With the state of politics in America and the world turning a scary extreme right it’s more important than ever to read, educate and open our children’s minds to the diversity of the world. Read them books, open libraries, let the words of the writers, philosophers, healers, mystics, poets and dreamers reach their ears. What can you do? 1. Support your local library. Take out books, enquire about children’s reading hours, support and raise funds when needed. 2. Give books as gifts.  To everyone – especially those that may not receive books easily.  Go to Book Dash or Shine Literacy or the Link Literacy projects and find out how
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Masterclass with Shane W. Evans

‘Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it,‘ said Bob Dylan.  Yet on some days inspiration suddenly flows, so rich and sweetly available you go down on your hands and knees in gratitude and then quickly get to your desk to try catch it in words and ideas. I recently had such a day attending an inspiring masterclass by American illustrator Shane W Evans at the Johannesburg Children’s Theatre.  The talk was organised in partnership with the Public Affairs section of the US Consul in Johannesburg and Play Africa, an NGO focused on pioneering public learning
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