Feb 29, 2016

RIC Publications review

Resource Review – R.I.C. Publications

English Skills Practice
Useful and worthwhile features:
    -        Record sheets to monitor and encourage children’s progress
    -        Revision questions
-        A focus for each unit
-        A things to remember page, useful for personal goal setting and learning to manage their own learning
-        Relevant curriculum based content, across a variety of levels
-        Useful as an assessment tool
-        Opportunities for extension through timing the tests or differentiating teaching by grouping children to start at different points in the resource as per the needs of the group

Less useful or worthwhile points:
-        The book is copyright therefore it may be necessary to purchase one per child, which is a financially nonviable option in my classroom
-        It does not appear to tell me what the focus for each unit is.
-        The book contains a wide range of levels therefore much of it is knowledge above the level of the children I teach
-        Answers not included!

How I would use this book in my class:
-        Initially whole class, working together, discussing and defining new vocabulary, making a class glossary poster of meanings of words such as noun, adverbial etc for children to use as a reference later on
-        Differentiating as per the needs of the group, splinter teaching
-        Possibly moving to adding to an independent rotation and/or a daily warm-up
-        I would not purchase a class set, choosing instead to use as a teaching resource from which to choose appropriate questions, but also using the revision and test sheets.

New Zealand Special Days
Useful and worthwhile features:
     -        Relevant and New Zealand specific content, perfect for raising students’ awareness of their country.
     -        Awareness of special days originating from elsewhere but still celebrated in NZ
     -        Covers all important and heaps of less common NZ occasions, including the students’ own birthdays
     -        Plenty of visuals of NZ icons and features
     -        Answers are included!
-        Student journal pages for students to reflect on and record their learning
-        Easy read, well balanced activities
-        Activities designed to develop language and logic skills
-        Useful as an independent reading/language activity at relevant times over the year, as homework sheets or as a whole class special activity
-        Pages are suitable for wall displays

Less useful or worthwhile points:
-        Some pages are quite wordy and therefore less suitable as independent activities for less confident readers
-        The dates for each special day are in tiny lettering at the very bottom of the page

How I would use this book in my class:
-        On particularly special events such as Waitangi Day or ANZAC day I will probably use as a follow-up activity to a teaching session. These may be displayed on the wall or in the cloak bay to allow others to access the information.
-        Over the year I will incorporate timely activities into an independent reading rotation, differentiated for each group by level of difficulty and/or volume of reading required.
-        On occasion I will assign a task as a homework task