Jacqueline Richards

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Please find attached a number of short stories for your perusal – the culmination of 4 year’s work. The idea to break down barriers to learning and draw out basic skills (specifically maths and English spelling) from everyday things to build kids’ confidence by highlighting maths in the world around us – featuring things that are familiar. A teacher, specialising in English, maths and science, the author originally started writing when living in a developing country – telling stories to illiterate school children – which then progressed as a hobby. She attributes her imaginative yet, fun, informal literary technique to teaching english as a foreign language whilst using limited resources in village settings. These educational short stories hope to address subjects, often thought by schoolchildren to be boring in new, fun and innovative ways – galaxy throwing a party for the Sun, but the planets all get jumbled up, a bookworm who munches his way through classic literature, an astronaut who can’t countdown and so on. It is unique because it is a broad ranging anthology – a pot pourri of stories to appeal to a diverse audience – short in length to appeal to a suitable younge, more easily distracted readership. It is intended to be a light hearted look at the world that teachers with their pupils, parents with their children can enjoy. The idea is to actively involve children in their own learning, loosely related to school environment – a teacher with creature features, an oxygen molecule who travels around the body – as well as appeal to their sense of adventure.

Theories about teaching spelling and language skills have changed over the past twenty years – phonetics (teaching spelling as it sounds) fell out of favour, since much of English lettering can be silent. Whilst syllabic reading also gained attention – because it helped break down extensive and long – winded words into more manageable lengths to assimilate, interpret, spell and write is another very useful way of teaching spelling, as a technique, it proved to be problematic, because sometimes there are no hard and fast rules about which letters are deleted before word steams, prefixes and suffixes are joined – reading, writing and spelling becomes even more confused in different tenses. In her teaching experience, helping learners with dyslexia, the author has adapted her own method – of teaching English spelling in “sets”. Although rote learning may well be out – dated, the idea is to use a catchphrase and repitition technique, building student confidence through word stem recognition, alliteration and assonance – especially since many verbs from Latin bases, have the same root. Evidence shows that learners, particularly those with learning difficulties respond well to poetry, given it’s musical, rhythmical elements. This web page, hopefully combines all three techniques, loosely linked to visual, aural, oral and kinaesthetic learning theories.

Other artistic works by the same author are exhibited on the world wide web where they can be viewed at http://www.singingstrongforsongstermonsters.wordpress.com (lyrics), http://www.eslbase.com (teaching ideas) and www.poetry.com (poetry). Fellow teachers can use the activities as classroom prompts (by replacing the pictures with the correctly spelt letters). As well as in categories, all worksheets are indexed under category “A”.

I do hope that you like them – please feel free to comment on their suitability for publication and give editorial feedback.

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    andy said,

    I’d be interested to know about “The Circus Flea’s Cycle Across the Bridges of the World”


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