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Help us to improve Teach Your Monster to Read.

We’re asking teachers to join us for a 45 minute phone call where we’ll ask you a few questions about how you teach reading in school.

The research will help the Teach Your Monster to Read team to think about future developments and resources.

We’re giving £100 of Usborne books to those schools that can help us. If you are interested in joining this research project and have availability in January 2015 then email [email protected]

N.B. We’d also like to talk to teachers who do not currently use Teach Your Monster to Read in school so please pass on to any teachers who might like to help us with this research.

Teach Your Monster to Read – 2 million plays.

We’re proud to announce that Teach Your Monster to Read has reached 2 million game plays!

This is fantastic news for the Usborne Foundation because we know the game is helping more and more children learn to read.

Thank you to everyone who has played the game and we hope you’ll share this free online reading game with other parents and teachers.

Meet the monsters this half term!

Teach Your Monster to Read will be heading to London, Manchester and Cardiff with Save the Children to share and celebrate the magic of reading!

These free reading events will offer lots of fun activities for families; including storytelling, poetry and a treasure hunt hosted by some of the nation’s most famous faces, authors and illustrators.

There will be interactive sessions with Teach Your Monster to Read where children can play the game on iPads, win Usborne books and meet the monster himself!

We cannot wait to introduce the monster to our fans!

Join in the fun at a shopping centre near you:

Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th October
Westfield Stratford City
Thursday 30th October
Wales Millennium Centre
Saturday 1st November
Manchester Trafford Centre
To read more about Save the Children’s campaign to get all children reading well by the age of 11 go to: www.readongeton.org.uk

Job Opportunity. Be the monster!

Teach Your Monster to Read is looking for a person to dress up as a fun and friendly monster for an event in Cardiff (Thursday 30th October) and Manchester (Saturday 1st November). The actor should have an up-to-date DBS check and have experience working with children. Must be between 5’7-5’10 to fit in the costume. Please email [email protected] with details of your relevant experience. This is a paid job and will be a fantastic event, encouraging children to learn to read!

Teach Your Monster to Read joins Save the Children’s Read On. Get On. campaign.

Reading is the key to a child’s future: it unlocks their potential and opens up a world filled with possibilities.

And for our poorest children reading well is their best route out of poverty: they do better at school, better in the workplace and are better placed to give their own children the best start in life.

However, every year in the UK, 130,000 children leave primary school not reading as well as they should. This figure includes 40% of all children from poorer backgrounds – a shockingly high proportion. (Figures from Save the Children’s report – Read On. Get On. How reading can help children escape poverty.)

This means over the next decade almost 1.5 million children will start secondary school already behind, and with likely consequences for their future.

Teach Your Monster to Read is one of the partners launching Read On. Get On. – a reading campaign driven by a coalition of organisations, communities, parents and schools, businesspeople, media and politicians. Organisations include Save the Children UK, Booktrust, The Reading Agency, Beanstalk, NAHT and National Literacy Trust.

Read On. Get On. is a campaign that will encourage all of us to play our part.

Everyone can do something – just ten minutes a day reading with a child makes a huge difference and helps them fall in love with reading. Children who don’t enjoy reading are ten times more likely to fall behind by the age 11.

We can’t afford to fail. Join us today.

For more information go to www.readongeton.org.uk and sign the petition to get politicians behind this campaign.

Bubble wrap phonics!

Thanks to this image on Stacey Adams Pinterest page and the fantastic Meaningful Mama blog for the idea of using bubble wrap as a phonics game.

It’s simple; add sticky labels containing target words or graphemes. Say the word out loud and ask children to find the words and if they get it right they can pop the bubble.

You can also try blending words together by adding letters to the bubble wrap and asking children to pop the right bubble to the corresponding sound.

It’s an easy game to set up and we know that lots of children love popping bubble wrap! Read how to set it up on the Meaningful Mama blog page.

Shake a word! New phonics activity.

A quick and easy phonics activity that helps children practice blending and segmenting. Use it every day with different letter blocks.

Head over to Mrs Ostermans’ blog for more ideas and resources on the ‘shake a day’ theme.

Send over any phonics games or resources you use at home or in the classroom and we’ll feature them on this blog.