Welcome to my Professional Learning blog.
My name is Matt Nicoll and I am a high school teacher in New Zealand, interested in improving the classroom experience for my students. I am open to trialing new approaches and hope to use this blog to reflect on my ideas and practices.

Monday, 20 February 2017

But I Don't Have Anything to Read...

This is a bit of a follow-up post on Rolleston Reads. Today, I my Ako group decided they wanted to read today and Wednsday this week. Great idea...except that I left my book at home. So did one of the students. Two ākonga without a book. Hmmm...what to do?

The process of Rolleston Reads is my saving grace for this:

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Because most of us have already done some reading, we do not all need to be in that step of the process. The student who left his book at home has done some non-digital reflection in his notebook. I have done some blogging (okay, not about my book, but about Rolleston Reads itself, instead).

As I type, I see that another student has moved from finishing her book to starting her blog post about her reading. Another is making notes about her book as she reads. Everyone else is so engrossed in theire respective book that I dare not stop them yet!

The process behind Rolleston Reads does more than just tell a student the answer to "What next?", it also tells all ākonga (me included) what we could do instead, if we have not come prepared for this session of Rolleston Reads. Simple, but effective.


  1. Interesting process. My question is , do students always have to reflect/blog on what they read? Or do they choose? Do they all read at the same time? As a child I read constantly and writing about it would have driven me crazy and been a disincentive (but a good incentive for remembering my book! )

    1. Blogging/Reflecting: Not always. However, there is already huge motivation to share what they are reading about (and learning) so this allows others to find out what they think about a book or author. Reflection is part of our Learning Process, so even a short reflection (blog post) is great for the future when we discuss the learning in conferences with ākonga and whānau.
      Read Together: There are set times in the week when we read together (me included), but everyone is encouraged to read as often as they want to. In my Ako group, we all decide when we read; it is not a decision I make for them, we make it together.

  2. I'm a big fan of reading (for myself and learners). Do you have any students who self-identify as "non-readers" (dont like to read)? How are they going?

    1. So far they are all on board, even those more reluctant readers. Giving them choice of what to read has been successful so far. Plus, it is still early days... I am hopeful that celebrating whatever they choose to read, and recognising those who spread their horizons, might help.