Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Ignition



First day of new inquiry today.  Have been working on finding reading resources to support students in the immersion stage of their inquiry, but decided that I would begin with  posing the question, 'Who are the Poor?" 

I used a shared padlet  - and reminded students that I wanted their ideas so no research! 

Common key ideas about who the poor were included: People -  without Food, Water, and Shelter. 

I designated 4 groups of 6 students  (two absent students would choose their group when they returned). 

They were given 4 countries and their discussions showed they had limited knowledge of these.
Questions...  around the room ... Where is ....    How many people live their?   What is the weather like?   Google Maps!  (Not sure how many times I heard that!)

Key words emerged:  Location, Population, Climate;  And it was action stations!
Roles / area were sorted collaboratively for students and they were on fire.  Sharing ideas they found, asking questions, suggesting ideas, explaining their ideas and then, thinking about how their ideas could be presented.

I stood back and watched... another teacher entered the room and she too was drawn in by the image of students " Learning to Learn'. 

Gosh I felt proud.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Back step

Based on recent formative observations, I have noticed increased levels of ’talk’ and responsiveness within members of the target group, but the wonderful addition to this is that other students are also beginning to talk more too! Currently our reading focus is persuasion (linking to our writing focus- hence providing opportunity for students to increase their understanding about the genre) this naturally promotes increased participation and confidence growth as students share their ideas in response to those readings. It has been necessary to back step a few times as I made some assumptions about student knowledge that were very wrong. Little things become big things … One group is reading about Zoo’s analysing the positive and negative perspective from an animal point of view. This group totals 6 students of which only 1 has been to a zoo! A very hit and miss exercise of naming animals at the zoo confirmed the lack of knowledge naturally making it very difficult to make the most of the text.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Reflecting and Sharing

The start of our first CoL meeting for term 3, saw us organised into smaller groups, whose target areas aligned. The focus for the CoL's in our group were linked with literacy and numeracy and from listening there was a connection with 'talk' across all. Prior to the meeting we completed the framework below and used this to share and reflect on our journeys so far. Having the opportunity to make these connections and to work collaboratively, is a major plus in belonging to the Manaiakalani CLuster of Schools.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Term 2 Data Entry (target students)




This round of assessment using the Probe Tool was in line with previous running records showing a connection that, to be honest, I was surprised to find as often there is not necessarily a correlation with the Prope assessment and teacher running records.  

This latest entry indicates continual growth in reading comprehension for 4/7 of the target group. Within these aforementioned students, one student (No 4.) was assessed using the PM resource and indicates a growth of 6 months with regard comprehension.  The remaining 3 students while not showing further progress have maintained their previous reading age scores. 

The data for student 6 (also assessed using PM) has fallen back. Absence from school has not alerted any concern. Observations, however, have shown that levels of active participation i.e. 'talking and interacting' with peers has not been consistent. 

For the remaining 6 students, formative observations have shown that students are beginning to 'Talk' during guided reading and have increased their interactions and active involvement and this has resulted in a deeper understanding, a higher level of engagement, and indicate also a higher level of motivation with resources used. 

Observations have further shown a transference of these same skills across to independent group work in inquiry learning.  Another positive about this is that the latter groups are a broader mix of ability with regard to literacy. 

So, what have I done differently? 




Student
Yr
Gender
Ethnicity
EOY 2016
Probe
Pat St/T1
End of T1
R.Records
End of T2 Probe
Student 1
8
M
Fijian
11.0-12.0
4
11.5 -12.0
11.5-12.5
Student 2
8
M
Tongan
10.5-11.5
4
11.0-11.5
11.0-12.0
Student 3
7
M
Filipino
10.5-11.5
6
11.0 -11.5
10.5-11.5
Student 4
8
M
Tongan
10.5-11.0
3
10.5 -11.0
11.0-11.5
Student 5
8
F
Tongan
10.5-11.5
3
10.5 -11.0
11.0-12.0
Student 6
7
F
Tongan
No data
4
11.0 -11.5
10.5-11.0
Student 7
8
F
Samoan
10.5-11.5
4
11.5 - 12.0
11.0-12

Planning

Planning

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Talk .. What do the students think?


In order to promote further progress in reading comprehension that includes the development of higher order thinking skills, students need to increase their interactions in discussing what they read.
Interactions are a powerful source of learning that is beneficial not only for children of similar ability but also an effective teaching and learning tool in mixed ability groups.  

The teaching and learning in this latter situation is a collaborative process as those who are supporting others actually clarify and deepen their own understanding at the same time. This 'tuakana teina' relationship, (with the older or expert child helping another) can be empowering on different levels i.e. the positive change in attitude, engagement and progress and also in the role reversal where the learner is then empowered to become 'tuakana' perhaps for another peer or in sharing skills or knowledge that may not be known by a peer who initially supported them.

'Peers interactions build a classroom culture of questioning and deeper thinking' (Bernard Bagnall)
One of the most interesting things about this article is that What's All The Talking About?  is linked to talking within the context of mathematics.   I took out the word mathematics and replaced it with reading.  I asked myself .. 'Student Talk' - do they recognise the role that talk has in their learning?   

Prior to commencing a guided reading lessons with a mixed ability group whose reading comprehension ages range from 12 through to 13.5, I posed the question: 'Talk - how does it help you to learn'?  (a little leading perhaps)

Responses:   (Piwakawaka)
  • Talk helps work out the main ideas 
  • Talking / interacting gives you more information about others ideas and that helps clarify and critic your own ideas if they are different.
  • It introduces you to other perspectives and helps to get your ideas sorted as you think about what is being shared
What is talk?
  • It's communication and discussion; interaction and sharing
  • What does it look like?   -  People interacting  
  • Sound like?  - taking turns and voices it can make you feel annoyed and argumentive because it challenges you.

  • What about if you don't talk - if you are not active?  - It makes you feel left out, bored, lonely and affect your confidence. 
Target  Group:  How does talking help you to learn?   
                       Is it important to talk?
  • Talk is important, it allows you to share ideas
  • It promotes you to make connections with what you are reading and others ideas
  • It gives you knowledge - it increases knowledge and skills because you can see and listen to how other people understand things and it helps to understand words you don't know.
  • Talking helps t0 learn about other points of view and it makes you think critically.
  • What is critical thinking?             It's thinking really hard and asking questions that makes you think and that makes you go back and read again to see if there are things that you missed out.

* While some of the target group were more involved than others, the levels of 'Talk '  - the responses are beginning to increase as are their interactions and responses to one another and the vocabulary they hear is from myself and others is becoming part of their language of learning.