Friday, 23 February 2018

Language in Abundance - Part 2

Doctor Jannie Van Hees

Language in Abundance: 

  • Noticing and Triggering the known to connect to the new learning.
  • Emphasis on making connections promoting language use and further growth.
  • Multiple encounters with the text / resource ( links with rewindable learning)
  • Collaborative learning opportunities.

This presentation directly linked with the Learn Create Share process- (interconnection)
Emphasis also on the resources, multi modal, that allow learners to be inclusive as they make connections with what they know and build upon this.

Doctor Rebecca Jesson (WFRC)
Manaiakalani Inquiries
Important facts and support for COL and colleagues new to professional blogging practices.
Starting Point:

  • Gather evidence - learners what they know; needs, strengths,learning environment, teacher instruction e.g.  what's happening to students learning processes, motivation
  • Reflect: quality of assessment procedures; range of resources etc for evidence - validity, depth of understanding...

Friday, 16 February 2018

Looking back to plan my next steps

Recently a professional reading given to all staff led to my reflecting on the message that reminded me that  we implement change, the practise (whether that be pedagogical or an initiative) we measure the result of that and then often try something else, a new technique, A key message I took from the above reading was that 'Continuous improvement is a journal that takes more time and greater effort'  I have asked myself, What if  increasing levels of talk across learning by students themselves was continued?

Time is always a challenge - perhaps increased time of the same practise that did bring about change that increased student confidence, levels of participation and growth in understanding across all learning areas born from student interactions with each other, justifies continuation of those practices. 

This year I will continue with the same challenge I focused on last year:
Challenge #4. Increase the achievement of Years 1-10 learners, with a focus on Years 7-10, in reading, writing and maths, as measured against National Standards and agreed targets.   

My target students, all year 8 numbering two boys and three girls were students outside of the targets of 2017. I began working with them also last year and I believe that focusing on them again needs to continue.

All students in this group have a history of literacy and numeracy support across their primary school years. Their participation is often single word responses or short phrases.  There is a definite reluctance to elaborate.  Observations and interactions indicate behaviour that is often linked to that of reluctant readers but also links with language.

Language - limited understanding and knowledge of vocabulary learners meet, can also impact on motivation, engagement and interest.  The promotion of 'talk' links directly to the development and use of pedagogical practises within a learning environment that is:  'dripping in language,where noticing and relevant use of words allow for deeper, wider, more specific and precise, context appropriate language expression…leading to knowing at deeper and broader levels. (Jannie Van Hees)

What will this look like? I consider this now with the knowledge and understanding that in my role as COL, I take this back to my school.

Friday, 9 February 2018

New Beginnings

Our first Meeting 

“Language in Abundance”, Language Acquisition, development, Transfer and sustaining across school levels and curriculum domains, is the focus for the 2018 COL inquiries. It is a challenging focus that immediately ignites 'critical thinking. The recognition and value of oral language is vital to promote literacy skills, which in my case will focus on reading but this inevitably linked with writing for my target group of students.   

Dr Rebecca Jesson
Meta Analysis of Inquiries by Wolf Fisher.

Data and evidence gathered  from teachers' inquiries' will be used by the Wolf Fisher 
to analyse for the purpose of identifying the Learn, Create, Share practices that contribute
and promote accelerated learning for students.

Language in abundance environments ‘drip’ with language availability

and attention, where noticing and relevant use of words allow for

deeper, wider, more specific and precise, context appropriate

language expression…leading to knowing at deeper and broader
Dr. Jannie Van Hees

We were fortunate to have Dr Jannie Van Hees, at this meeting. She reinforced the importance of having an 'Abundance' of language in situations that optimise not only language development but include cognitive opportunities.

Optimising Learning that promote language:

Jannie's presentation flashed me back to my days as  junior teacher.  As I listened,  I began reflecting on my practices then and now at the other end of the school.  On a personal note I do believe that those years in the junior school have been a definite plus and I have always felt that I have taken that knowledge, skills and understanding to the middle school and now to the intermediate level.  

A aspect of her presentation looked at the making of a kite.. 
We were reminded that Learning conditions make a difference and that limited verses rich language situations and the evaluation of resources is essential in promoting this. 
I searched for the example that Jannie used in her presentation and there sure is an abundance of examples on how to make a kite and most definitely as an adult who has some (be it little) knowledge of making a kite, some of these examples were challenging.
Key points 
The key points were certainly indicative of a junior class. 
The key concept for me with this was NOTICING... and then what followed.
The need to revisit to adapt to build a language rich environment that provided inclusive opportunities for learning, emphasis on oral language and discussion to increase understanding not to mention hands on i.e. physical collaborative learning time and the development of  language in context. 
I am a definite believer taking learning out of the classroom.  

Pondering.. Has time impacted on the level of these essential aspects of a language rich environment?

Group Discussion:
  • Assessment? Possible Tools? 
  • Burt word test - old but a possibility
  • Junior school oral language assessment tools
  • Should we all be using the same tool?
  • Is the focus 'talk' or is talk part of language acquisition?

Monday, 5 February 2018

It begins with a reflection


Our first COL meeting for this year is coming up and I have been drawn back to my own inquiry from 2017 and also reflected on those of colleagues.  For me and I am sure I am not alone with this realisation, the ‘Burst and Bubbles’ presentations further reinforced the importance of talk across all learning and the role it has in engaging and promoting active participation and  ‘Lifelong Learning for our students in our classes.   I am looking forward to further increasing the collaborative opportunities that being a COL teacher has provided.

Learn Create Share  .. and Reflect are powerful tools for both teachers and students.
The pedagogical practices of promoting dialogue and discussions across learn, create, share and reflect, encourage cooperative and collaborative opportunities to work and learn from those around us - 'Tuakana Teina'.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Manaiakalani CoL Inquiry Panel

My Inquiry Journey .. Empowering students through talk to promote dialogic discussions and accelerated learning through the use multi-modal resources.
What happened for the learners; (Initial Target group)
  • Increased confidence, levels of engagement and participation
  • Varied levels of accelerated learning with others with the exception of 1 making and maintaining progress equating with expectations re time.
  • influenced motivation and depth of learning  transference of this to math problem solving and vocabulary development and use of.

What evidence to I have of that?
      Tui Talk Dialogic Discussion Emerging                                                                

                                                                                   Levels of 'talk were reduced when working on 
collaborative docs and in group book .
Evidence: Data collation to date:
End of Term 1
End of Term 2
End of Term 3
Progress Over 8 months
Student 1
no change;    
5 months
1 year
2 yrs
Student 2
6 months;    
no change;
6 months  
1 yr
Student 3
6 months
I year
6 months
2 years
Student 4
No change
6 months
1 year
1.5 years
Student 5
  • 5
6 months
No change
6 months
Student 6
starting data
Drop 1 year
6 months
6 months
Student 7
6 months
No change
6 months
1 year

Evidence - Transferring dialogue across to inquiry &
Student Evaluation

What did I do to make this happen?
  • Examined and critique my own practices
  • Focused Learning Intentions  - Talk as thinking on the outside!
  • .Co-construction of success criteria
  • Provision of prompt card questions or statements.  
  • Reduction of teacher involvement in guided reading.  **
  • Two to three readings of same text and resources that linked to each resource which included a multi-modal approach which promoted making connections across text and well as within text.
  • Constant feedback and feed forward.
  • Reading integration transferring knowledge, applying and extending learning

Wonderings about Where to next:  Focus on talk to continue; Cross curriculum integration;
Students: Self and Peer evaluation;
Teacher: Include strong oral language focus across all learning areas for 2018.
Who is doing the talking in your class?

Reflecting and Preparing for final CoL 2017

With a little more detail:  
After realising that  my pedagogical practices with my target group were not the same as my readers achieving at and above the nation standard for their year level, and conducting research about how to support students to be active and talk about their learning ( in this instance, reading), I found that the question answer responses were reinforced by me.
It was time for a change.  
Student and myself sat and pretended to be engaged in a reading text while actually observing the mentioned group as they independently worked on their reading task.

  • Students in the target group noted that they read silently but then went on to share what they had interpreted from the text and some added information to those ideas while others argued against what was said and then all returned to the text and re read and again discussed - there was alot of talking!
  • The target group evaluated the benefit of this 'Talk" 

We began with the global learning intention:

  • Share and talk about our ideas while listening to the ideas of others.

In creating success criteria for this learning intention, we (students and myself) discussed what they would be able to do as a result of the LI.  
The result of which was that they would be able to ask questions, share ideas and be active in discussions. 
This was followed by me asking: "What will I see if you are doing this"?
From this we formed the following statement and referred to this often.

'Talking is the act of thinking that helps us to analyse and make meaning', 

'Talk' and the opportunity to share and question, I believe  form the basis  for dialogic discussion.  High levels of engagement and student involvement in creating learning intentions and co-constructing success criteria together with using a range of multi-modal resources that build and connect learning are essential to promote 'talk'.
At our previous meeting four key questions around this final meeting for this  year were discussed.
In the evaluation discussion (evidenced at the end of video 2 'Student Voice') 
Students in the target group identified that 'talk' ..."helps you to clarify your understanding and build greater understanding, because people sometimes have different views and that makes other people question and think again  and it also makes the reader re read to look for information  - to make connections."
While progress for some students based on assessments has not been as evident as others, the 'Talk' ownership and application of critical thinking via dialogic discussion has most certainly increased and impacted on confidence, participation and comprehension. 

Tui Talk independent guided reading without the teacher!

 A student from this group told me " We talk more about the text Miss, when you are not there.  I have compared the observations of them working independently (as shown here) and that of when I touch base with them.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Where to next? T4

Currently room 8 are being enterprising as they prepare for our annual Mission Day, where students are actively part of fundraising as they reach out to help others   - in this case a Orphanage run by the Mission Sisters in India.
This is our focus for teaching and learning across the first and second week of this term.
It is a very integrated process.

From the previous data, I have begun conferencing with students in some cases in groups, but also in 1:1 situations.
Two students outside of the target group dropped a year in the term 3 assessments.
Therefore my initial focus for them is to work with them everyday and the assess them again at the end of week 2.
Two students in the target group have made progress but this can not be called acceleration.

Resource choice:???
Additional Target Group; I have already been working with these students.  While also tracking these students, I have decided to add this data here as these students will with the exception of one be with me again next year.
These students have (be it with varying degrees) increased their active participation in discussion during guided reading and reading with the teacher present. 

Term  1
Term 2
Term 3
Progress Over months
9.5 -10  
10 - 10.5
+6 months
8.5 -9.0
9.0 - 9.5
9.0 - 9.5
9.5 - 10.0
+ 6  months
11.0 -12.0
11.5 -12.0
No change
11.0 -11.5
11,0 -11,5
+6 months
8.5 - 9.0
8.5 - 9.0
8.5 - 9.0
+6  months
+6  months
10.5 -11.0
+ 6  & - 6
11.- 12.0
up and down