Monday, 2 August 2021

Inquiry Mid Year Update

My teaching as inquiry this year has focused on accelerating achievement in reading. Specifically acquisition of new vocabulary and critical thinking. 

At the end of term 2 we conducted mid year testing to support the formation of our overall teacher judgement for report writing. 

One measure of data which I collected was running records to see what shift had occurred in reading ability. I used the PM Kit to conduct my running records as this provided a standardised measure that looked at decoding, comprehension and some vocabulary. 

Here is the data I gain from this assessment:

What does this show: First of all I must note that children with a * by their name have had additional support through the Quick 60 Reading Program. This is a well rounded support program aiming to fill gaps for the learners. Having this additional support means that for these learners it is harder to say which program Quick 60 or the Intervention have had the most impact. While students in Quick 60 have had additional reading their results are not all that different to those who were not in Quick 60 reading. 

There are 15 children in the inquiry group. All have made expected progress for 2 terms at school 0.5y. However for 3 children they have only made expected progress. GM3 is new so I have no historical data to look at to see if this GM only made 0.6 progress in year 2 and 0 progress in year  3. While GL made 0.3 progress in year 2 and 0.1 progress in year 3. For both these learners 0.5 progress in 2 terms is significant when compared to their historical progress. 

Seven children have made 1 years progress so far this year. This is half a years acceleration so far this year. So long as they continue to make progress I predict they will have accelerated shift this year. 

Four children have already had 1.5 years progress this year. That is accelerated shift.  My plan for these learners is to gain at least another 0.5-1 shift as they still have a way to go until they reach their chronological age. 

One student has made 2 years progress. This student has gain a lot of confidence as a reader. She still has 1 year to go to be working at an end of year 4 level and this is our goal for the end of the year. 

Friday, 30 July 2021

Then to now: A reflection on my teaching


Sitting here reflecting on my teaching I realised how positive it is that my inquiry is so connected to my 2020 inquiry and I have picked up the practice changes I made in 2020 and for the most part this was my pre intervention teaching. See my 2020 Inquiry for details. 

The one exception to this was that in 2020 I narrowed differentiation due to Covid I have not continued to do that in 2021. 

Another example of my pre intervention practice can be seen in this Class Onair Episode

In this episode the focus is on one texts and the ability to retell the texts in detail. 


During my Data collection stage in my inquiry I released that this was a real need for connected Vocabulary exploration and Deep diving into texts in a way that allowed for critical thinking. 

As a result I began to question having different groups focusing on different topics, theme or ideas during a week. I asked wouldn't it be great if the whole class could focus on the same theme? Wouldn't that provide opportunities for children to encounter and discuss vocabulary across instructional levels? 

This linked nicely to what Rebbeca Jesson had said in her presentation about T-Shaped Literacy for Juniors. 

So I started to begin each weeks reading planning with a Theme and a Question. 

From there I selected books that connected with the theme and books that challenges the theme. Each group has different books but the focus was similar. 

While the comprehension focus was similar, the decoding focus, words and skills each group had varied based on group and individual needs. 
The create tasks however were the same and allowed for children to think critically, write and discuss in their group and across reading groups. 

Early on in the intervention I gave them choose in the activities, however I found that completing the same activity for each text and then making comparison worked more effectively. 

Here are some examples of learning tasks

What I have noticed so far is an interesting amount of writing and as they become more familiar with the structure of the text the depth of thinking is increasing. 

Thursday, 15 July 2021

Inquiry - Causal Chain

When thinking about my inquiry it has been important to connect the actions I will take with the outcomes I expect to see. Google Draw link

Friday, 18 June 2021

Looking Closely at the measures

 As it comes to the middle of term 2 I have been thinking about what data I have collected on my inquiry group and how this might be repeated at the end of the year to provide a rich profile of change in student learning. 

Through taking this measure I have come to understand the issue and hope that through changed practice that I will see improvement and change across all measure at the end of the year. 

I have already repeated some measures including running records and will be sharing what I have seen in student shift in the coming weeks. 

Friday, 11 June 2021

Professional reading: T-Shaped Literacy


T-Shaped literacy is something I have been familiar with for some time. Rereading the article made me reflect on how I could and should be using this idea better. 

The key thing were: 
  • Wide reading is essential to vocabulary acquisition. 
  • A quote that really spoke to me from this research was "We also hypothesised that a condition for  acceleration of students of any ages is the opportunity to “do harder stuff sooner” in their  schooling."
  •  I found it interesting that this research found that "our observation data did suggest that much classroom talk focused more on the strategies that  students used for reading, than on the ideas that emerged from those texts"
What does this mean for me.
  • I have been trying to connect texts at every level through a share idea and bringing this discuss to the class.
  • I believe even more mileage and diversity of texts may be needed to extend my learners.

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

T-Shaped Literacy for Juniors Year 1-3

Today we have the please of hearing the amazing Rebecca Jesson. 

We have been working around T-Shaped literacy for a while we have not seem this implement as well with junior learners. 

Wide reading

Is the notion that to learn about the world, to learn to read you need to learn widely. The benefits of wide reading go beyond school. If you think about the number of words you can say you learned them by talking and reading. There are many words we never say orally that we can read because we have read them in context. 

You get better at reading by doing it more!

We want children to be so engaged in reading that they want to read more. 

Wide reading looks like 5+ a day books. Just like eating vegetables for keeping our bodies and brains healthy we need to read 5+ to extend our brains and learn more words. 

But that is not enough. 

We want to do deep reading as well unpacking the key ideas and engage with texts critically. 

T-Shape literacy encourages us to use text sets that build ideas together. This allows learners to build understand over time. 

There are lots of different ways to think about texts sets. 

So why? 

-Build vocabulary

-Maintain decoding

-Build local inference 

When we as adults engage with a new concept we engage with multiple texts to draw conclusion. Research suggest that if you know something about it (have prior knowledge) it is easy to read about it. 

When we use multiple texts:

-Main text

-Simpler texts

-Complementary texts

-Challenge texts

So what does this look like at a junior level?

What is the big idea in the books. This can be found by looking at what the character learners and how they change during the story. 

Working together. 

What is the relationship between the main character and the side kicks. 

Likeable and unlikeable characters. 

By really thinking about this with learners from the moment they start school we are creating readers who are connected with ideas that they will engage with as readers for the rest of the life. 

So when planning we must ask.  What does this set of texts teach us. We are pulling the texts that are a bit different from a them. This leads to a provocation, this is a question or statement that can be engaged with on both side. 

Rebecca used a set of images to start the learning and provocation. Have some questions that we can ask for each book, then a big question that can get use connecting across texts. When coming up with this go back to the curriculum and think what is the area that connects best with the theme in the text. Prior knowledge should also be at the level of theme. Bring children to the new texts with some prior thinking. 

Creating a modelling book at builds around the theme. 

insist on evidence of what they think? 

Saturday, 29 May 2021

Professional Reading: Effective literacy practices years 1-4

This book discussed the idea of language development. It mentioned that children develop language overtime through the hearing of words. Exposure through listening, speaking and seeing are key parts of language development. 

As readers children use visual sources, the way in which the letters and words are group to understand new information.  

 "Fluent readers and writers draw on their prior knowledge and use all available sources of information simultaneously and usually unconsciously."  

  • This is the level of skill I want for the readers in my class. 
"Beginning readers and writers need to be taught to draw on these sources and to use them efficiently."
  • Students in my target group are currently moving from being beginning readers to become fluent readers however many are stuck drawing on all sources. 
  • Often they come to words that they have not encouraged orally. 
The texts suggest that a wide range if high interest text with explicit teaching and opportunities to speak and write are essential to moving from a beginning reader to a fluent reader and developing vocabulary.