Monday, 18 September 2017

Inquiry update term 3

This term I have been focussing on bring the fluency ideas we build through video modelling into our small group lessons. I have done this through modelling of small passages of the text during group sessions and getting children to read aloud and reread fluently. We have also be considering the different uses for the digital tool (screencastify) that we used for video modelling and students have been creating review video as well and screencasts of presentations to make digital stories.

The interest part for me has been how my teaching now reflects the key ideas emerging from my research.

These ideas are:

Well my inquiry has somewhat taken a back seat to the writing of my research this term. It is clear that developing the ideas of fluency is still happening in the small group setting.

The reading of our Penpal letters shows how far the class have come. Over half of my class wanted to read their letters out loud to the class and those who did read fluently and the rest of the class supported them in doing this.

Next term I want to draw on the term theme to integrate fluency. We will be doing a lot of song reading and listening and we will talk about how phrasing is achieved. My goal for next learn is to embed the fluency criteria in multiple media and transfer this into silent reading. I believe that this will increase comprehension for my class.

I will also be looking at how paired warm ups can support basic facts development in maths. This has come from the professional development that we received from Jo.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Maths Place Value

Today we are very lucky to have the wonderful Jo back with us to talk about Place Value.
Jo talked about it being important to make sure all place value learning was grounded with materials. By creating bundles of tens and grouping tens to make hundreds.

We need to make sure place value becomes our learners  friends by doing it every day.
This many look like give the kids numbers. They order the numbers, expand it, write add tens it. Say the numbers after and numbers before.
They should be provided with loads of materials in this time frame.

Remember the teaching model:
-Start with material.
-Move to imaging.
-Then to the more abstract.

Jo had some lovely helpers to show us how she would teach a lesson.
First she gave them the problem: 19+6 to see where they were at with addition. They struggled to explain their thinking.
After this she gave them some tens frames to she what their number ID was like. She did this with numbers between 1-10 and then teen numbers. They were very good at this.

Then they moved on to using counters to find 10 and numbers 9+4=13. Learners did this well.
Then they moved to imaging by putting the counters on the frames under the book. Then encourage the same thinking. 8+5 If there is 8 how many empty squares are there? They made a tidy ten. 10+3=13
Then she revised the numbers 6+9 and encouraged them to think about what number would be easiest to make a tidy ten. Children did not add to the 9 but added to the 6. Then Jo modelled adding to the 9. Then she moved into 19+6=

She encouraged a lot of pair and share times during the group lesson.

The power of imagery. We noticed in this lesson that when they were prompted to image they had more success and felt more confident.

When working with a group it is important to be able to hear and respond to the kids ideas and misconception.

Basic addition facts can be broken down into steps to learn.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Inquiry Term 3

This Term I am building on my Fluency Inquiry. Reflecting back on the Inquiry so far and thinking about how this fits into the Manaiakalani Inquiry model. Then I considers what will come next. As my Inquiry is linked with my research the new gaps and challenges I have identified in my data are now feeding into my inquiry. 

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Teaching beginning readers using prompts effectively!

Today we had the wonderful Helen Squires. Help us to develop the best ways to support our developing readers. This session really helped me to think about which prompts I use regularly and the ones that I need to start using,

Teaching children who are at the stage of learning to read.

-We often forget the importance of reading to the children. This allows for development vocabulary and children will begin to use this language in their conversation with others.

-Observational drawing can also be a great way to develop language and the skills of noticing. Does the object look the same as you picture. What can you see.

When learner are focussed on decoding. You need to orientate the learners into the focus of the text. This is a short opening focussing on the Vocabulary in the text rather than opening up the topic by discussing the topic you sum up the main bit of the story. For example the little red hen: This is a story about a hen whose friends are too lazy to help her bake a cake.

Magenta- At this level the focus is not what you say you must see, what you see you must see. These book have the same phrasing across the pages. Again Orientate the book, this is a book about things we do at school. Children need to tap on each page. Children read in their own time not all together so you can catch each child as they read. Children will often point to space between words or after word. You stop them and say "you said cut can you see cut?"  If they don't know the word you tell them. Once they are one to one pointing less repetitive books are introduced. Once they have learnt the words get them checking "You said the can you see the." child "Yes I see the" They might point to the wrong word they can confirm they are wrong. "Tent" confirming cover word you said tent what would you expect to see for tent, t..t...t... Child T

Magenta is just getting the DOS-direction, orientation, sequence. This applies to arranging the magnetic letters. Then break it make multiple times then write it. This should be quick at the end of the book.

Red is where the text changes, this provides an opportunity to think. I go to school on is the pattern. On the last page it will change for example I go to school in. For this the child is likely to say "on" You say you said on do you see on. Then you tell them. Read the sentence with them. Confirming for changes. Have you still got more words to say. This is when the child changes to text but has not read all the word. The boy climbed up the mountain, The child say The boy climbed up the hill. You said hill do you see hill, h....h..hill. Then you tell them.

This is the level at which we try to lose the finger pointing, Then pointing is strong get it gone.
If children are struggling to stop finger pointing break it down into three words etc to build fluency.

The boy went to the supermarket... Child said the boy went to the shop. prompt: Try that again and think who went to the supermarket.

Still doing word work. Making or breaking. A word they know "Can" Get child to make can. give them m, r, t. Can you make Man. Can you make can, Can you make ran. Always go back to the word they know in between new words.

Yellow- This again build the stills of confirming and discounting. The sentence is the boy knocked on the door of the shack. The child say " They boy knocked on the door of the house" You said .... They could give them options. Cottage etc.

Word work adding endings, beginning, vowel sounds etc.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Many Hats

This term I have been both a researcher and a teacher. Taking on these two roles and considering what they mean for me and my class has been a challenge and a privilege. At times it was challenging changing hats and looking at my teaching and my learners through two different lenses. However it was also very rewarding. Having the structure of a research design and thinking carefully about how information was gathered and what action I took, why I took them and exactly what impact they had more critically as a researcher reminds me of the importance of stepping back as a teacher and looking at yourself through a different lense. You can't expect the same actions to produce different results so it is important to be very reflective and even critical of yourself to make sure what you are doing is the very best for your students and what they need to learn at this point and time in their life.

My two hats are important and having them in such a formal way this term has reminded me that if not in  a formal way I will always be a researcher as I inquire into my practice as a teacher.

By en:User:Eric Bouliane [GFDL ( 

Monday, 3 July 2017

Inquiry Update Term 2

This term my Inquiry has been focused on video self modelling to increase reading fluency. You might as why fluency. Research suggests that fluency is a key element that impacts comprehension. Reading fluency combines many elements and I believe understanding, thinking carefully about these will help the learner to develop these skills and use them effectively to build understanding. 

During this term learner have been recording themselves, watching these recording and self reflecting on their fluency.  I have noticed that engagement in this has been high however those learner who struggle to decode are less motivated to record. Overall I have seen an increase in understanding of what fluency is as why as reader it is important from a majority of my class. 

Next steps: Next term is our school production and film festival filming. During the term I want to focus on reading of plays and poems to father build fluency for all learner. The element I believe we still need to focus is expression. While phrasing and speed have had noticed changes the level of expression in reading across the class is still low. 

Thursday, 8 June 2017


Where do you believe creativity comes from?
How do we get it?

There are many myths about what creativity. Some people feel that creativity needs to be something completely new and coming up with original ideas is challenging. Sometimes we thinking about time and how being devoted to creativity is the only way to have creative ideas. Or even that feel that there are too many creative things to do and you have to be in the mood to achieve them. These are just some of the many myths creativity.

Jon Westenberg-This is one person idea's on this topic.

I don't know the truth about creativity. I don't know the best way. All I know is that you need to try! Creativity never happens if you don't try, so take risks.

Creating with your Mac

There are lots of cool things that our Mac computers can do. There are loads of keyboard shortcut and trackpads skills that we can use. We also have iMovie and Hyperstudio that we can use to create.