Friday, 18 December 2020

Evaluation of inetervention

 This year my inquiry has focussed on supporting my students to gain reading ability and confidence to tackle unseen texts. 

I noticed that this was particularly the case when they encountered lengthy or challenging texts, or when they were required to read several different texts in a short time period - such as on a PAT test. 

At the start of the year

I noted a really need to increase reading ability for a number of student working below their chronological age. The aim was to identify their needs which I found was around vocabulary, decoding strategies and letter sound knowledge. 

Starting the Intervention 

Throughout the year the intervention and its focus adjusted. There were many factor that impacted the changes including progressional learning, lockdowns and changes to the way we were teaching more generally because of covid.  

Final Data Collection (mid term 4)

Over all reading data in my class was very mixed. 10 students made significant progress over 1.5 years in a year. While 5 made a years progress and the remaining students made less than expected progress. Given the challenging year we had with Covid19 and the two significant lockdowns and on going effects of those it is hard to say what factors determined reading success. 

As for my target group:
5 students made significant progress of 1.5 years or more. With one of these student boy E making progress of 2.6years. Girl D made 0.9 year progress which well compared on norm progress is not significant compared to the less than a year of progress she has made in her prior 3 years of school this is significant for her. 

However there were sadly some results that were not has positive with 6 students making 0.5 years progress or less two of these made no progress in reading level during the year. 

These results were supported by the start test data shown below. 

With average progress for year 4 being 16.2 and progress for a year 3 being 27.6. You will note that Girl C, Girl E Boy E and Boy A made over average progress. While girl B came very close to average progress. 

Given this data I feel confident to say that the intervention had mixed results but was also influenced by a number of facts including lockdowns, attendance and attitude. 

Thursday, 3 December 2020

What change have I Made to my teaching in 2020

My inquiry focussed on supporting students in reading with a focus on understanding new vocabulary and being able to decode unknown words so that they could tackle more challenging age approbate texts with less support. 

In June I looked at my teaching in depth asking what texts am I proving learners with a why, what do the children think about my teaching and their learning and what strengths and needs do I have in my practice. 

Changes to the way I teach reading

As a result of this study I made a point of actively including sight words along with other text specific word work to every reading group lesson. I also made more opportunities to talk about words and made this rewindable through our group digital modelling books. 

Changes to my learning design

To be honest this was something I did not change because of my inquiry but rather because of the ever changing needs of 2020 with Covid-19 and to address every day changes in the classroom. I found that I was providing less differentiation. This included proving one book a week at the children expected level with audio support to encourage engagement with more vocabulary and complex language structures. 

Did the change in teaching affect student learning?

This is a challenging question as for some students these changes provided a needed challenge and pushed them to engage more with a wider range of vocabulary and ideas. While for others the challenge was perhaps too much and therefor served to discourage them. I don't think I found the hapy middle ground I would have liked. 

To what extent did my teaching change?

I think my teaching changed in small but significant ways. I began asking why did I choose this text and how can I provide challenge within the scope of what learners are capable of.

Friday, 20 November 2020

Bursts and Bubbles

The catalytic aspect of student learning my inquiry focused on this year was specific and careful teaching of vocabulary in an environment that fostered discussion in order to increase not only reading ability but achievement across the curriculum.

I identified this as my focus when I noticed that a number of my leaners were reading well below their age and that these learners were often the quietest in the class and used simple vocabulary in their discussions.

To build a rich picture of my students’ learning I used running record data, teacher observations, student voice surveys, video recordings of students reading and discussion observations of student engaging in games.

The main patterns of student learning I identified in the profiling phase were that student in my target group were significantly behind their peers in the class on a Star test, running records. There were aware of this achievement gap and did not choose to speak without prompting during whole class or even some small group discussion. They would not self identify words they did not know or understand but rather waited ours or the teacher to bring them up in discussion. They did however have a very positive attitude towards reading and when asked to join a discussion would attempt to do so.

My profiling of my own teaching showed that I had strengths in providing reading mileage and introduction of the topic and identifying topic specific vocabulary, But that my students would likely make more progress if I developed in supporting discussion and student questioning and supporting children to identify challenging vocabulary themselves.

This year I made a lot of micro changes in my teaching, I started out by adding more independent reading time, more sight word games and poems more regular. I also looked at how challenge could be provided through text select while still providing plenty of mileage for my learners. I also had to think about to to provide this in a distance learning context and challenging text with audio support became a huge part of our distance learning program.

The literature/expertise that helped me decide what changes to make was I looked at a range of literature and had many discussion with colleagues, I also looked at pasted inquiries and as this inquiry build on my inquiry from last year I had a wider range of resources and my own experiences to use as a guide.

The easiest thing to change was building more independent reading into my program, the children love to read and so this just happened and was amazing to watch. The hardest part to change was build discussion about vocabulary in which all students had a voice.

Overall I would rate the changes in student learning as interesting, many of the students in my target group made 1.5 years progress or more in reading, they had become more independent in writing and use more topic specific vocabulary when they write, however it is hard to say with full certainty the impact across the full curriculum given the challenges of measuring this with two lockdowns during the year and period were group learning was more challenging.

The most important learning I made about vocabulary and discussion in reading was that it is not a simple issue and that the target vocabulary need can be sight words or topic specific words and that I still have a lot of work to do to get the discussion to the level I had hoped for. The most important learning I made about inquiry was that the little changes can made a big difference, and how you measure that can be very challenging.

Monday, 2 November 2020

Early Reading

When children are first learning to read at Magenta, we gift them the pattern of the language. What you are focusing on is now that they know the pattern you expect them to say the pattern. They should be pointing to the word. 

Magenta- What you say you must see, What you see you must say.

You said the, do you see the? They are pointing to nothing or on top of the word. Hold their finger. 

You should be reducing what you are saying. Can you hear me tap, I want to hear you tap. 

Sometime children at these levels will add words. The prompt for this is cover and "Have you run out of words to see?"

If they don't read all the words "Have you run out of words to say?"

We are reinforcing high frequency words You said.......can you see? on correct words first before you check on words they get wrong. 

Developing and reinforcing letter sound knowledge. You said ....... What would you expect to see for......? Are you right?"

This is an important foundation for reading knowing, direction, orientation and sequence. 

Word work:

Making and breaking high frequency word, I want you to make the word come. Find it in the book and make it. break it make it many times. Write it, check, rewrite. 

Making word: Always go make to the word they known word. Not, spot, dot, hot. Ask one child to make the word and them everyone says it. This can be done in the text or at the end of the text. 

Once children have these skills you are giving them options to check from. This again reinforces letter sounds and what I say I must see. 

Sometimes it is best to gift the correct word especially if the words start with the same letter for example waves and water. You said She ran in the water. This says "she ran in the waves" We know it is waves because it had v in the middle. 

Every time you prompt and fix is a great time to get them to read it again with the prompt read it like they are talking. Fluency develops through practice. Try putting these three words together, "The boy went" Then the next part "up the hill." Then put it all together. 

We want children reading for meaning and a huge part of this is rereading the sentence after finding. 

When they are stuck: 

"Try again and think....."

"Try again and think who runs down the hill."

When a text is a bit of a struggle, you might choose to read the texts together at the end it unison. "We are going to read this again like speaking." 

Helen said when she has a group come to her, she gets them to read the book from the day before then. She marks off their homework book. Then she does flashcards of sight words before her orientation. 

Instructional reading Middle Levels


Looking at a modelled lesson by the wonderful Rebecca was great. 

She started with a great recap of what they covered last time and praised the skills they already have. We need to do a lesson on talking. 

Who is going to reply? You young people are going to reply to each other. 

Introduction: This is a nonfiction story, this is a text with information in it. do you know why authors write texts with information in it? 

It's not just about reading its about thinking about what we are reading. 

From watching the lesson we saw the value of the words "Add on..." 

How do we build their confidence and oral language skills to talk and engage in conversation through listening, sharing and adding to the discussion. 

We can use think, pair, share and get the children sharing the idea the buddy talked about. 

She is bring in a lot of vocabulary bring in the real and complexed words. We need to have high expectation around the vocabulary. 

Modelling, If I read something and don't find as many benefits, I read it again. 


Reading professional learning

This year has been very busy and different but that does not mean that our focus on accelerating learning specially for those learners who are struggling. Our area of focus has been reading as this is an area where the data shows us we need to make shift to help our children get to the norm or ideally accelerate past it. 

What we have seen is that there is not accelerated progress and high achievement. 

We started the day by discuss the Model of literacy development. Moving from basic literacy, intermediate literacy and disciplinary literacy.  We are able to get children reading but not being critical reader and this means they do not always have the skills to read in a disciplinary way need for high school and life reading. 

We recap the understanding the reading and the teaching of reading is complexed and we need to have a process around, providing feedback, carefully plan instructional reading and an in-depth knowledge of the subject. 

We are focuses on our instructional group teaching. 
Today we are looking at how we orient the children to the text and how this varies for at different reading levels. 
We also need to front load language to provide children with support for them as they read. 

early level: The orientation is short and limits the possibility of what they might encounter in the book. Example: This book is called Baby Panda, this story is about Baby Panda and Mother Panda, they are in the snow,  Mother Panda doesn't know where baby panda is and Baby Panda has tp be careful because it is dangerous in the snow. 

During the reading, having a children reading, listening to each child at different stages and supporting them in their decoding. 

Middle level and above: Orientation might be slightly lower and focuses a lot of prior knowledge and understanding of what they might encounter in the text. Planning the thoughtful questions throughout the text. Toni uses sticky notes throughout the book to link back to the learning intention throughout her reading. 

Hearing children reading is an important and tricky challenge for teachers. We know from research and for experience that the best way to understand how children decode is hearing them read. It has been noted well across the literature that round robin reading breaks up the way we read. Listening to children read can been done by everyone reading and listening in or tapping to get children to read aloud. In unison reading is still useful.  

We want to provide a safe, support environment for reading in which every child can tackle the book at their own pace. 

With a larger group it can be ideal to move around the groups, this means you can hear the children well and really see their decoding. 

Monday, 12 October 2020

Words are a huge part of reading

 This year my inquiry focus has been on reading and trying to accurate reading learning for children who we reading below their chronological age. 

I have made a number of changes in my teaching ready for term 4 building in the changes I made earlier in the year. 

Towards the end of term 3 I finally had a chance to test the children 1-1 on their sight words. I expected this to be a significant challenge for the learners in my target group but was surprised that for the most part sight word knowledge sat at normal level. They knew sight words up to their current reading level. There were a view gaps that I will not more specifically in a future post. 

Given this new information I started asking if its not sight words which I still could be as they need the next set to progress forwards what is it? 

We have continued to us the Dr Gwyneth Phillips work around picking up the pace in literacy and I do believe that systematic use of these has supported reading however I still asked what am I missing. 

This is when I started thinking more about Phonics. We do phonics in context in our guided reading programs but that doesn't see to be enough. I started looking at the errors children reading between level 3 and 20 were making and so much of it came down to phonological knowledge. For example children were saying single letter sounds not blends, or mixing up vowels in the middle of words. 

I have taught for almost 5 years now and have not at this stage implemented a systematic phonics program. 

So given what I have found out what next:

Every day in Room 21 we do hand writing in the morning. Now I am going to use the more systematic phonics approach to this. I am drawing on the resources from the site progressive phonics who provide a step by step phonics program for free. I choose this as it allowed me to start at the Intermediate level in which they have a strong focus on blends and use poems, flash cards, games and more to learn blends and words in order. 

I still have a lot to do and the year is drawing to a close. perhaps phonics will be the missing piece that helps these kids to start to fly in their reading. I sure hope it is. 

I have also started to provide even more milage. Milage is something I know works to build fluency, word knowledge and over all reading ability. In order to do this each day I have had a buddy reading book along side the teacher supported book. 

My hope is that this will combat some of the effects of the two lockdowns. 

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Incredible bloggers

This year has been a year of challenge and difference for us all. One thing that has amazed me has been the volume of quality blog post shared by our year 3 and 4 learners. 

Yesterday in our Google Meet we took the opportunity to share some of the amazing work children had been doing. 

These 9 learners have smushed the number of blog post they did last year. Many of them have blogged over 100 blog post this year. 

Cayden today blogged his 200th blog post for the year. 
Why am I sharing this. You know the saying it takes pressure to make diamonds. While the pressure of learning differently has allowed many of our learners to step up and shine and I am so proud of them. 

Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Hapara Certified Champion

Becoming a Hapara Certified Champion has been a goal of mine for a while. In fact I started the course last year but sadly could not complete it due to other commitments. 

This time around I was determined to do my best and show what I know about Hapara while hopefully learning some new tips and tricks along the way. 

I found the course very good and learned a lot of cool tips and trick while reminding myself about the power of this platform for support student learning and increasing visibility for teaching and learning in the classroom. 

I found it interesting learning more about workspaces as these are something used more at often in Manaiakalani high schools. Create my own workspace was a lot of fun and made we think about elements I could be adding my own site design. 

I want to give a huge shoutout to the Hapara team especially Randy Fairfield for all his support and positive feedback during this course. I really think that is one of the things that sets this course apart from other free professional learning you have a mentor guiding you as you develop your skills and Randy was excellent reaching out with offers of help at every stage and letting me work at a pace that worked for me. 

This is not an advertisement for the course but rather a reflection on my learning but might I just say if you have not done this course and you use Hapara teacher dashboard, I so recommend it. 

It feels great to finally have taken the time to do this and to be able to proudly say "I am a Hapara Champion Educator!" 

Level 3- Here we go again

The speed at which we returned to level 3 and staying at home this time was much faster than last time. 

We learned in the evening and the very next day by lunch time we were at Level 3 and standing up our Online learning platform again. 

I know for me I learned a lot from the first lockdown and this made it much easier to transition back into online learning. 

We also still had our online learning page set up and were ready to go with a template for what the learning design should look like. 

So what was different this time. We started out with very low attendance on our Google Meets with many children perhaps choosing to take a break or unable to access devices as we had a limit time to get them out to children. 

As we moved into the first full week attendance increased and by the second week I had 50% of my class attending Google Meets or blogging. 

As a result of this I felt it was important to offer more learning opportunities. This lead to Workshops which I ran in addition to our class Google Meets. These focused on one of the learning areas and expanded on the ideas covered in the Google Slide and rewindable teacher video. 

You can see one of these in this Class Onair lesson. 

One thing I found interesting is the confidence we all have gain through this experience to speak up and share in an online forum such as Google Meet. Reflecting on this I though what a life skill this is for the learners who have been engaging. 

I am still very concerned for learners who I have not seen engaging in online learning but am comforted by the fact that I have had contact with most families over the phone and they discussed options for their child and their learning if they can not get online. 

While this time is challenging and I know both I and my class would rather be at school learning together, I have seen great value in this time. I have learned to structure my lessons differently to include the value of playing games. I have begun to think more about how I can bring Google Meets back into the classroom so that all learners gain the value of learning to engage in this way. I have seen how conversation and breaking down of task can change the way a child looks at challenge problems. 

I am a learner! and this lockdown has taught me a lot.

Collecting data to show change

Describe how you will collect information about the implementation of your changed practices/intervention (so it is clear what you doing differently) 

Identify informal & formal ways you are monitoring the effects of your changed practices/intervention on learner outcomes.  Explain the reflections and tweaks you are making along the way (Don’t wait to the end of your inquiry cycle and find it didn’t work)

As a teacher and an inquirer I always have a plan. However I often find little goes the way I have planned no matter how hard I try. This year so far has been a model of that even though I have tried so hard not to let it be. 

With the World wide Covid 19 Pandemic and Alert levels 3 and 4 making things more challenging I have found it especially hard to stick to my plan and collect data about the small and large changes I have made to my practice. 

This blog post however reflects back on what tangible changes have been made so far and what I plan to do next as I look into reading and accelerating it.  

So what was/is my plan for how I will collect data and what has and hasn't gone to plan so far. 

My plan this year revolved around a number of check points. 

1: Every 2 weeks read 1-1 with students in my target group making  detailed notes about what they are and are not doing to develop specific measurable goals for teaching next steps. 

2: Collect student voice 3 times a term starting in term 3 and look at what they stay about students reading a long side teacher notes. 

3: Conduct a high frequency word reading test twice a term and see what changes have occur in knowledge of students. 

4: Video record teaching every 3 weeks to see what has changed in teacher and student actions. 

5: Video student independent work to see what has changed in activities and learners interaction with these. 

6: PM kit running records and notes on these as required to move children forward. 

Describe how you will keep a record of each of the above in a manageable way (‘cos you won’t otherwise remember all your many micro-decisions and why you made them). 

Data will be record and stored my my inquiry data spreadsheet and shared as it is collected here on my blog. Each piece of data will be display different depending on what it is. 

Survey data will be display as seen in this post.

Student reading notes like these. 

Student running record data like this. 

Videos of reading will be edited and reflected on student needs and growth and teacher strategies used. And is likely to be displayed like this. 

High frequency word test will be displayed as a table similar to Reading notes. 

So what has a relativity been so far. 

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Inquiry intervention

What micro changes have I made in my teaching so far:
time for a change, new ways, letters, words, font, saying, text ...
Listening to children more one on one
This year I have made a point of listening to children reading below their chronological age one on one at least once a week. This allows me to give them specific feedback and more importantly positive encouragement. It also allows me to see needs that I could not see in a small group. 

Independent reading time
Every afternoon after lunch, I have independent reading time for my whole class. This is 10 to 30 minutes depending on focus and need of time for children to read books themselves. These range from readers, to picture books, to chapter book and non fiction books. I do limit this to physical books to support focus. In reading time children have access to digital books but during this time the focus is on reading physical books of choice. Children have suggest they like this time. I use this time to check in on my target group and listen to them one on one. 

Sight word teaching and games:
I have become much more specific in my sight word teaching. Using 1/3 of each group session to look at words. This can range for words in content, topic specific words to word families and sight words. I still have a lot of work to do in this area but have made a good start always writing words on the table. Next I want to capture this in a rewindable way so that children can go back to it. I have also introduce sight word games like jenga, sight word snap, memory and more. I want to introduce more games and get children developing their own games. 

Looking at the books closely:
I have started looking at the books closely and looking for books that provide more challenge like the ready to read books and sunshine books over the PM books. I have been careful in my selection to provide books they have not seen over and over. 

Monday, 10 August 2020

Create Staff Meeting

Today we have a cluster wide Manaiakalani Create Staff Meeting. I am lucky to be presenting with Angela Moala. We are sharing ideas for coding with Codey Rocky Robots.  

Friday, 7 August 2020

Theory of action

  Restate your inquiry question and your theory of action/chain of events (WFRC#11)

My inquiry question for 2020 is:

Will increase discussion between learners and deliberate acts of teaching vocabulary improve achievement across multiple curriculum areas?

My Theory of Action:

For a number of year we have been discussing what is holding learners back from making progress in multiple curriculum areas simultaneously. While student have been making great gain throughout Manaiakalani in writing we still have not found a way to consistently accelerate maths and reading. My concern is that students are not moving as fast as they need to achieve accelerate progress  to reach their chronological age in reading and maths. As this is a huge challenge I have decided to focus in on reading achievement for my inquiry and adjust my math teaching based on our whole school professional learning.

 In reading I have noticed a number of challenges. Firstly student often struggle with decoding and I have been using targeted prompting to help children notice and fix mistakes. Vocabulary is a huge gap and something we have talked about a lot. Due to this challenge I have been making note of challenging words and discussing them with with the learners. What I would love to do next is make this rewindable for the learners. I have also been implementing more opportunities to read during increasing the number of guided texts and providing independent reading time each day. This week introduced sight word games into my program for all groups reading below their chronological age. 

The reasons why I think these changes in my teaching will be effective to my learners are because they created a more well rounded reading program that address phonic, mileage, decoding strategies and provides more opportunities to talk about more texts. This is what is recommended in the literature I have read. 

Monday, 3 August 2020

Looking closely at reading behaviours

Over the last two weeks we have been looking closer at learners in our class who struggled with decoding. 

I took a number of opportunities to listen to children individually in order to see what they do without their peers to listen to and copy. 

I looked at my inquiry target group. 

This is what I learned: 

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Getting Started with position and orientation

We have had so much fun over the past two days jumping into the site that we received from our student teachers.

We started by looking at prepositions through a Kahoot, Drag and Drop prepositions activity and movie making.

I have loved every minute of teaching this unit so far and the kids feel the same. Please check out this blog post to see what the kids had to say.

What we liked most was that every video the student teachers made connected so well to the learning task. They had a clear understanding of what the class need and made it fun and exciting.

Our first thoughts on the site:


Prepositional language:

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Summary of my teaching strength and next steps

Write a reflection in which you summarise your main learning about your teaching and next steps. This will prepare you to design an intervention next time. (WFQ 10)

What have I learned about my strengths?
From all the data I have gather it is clear that one of my teaching strength in reading is getting children excited to and wanting to read. Even my target group who struggle with reading for the most part love doing it. Only one children said he didn't like it and I suspect this is due to not doing it regularly enough to gain enjoyment from it. 
I also feel Mileage is a strength but an area I can continue to work on. The children did feel listen to and that they had an opportunity to talk and I noted that I often use why questions during lessons. This I feel is a real positive and was an area I might have jumped to as a need when perhaps it is not. 

Next steps:

Sight words and building word knowledge. I really feel from this data that words are the gap, the sticking point and an area I should be able to change quickly and with thoughtful planning maintain. I think part of this is text selection and being clear on why I am choosing not just one book but a series of books. 

I also need to think about the talking that is happening in groups. Is it all Me to the children and them back like I saw in the video. If so how can I change this? or is this what it should be? What is the best use of this limited group time? I noticed kids were not asking questions. What is the impact of this? Is a question I will be asking and researching moving forward. 

I have already made changes in my teaching to adjust for some of these learning but I have many more to make if I want to really fill the gaps and make a meaningful difference in reading achievement. 

Monday, 29 June 2020

A gift for me and Room 21

This term I have had the wonderful privilege of working with Debbie, Karen, Aamel and  Lucy during their two week online practicum.

From the moment we first met on Google Meet I could tell they were a hard working bunch of ladies who were eager to learn all they could on their journey to becoming incredible teachers.

On Thursday the 25th of June at 2:35pm just after saying Good Afternoon to my outstanding year 3/4 class I open my emails and ran full of excitement to show my Co-Teacher what my student teacher had created.

In just two weeks they had clearly taken all we had talked about, looked closely at my class blog, the learners blogs and the curriculum and this had lead to a very special and exciting gift not only for myself but for the learners of Room 21.

This site aptly named Maths Fun, is a sequence of learning for the topic of position and orientation. From the moment I opened the first page I was filled with excitement for what the learning would look like in my classroom. Like I said to the training teachers "I am in love with what you have created!"

Here are the reasons why:
The home page has the cutest  introduction videos from each of them really letting the learners see who made this for them. 
The topic of the site is clearly introduced. 
They have used Kahoot, which they knew from discussion is engaging and exciting for my class. 
The topic is broken up into clear parts which would make up lessons or week long units. 

Each topic is engaging with awesome activities such as battleship, find the Pokemon (using the children's own creations), Movie making with positions and a Quiz about directions in our very own school. It is clear to see real thought has been put into this. 

I want to once again thank these wonderful training teachers for their hard work. I can't wait to test out this amazing site with my class and I am sure they will love it as much as I do. 

I will share how it goes later this week. 

Online Student Teachers

Ever since my first day in the classroom I have waited eagerly for the day I would be able to have my own student teacher.

I guess this is because of all the amazing Associate teachers I had and the many mentors who have supported me since then. Looking back I know that each one of those people gave me a gift. From all I have gain curriculum, from some I learned patience from others I learned to have high expectations and from all I learned to be a teacher is so many other ways.

So when the opportunity arose to be an online Associate Teacher for the group of training teachers in the graduate program I literally jumped for joy. This was it, my chance to give back the gift so many wonderful teacher had given me. Little did I know that I would get a much greater gift from my student teacher than I could ever give them.

Before our first meeting I emailed the training teacher to set up a time and shared with them this video that the children in room 21 helped me to create to give the teachers a feel for our classroom.

This movie is movie is just for your Debbie, Karen. Aamel and  Lucy.

Only moments after I sent the email I had response and the lovely ladies had commented on our blog.

Only a few days later we met on Google Meet for the first time. Our meeting was a whirlwind of ideas, information and conversation.  I tried my best to collate all we talked about into a Google Doc so that they could refer back to it. I also gave them their task description, as these student teachers could not be with us in person they were asked to look through the kids blogs, comments and collaborate to create a set of learning activities to meet the students needs.

I asked for, During level 2 we look at position and orientation. This proved to be a challenge for the children. They struggled with the vocabulary of position: in front, behind, beside, under, over etc North, South, East, West and so on. They began using grid coordinates and needed more work on this. It would be great if they could have a learning experience using a range of positional language and working with grid coordinates. This will be with the learner in my class working at and above a year 3 level.

From this we discuss them each taking an area and creating a task for the learners. We talked about games as a way of engaging the children. We talked about the interests of the kids and how these can be motivating factors in learning.

During the two weeks the training teachers had to create their learning activities I had a range of questions from them. However these questions for the most part were content and learner focused and not digital skill focused like I had expected.

Reflecting back I remember 3 days before our second meeting feel concerned that I had not supported them enough when I heard other teachers talking about their training teachers asking for digital support.

What I learned was that if they had needed it they would have asked but they like any great team had been drawing on the resource of each other, the internet and the university and had save only the questions about my learners that no one else could answer for me.

The site they create is exceptional and therefore deserve a blog post all of its own. I feel so privileged to have had three amazing student teacher, who are self driven, hard working, thoughtful teachers  already. They have shown me they take children learning seriously and what to use all they know about a group of children to create content that inspire and challenges them.

Thank you so much Debbie, Karen. Aamel and  Lucy for inspiring me with your passion and commitment to children's learning. 

Friday, 26 June 2020

Student Voice- What we say about reading and the teaching of reading.

Present findings from this inquiry about your teaching. Ensure qualitative data includes rich descriptions of your teaching and quantitative data is clearly presented. (WFQ 9)

I conducted a survey for two reasons. One I wanted to gain some student voice on how they felt about reading and their own strengths and areas of need. I also wanted to see what they had to say about my teaching strengths and needs.

It was interesting to see what they had to say. Here is a link to the survey
1.I like reading..
Scale of 1-5 Not at all - it is my favourite
2.What I find hard in reading is...
3.How many books do you read in a day?
4. How often do your teachers listen to you read?
5. I get to talk about my book
Scale of 1-5 Never-Always
6. My teacher helps me practice new words
7. I can ask questions about my book....

Here is what each of the 8 student here on the day of the survey said. 4 children were alway and I will add their data on as soon as possible and 1 child has left the school and therefore is no longer in my target group. 

Summary of results:

Question One: This question asked about attitude toward reading. Mostly they had very positive attitudes toward reading with many saying it was their favourite thing to do. This did not surprise me as even though they struggled they always try so hard and get read every opportunity they have.
One children put 1, I ask why he said "It is hard."

Question Two: All children stated they found new words hard. Many said accurate reading without stopping. Interestingly using the pictures was challenging for some as was talking about the book. Most felt they understood the stories well.  

Children said they read 1-3 books a day. I feel this could be increased more to get more mileage. Perhaps a question about where they read might help paint a picture of how to increase this. Children all said they read to their teacher 3-5 or more times a week. This means I am getting the group coverage that I need.

Most children felt they got to talk about the book a lot however I cam concerned that there is not equity in this. One child feels like she never gets a turn to talk and this worries me. Asking questions is something they feel they get to do less, however this is much more regular than I expected based on my observation and teacher notes. 

This graph is the most interesting to me as it shows wide inconsistency between kids. It does not suggest if this word work is new sight words or topic specific words. Perhaps adding a question about practicing small words I know would help to understand this better. 

From this I am sure I need to work on this area in my teaching more. 

Thursday, 11 June 2020

Self study- Reading site review

Ready to read | Learning from home
Present findings from this inquiry about your teaching. Ensure qualitative data includes rich descriptions of your teaching and quantitative data is clearly presented. (WFQ 9)

In this reflection on my teaching I looked at 2 books for each of my three reading groups that make up my target learners for this inquiry. The group in made up of children reading below Green (Level 12, reading age 6 years). I looked at the word count for each book. Main sight words, main topic specific words and made a judgment on overall change. As they are all levelled texts challenge is some what obvious but this gave me a better picture of my text selection early in the year. 

The reading colour wheel |
Rowing (Red, reading age 5.3 years)
Books 1, I like worms (Sunshine classics)
Word count: 86
Sight words: I, like, for, and, in, my, a 
Sample of topic specific words: worms, lunch, tea, skinny, soup, pizza. 

Book 2: Kitty Cat (PM)
Word count: 57
Sight word: here, is, a, look, at, comes, the. 
Sample of topic specific words Kitty cat, hungry, butterfly, Lizard, Fat?, 
Word family at, cat, fat

Teacher notes stated "Students were excited to read." "They need a lot of prompting to fix errors." "They were not looking at beginning words of sight words and were guessing, until prompted." "They struggled with I like worms due to the increased difficulty of the vocab."

Rugby (Yellow, reading age 5.6 years)
Book 1 Mothers day (PM)
Word count: 118
Sight words: Look, at, my, said, will, where, are, the, they, here, like, in, is, I, am, and, up, a, for, he, day, dad, mum, 
Sample of topic specific words: Mother, card, Emma, pens, forgot, breakfast, tray. 

Book 2 The little car (PM)
Word count: 123
Key sight words: Back, come, his it, will
Other sight words: said, look, my, and, the, can, go, here, is, little, where, for, big, not, see, in, went, away. 
Sample of topic specific words: Rachel, Sam, car, green, leaves, garage. 

Teacher notes stated "Group have come back with more confidence and are attempting more words." "Need prompting to go back and fix mistakes." "One child really struggling with topic specific words, said bucket for bowl, need word on noticing middle letters." "Did not know the word was in Mother's day." "Need to word on word family ay, ake."

Surfing (Blue, reading age 5.9)

Book 1: Open your mouth (Sunshine)
word count 185
Sight word:your, the, big, said, to, little, I'm, going, you, a, an, little, and, some, is, it, or, no, come. 
Sample of topic specific words: cat, kitten, hen chick, puppy, dog, surprise, eyes, mouth, open, close, give. 

Book 2: The missing socks (Ready to reads)
Words count: 205
Sight word: was, for, his, and, but, were, the, on, dad, I can't, my, are, they, no, said, she, in, the, ask, have, you, look, looked, mum, saw, taken, ran, out, through, across, into. 
Sample of topic specific words: socks, Jack, Noodle, pounced, rugby, boots, bedroom, pulled, lounge. 

Teacher notes stated,  " they are struggling when they make errors to notice that it does not make sense." "Keep working on sight words and noticing as this is a real need."

Overall from this analysis what I have noticed are three main this:
1: There is a real difference between PM, Sunshine and Ready to reads at the same level, PMs have high sight words with limited topic specific, Sunshine have more equal sight word to topic specific and ready to read step up in complexity significantly. 

2: I am not very good at reflecting on specific word errors, sound errors and comp issues. My reflections are very general and lack the detail needed to really dive into changes and issues.

3: Sight words, sight words, sight words, this is a big issue for all group but I don't spend enough time on it. I also need to be more careful in my text selection to make sure this are covered. 

I also have a question for my self about text length. if 205 words is all they are exposed to is that enough? If I am not exposed to a year 3 text can I become a year 3 reader? or year 4 text and year 4 reader? What is the right level of challenge, independent and shared text for these kids and how often should they read them? 

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Reading about vocabulary.

Share three pieces of academic or professional reading and explain how they and other sources helped your form hypotheses about aspects of teaching that might contribute to current patterns of learning. (WFQ 7)
What every primary school teacher should know about vocabulary ...

Book: What every primary teacher should know about vocabulary, chapter 2 The nature of words. 

I read part of chapter two focusing on word frequency. 
What I learned from this section:
  • Having a estimate of the vocabulary size of the children is important. 
  • Knowing what words they need to know is important. 
  • Words are high frequency or low frequency in a text. 
  • Only seeing a word once and discussing it will not cause knowledge of a word
  • Children need repeated exposure to word to really know and understand them. 
  • Low frequency words can make understanding a text very challenging for learners. 
  • High frequency words must be learned before moving on to lower frequency words. 
  • Word family understanding can help children better understand words from root words, prefixes and suffixes. 
So what:
This book has so much in it I have to chunk it into very small parts to gain the value I need. From this section I have learned to think carefully about vocabulary. I adds to my understanding that the gaps in student knowledge may in fact relate to high frequency words/sight words. Will plugging these gaps cause the shift I want in reading? Is there more to this problem? What is the best way to teach sight words? Is it root, in context or some other way I am yet to think of? 

What is the best way to develop wider vocabulary knowledge in literacy? Are these learners ready for that? What will have the biggest impact now without effecting the current high levels of motivation?