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.