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.  

Professional Reading: The Reading Book

 I started my professional reading looking back at the reading book to understand what the key ideas behind vocabulary instruction are and what might fit with the needs of my learners. 

"The more words students know, the easier it will be for the to comprehend what they read"

This book talking about a vocabulary program and suggests that these for elements are needed in order for students to have comprehensive vocabulary to support reading. 

  1. Word consciousness
  2. Learning/teaching of individual words
  3. Learning/teaching of word-learning strategies
  4. Planning and encouragement that leads to independent reading
So what does this mean for my inquiry: 
This reading provided some good points to consider as I move into increasing vocabulary in my inquiry. As a teacher I feel individual word teaching is a strength of mine and something I do regularly. What I now need to work on is building learners interest in words and increasing their excitement more unpacking what they mean and connecting words in word webs. 


Wednesday 26 May 2021

Collecting data Listening to reading

In order to gain a better idea of what children would do when the came across challenging vocabulary in texts I used the ARBs task The lion and the Monkeys. This task uses the text:  The Lion and the Monkeys,  School Journal, Part 1, No 1, Learning Media, 1987.

This task is at Level 2 of the curriculum and has a focus on vocabulary: The words in the text include: claws, finger nails, shiny, long, teeth, piano keys, clean, white, strong jaws, cheeks, yellow, soft, sharp ears, tufts, stroked, fast leg, silly, paws, furry, cuddly, cruel, roar, purr, warming gentle, cage. 

Question: What does the reading tell me about learner vocabulary and reading ability? 

During reading children often stopped at these topic specific words. Some had trouble decoding them which I expected give this text was slightly above their instructional level. Others were unsure of the meaning. When discussing the text with the children they noticed that their were many words they didn't know what they meant. 

What does this tell me? 

  1. One, decoding and vocabulary understanding are not separate for these learners. 
  2. Children need vocabulary not just for topic specific no fiction texts but across fiction texts also. 
  3. They need strategies

    to figure out what new vocabulary means.   

Sunday 23 May 2021

Collecting Data Picture Vocabulary

During my data collection phase I talked with my CoL colleagues and they suggested that will early data pointing towards a need in vocabulary some data on oral language might help to understand the challenges for students in their learning. 

For this task I asked students to tell me what they noticed in the picture in as much detail as they could. 

What I noticed:
  • Children trended to state what the could see with little or no descriptive language. 
  • Some descriptive words were used including, swirly, beautiful, colourful, windy. GL used the words old fashioned and asked questions. 
  • BJ talked about the thing that attracts internet. This was a good example of missing vocabulary. 
  • GA4 described things as big, short, colourful and beautiful. 
What questions do I have:
  1. How do I build the vocabulary needed to talk in detail?
  2. What vocabulary is most critical to help students read across the curriculum?
  3. How can I developed students ability to build vocabulary knowledge independently? 

Friday 21 May 2021

Student Voice

As part of my data collection, I sat down with 8 students from my target group to gain a better picture of their feelings about reading and what they saw as their strengths and needs. 

Below you will find their responses to a range of questions about reading. 

What was interesting about this data was: 
  • 7/8 students mentioned that they found words challenging with most making references to not knowing what they meant. 
  • All students shared positive view and attitudes towards reading. 
  • Most of the children talked about positive home reading experiences happening weekly with 2 making connections to special texts relating to their families. 
  • One student asked that I read to them more often, another stated she wanted me to explaining the words and text ideas in detail to them. Others mentioned helping them with word knowledge and breaking up words to understand them. 
What trends to I notice:
  1. Children have a positive attitude towards reading. 
  2. Children are aware that they have a challenge around vocabulary. 
What questions does this raise fro my inquiry: 
  • How can I use the childrens' positive attitudes to build vocabulary? 

Monday 3 May 2021

Preliminary findings

Begin to collect evidence and data  and come to the next session ready to share your preliminary findings about the nature and extent of the student challenge i.e. using your baseline student data and evidence. 

Before reading this post I suggest you look back at a pervious post I wrote about the Catalytic Issue as I look back at progress in reading made by my target learners in their reading journey so far at Pt England School. 

As a start to understand my data I looked closely at PAT and STAR data. What I noticed was across my target learners their was very little variation when it came to over all achievement. Children in my target group had a star scale score of between 32-59 points, giving them a Stanine score of 1 or 2 against the end of year norm. 

Star Test Data

From looking closer at this Star Test data it was clear that students struggled with vocabulary which asks children to identify a synonym for a give word. Children in my target group all got less than 4/10 questions correct in this area. This poses a question around students wider word knowledge which, I now want to collect more data about. 

PAT Reading Comprehension Test Data

The PAT reading test showed similar but different result from the star with students in my target group scoring a scale score of between 2.6 and 18.1 with stanines ranging fro 2-4 with most children scoring a stanine 3. What I noticed when diving deeper into these score was that students did not have one text type they scored well on it tended to be one question for each text they got correct. From this I wonder if the vocabulary in a range of text types played a role in their comprehension? I also wonder what exposure they have had to a variety of text types. 

Running records

After doing a running record on each child in the group I found that many moved up a level more more during term 1. With one student moving up a year in term 1. From looking closely at the running records it was clear that the main error in decoding which they struggled was the topic specific language. Errors were not made on sight words or those easily decoded but tended to be on words that needed context to fully understand. For many of this group they still understood the text and were able to answer literal comprehension questions some struggled with the inferential questions. 

While there is still more data to analyse and doors to look behind the door that stands out for me from this findings is a need for vocabulary to be front and centre of my inquiry and perhaps exposure of a wider range of texts within a shared context. 

I am still working on building a more qualitative picture through the collection of student voice and more anecdotal data.