Connecting with Manaiakalani
We live in a very digital world. We need to acknowledge where our students come from and understand that reading is a very important part of that journey. We were future focused and the teachers designed the foundation of Manaiakalani around literacy. In order to access the whole curriculum, we needed to pour into all age levels and learning levels to make a concentrated difference in literacy. In the digital world, while we focused on what we were teaching, there needed to be a really strong and robust reason behind it. In the beginning, we had literacy cycles designed by the teachers and schools to effectively teach literacy. We now have the “Pillars of Practice” that we use to teach reading across Manaiakalani. It was easy to determine that the way to “hook” students into reading was to dangle the “hook” in front of them to become creative (sometimes on a digital platform). In the teaching and learning chunk, students were given an opportunity to create and then an opportunity to share their creation with others. Learn, Create, Share evolved very quickly after this. The PES podcast about what students were reading emerged from the teachers in 2005 realising that their students were not engaging in reading for enjoyment.
Have our kids had the end to end experience to read five chapter books purely for enjoyment? This seemed to be the magic number before students stopped caring about the podcast and started to care more about finishing and getting to their next reading adventure.
Listening to Dorothy always provides me with such excitement to be part of the Manaiakalani story. Knowing where are students were, and where we are now provides so much insight into the little things that we can (and should) be doing in our Manaiakalani classrooms on a daily basis.
Formative and Summative assessments are both important in determining our students’ overall progress and next steps. What can we do with this data to determine the next steps for our students in the most effective way? Taking a measure (observation or formally) and how are we going to act on that measure and also how are we holding ourselves accountable to the shift that has been made. These can both be used at the end of the year to set formative goals moving forward.
Keeping Track of our Readers & Using Assessments to Appropriately Plan
We were able to spend some time exploring the PAT Reading Comprehension results of our focus group. Using this data, I was able to determine that the students in my focus group all struggled with the poetry questions. As a result, I have decided to focus my next steps on poetry.
The specific Learning Intentions that I am going to use are:
-Draw conclusions and get meaning when reading
-Identify and discuss text features
-Interpret figure language
The success criteria for this that I have decided upon is:
-determine the main idea of a poem
-recognise similes and metaphors
-To be co-constructed by the students
Developing Assessment Capable Learners using Learning Intentions and Success Criteria.:
I really enjoyed the short chalk talk session on Learning Intentions and Success Criteria. Sometimes, I am still struck with something that throws me a little bit after being trained, and spending the first eleven years of my teaching career, in a different country. Not to say I haven’t been using WALT’s (or Learning Intentions) while teaching here, but I don’t think it’s ever been something I have felt completely confident in creating myself. I think I have pulled bits and pieces together from teachers that I have collaborated with in the past, but since everyone has their own spin to things I’ve just never felt 100% confident that what I have used has been correct. Today’s session just filled in a few small gaps in my own understanding when having ambitious outcomes turned into grouped learning intentions that are worded well. It was really good to hear that they should be written more generically to help with embedded learning that is easily transferred.
Today also clarified for me the purpose of success criteria in a lesson/learning task. I had to equate it to rubrics that I would have previously co-constructed with my class to score their writing or problem solving strategies. When writing success criteria it is important to remember:
Always provide exemplars first
To think Aloud and have students add/critique the criteria
Students don’t know what they don’t know
If you know where you want them to end up with the SC, overemphasise those points when discussing the exemplar during the lesson