Monday, 20 February 2017

Spark Manaiakalani Innovative Teacher

Today was our first day meeting as the Spark Manaiakalani Innovative Teacher (MIT) cohort.  We had a wonderful day meeting together at the Spark building in Auckland, NZ sharing what we have defined as a problem that we are going to inquire into.  We also spent some time identifying possible hypotheses as to why this is a problem area for our students.

Problem Defined:
How can we extend prior knowledge and critical thinking in an effort to promote dialogic conversations in year 4 students who are reading at/above grade level?

Possible Hypotheses:
Students have not been given the freedom (in earlier years) to explore further on their own into aspects of their text/topic that spark interest.
  • Students are not equipped with how to further explore a topic of interest from their text.
  • Students need to be taught how to manage their time appropriately in order to complete learning tasks.
  • Teachers are not definite on when to shift the focus of learning from decoding to reading for content and formulating deeper understanding from exposure to multimodal texts.
  • Teachers are afraid of the time commitment needed in order the plan for extended reading lessons that go deeper for understanding.  
  • Teachers are unsure where to look for age appropriate reading material.

Planned Innovation:
What would be the best way to compile a cross-cluster database to house texts linked by topic according the reading level?

Evidence of Need:
According to the Wolf Fisher Research Centre, our students learn by talking about what they are learning (dialogic conversations).  These conversations are mostly effective when students have a deeper understanding of a topic from being exposed to multimodal texts.  

Data Gathered:
  • Student PAT and STAR results-Nov 2016 
  • Student PAT and STAR results-Feb 2017
  • Running Records-Nov 2016 
  • 2016 Teacher OTJ-Reading
  • Reading previous student Blog posts 
  • In class micro group discussions

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