Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Through the Eyes of a Child: A Success Story

This year, I have been inquiring into extending prior knowledge and critical thinking, while promoting dialogic conversations when working with Year 4 students who are reading At/Above their grade level.

One of the students in my class, ended the school year in 2016 with a reading age of 8 years.  This put her "at" the National Standard for Year 3, but it placed her in my middle group for term 1.  This was the group that was working with a very basic version of reading wider and deeper into our cluster wide Inquiry Te Taiao o Tamaki.

However, as the term progressed, it was evident that this beautiful girl was ready to take control of her learning and she was one of the very first to begin working on her assignments from a home computer at night and on the weekends.

As a class, we began reading a few times a week from chapter books, and sharing short summaries on our blogs.  I did not focus on the actual writing of the summary, but really just wanted to get them sharing and talking about what they were reading.  I believe having the freedom to share has helped her discover her own voice when sharing.

As term 2 rolled around, and our beginning of the year testing results came out, she showed tremendous growth, and began reading with the group that was my CoL focus group.  She immediately was able to jump right in and it only took a few weeks to get her to begin talking and sharing her ideas with the rest of the group. This is one area that she has grown tremendously in this year.  

Her progress has continued to be seen in class on a daily basis, and she has become one of the leaders in my focus group...even though she is not part of the actual "focus group of 7."

When looking at her testing data, it is quite interesting to note that she had the exact same Scale Score (33.8 +/- 4) at the beginning and the end of the year, and her STAR Scale Score only increased slightly (from 89.2 +/- 4.5 to 89.9 +/- 3.6).  However, her Running Record Reading Age has increased from 8 years at the end of 2016 to 10.5 years at the end of Term 3 2017.   

She has made 2.5 years accelerated shift in her reading age!

While I am celebrating this, I am also considering some key areas of growth that she will need to continue in as she progresses through to Year 5 next year.  

*Continuing to increase in her confidence when sharing what she has read with others.  
*Making connections across texts and looking deeper into a subject when more clarification is necessary (or personal intrigue prompts)
*Confidently sharing her opinion on a subject and backing it up with related information from within a text. 

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