Tuesday, 23 October 2018

CoL PD: Dr. Jannie van Hees

At times, with our kids so engrained in the online digital world, we can easily overlook the complexity of the language they are being exposed to. Vocabulary can become challenging, complex and have high meaning-high carrying demands for our students. It is important to look at the 'meaning-making demand' when looking at the kinds of texts our kids are looking at in the digital world.

This is very beneficial to use when working with students in a wider/deeper reading format (similar to what I was inquiring into in 2017).  The ability to teach students to rise above and persevere especially when reading at a higher level is invaluable.

Janni also led us through an activity that could be easily adapted to any grade level.  She used the theme of her grandma's birthday and had many cards made up with phrases on them that could be grouped into various themes, put together to tell a story, and/or read aloud by students. Janni talked about the importance of having the kids use the activity set multiple times during the week and for different purposes each time. This will allow students to spend time discussing different phrases each day, which will ultimately provide students with vocabulary acquisition on the provided topic.

Image result for kids talkinge

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Low Floor/High Ceiling in Literacy

As part of our DMIC professional development, we have been discussing a low floor (easy on ramp for our students who struggle)/high ceiling (a way to extend those who are ready to go further) concept when planning for our weekly maths tasks. It has been proposed that we should be doing something similar when working with our students in literacy as well.  After spending some time thinking about what this might look like in literacy, I have decided to try some things out this term.

For example, one of my reading groups was asked to read the text "Idea City" prior to meeting with me to read aloud and discuss.  Their independent assignment required them to gather some basic information from the text and then explore another website to select an artwork of their choice to describe and recreate. This allowed for students to independently explore NZ mural art as an immersion task during our first week of our Art focus term. It was my hope that students would make connections with the mural art around the country and the mural art in their own community.  

Going into week 2, students will continue to look at NZ wall Murals and those who are fast finishers will be asked to complete an Advice blog (format created by Matt Goodwin) as the 'High Ceiling" task.

As the term progresses, and into the 2019 school year, it is my goal to explore adequate low floor/high ceiling activities for my literacy students.

**Please note: This reading task was over the course of two weeks due to a already shortened week 2, which also included our end of the year writing assessment.