Thursday, 19 November 2020

Bursts and Bubbles 2020

This year's Burst and Bubbles was a lot of fun. It was great to hear what everyone was doing and how the classroom pedagogy had changed due to the Covid restrictions we faced during the year. Please read my Burst and Bubbles report below or click here to see the video of my presentation.  

The catalytic aspect of student learning my inquiry focused on this year was
 providing opportunities for mathematical vocabulary acquisition to strengthen a student’s self-efficacy in maths.

I identified this as my focus when I noticed that many of my students were beginning to happily have dialogic conversations in literacy but were finding it difficult to carry that same level of conversation across to maths. Also, during my create based learning tasks students were asked to create videos of themselves discussing their thought process behind their problem solving strategies. Very quickly it became apparent that many students were unable to use the correct mathematical vocabulary when describing their solutions. 

To build a rich picture of my students’ learning I used PAT, strand based Easttle and GLOSS test results, personal observations/reflections, student voice surveys, and video recorded maths lessons and student interactions throughout the year.

The main patterns of student learning I identified in the profiling phase were that many of my students didn’t necessarily find maths difficult but they voiced that multiple step problems and the understanding of mathematical vocabulary were difficult. I soon realised that many of my low achieving students actually were able to complete the mathematical processes within an isolated step, but once the whole problem was put together or they were presented with an unknown mathematical term they shut off. 

My profiling of my own teaching showed that I had strengths in promoting a safe space for students to share their mathematical thinking even if that meant making a mistake.  My students indicated that I consistently provided ways for students to hear, understand and use new mathematical terms. But I felt my students would likely make more progress if I developed in my understanding of techniques used to teach mathematical terminology that would allow the opportunity for them to expand their abstract reasoning and move beyond basic operational problem solving.

The changes I made in my teaching were beginning each strand based unit with a “Diving Deeper” task that frontloaded students with definitions and examples of the mathematical terms that they would encounter during the course of the unit. I also began to insist that students used proper mathematical terminology when discussing their thought process. A basic (yet common) example would be saying, “I added 5 and 7” instead of “I plussed them.”  

The scholarly research (literature) that helped me decide what changes to make was a combination of scholarly articles, our own Pt England maths PD and discussions with other CoL teachers who shared their learnings from various professional development that they had attended. 

The easiest thing for me to change was the way that I was beginning each unit with a deep dive into the mathematical vocabulary for that particular strand.  However, the most difficult thing to change were the ideas I obtained from the scholarly literature that I had read. This was made difficult because of the changes in pedagogy we had to make in response to the various Covid levels and lockdowns. 

Overall I would rate the changes in student learning as decent for the type of year we have had.  The evidence for my rating is that 13/21 students who took the PAT test in both Terms 1 and 4 obtained the average yearly progress in their Scale Scores, not surprising is that the students who attended online distance learning and those who returned to school directly after each lockdown made the most progress. 

Friday, 23 October 2020

PES PD: Instructional Reading

 Today, the teacher's of Pt England spent some time in Professional Development discussing the reading research that has been compiled with our PAT data that shows that our students are still struggling to achieve at the national norm. We have been focusing on what we need to do as a school to help make accelerated progress in reading a natural occurrence for the students at our school.

An analysis of Year 8 poor comprehenders' responses to the PAT Reading  Comprehension Test

Shanahan & Shanahan Model of Literacy Development (2018): moving students from Basic Literacy (foundational) to Intermediate to Disciplinary Literacy (High School/NCEA). We do a great job getting the students to a Year 4 reading level but we are struggling to get our kids to that level of disciplinary literacy at an earlier age in order to shape their literary understanding at an appropriate rate. 

Today, we spent some time looking at Instructional Reading, while remembering the importance of vocabulary acquisition. 


Orientation/Introduction of the Theme/Hook them in - ignite curiosity

Early Years: Talking mainly about the theme of the book. Keeping it nice and tight giving them enough to get going.

Planning: Depending on the level, you may do a quick high frequency word quiz and quick read of a familiar/seen text or revisit something from the previous lesson. 

    -Make sure you have the norms set up and reviewed as needed at the beginning of your lessons

    -Provide them with a purpose for their reading before the start the text. It is important that students have a clear purpose for what they are reading so that they make a connection to the text instead of just reading to read. 

    -Discuss what we already know about the theme of the text in pairs. Then, listen to each other share and then the next person rephrase and add on to what was already said. 

        **You are the Prime Minister, what are you going to say about this problem to others?

Can butterflies hear? - Australian Butterfly Sanctuary

How do we hear kids?

    -Kids need to be comfortable and feel safe while being HEARD. Students need to be reading aloud to the teacher

   -Read to themselves and then tap in front of students to read aloud where they are so you are able to hear them and work with them individually

    -Older kids need remember their purpose for reading before starting and knowing what will be discussed after reading. Have them come into reading aloud when you tap them from where they are in the text and move on once you are ok with what they are reading.

Planning for instructional reading: Be sure to front load yourself with information about the topic/theme

    -Set the expectations up high. Encourage the kids through your launch about what the goals of the lesson are to promote student success. 

    -Don't focus on answering questions focus on the discussion about what they have read.  Thinking about why the author wrote the text

    -Be truthful about the concept that thinking is hard work. It is not an easy thing to do and we must work to be successful

Thursday, 22 October 2020

2020 Key Changes in Teaching

The Key Changes in ISO 13485-2016 

Summarise evidence about key changes in teaching and other factors that influence student learning. (WFRC ?15)

In order to summarise the evidence about key changes in my teaching and other factors that influenced student learning, I began reflecting on a blog post that I wrote in August entitled, "What Evidence?" In this post, I spent some time reflecting on the types of evidence that I hoped to collect when thinking about the types of. things that I could do as the teacher to influence the way that my students were learning.

1.  One of the key things that I changed in my pedagogy last year, was keeping very detailed DATs for reading. This year, I thought about how I was writing up my DATs and reflections in maths and what I could do to make them more effective for my time in the classroom. I tried my best to be purposeful in my planning for both whole class (especially from home during the lockdown and while at school during times of COVID restrictions) and small group interactions. I found it very helpful to keep detailed notes of students involvement, understanding, and next steps when reflecting on a lesson, especially with all the disconnect in student attendance this year.

2. Making a conscience effort to provide topic specific mathematical vocabulary for my students to think about and begin recognising at the beginning of a unit of learning provided many opportunities for students to hear the correct terminology and begin using it in their own mathematical conversations.  

3. I have also recorded some of my maths lessons this year and as a result I was able to hear the student interactions using proper vocabulary and correcting their peers with they used their maths slang. For example, many students say "Timesing" instead of "multiplying."  

4. A key change that I made in my teaching this year was definitely around best practise for effectively running an online Google Meet maths program to teach new concepts and vocabulary.  During our time in lockdown, my maths delivery changed as our time in lockdown progressed. I started out providing my students with very similar tasks to what we were doing before the lockdown. However, I slowly began to make changes to best suit the needs of my students. Some of these changes were discussed in these blog posts: Rethinking Lockdown Maths and "Equivalent Fractions".

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Thinking Ahead to 2021

Thinking Ahead - Home | Facebook

What achievement challenge are you considering as an area of focus in 2021 and why? Include in your WHY both evidence and your own passion/expertise.

The achievement challenge that I am considering for 2021 is:

Increasing the achievement in years 7-10 in maths, reading and writing.

I would want to focus on my reading pedagogy in response to the PAT data compiled by the school and collectively shared through the WFRC that shows while the students at our school are progressing in reading at a steady pace, we are still struggling to achieve or surpass the national norm. As a school, we have been working to create a common language of success for teaching our students who are learning to read and extending our students who are reading to learn.  I am really interested in inquiring into ways to increase student engagement in reading to learn. I often find that my students read because “the teacher said so.”  I want to open the doors of possibilities for the students to read because they want to.


What learnings from the 2017 - 2020 CoL teacher inquiries have informed or inspired your thinking.

I have been looking back at blog posts and over the past four years as a CoL Teacher I have really enjoyed the professional conversations I have had about our Inquiries with other CoL Teachers. Some of the key principles that I have picked up along the way are: being intentional about discussing student test results with the students and using those results as a springboard for goal setting, finding ways to make vocabulary acquisition and dialogic conversations a normal occurrence across the curriculum and promoting self efficacy to enhance student achievement. 


How would your work support Manaiakalani pedagogy and  kaupapa?

One of the ways that I would work to support Manaiakalani pedagogy is by using the technology affordances that we have in the classroom to open up doors of opportunity that would allow the students to explore the world outside of our own backyards. I am very interested in having my students explore topics of interest that could lead to me connecting them with experts in those fields using Google Meets for face to face interactions. Students could then take what they have learnt and create their own movies or even sites to share their new understanding with others. 


Which elements of the extensive Manaiakalani research findings inform or challenge you as you think about this?

I was really interested in what Naomi had to share with us at the last Manaiakalani staff meeting about Student Design for learning, while aiming for high leverage thinking practices (video/voice recordings) used to compare. I would love for students to create a tool (or set of tools) to be shared with others to learn about their topic of interest. A collection of these tools could be a launching pad for student led tasks in the future. 


How would you like to be supported in 2021 as you undertake this inquiry?

In 2021, I would like to be supported by hearing more from the WFRC and their ideas behind the concept of MAPIC that was presented during the Create cluster meeting. I would also love the opportunity to have more higher level professional development opportunities from the WFR Team about the types of things we could be trialing and implementing in our classrooms based on what they have seen working across our clusters and the country. 


How would you plan to support your colleagues in your school with THEIR inquiries and/or teaching in the area you are exploring?

I plan to continue supporting my colleagues with their inquiries and teaching in the area that I am exploring by providing detailed descriptions of my inquiry and findings on my blog and orally during our in school inquiry meetings twice a term. I will also continue to have discussions and offer my assistance to teachers across the school who have come to me for help or ideas based on something they have read on my blog. We also share regularly with our team of year ⅞ teachers the things that we are learning about during our CoL Meetings that pertain to the shift between years 8 and 9 and our daily teaching practise.

Thursday, 17 September 2020

Equivalent Fractions

Auckland is still at Level 2.5, which means the desks in my classroom are very spaced out with students remaining in their seats during the lessons.  We are currently not teaching in small groups, which means that I am teaching my maths class using a whole class approach. Keeping this in mind, I decided to try a more investigative approach to discovering equivalent fractions and I recorded this lesson for Manaiakalani Class On Air.

I decided it was important to start the lesson with a low "on ramp" and then progress through the mathematical stages building upon the knowledge that we had just gained (or reviewed for some). To read more about this lesson, check out my page on the Class on Air website here.  

This lesson was a fun way to have the students conduct an investigation to discover a mathematical concept. I feel that my students were able to grab onto the lesson from the beginning no matter their maths learning level and by the end of the lesson, all students were able to understand how to multiply the numerator and denominator by the same number to get an equivalent fraction.  I also realised that since each student had their own piece of paper, they were responsible for figuring out the new fraction. Since I was able to see them trying to figure it out, I was able to provide the correct amount of wait time for all students to be on the same page before moving on.

PES Reading Inquiry

This term, the teacher's at Pt England are continuing to focus on collaborating to achieve a common language for teaching reading. We are primarily focusing on our students reading from Blue to Gold on the NZ Colour Wheel (students reading reading from 6-8 years). 

At this time, we are focusing on "fixing" words that the students read incorrectly. We were asked to read with a focus group of students one on one and see how we could apply the fixing prompts to our reading session. 

I choose to read a page out of the text the students were reading for their learning task about Te Horetā and Captain Cook's encounter.  I found it very interesting that I had multiple students replace the word "cloak" with "clock".  It was interesting when I used the "finding" prompt:

You said "They sat closely together on the deck, watching the men exchange flax CLOCKS for nails and other goods." Does that make sense to you? 

The students instantly knew that it didn't make sense so I moved on by saying, "Well, when you look at that word, you're right the beginning of clocks does have a "CL" blend just like the word on the page. If we take the CL off of the word in the text, do you know what it says?"

Both students were unable to read the word "OAK".  I then decided to move into other words that had the "OA" sound in it as it is used in cloaks. "Do you know any other words that have 'OA" in them=?"

The students were able to say "Boat"  

"Ok, if we take the sound that we hear in Boat and put that same sound in for oak
what do we have?"

We then went back and reread the sentence from the text and the students were able to properly read the word cloaks. They actually went back to their seats feeling very accomplished just from that small interaction.

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Hapara Certificate

Today, my certificate arrived from Hapara and the Champion Educators course that I completed during our second lockdown. This was such a great learning opportunity and I had so much fun finding out all the things that are available on Dashboard since the many upgrades it has had over the years. To read more about the course, check out my blog post here

Monday, 31 August 2020

Hapara Champion Educator

 Earlier this term, I decided to take part in the upcoming Hapara Champion Educator course in mid-August. Little did I know, at that time, that the six week course would begin the day after Auckland, New Zealand as placed back into Level 3 Covid-19 Lockdown. Once the course opened up, I began making my way through the first part of the course and decided very quickly that I wanted to use the time that I was given during lockdown to complete this course. I emailed my course facilitator and asked if I could please have the entire course workspace opened up for me to complete in my own time. 

Once the course was opened up, I began to make my way through the various levels and I was able to complete the majority of the lessons in a day or so. It was a great reminder of the amazing tools that we have at our fingertips everyday working with Hapara Teacher Dashboard. 

It was also wonderful to have the time while working from home, to investigate some of the elements that I haven't used as much while in school (many of which are updates that Hapara has added over the years).  It was amazing to know that while you were submitted the learning tasks, the facilitating team was working right alongside you providing you with feedback.

One of the things we had to do for the course was create a Hapara Workspace. I was excited to spend some time working with this space mostly because our cluster (where the Hapara Dashboard concept was birthed) has chosen to present our student work using Google Sites. Therefore, I decided that I wasn't going to create new content for my workspace task. I took some elements that my team of teachers created earlier this year as we studied Whare Tapa Whā before, during, and after the first NZ Lockdown. 

  If you would like to explore this further, please click here

A BIG THANKS goes to the teachers of Team 5 for the material I was able to easily use to create my workspace. It made me realise that in order to effectively plan out a workspace, it is very important to have your material all created and ready to go.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed exploring Hapara Dashboard more in depth and recommend the Champion Educators Course to anyone who is considering learning more about how to use this amazing classroom tool. I would also like to thank my course facilitator Scott Lewis for all of his support and amazing feedback during the course. I look forward to receiving my final comments and certificate in the next few weeks.

Thursday, 27 August 2020

Level 3...Again

 About two weeks ago, the students and teachers in Auckland, New Zealand began distance learning once again as our city was put back on a Covid-19 Level 3 Lockdown. However, the feelings and anxieties felt around going back into lockdown this time around were vastly different when it came to how we were going to set up and administer Distance Learning for our students. We have done it before, and we, as individual, a teaching team and a school, learnt so much from our successes and failures the during the first lockdown.

One of the things that we were able to begin much faster this time around was having our students attend Google Meets with their high school technology teachers. The students did a fabulous job adapting to this especially since they missed their last rotation with their technology teachers, and started the new rotation learning online in their new courses. We love knowing that the high school technology teachers are working from a department page for our students to access across the grade levels. 

Student names have been covered up in compliance with our Manaiakalani Cybersmarts curriculum which teaches students that they should not share their last name publicly online. 

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Blogger Badges

 I am so blessed to work in a Manaiakalani school, where we often hold cluster-wide Toolkits (Professional Development opportunities) that allow us to learn about various tools and resources that others have found beneficial when teaching with our Learn, Create, Share pedagogy. Since our cluster has started supporting "outreach" clusters over the years, we now have Online Toolkits available throughout the school year. 

Since we are all teaching from home right now (Auckland is at Level 3), our team leader suggested that we all sign up for a different Toolkit this week to share the learnings with our team. The Toolkit I signed up for is Creating Digital Badges for Blogger. I have wanted to do this for some time now, and this toolkit was the push I needed to start creating badges for my students.

I recently noticed that I have a student in my home class who has exceeded 200 blog posts this year alone (nearly 100 more than the majority of her peers). As a way to continue to push her further, and get other students to rise to the challenge for the remainder of the school year, I created a 250 Blog Posts badge.

The process was very simple once I got going, and I am happy to share what I have learnt if you are interested! Just comment below and I will happily get in contact with you.

Thursday, 13 August 2020

What Evidence?

*Describe how you will collect information about the implementation of your changed practices/intervention. (WFRQ? #12)

*Identify informal/formal ways you are monitoring the effects of your changed practices/intervention on learner outcomes. Explain the reflections/tweaks you are making along the way. (WFRQ? #13)

*Describe how you will keep a record of each of the above in a manageable way. (WFRQ? #14). 

It is important to remember that during the Inquiry process that you are ultimately looking at the things that YOU the TEACHER can do to make YOUR teaching practice more effective. 

The focus of my 2020 Inquiry is "How can providing opportunities for mathematical vocabulary acquisition strengthen a student’s self-efficacy in maths?" 

Although my intended route has been altered some due to the Covid-19 Lockdowns, and changes made in our school timetable as a result, I have been able to implement the following interventions in my teaching. Due to the nature of the questions asked by the WFRC, I decided it was best to link my responses in one blog post.

1. Very specific purpose to our whole class problem solving and small group micro teaching sessions. In my lesson plans (DATs), I try to specifically think about what I want to do with/focus on with each maths group prior to our problem solving sessions. In doing this, I am able to clearly know (and remain on task) with the mathematical concepts and vocabulary that I am trying to work on with that group of students. In addition to my actual DAT plan, I also keep rather in depth reflection notes often indicating where certain students have successes and failures, in addition to thinking about my next steps as a teacher. 

2. I started out the year, providing students with "A Closer Look" learning tasks. Before beginning a new section of a unit, I decided to try front loading the students with the vocabulary that they should know
(at Level 4) in order to be successful working on that specific topic. This is an idea that I based on the work we had done as a team last year with Dr. Jannie van Hees around Genomics and our Literacy program. Once students have had a closer look at this vocabulary, I plan my problem solving questions using these specific vocabulary words in a way that will get students using them as they discuss their problem solving strategy and solution. 

3. I have been capturing student voice, and my own teacher voice, through video recording our lessons and monitoring the amount of times students use, are prompted to use and I, as the teacher, use proper mathematical vocabulary. An example of this can be found on my blog post entitled, "Formative Assessment and Baseline Data"

4. The last thing I plan to do differently is implement the use of some strategies that I read about earlier this term: the Four Square and Feature Analysis approaches (as discussed here).  Unfortunately, I don't feel confident implementing these new strategies while we are Distance Teaching. My hope it to be able to implement the use of these strategies once my class is back in the classroom as a regular Level 2 class.  Students will be able to keep a personal record of these tasks on their class blogs. 

In order to keep a record of everything, I will be using student blog posts, reflection and DAT spaces on my weekly lesson plans, and learning tasks monitored and filed appropriately in my Google Drive. Student voice will be collected through student blog posts and in class videos that I record during specified lessons. Once I find something worth sharing, I will be publishing regular updates on my blog, which  provides a quick and reliable place to share change in my teaching and student shift data. I also keep regularly updated spreadsheets that monitor student shift (PAT, eAsstle, etc) and my own anecdotal notes on student progress. 

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Bitmoji Virtual Bookshelf

 Today, as part of the Maniakalani Create Clusterwide Staff Meeting, I attended a session run by two teachers from Glenbrae School about Virtual Bookshelves. We had great fun learning how to create our own interactive virtual bookshelves and we even learned out to embed our own bitmoji. Check out what we were able to do in less than 30 minutes!

Expand the slide deck to see in a larger view to get the full effect. :-)

PD: Student Design for Learning

 Student Design for Learning

Dr. Naomi Rosedale (WFRC)

Today, teachers from across Manaiakalani met at Tamaki High School for our annual Create Staff Meeting. Before breaking out into our two create learning sessions, we heard from Dr. Naomi Rosedale (Wolf Fisher Research Centre) about Student Design for Learning. She gave us a bit of a teaser introduction for the MAPIC framework involving more student agency when creating Digital Learning Objects (DLO).

Students are creating overwhelming amounts of slideshows and most were originally teacher designs. Our challenge is to come up with ways for students to create using more modes of communication. Slideshows often show 2 modes: written and visual. Screencastify is often used for procedural demonstrations especially in maths. There is great opportunities for students doing podcasts, voice recording, etc.

We need to implement more Student Design for Learning DLOs to enhance the learning for other students. For example, creating more of a flow chart slide instead of a paragraph and a picture. The concepts can be bolded by the student to show their understanding. 

Our WFRC research based definition of student DLOs "a process wherein students learn as they design for others, and as a reusable digital entity (or object)....". Our aim is for high leverage thinking practices (video/voice recordings) to be used to compare. We will be unpacking the MAPIC framework in the future for our student design for learning.  

M: Multimodal mapping of ideas

A: Amplification key concepts

P: Personilization

I: Interactions

C: Coherence Structured organised and unified uderstanding

This made me think of the create tasks that I set up for my students. I think there is a sense of urgency sometimes to finish things off quickly with our students and many prefer slides over anything else. I have been encouraging my classes to use more Google Drawings lately in their create, but I am interested in making more interactive slideshow with embedded voice descriptions now that Google has added Audio/Voice Recording to the Slides platform. 

Monday, 10 August 2020

My Theory of Action

 Restate your inquiry question and your theory of action/chain of events (WFRC#11)

My inquiry question for 2020 is:

How can providing opportunities for mathematical vocabulary acquisition strengthen a student’s self-efficacy in maths?

My Theory of Action:

A Chain of Events – Gonzo Opera

As a year 7/8 teacher, I feel that there is often a struggle with our students who do not have the necessary mathematical vocabulary to back the skills that they are acquiring. As a result, students are often at a loss for what to say to describe their mathematical thinking and reluctant to openly share with their peers. We have also noticed that students do considerably better from year to year on easttle tests than they do when taking the PAT Maths test. I wonder if this is due to the open subject matter of the PAT so students know more directly what type of problems they are solving. 

The changes I am making to my teaching to improve their outcomes are still being implemented at this time, especially due to our change in teaching during the Covid-19 lockdown. However, prior to the lockdown, I was using a "Looking Closer" format embedded into my learning tasks that provided students with an opportunity to interact with new grade level appropriate mathematical vocabulary. In the past, students have been primarily taught at the level of curriculum that they were working at. This caused a larger gap to develop with student mathematical vocabulary because students were not using grade level appropriate terminology for mathematical concepts. For example, students often still come into Year 7/8 saying things like "I got the answer 13 from plussing 10 and 3" instead of "I got the answer 13 from adding 10 and 3." 

As we prepare to enter into a more "normal" phase of teaching and learning, I am interested in implementing some of the ideas and concepts discussed on the professional reading that I have recently done in the past few weeks. These include, the Four Square and Feature Analysis approaches (as discussed here).

The reasons why I think these changes in my teaching will be effective to my learners are that they will provide a more solidified understanding of the terms used to describe various mathematical processes and concepts. Students will be provided with a visual reminder of what those words and phrases mean. Students will also be given multiple opportunities to put their new vocabulary to use describing their problem solving process. 

Manaiakalani Create Staff Meeting

 Today we have a Manaiakalani Create Staff Meeting, which means that we will be meeting with teachers from across our cluster for our Share staff meeting. I am fortunate to present with today with Clarelle Carruthers a session based on our Class on Air episodes using out Codey Rocky robots. 

PD: The Reading Book

This term, the teachers at Pt England School are taking part in ongoing Reading PD to try to create a common language when teaching our students how to read. We have noticed that we have a large number of students in our school who get stuck at that 8-9 year old reading level. We have also realised over the years that a number of these students often struggle during the first few years of school to reach that 8 year old reading level. By creating a common teaching language and technique across our school, we hope that student success will be seen year to year. 

As a way to develop our common language, the Reading Committee is taking a look at "The Reading Book" by Sheena Cameron and Louise Dempsey (2019). Prior to the Covid-19, Auckland Level 3 Lockdown Round 2 (Term 3, 2020), the Reading Committee was taking a closer look at a few pages from this book as we developed the next phase of the on-going professional development. 

Some of the key ideas when looking at students who are learning to read are:

  • Getting Ready for Reading
    • Build phonic awareness and develop visual skills
      • Students need to hear, identify and make general letter sounds
      • Share rhymes, alliterations, action songs, poems
      • Break words into syllables with claps
  • Learning to Read
    • Hear and identify initial sounds
      • Learn letter names and sounds
      • Hear and identify initial letter sounds of a word
    • Hear and identify final word sounds
      • Hear and identify find sound in word
      • Identify letters that are part of the sound
  • Developing Independence
    • Hear and identify medial vowel sounds in CVC words
    • Break CVC words into 3-4 phonemes
    • Begin to recognise and identify digraph sounds (if present)
    • Hear and identify clusters of consonants
  • Becoming Proficient
    • Introduce common long vowel sounds
    • Introduce other long vowel sounds (ie-car, fast)
It is also important to know how to teach students about chunking (morphology) to support spelling, decoding and vocabulary development. 

Students need to be taught explicit self-monitoring strategies so that they are able to monitor their understanding and build awareness of comprehension. As readers become more proficient, they are able to activate their prior knowledge and unconsciously access four cuing systems. The four cuing systems are:
  1. Prior Knowledge: What do I already know?
  2. Structure/syntax: Does that sound right?
  3. Meaning/semantics: Does this make sense?
  4. Visual/ Graphophonic information: Does that look right?   
In an effort to ensure that students at Pt England are unconsciously using those four self-monitoring cues, we will be diving deeper into the shared language provided through using teaching prompts from a previous Gwenneth Phillips professional development based on the research conducted in "Picking Up the Pace." Our hope is that by using a common language when reading aloud with our "learning to read" students, they will have more success as they move up through the school without having to learn a new teaching style every year. 

Monday, 27 July 2020

Making Reading Come Alive

This year, our staff is focusing on ways to teach reading strategies to our lower level readers. We will be participating in frequent staff professional development in order to implement a school wide approach to working with our learning to read students.
Children Learning Reading In-Depth Review For 2019 - Leo Young ...

The students that I have chosen to focus on, during this time, all have a reading age of 9 years. One of the students has made 6 months progress in the last six months and the other three have not made any progress. However, all four students passed the decoding portion of their Running Record test. Therefore, I feel that we need to focus on reading for understanding.

It shall be an interesting few months, and I look forward to seeing the progress that I am able to help these students achieve.

Friday, 3 July 2020

2020 Reading Progress

In our Year 7/8 block, we have the honour of working with our students over the course of two years. This means that the majority of my Year 7 literacy and maths students will be in my class again as a Year 8.

Last year, I worked with my Reading group to move them from reading at a Level 3 (Year 5/6) to reading at Level 4 (Year 7/8). This data was discussed in the blog post entitled, "End of the Year Reading Age Shift"It is important to note, that the graph on this post has different student identification letters than the graph on the 2019 blog post as my 2019 Year 8s have moved onto High School and I have included some students in my 2020 focus group who were not part of the 2019 focus group.

We have been extremely pleased with the progress our students have made before, during and after the lockdown. We have seen great shift in the majority of our students. As we look at moving out of our Covid-Level Classrooms and back into our regular Literacy/Maths rotations, the teachers of Team 5 have been spending some time looking at the shift of our literacy students and as a result we have decided that some students needed to have a change in teacher because of the progress they have made. This is because there may now be only 1-2 students in their literacy class reading around the same age level as they are.

This has happened with two of my students who were part of my initial CoL study last year. Students B and D have both made 3 years progress in the year and a half that they were in my class. They are now working above the curriculum level for their age and they will continue the school year working with a teacher who has a class of students working above Level 4. Students A, C, E, F, G have all made six months progress in the first six months of the 2020 school year. Student H, I,  J and K have all made a year's progress during the first six months of 2020. This means that in the past year and a half of school, each of these students have had 1.5-3 years progress in their reading age, except Student E who joined us midway through last school year and has made a year of progress.

As we break for the Term Holidays, this is such a great thing to celebrate. I am so excited to see what Term 3 will bring as our school begins a Professional Development focus on Reading. I would love to continue looking into what stretches the thinking and reading age of our Level 4/5 students, as well as learning new ways to engage those students in my class who are still reading well below their curriculum level for their age. 

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Digital Student Teachers

This term, the students of Room 1 have been very blessed to have four student teachers working with us for the past three weeks. However, it is another new experience for 2020! Our student teachers (Chelsea, Gabrielle, Hyeonjeong, and Leonie) have never stepped foot onto our school grounds. These lovely ladies are part of a one year Graduate program at the University of Auckland and they were supposed to be partaking in their first practicum during the lockdown.

After having a session with our WFRC and Manaiakalani Facilitators, we began working together a few weeks ago over a Google Meet. During this time, I was able to provide a digital tour of our learning space, and present a brief for my maths class. The student teachers were tasked with taking this brief and creating a Google Site that would be used by my students before the end of the term.

The brief was: 
Year 7/8 students who are learning to:
  •  Add and subtract decimals
  • Know the relative size and place value structure of decimals to three places.
I would like for you to come up with ways to expand their thinking about decimals and their number knowledge using decimals. 
Some possible ideas are using: 
  • number lines
  • place value
  • ordering
  • fraction equivalents
  • adding/subtracting
  • link to money
After I received an email with proposed activities, we were able to have one more Google Meet together where I was able to give some feedback and offer suggestions to start thinking of ways to make their learning tasks more digitally manipulative. 

The site that was presented the next evening was so amazing! Such a great place for my students as we began to look at adding decimals and connecting our decimals to currency. We had a great time working our way through the site as a class, and the students were able to send feedback about their interaction with the site and learning taks.

I would like to extend a BIG thank you to Chelsea, Gabrielle, Hyeonjeong, and Leonie for the hard work you put into building your first learning site and for the lovely comments you have been leaving the student blogs. I wish you ladies all the best with the remainder of your studies!