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!