Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Spiral of Inquiry: Developing a hunch about Guided reading

Developing a hunch
How are we contributing to the situation? "Hunch" is an important word – hunches may not be totally accurate, but it is essential to get them all on the table because they guide the focusing. Sometimes they might be well-established routines of the school or the classroom, and be relevant to your own school. Hunches need testing.


What is my hunch about "What strategies are most effective when supporting WRS learners with reading?" 


Sub-question Two:

Will regular guided reading sessions improve students progress through the Rainbow Wheel? 

My hunch:

I've recently completed two Guided Reading webinars - one with Fountas & Pinnell here and one I wrote about here with Create-Abilities.

This quote stood out for me:
"Meeting students right where they are, right on the cusp of what they can do independently and move them a bit further".
This is the overarching goal of what I am trying to achieve with this inquiry. So with this in mind, my hunch is that with a range of strategies including shared reading, guided reading and oral language experiences. I will see children become increasingly competent in reading.  The challenge for me is to ensure that I am keeping abreast with the intense planning that goes into ensuring that my guided reading sessions are effective and engaging. 




I recently completed 'Observation Survey' professional learning and looked at the administration and analysis of running records. I need to ensure that I gather these for children regularly so that I can ensure that my construction matches where learners are and where they need to be.



I'm a Seesaw Ambassador! Here's what I learned...

I've been using Seesaw for a little while now (you can check out my 2018 Class Blog here). I decided during these holidays I would apply to be a Seesaw Ambassador. Thankfully, I was provisionally accepted and completed the training today.



While I've been using Seesaw for some time, I definitely learned much more by completing the training. Here are my top takeaways:
  • Ideas for your classroom - resources sorted by grade, with getting started guide, student challenge and task cards. 
  • Folders can be useful for sorting out content by curriculum.
  • Activities are amazing - I have quite of bit of work to do in this area, and am looking forward to creating Maori/Pasifika resources for my tamariki (and other teachers).
They offer PD in your PJ's too, via a range of videos - and they are great! Here is one I plan to watch this week:

Monday, April 23, 2018

Digital Passport - Change is coming....


During these school holidays I've been working my way through a digital passport (offered by MindLab). This year, there have been changes to the New Zealand Curriculum. Digital Technologies will be fully integrated into the curriculum from 2018 with teachers having to cover two key areas; computational thinking and designing and developing digital outcomes. 

So what does this mean for me and my practice?
While I am somewhat familiar with digital technologies, and have enjoyed the workshops offered by MindLab I am still considering how I can implement what I have learned in these modules into my new entrant class. 

The idea of computational thinking and designing and developing digital outcomes intrigues me. However, the implementation of this into my practice and with the young children I work with seems problematic, especially with my interest in the work of Gill Connell and Moving Smart work. The workshop suggests that I use Scratch with my young children. I have tried this with 5 year olds before and it doesn't seem to be as straight forward as suggested. So it may be more effective if I look at 'coding' offline. I found some examples here, here and here. I will most likely introduce coding through physical movement to ensure that children get the "bottom of the bucket" as outlined in Get Ready for School and computational thinking as outlined in the Digital Technologies Curriculum.






Monday, April 16, 2018

Routines in our New Entrant Class

I've just completed my first term of Primary Teaching. While it has been a steep learning curve I've enjoyed the opportunity to grow and learn as an educator. One of the main things I have learned is that 'reflecting and tweaking' is important. Before I even met my class I had clear in my mind what our morning routine would look like. I seem to have changed this every week since then, and have finally come up with a morning routine that works for the children in my class.

Our morning routines looks like this:
  • Complete Daily Express before the bell goes at 8.50am
  • Self-directed play till 9.20am
  • Whānau time
  • Karakia Whakamutunga
  • Morning Moves
  • Message of the Day (Role modelling writing)
  • Shared Reading
  • Brain Snack (Milk/Fruit)
What does your morning routine look like?







Saturday, April 7, 2018

Spiral of Inquiry: Developing a hunch around Oral Language

Developing a hunch
How are we contributing to the situation? "Hunch" is an important word – hunches may not be totally accurate, but it is essential to get them all on the table because they guide the focusing. Sometimes they might be well-established routines of the school or the classroom, and be relevant to your own school. Hunches need testing.


What is my hunch about "What strategies are most effective when supporting WRS learners with reading?" 


Sub-question One:

How might a focus on Oral Language (e.g.Talk to Learn resource/process) support children with their reading progress?

My hunch:
It is widely known that oral language is fundamental for reading and writing. In order for children to develop a strong repertoire of vocabulary, they should be immersed in a range of meaningful, purposeful and lived experiences. My hope is by implementing a widely-used resource created specifically for primary children e.g. Talk to Learn, that I would have gifted children with opportunities to explore oral language in a meaningful way. In addition to this, I would also like to align our vocabulary work with possible field trips so that children's learning can be connected to lived experience.

The current themes in Talk to Learn are as follows:

  • Actions
  • Animals
  • Beach
  • Birds
  • Birthdays
  • Bubbles
  • Clothing
  • Cooking
  • Families
  • Fish
  • Flight
  • Food
  • Houses
  • Insec
  • Kites
  • Me
  • Nursery Rhymes
  • Supermarket
  • Toys
  • Transport

For each theme, a 30-minute lesson plan can be used daily to support children with specified vocabulary. My hope is to work through each theme over 2 weeks with a field trip (locally) to reinforce the concept.




Example of sequence picture activity

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Spiral of Inquiry: Focusing

Focusing
Where will concentrating our energies make the most difference? Focusing well will lead to informed actions, and usually means selecting no more than one or two areas so that the inquiry is "focused and deep". The authors point out that a common focus generates the momentum to transform schools.

I've decided that my overarching inquiry will be as follows;

"What strategies are most effective when supporting WRS learners with reading?" 

After looking into the resource "Effective Literacy practices in Years 1-4" (more here) and attending the Guided Reading webinar (post here). It is well known that oral language is fundamental to reading and writing, this resources affirms this too. So with this in mind, here are my sub-questions aligned with the Teaching as Inquiry process here.


Sub question One:
How might a focus on Oral Language (e.g.Talk to Learn resource/process) support children with their reading progress?



Sub question Two:
Will regular guided reading sessions improve students progress through the Rainbow Wheel?