16 March 2018

Spiral of Inquiry - Scanning

What’s going on for learners? More emphasis is placed on teacher observations of students, in all circumstances. There are some difficult questions to ask, such as: Is it all right for some learners to experience challenging and engaging learning in one classroom while in the room next door the students are not? Scanning is not done overnight, can last two months, and may turn up surprises.

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

I have tweaked this somewhat over the past few weeks as I am conflicted by the difference between "inquiry" questions outlined by Kath Murdoch here and questions outlined here by Dr. Noeline Wright. After further investigation, it seems the "inquiry" I am used to is where there is no pre-determined 'answer or goal' rather an 'inquiry process that helps learners find out more about what they need to DO and KNOW ABOUT in order to answer a big question'.

So with this in mind, I have decided to keep my 'big question/inquiry' and create some questions that align more with the Teaching as Inquiry process here.

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

What's going on for learners?
  • I believe that oral language is the foundation to reading and writing, so have carried out JOST assessments with all of my students, areas that need attention are past tense and plurals.
  • Given that Maori/Pasifika languages do not use 'plurals' as such e.g. we say ngā waka for boat(s) there should be some explicit instruction for these areas.
  • Letter Identification and Sounds also need attention (children seem to know these through alphabetical order rather than out of context).

While test results and data systems provide information about achievement, we need to dig much deeper to find out what is happening for learners in other key areas of learning and engagement (Timperley, Kaser & Halbert, 2014, p.9)

Strengths of students:
  • Children are eager to learn and happy to engage in a range of learning experiences.
  • Children are good at following instructions
  • Happy to come to school
  • Happy to play
  • Responsible for their belongings e.g. lunch, hats and jumpers

Teacher to develop:
  • Letter sounds
  • Alphabet recognition
  • Oral language
  • Pre-reading