Wednesday, 10 October 2012

SOLO TAxonomy

Learning is about effort and strategies. If you put in enough effort and fail you need a new strategy.

Prestructural - do not know anything about the learning outcome
Unistructural - know 1 relevant
Multistructural - know lots of relevant
Relational - when you can make connections between ideas - explain why or because
Extended Abstract - look at all connected ideas in a new way, see the implications in another context and place

The biggest question is how will we link SOLO to PB4L for students?

10 + ways of Raising Student Achievement in Literacy

The joy of writing ...
Things that make a difference
Clearly purposeful
For an audience
That gets a result
Where students experience success
Where students take responsibility but get the support they need to get better
Where students can see and measure their own progress and take some for reflecting on that and reporting to parents

Authentic Feedback
Genuine reader reaction

Collaborative writing
Bouncing ideas around
Opportunities to "borrow" ideas

Remember that we are writing for a reader and we need to:
Paint pictures and images in the mind of the reader through...
Choosing words that are rich and interesting
Varying sentence length and complexity and pace
Sequencing the actions correctly
Checking for text conventions and spelling

Keynote 1- Dr Jason Ohlen

Keynote - Dr Jason Ohler

New Media, New Kids, -New Literacies,
New Citizens, Transforming LEarning through digital creativity

Provide opportunities where students don't have to have the skills because you don't know what doors you might open. If you don't open the door you are turning them away. Kids are banging on the door with their technology so that they can bang on the door. Allow it to open. Makes me wonder about own devices own choices a point to ponder? How can we make this possible?
BYOD - needs to happen it is too expensive to try and keep up with Technology.
Branding on/off to talk to each other.

We live in a society where we a constantly connected. Phones are an extension of the arm. Where does this fit in with school? How can we connect our kid with their devices? Can we possibly begin with year 7 & 8 drive who to teach who?

Text to media collage - moving from the print, to pictures, media, video, still image. Global society you need to be able to use all of these.

Literacy ... Consuming and producing the media forms of the day, whatever they are. We want students to write well. Media literate not just the written form. Is this how our writing PD going? Or are we still too consumed by the written word as teachers rather than written media. Good media is based on good writing. How is this formed? We need to value writing.

The DAOW literacy Digital , Art, Oral and written

Personal and social literacy teach visual and media literacy.

How is our schools mission statement including technology ? Are we including with our kids how technology connects and disconnects? Is this included in our mission statement or any NZ schools mission statement?

Use story maps not story boards.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Meaningful Experineces

Ok, so here I go again.  Writing, again! This time I am thrilled to say I have created meaning for my students and excitement.  A friend of mine has been blogging about her Greyhound for over a year now. Every time she puts up a new post it lands on my Facebook feed and every time for the last year I have scrolled on by.  On Monday I didn't scroll on by.  I read it and it sparked an idea for me.  I ask Rach if she would mind if I shared it with my class.  Luckily for my students she agreed.  We read several of h posts and worked on reading strategies. We had fantastic discussions around what she has done as a writer.  We left a comment with questions.  All of our questions were answered along with a post dedicated to us here it is : A big Thank You

My students then wrote responses which lead them to learning to comment on blogs.  We were then lucky enough to have a Facebook message from her saying that she would be happy to take a day off work to come up for us to meet the dogs. This ignited my students fire. Last night they took home their writing books and made jottings of their pet,a skill I learnt the previous Saturday from Gail Loane.  They then wrote some amazing pieces. With Rach now coming up they are looking forward to having an audience for their writing.My students are so excited and inspired to write.

So where to from here with this real motivation.  Letters to the Adopt a Greyhound asking how we can support.  Designing and making a picture book of Chris and Mila's visit. Thank you email to Rach.  Blog posts for each of the students individual 'I have a voice blogs!'

I have become so passionate about teaching reading and writing I don't want to teach anything else.

Rich literacy leads to rich learning! I can't wait to share my next post on writing feedback! Watch this space.

Writing Observation Feedback

Yesterday Tracey and Raewyn came in to observe my progress in teaching writing.  In my initial observation I was teaching whole class and was making limited links between reading and writing.  I knew in myself that my ability to teach writing has improved dramatically.

Feedback from Tracey highlighted my progress and also the explicit links I make between reading and writing.  As my teacher inquiry focus is on catering for diverse needs, I am now teaching my students in ability groups.  One recommendation that Tracey did have for me was making my learning intention explicit to students at the beginning of the lesson.  This is something that I have done previously.  However, now teaching in groups and making sure my writing programme is meaningful I am finding myself teaching lots of parts rather than focusing on one specific thing.  As a class we have had a focus on wholenes of our writing.

What I have taken from this is not to cram to much in as I could be overwhelming my students.  Be clear on what it is that I want from my students.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Seeing kids shine!!

With a continued focus on writing I am pleased to announce a feeling of success.  After working with a group  of writers and wrapping up a writing session, I had students waiting to want to share their writing with me!  For the first time in 6 years of teaching I think I might have lit a fire in some of my students! Whoooo

Being a reluctant writer myself and not really having a passion to say anything, I'm now writing daily with my students and becoming observant of my world around me.  It has become quiet scary in a sense when I am reading, personal novels, for pleasure and start to say to myself that was a well constructed sentence.  I can see why the author used that!! I am becoming a writer.  Just like my student who today was so excited by their piece, I am also excited to be sharing.

Where to from here - start a writing blog of my life, my observations for my students to read.

Here is the piece my student celebrated with me, it is worth sharing with the world!

An overcast day I was at school, grasping my chocolate milk in my hand trying to avoid the soccer ball.  It comes flying towards me.  The force of the kick is so strong I can't dodge it.  Bang! The ball hits me straight in the guts.

Not knowing my primo milk lid wasn't screwed on tightly, next thing I know my bottle full of milk is splattered all on my back.  This wasn't so primo at all!

My top was plain white, I couldn't believe my eyes my best friend was standing there snickering at me.  I badly want to throw mud at her face.

The bell went I raced home, hoping Mum wouldn't fire up like a volcano.  "Muuuum, um well I kinder spilt primo milk on my back."  I turned around Mum's face turned pail.  "OMG" She says "We better soak it."  The next day, thankfully the primo milk stain had come out.  I was so relived 

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Writing Ideas with Raewyn

Focus: Planning and variety of sentence structures teaching ideas.

Vcop - building on vocabulary online tool

Think literacy - Cross - Curricular Approaches

Effective Literacy - Years 9-13

Monday, 20 August 2012

Moving into Writing Groups

Well we have been in groups for 5 weeks now.  This seems to be working well.  However, I have had my most successful teaching when working with students pieces of writing.  I need at least 40mins with the writing group to be able to re work the writing.  So I am dropping down to seeing one group a day where we re-work and share write together.  I am finding it hard to plan to far ahead in writing as they are now doing more writing on their own choice.  So the lessons come from the sharing.  More formative yes!!! I have goals of what each group is working on.  However sometimes a piece that a student has written leads more to a different writing strategy.

By moving to one group for writing I am then able to conference with the group longer and meet their needs. Evidence well here goes:

Target student wrote: (1st attempt no teaching)
Right Choice day is a day of fun that keeps children happy.  If you get 2 detentions you won't be able to go to right choice.  When right choice day comes you will choose what activity you want to part in.  Wrong choice is bad because it provides writing, dictionary work and you can't talk.  At the end of the day you would be wet or be wanting to watch the same movie again.

We then had a session on being selective on our ideas and what was the message we wanted our reader to get.

Target student then wrote
Right Choice day is a day of fun out of the class and keeps children happy.  Children have to have good behaviour to go to the day of fun and games.  There is games and loads of fun like wheels, sports, water fights and movies.  You have to be good like using your manners and coley hearts and treat others the way that you want to be treated.  Right Choice is for people who have a good attitude towards school.  At the start of the day you get a choice of what you would like to do! At the end of the day you always want to go back!

He has been more selective of relevant ideas and his next step would be now to organise them in a logical order within his paragraph as he still jumps about.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

CPL - Beliefs in Writing

I found this session very insightful.  Being given the opportunity to reflect on what I think my beliefs in writing are. Having to come up with a top 5, here is what I came up with:

  1. Everyone has the capacity to write, writing can be taught, and teachers can help students to become better writers/ Composing occurs in different modalities and technologies.
  2. Writing and reading are related.
  3. Writing grows out of many different purposes.
  4. Writing is a process.
  5. Assessment of writing involves complex, informed, human judgement.
It was amazing the common beliefs that we shared as a staff, with reading and writing are related and writing is a process.  One that I would like to see in the top is my number 1 as this states expectations in students and our schools ICT capabilities.  

One thing that has sat with me since this session is that I need to make explicit to my students that they write every day, all day for a range of different purposes.  

Monday, 16 July 2012

Writing Groups Day 1

Today I did it!!! Little hassle at all.  I think I found it more draining on me as it is intense teaching groups all morning.  Was it a success?  Hell yeah! All students were engaged focused and enjoyed writing.  One group worked on Kurpoof making digital movies using speech.  This was helpful as they were practising writing but given the settings and themes.  Another group worked on a story starter, When I looked down the toilet... this was really successful.  These students were my best writer but it gave me a better picture of where they were at.  I had several creative ones but others that rambled.  By allowing this group to share at the end it opened them to reflect on their writing.  My group I worked with need a lot of support and we will basically need to write together.  I need to come up with ways to get them to manipulate writing to see it in the view of the audience.

The one opportunity that I am going to make sure that I do at the end of writing is to share pieces and have self reflection time.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

CPL - PD Day Developing focus for the Year

E-asttle tool to be implemented with the staff through staff meetings or team meetings.

Focuses for the day:

  • What do we want to achieve today?
  • Big Picture - working in school over day?
  • Set up Inquiry
  • Plan content staff meeting
  • Class observations
  • Self-regulation - Writing
  • Resources: Teaching Writing 1-3 Building strong foundation, Teaching Writing 4-6 Increasing Progress, Accelerating Writing Progress 7/8

Reading - Self Regulated Learning in Writing 
Empowering Students to Become Self-Regulating Writers: The Journey of One Class 
Verena Watson

Self regulated learners are able to identify their strengths and weakness.  How am I currently doing this?  Having reflection at the end of writing.  I need to make this a formal process where the kids will record their reflection.  

Explicit modelling and teaching in saturation is the key.  I know this works and does lead to student ownership.  Taking time to go through all the explicit features and then going back to looking  at creating a success criteria break down together.  I need to set up conferencing groups.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

New Experiments in self-teaching

This clip evoked a range of different thoughts in my mind.  With the class that I have this year that thrives on new ideas and learning.  I reflected on this ‘if children have interest education happens.’  I agree with this statement 100% but one question I do have is; Can interest be sparked with students who are not interested when strong relationships are formed?  With the class that I have this year I would say yes but only if you can connect it to something that the student is already interested in.  Can this happen for all disinterested students?
I would argue that purpose serves as the driving factor for education to happen. As an adult you are most likely not to do something unless there is a reward at the end that affects your life or gives a positive emotion to others.  Currently our inquiry is on ‘communication’ would my students  traditional general care about this. No. However, tagging it to the motivation of winning a trip to Australia as part of a competition and sharing there knowledge with the world has become the driving force.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Just in Time Learning

I have always had mixed feelings about not sticking to the plan and when is the the time to just run with it and throw the planning out the window?

Well I did it! After 5 years!  I am always concerned about making sure that I can cover most areas of the curriculum everyday.  This is not an easy task and with inquiry and intergrated studies this has become easier.

While marking some of my kids books in the morning I saw a need to teach them show don't tell as they were still just listing the recount.  This is one of the most important skills for a level 4 writer which is what my class is aspiring to.  I model a few for them and then gave them a go.  They each shared there one back and as a class we had a go at re writing the ones that still were telling. 

The kids felt a great sense of success and as a teacher so did I.  There is nothing more rewarding than seeing kids eyes light up when they get it!  We spent 2 hours that morning thrashing around sentences, sharing ideas and building vocabulary.  No we did not manage to do spelling or reading but this was powerful learning.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Joy Allcock - Linking Reading and Spelling

Spelling and reading have similar skills needed.  Today is about approaches to fixing the problems.  

Phonics is the relationship between sounds and print.  

Problems that are faced in reading

  • Comprehension
  • Retention- phonics
  • Decoding
  • Non Fiction Reading
  • Vocabulary
  • Fluency
  • How to encourage a reluctant reader?
  • Where to begin?
  • When to intervene?
  • What to do when they plateau?
  • How do you educate parents?
Core elements
Phonological Knowledge

The problem is how to teach it and use it?
The learning progressions are good to the order that we need to teach.  What we need to put in place and how early to intervene depends on the problem. 

Vocabulary is the first foundation of literacy.  

If a child has decoding issues they are not able to engage in non fiction text. 

A whole word reader reads a word that he/she knows if they don't know the word.  This can cause problems with comprehension.

A student can read all the words however they lack the knowledge of the words and what they mean.  This can be a common problem.  The lack of vocabulary knowledge can cause them to lack comprehension.

Another type of reader is a reader who can read all the text and comprehend the words.  However they still struggle to answer some of the questions.  This occurs when a student has no prior knowledge to experience to hook onto the reading.  The student struggles to make connections to the text.  

When doing a running record look at the child's errors are they high frequency or content errors?  Then you need to analysis the high frequency word error.  

Where the syallbales break depends on if it ends in a vowel or not.  If ends in a vowel it is a long vowel.  If it ends in  a constant then it is a short vowel.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Joy Allcock - Spelling Workshop

The generation of today are reading and writing more than any other generation before.  Now days literacy is used everyday.  Kids are not worse than before they simply do more!

ICT causing biggest forms of communication through print and visual media?????

Students that can’t spell stop writing!

Spelling is the link between reading and writing .  If a student is a good speller it tells us that they know a lot more about print.  

Students need to have choices about how to communicate for the purpose.  E.g txt for txt, email for different communication purposes.

How words work:

  • Need to correctly pronounce a word
  • Understand how print works
  • English is complex

Structure of Words

Three layers sound, image,

Sound: What the word and parts of the word sound like
The pronunciation of words must be in the sounds in order

A word is a string of sounds

Whole sound crush crushed crushing

Parts Syllables - crush/ crushed/ crush/ing

individual sounds - ‘k’ ‘r’ ‘u’ ‘sh’
                              ‘k’ ‘r’ ‘u’ ‘sh’ ‘t’
                              ‘k’ ‘r’ ‘u’u ‘sh’ ‘t’ ‘ng’

Four sounds put

‘t’ ‘k’ ‘o’ ‘s’
Image What the word and parts of the word look like                    

Whole image   cat  horse goat mouse

Parts  c a t   h or se  g oa t   m ou se

45 sounds more that 1100 ways of working the sounds and with only 26 letters

or aw ore au our oar oor ure a augh ought al ar

Structure Why the word looks the way it does

Whole image: meaning of whole word and sequence of letters to spell it.

  1. Morphemes - sequences of letters and meaning of morphemem e- out of ject - to throw.
  2. Choice of spelling patterns - influences pronounciation complete - e_e signifies long vowel. Running - nn signifies single vowel preceding it will be short.
As teachers we need to analysis the error by looking at what is the problem. Sound, image or structure. Most students don't know what spelling pattern to use and this can be the problem.

Reflective Thoughts

Need to look at the spelling in kids works and what their error is.

The single most important thing to teach is Vocabulary!!!!! Building Vocab.

Do you plan to teach vocab? Yes through CSI, however need to keep a log that they can refer back to.

Vocabulary knowledge is the core to reading. Many kids can read words but struggle to tell you the meaning. This is the problem for low running record results for comprehension. Just because they can read doesn't mean they understand. Needs to be planned in the daily programme.

The alphabet is not the core to learning words they need to be learning sounds and vocabulary.

ist - someone doing it 'i' someone doing
est - extra eg more than 'e' extra more than

Like this tip to help kids realise the differences between the two.

Kids are going into high school not being able to read non fiction text. When Joy stated this it confirmed my reading programme as I mainly use non fiction text. I felt that when I read for the purpose of work or learning it is all non fiction. However, it is important to be reading fiction for pleasure as well. By hearing this it has confirmed have students read every day for pleasure to cover fiction.

When I look around my class I know that most of my student read fiction for pleasure. This confirms the importance to have non fiction as a guided reading programme.

"Chinese" Phonecian
They see it and can just spell it. Remembering what words sound like. Work from
If you only use this then you sound to spelling pattern.
would not be a good reader
or writer because you would
have to see it all the time.

The vehicle for writing is spelling and if good spelling is not taught a kid will not write.

Elkonin boxes are boxes that have sounds. 1st step to break into syallablies then break it into sounds.


h u n / g r y

The starting point is getting the sounds down on the page.

ous changes a word into an adjective.

Teaching Strategy that would be worth a go!
300 common words are 75% of writing. Have students highlight all the common words in their writing. Then have them check against the high frequency bookmark.

It is time to re educate parents around the spelling of sounds. This helps students to learn to spell. You have to accept the sound patterns and then look at alternative ways of spelling.