Sunday, 27 August 2017

Sentence Starters for Reading Comprehension Stratgies.

Sentence Starters for Reading Comprehension Strategies

·      Activating prior knowledge
Based on what I already know I think.....
The illustrations tell me ..... about the text.
I am not sure what ..... means. I think that I will.....
This section does not make sense to me. Maybe I could think about......
I predict ...... because....
Based on the illustrations, I predict.....
This picture makes me think that.... therefore....
I wonder why, where, when, how, if, who...?
What is the author trying to tell me......
      Making connections
This reminds me of......
I think these ideas connect together because...
I have read another book that reminds me of ....
In my mind I can see....
I can imagine ......
I already know that.... so I think.....
I think that..... because .....
I think what is really going on is....
So far I know....
In my own words the story is about....
The main idea in this story is......

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Reading Target Student

My target student for reading has made huge progress this year. He has made accelerated progress moving from Level 17 to Level 21 in two terms. My goal now is to get him to the Year 4 standard in the next 15 weeks. After talking about my target student in our monitoring meeting yesterday, I recognized hat I have a gap in my knowledge on how to effectively teach the strategy of inferring. My focus for my target student has previously been around decoding a text and using some simple comprehension skills. Now moving towards the Year 4 Standard there is a larger focus on comprehension and thinking critically about the text. I went back and re-visited the 'Effective Literacy Practice Years 1-4' text. ( Pgs 131- 133 explored ways to build comprehension strategies). 

Key ideas: 
Ask inferential questions 
Pause when I want students to notice something or draw out clues in the text. 
Prompt students to make connections between different parts of the text 
Ask students why they arrived at a particular conclusion 
Ensure readers have opportunities to meet challenges in texts 
Give feedback when students use a particular strategy to solve a problem.

Building Comphrehension Strategies ( Use goals they could include;) 
- Identifying the sequence of the facts in a piece. 
- Describing the use of a certain kind of language in a text 
- Explaining how parts of a story or procedural text relate to each other 
- Describe how characters develop in a text 
- Identify authors intention. 
- Identifying the purpose of the text and its structure of from 

So what? 
With my target student, I'm going to encourage my student to identify, describe and explain a range of different responses to questions. I am going to pre-write my inferential questions before the guided reading session and make them explicit and focused to ensure my target student continues to make accelerated progress. I will record my Guided reading session and upload it next week. 

Monday, 21 August 2017

How to use a "Say it grid" ....

Today Alida came into my class and modelled to me how to use a 'Say It' grid. I had used it before but after watching Alida, I realised that I wasn't using it to its full potential. 

I created the sentences on the grid and made it 4 by 4. 
Alida started by reading out the questions as a whole class, making sure all students understood the new vocabulary (Siren, enclosure).  Alida modelled to students how to respond to the questions and use the connective 'because'. She prompted students when they gave an answer to use the word 'because' to explain why something happened or why they gave that reason. Straight away I noticed the vocabulary the students were using and how Alida used prompting strategies and think alouds to help students extend their thinking and the sentences they are using. Alida recorded vocabulary that she wanted the students to use in their writing. (E.g Inappropriate, trouble, zookeeper, rules, mauled, well fed, habitat, respect, protect, disturb) . Overall my observation of Alida was a success and I managed to take new strategies to help me bump up my lower learners with their writing. 

So what? Say it grids are an important tool to increase students vocabulary and understanding about a given topic, to help students form correct sentences using unfamiliar connectives or sentence structure ( Compound or complex sentences) To focus ideas for writing. 

Friday, 18 August 2017

Writing Inquiry

This week we took part in PAC observations. My focus was around looking at my 'buddy check' system and seeing if students have a clear understanding of the expectations. I felt my observed lesson went well and it allowed me to see that there were gaps in what I thought my students knew. After watching my video and recording what I felt went well, I felt like my focuses were around;

  • making specific links between learners’ use of strategies and their experience of success; encourages students to make and discuss such links
  • Rich conversations include student-generated questions and dialogue.

During my PAC meeting with our literacy facilitator and senior management, we looked at my focus being around my Scuess Criteria and making sure that I connect it with what students know and an experience they have just had- This will help increase their understanding of expectations and their knowledge around the skill they have just learned. It will allow students to be set up for success. I am going to make my buddy check workshop is specific and teach it to my target group. I am going to move away from a star and wish as my students don't need that framework and it is confusing them. I will encourage students to hold their own books when buddy checking to make sure the ownership is kept with the writer.

So what?

The next few weeks I am going to continue buulding a succinct writing progamme where all my students are consantly self assessing against the success criteria.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Middle Management

This term my goal is going to be around coaching and supporting other staff members in the school. I sometimes find it hard when 'helping' or supporting others that I take over and do too much- Preventing them from learning how to do something independently. Michelle recommended  
'5 (good) talk about' (Datnow & Park 2015) and 'The Secret to Great Coaching' 

What I took from the readings:

Data informed decisions are key 
(Conversations about data include healthy disagreement, conversations about data engender trust rather than suspicion, take a solution- oriented approach, there is an expected accomplishment) 

When playing the role of a coach you don't need to always be the expert.
Encourage staff to inquiry instead of giving them the answer. (This was interesting to me as our literacy facilitator talks about going into the 'pit' where we problem solves to gain a deeper understanding of a problem. This could be useful in my classroom as a teacher and as more role model within middle management 


So what?
Our monitoring meetings are an example where we use data and evidence to inform our next steps and discuss target students tracking across the year. Meetings take place every week. I always assumed that senior management ran the meetings, this was a misconception and Michelle explained to me that they are conversations where everyone is involved and offers suggestions. This week in the meeting I am going to offer more suggestions and take a proactive role in the meeting. 

How close do you think the student is to the expected National Standard?
What are you doing differently for the target student?
Why do you think that worked/didn't work?

I am also going to try and promote other teachers by directing my questions to the staff as a whole opposed to just Senior Management. This will hopefully move our meetings towards a collaborative task where everyone is responsible for every student.  

Friday, 4 August 2017

Digital Classroom goals and term focus

The first half of this year I have been focusing on shifting my classroom to an online platform. My goals were; 
To create a website where students can access all their learning
Give students opportunities to use their device to complete their work 
Use only modeling books to promote rewindable learning. 

This term my students are now using their Chromebooks for all their learning and have no problems finding learning OR using docs, slides or drawings. My new focus will be;
On using multi modes of media for my Reading and Writing group. 
To give my students opportunities to explore challenging texts. 
To start recording lessons for students to rewatch/ students who are away can watch it. (Also could benefit other teachers). 

Below is an example of my writing page and how I upload images of my modeling book to help students refer back to lessons and to check their success criteria. The last few days I have been seeing how many times students refer back to this page and the majority of students are using it. I have started allowing students to use a shared document during my writing workshops to complete a learning task. This is helping with engagement and also meaning my groups aren't all trying to write on one modeling book. It is working well!