Saturday, 29 October 2016

My Gem....

This Term I have a Gem to share...
Upon testing all of our newbies at 4 weeks I found 100% of students from one of our local preschools are scoring Stanines in the 5-7 range. This is an outstanding result!!! So my question (which I am soon to find the answer to myself) is 'what are they doing that is making such a difference?' This wouldn't be such an issue if there wasn't such a huge emphasis put on achieving at National Standard after 1 year of school.

Monday, 19 September 2016

No excuses...moving the Bottom to the Bottom...

A plan to conquer... As part of my Inquiry I took on one of my little learners who appeared to be managing on the post reading activities but making no acceleration. Something to remember... practise does not make perfect! I began to design a way forward using a more tactile / verbalised approach with recycling and prompting to push for noticing at the letter, word and sentence level. Although the method was time consuming it seemed to work with the learner retaining HFW and and holding on to 2-3 letters of some words to transfer into writing. Check out the presentation that gives a brief outline of how we rolled...

Monday, 29 August 2016

How to move the bottom bottom to the bottom?

A tough question but one that requires significant attention especially in todays educational environment. With the creative book keeping arising from increasing populous and funding cuts, specialists who would normally take on our 'tricky learners,' are few and far between. The days of saying "don't worry they will be picked up by Reading Recovery or RTLit" are over. Educators today need to be specialists across the board with a deep understanding of very specific learner needs. It requires a step back to analyse and formulate a plan beyond all plans. A plan that will conquer those learners...that for whatever reason, be it hearing, vision, language or even absenteeism are unable to assimilate or understand with the ease of their peers.

Monday, 20 June 2016

My Ponderings...

After a PLD focused inquiry around 'Reading' I began to ponder a recent survey undertaken by the Education Council Aotearoa... The respondents found PLD was too general... they wanted "more practically focused offerings with more opportunities to tailor solutions and interact more widely." From the perspective of a slightly experienced teacher, I could feel the uncertainty, mystification and bafflement of those new to teaching, during our'Inquiry' discussions. I considered myself lucky to have had the focused teachings of Gwynneth Phillips, Reading Recovery and the first year of Tessol.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Inquiry: Work in Progress

End of Term and time to share my inquiry to date. After taking my inquiry into my Team meetings I was able to continue developing a document outlining the expectations for an appropriate EE at specific reading levels. By sharing and discussing EE's at the Team meeting level we were able to have productive conversations around design and alignment of reading activities to the progressions. Did the designs meet the learners needs, support their next steps and improve the capacity for the learner to take charge of their own learning? From the newly designed EE's, and Team discussions, my document outlining the considerations for inclusion into reading activities has continued to develop and grown.
Now at Level 8... all will be revelled upon completion.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Team Meeting

The challenge went out..."how can you improve the design of at least 3 'Explain Everythings' by using the reading progressions as a guide for next steps and considering the learners capabilities.

Challenge accepted and accomplished! Designs purposefully aligned with many of the Reading Progressions and considered the needs of the learner.

Something wonderful arising from the challenge was the discussion around the designs and the questioning about potential improvements linking to Reading Recovery knowledge and personal experience. I love my Team!!

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Inquiry 2016

For the past two years I have had the privilege of piloting and facilitating 1 to 1 devices, in the form of iPads, in our junior school. Running in synchronicity, was the development and design of supporting activities for our learners using the app 'Explain Everything [EE].' From the beginning of our pilot I chose to use this app so both the educator and learner would have the ability to 'Learn, Create and Share.' As part of my inquiry this year I am going to go through our EE reading activity designs either re-creating, re-designing or scrapping and re-building. At the same time creating a document outlining requirements and expectations for each reading level according to the Year Level of the learners and reading progressions. I am hoping it will support educators in adding appropriate material into their designs while considering the individual needs of their learners.