It has been so great to be able to share the journey with not only my learners but the teachers in the biweekly 'New to Neuroscience' workshops I have been leading. One teacher - Emma Clarke who is another CoL teacher has been such a great support and sound board, she is currently trialling the tool with her learners as well. Other teachers in the group have taken the resources and intend on implementing them to their planning next week.
One of my next steps from our KPMG day was to get feedback from others about what language they use when teaching reading so I can gather data about if the 'shared language' I am promoting in my tool will be transferable across schools in different settings. It will be cool to keep getting feedback from teachers across the country or further to see the connections.
Watch this space......
I have been allowing the learners to be a part of my journey right from the beginning and it great seeing their interest in the website grow the more it develops and as we know many of our learners are more than happy to give honest feedback about what we do - especially things we might not be doing so great :) So I feel their feedback has had a great impact on my website to date.
The learners said they think it is good to have activities that teachers have created but they wanted to be involved in the creating process as well so over the last few sessions they have been creating games for other learners to use. This has been a great part of the process promotes a lot of critical thinking and collaboration.
So this brings me to my next steps which I intend to work on this week so I can keep to my goal of having a first draft fully functioning site ready for Week 7.
- Create a space where all learners can contribute to the website eg padlet to upload games/activities/contributions
- Create a blog and connect it to the website that allows the learners to record their favourite books I believe this is an important independent activity as it promotes; reading mileage, collaboration, understanding of reading genres
- Organising the learner's activities and Teacher modelling books into the different reading strategies as well as reading levels so that I can add them to the website
Since our last KPMG day it has been so great to take some of the feedback and think about how I can get more student voice into my inquiry. One of next steps was to synthesis my project in a tweet length summary so here is goes - my tool:
Develops oral language that promotes critical thinking about current reading strategies and next steps. There are two elements - independent activities and intentional Teacher Led workshops, both work together to grow a shared language that fosters communication and collaboration
Recently I have been working on the Teacher Led workshops element of the website. In the picture above you can see me leading a workshop that get the learners to grow their voice and practice their roles.
These roles have come from my research into the reciprocal reading strategies and looking at John Hattie's research into reciprocal teaching. I believe my tool will take this a step further as the website will have many activities that allow the learners to independently drive their own learning when not in a workshop.
Successes from the trial:
- Learners really enjoyed the roles and having their own character
- By the end of the 1st session they understood their roles and some of the learners who were reluctant to speak in front of the group found the cards helpful to grow their voice
- The learners could see how this linked to their progressions and at the start of the session they did not have vocabulary to say what each reading strategy was used for but at the end of the session they could justify.
Next steps from the trial:
- Even though the learners could say what each strategy was I feel it was very surface so instead of giving each person a different role I am going to give each person the same role so we can focus on understanding what each role needs together
- Have the starter/ independent activities support the reading strategy we are focusing on. For example as a whole group we were looking at Thick and Thin questions so that when they were working independently they could use these in their work. I could have used this opportunity to focus on The Puzzler to practise questioning in the teacher led workshop.
Really looking forward to continue to refine my tool!! Watch this space.....
As part of my journey I chose to use Easttle as my primary data collection method. My reasons for this were as follows:
- I believe Eastlle is the most independently completed measure compared with Probes and reading records as this can rely on interaction with the teacher especially in regards to keeping focused and on task as well as speed.
- My goal this year was to grow learner's oral language and vocabulary understanding as my hunch is that this will increase independence and ability to take action so this method allows learners to take action independently.
Strategies I have implemented so far:
- Gifting language through printed visuals
- Intentional reciprocal reading groups where learners are practising different roles based on reading strategies (Summariser, Predictor, Inferrer, Visualiser, Connector, Questioner) so they can build their knowledge about what each of the strategies mean.
- I have changed my lessons to include more intentional teaching by providing workshops that come from the student voice as well as data collected and I have been more intentional about the activities I have created for the learners to complete when not with an adult. (See post)
Data Analysis Student 1 (Round 2):
In term 2 I got my target learners to complete an Easttle and this was after a few weeks of introducing my intentional teaching workshops. This learner in particular I have taught for a second year and they have never tested well in Easttle as they find it challenging to access this method and struggle leading their own learning.
Data Analysis Student 1 (Round 3)
Woooohoooo!!! This was a big achievement for the learner and one of those moments you remember in teaching. This was the first time this learner has registered on Easttle and although they are still below in their results it is a big shift in their ability to drive their own learning. I believe this is due to their understanding of what the questions are asking them so they can access the site better and stay engaged.
- A thought i had while writing this is to get some student voice as to why they think this has happened for them!!
Data Analysis Student 2 Round 1:
This is another learner who I found is challenging to access Easttle and said 'I do not understand what I need to do, I don't want to do it.' Connecting with Whanau and previous teachers they said this learner loved to express themselves and have an amazing rich spoken vocabulary but they did not have this in written form. Therefore comprehending questions was challenging as they looked at the task in the big picture rather than thinking about the question they are on.
Data Analysis Student 2 Round 3:
Yayyyyy!!! Such a great shift and even during the session when this learner was taking the assessment there was such a shift in their engagement and focus. This I believe is down to their understanding of vocabulary but a big part of it is due to the reciprocal reading technique where they have been practising leading their own learning and growing their voice.
- Again get learner voice to add to my data and support/challenge my hunches as to what is causing the shift.
Tips I have taken away from our Manaiakalani session to think about in future posts
- For it to be data you have to have recorded it in some way....
- Add in a copy of the app I used to take the data, so others can use it in their spaces
- What data have I included in my posts - what is the positive data that I am sharing, what is the negative, why am I sharing the data that I am?
- How will I use the data to tweak my next interventions. Do I have to change or should I increase my time doing it if it is going well?
- Just because it is common sense doesn't mean it is true....
- Reflect on the statements I am making - they may be more engages but does it result in learning? How do I prove this?
- Replicability - can someone reproduce what I have completed??
As part of my research I looked into the NZ Curriculum as I thought this would be a good place to start as it runs through schools across the country and this means it will give me insights into expectations and hopefully give me a common understanding of where teachers across New Zealand are planning from.
The 6 Reading Strategies that my tool focuses on are:
- Questioning / Clarifying
- Making Connections
From reading through the Curriculum it is clear that these elements come up across the different levels which supports the need for my tool.
Another area of my research I feel supports my tool is the Key Competencies. Within my tool learners will be developing their ability to drive their own learning by practising things such as:
- Reflecting on their goals and next steps (Managing self & Thinking )
- Collaborating with other learners and giving feedback (Relating to others)
- Choosing which activities will support their learning (Using language, symbols and texts)
- Challenge themselves to take control of their learning and work with the teacher and others in the group to develop their reading strategies within small group workshops as well as independently (Participating and contributing)
As well as the curriculum research, a big part of my tool will rely on intentional teaching where teachers will set up their lessons to have workshops with the learners. It will begin with the teacher modelling this approach where the learners will eventually be able to have conversations supported by their new vocabulary to learn with and from one another and give each other feedback.
I feel this is a big differentiation in my tool that I have not seen in other tools. Although Reciprocal Teaching is not a new approach, no other tool that i have found supports the learners with independent tasks that the learners can complete to practise the reading strategies when they are not working with an adult in the workshop.
Based on the feedback from KPMG and my further research I am excited to finish my site in the next two weeks so I have a working prototype that I can use with the learners and get feedback to continue to refine. Continuing to grow my understanding of what a shared language could look like in Reading - Is it possible? Let's see.....
I spent the last few days reflecting on my journey so far and all the twists and turns it has taken - heavily influenced by the feedback from the MIT Team. I was really excited to share my progress so far and get next steps.
This visual was for others but mainly for myself as one our mentors, Anne Sinclair, reminds me often. My brain likes to think big and I have spent this year practising refining my thinking and putting plans in place to keep myself accountable for all my different roles.
My journey so far has been constantly refining my ideas and now I have a tool that I have created that I have been getting feedback from teachers about.
The feedback from my day at KPMG was:
- Where am I getting my shared language from? Is it transferable to other schools?
- Am I going to big? Should I focus on certain areas within the reading levels and then grow it as I get a better understanding of what goes into one level?
- How do I summarise my tool in a few words as well as explaining the whole journey?
As a person who likes to think big picture I really do value this feedback as it supports with my thinking and it keeps me thinking about how I can funnel my thinking to ensure I am holding myself accountable for the outcome that is sharable with others.
My Next Steps:
- Collate all my research so far and create a blog post making links to the Curriculum Doc and other areas to make sure my tool is relatable to other teachers/schools
- Focus on Senior School Reading Levels (Purple, Gold, 8.5-9.5 and 9.5 - 10.5) and make links to the Key Competencies as critical thinking and collaboration what I feel differentiates my tool from others.
- My summary is 'My tool has a shared language that allows learners to drive their own learning and promotes intentional teaching for reading strategies.'
Watch this space....
Although we do not know what the future holds I feel we have to attempt to understand what qualities and skills will be needed/desired to be successful adults: creative, risk takers who can self regulate and adapt to a changing environment (with confidence or resilience?). - That's my thoughts anyways. Helping children to accept and understand what ‘comfortable with being uncomfortable so you are prepared for anything’ means.