Thursday, 22 August 2019

Key reading practices at year 5 and 6 (according to the research and according to team 4)

In our CoL meeting earlier in the term, Russell asked us to consider what we believed were key reading practices which are needed at the various year levels which we all teach. We are thinking about how we can create a consistent language across reading in our different schools across the classes in our school and also across the schools in our CoL.

The Ministry of Education resource, Effective Literacy Practice for years 5-8, states that the strategies which are necessary include:

- Attending and searching
- Predicting
- Cross-checking
- Confirming/ self-correcting
- Re-predicting

The Ministry of Education resource, Effective Literacy Practice for years 1-4, states that the strategies which are necessary include the above, as well as:

- Connecting prior knowledge to the text
- Forming/testing hypotheses
- Asking questions
- Visualising
- Inferring
- Identifying purpose/ POV
- Identifying/summarising main ideas
- Analysing and synthesising
- Evaluating

I asked the team 4 teachers what they felt were essential strategies required at our year levels for reading and we decided on the following two strategies:

- Retelling a story/text in their own words.
- Development of vocabulary.

Interestingly, retelling (summarising) is a practice for years 1-4 however, we still see it as one of the essentials needed at year 5-6. Development of vocabulary doesn't actually appear as a strategy as such, however many of the other strategies require a developed vocabulary knowledge to be able to be used. 

I decided to take this away to find suggestions for how this could be taught consistently across classes. 

I looked through some of the Sheena Cameron books to see what she thought about this. Her reading activity handbook has a whole chapter dedicated to focusing on words. In her Teaching Reading Comprehension Strategies (a practical classroom guide) book (2009), Sheena Cameron discusses the following strategies for reading:

- Activating prior knowledge
- Self-monitoring
- Predicting
- Questioning
- Making connections
- Visualising
- Inferring
- Summarising
- Synthesising
- Skimming
- Scanning

As well as this, she also has a whole section of the text dedicated to building vocabulary knowledge, with suggestions for how this can be done.

Monday, 12 August 2019

KPMG Term 3

Today we had the opportunity to pitch our tool to our MIT colleagues. This was a great way of sharing our work so far this year. I felt confident with presenting my work and I had some really useful feedback and suggestions.

- We discussed the use of the word 'cybersmart.' We talked about how this word is a noun, not a verb. Therefore, we wouldn't talk about 'doing cybersmart' but instead 'learning about being cybersmart.'

- Dorothy suggested that I look at the latest Summer Learning Journey report which touches on the importance of interpersonal skills.

- It was also suggested that I use the word 'kind' rather than 'nice' when describing how we communicate online. Using explicit language which makes sense to the children is essential when teaching how to be cybersmart.

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Keeping a record of each assessment type used to monitor the effect of the changed practice/ intervention on learner outcome

Below is a template of the spreadsheet I will use to record the information I find to monitor the effects of the changed practice/ intervention on learner outcome. This spreadsheet will incorporate links to teacher practice, evidence of learning and student voice.

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Formal and Informal Monitoring - Is the changed practices/ intervention having an impact on learner outcome?

As discussed at our CoL meeting, it is going to be important to make judgements about children's progressions by undertaking formative assessment (both formal and informal) at set intervals.

I will do this by: 
- Keeping a log of reflections along the way (that is, teacher notes)
- Collecting student voice - through a google form and through their movies they have created.
- Student work samples - collaborative brainstorming/planning docs; 30 second - 1 minute movies
- Arbs?
- Writing samples - I will collect regular blog post samples or blog comment samples
- Regular blog commenting/replying on a chosen blog post/comment - see how these change over time - have the children become more critical/ connected in their responses?

Summative Assessment:
- Cybersmart assessment (same one taken in term 1)

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Implementation of changed practices and intervention

As discussed in our CoL meeting, it is really important that we have it clear in our heads as to what we have changed or done as the TEACHER to support the learning challenge. I will collect information about the implementation of my changed practices and intervention in a number of ways.

1. Record of prior planning (see 2017/2018 cybersmart planning and experiences).
- 2017 team site + class planning
- 2018 team site + class planning

2. "Repeated measure" of teaching over time:
- Planning notes and reflections detailing my lessons/ the learning experiences planned for cybersmart since implementation of the changed practices and intervention.
- Evidence through: Teacher planning doc, children's collaborative brainstorming/ planning docs, movies created (recorded on this website).

Monday, 29 July 2019

Restating my theory of action

The valued learning outcomes I want to improve for my students in this inquiry are …. 

Development of interpersonal skills and critical thinking, which are required when learning in a digital environment.

The changes I am making to my teaching to improve these outcomes are …..

Changes to the way I teach cybersmart. Each new piece of cybersmart learning is followed up by the children working in groups to participate in a collaborative and creative movie-making challenge where they have to share their new learning in a short 30 second to 1 minute long movie. I am also including the google site, Interland and the Be Internet Awesome Curriculum as well as the Manaiakalani Cybersmart curriculum in my teaching of new concepts. Through my explicit teaching, the focus is on the connection between interpersonal skills and critical thinking which are necessary when working in a digital environment. The movies which the children make will then become a resource which can continue to be used by the class as well as other children in future cybersmart learning.
The reasons why I think these changes in my teaching will be effective for my learners are …..

Engagement. Already, altering my teaching to including the movie-making challenges has made the children in my class excited to participate in cybersmart learning.
Rewindable/visible learning. The children are the creators - they are creating movies which are reinforcing and enhancing their learning and in the process, they are becoming the teachers for future lessons. This follows the Tataiako competency of Ako (reciprocal teaching/learning).
Deep learning. To challenge these children to extend their cybersmart learning, they need to be given opportunities to think critically and deeply about content online. This will come from having opportunities to create quality blog comments (currently, they can create positive comments, however being helpful and thoughtful as well is more of a challenge) and by critiquing what they read or see online.

Thursday, 25 July 2019

Term 3: Where I am up to and where I will go next

Kāhui Ako Achievement Challenge 5: Improve the achievement of students with additional needs in the learning areas of English/ key competency using symbols, languages and texts.

My Inquiry Challenge (updated): Children living in a digital world, where interpersonal skills and critical thinking are essential, require ubiquitous access to cybersmart scaffolds and resources which are not currently available.

This term is going to be all about implementing my tool to support cybersmart learning. The website is up and running and ready for movies to be added in as they are created by the children. Once this starts happening, they can begin to be shared with other children.

What will this look like?
- Explicit teaching of each of the cybersmart topics we are focusing on.
- Time each week for cybersmart learning and movie making.
- Term  4 - retesting on cybsermart quiz which was undertaken at the start of the year.