Thursday, 31 July 2014

Presenting at the Learning & Change Network Hui

This is my presentation at the Learning & Change Network Hui. This was a great opportunity to discuss my thinking and inquiry to like minded people.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Create to Learn: Purposeful Reading

Source: Rebecca Jessen, Woolf Fisher Research Centre

I have been giving Rebecca Jessen's feedback to the Manaiakalani group of schools some thought. There is a section in her feedback that pertains to the reading that students undertake in order to successful create to share their learning. Rebecca states, "Rather than reading for the sake of reading, students need to use their readings as sources for creating." She continues, "Reading provides students with the ‘‘knowledge fuel’’ they need for creating."

With this in mind, during our term 2 topic of 'Floating and Sinking' we were focusing on the Titanic. I found that this topic was hugely engaging for my students and provided them endless opportunities to create their own lines of inquiry. However, during our guided reading sessions I found myself getting stuck in old boring literature that was all that engaging to the students. Most of the reading was helpful to their inquiries but didn't extend their knowledge or understanding. So where was the 'knowledge fuel'?

I decided I needed to go hunting for some extended texts for my students. However, these were hard to find in hard copy. This lead me to creating my own digital books (Titanic example). I found a whole lot of information and interesting readings on the internet and created books in Google Docs. My students were suddenly hooked! I found they couldn't read these books quick enough and became sponges, thirsty for more information. This lead to the following two outcomes. The students enjoyed the process of using extended texts that they started creating their own digital books. I also noticed how easily they were now able to share and in greater detail.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Teaching as Inquiry

I have been recently considering this model again and how this impacts my teaching and the progress of my students.

The questions that I am going to focus on this term are:
1. What do the students say they need?
2. What does the  research recommend as likely to be effective?
3. How can I implement the research?

I have also been considering how my students might use this learning inquiry to benefit their own learning. I have noticed that when I give my students the opportunity to design and undertake their own line of inquiry in literacy their quality of thought and sharing has increased exponentially. Watch this space!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Using the SAMR Ladder to Hook Readers

Are my reading tasks and thinking frames above the line?

Am I creating busy work for my students?

Are my students creating things that were once inconceivable without the technology that we are so lucky to have here at Pt England School?

These are just a few of the questions that have been circulating around in my mind when thinking of my students progress in reading. I am working hard to create enough opportunities for the students to interact with engaging material that extends their thinking and fast tracks their reading progress.

Using Blooms Taxonomy to Hook Readers

Over the past few months I have been exploring the use of reading followup activities in my programme. I have realised that my students have a love for reading and have been hooked into reading a range of books. However, in my classroom reading programme I have found that the followup tasks set for the students can either make or break their motivation or love of the book. If the followup task is too short or simple they become easily bored. If it is too challenging they have been demotivated to push through and solve the problem.

So, I have been looking at creating tasks based around Blooms Taxonomy. As soon as I have taken the time to assess my activities against Blooms Taxonomy and checked that it is cognitively engaging the students have been immediately hooked.

Here is an example of a followup that my students have been working on.