Tuesday, 12 June 2018
Term 1 - Term 2 learning shift
The three students in orange were identifed as my target students. I am delighted they have made progress.
For me, having this many students make no shift is really really concerning. What have I been doing? Is there something in the 7.5-9.5 age range that is difficult to shift that I have not addressed? Reflecting on who these students are, I recognised a few (i.e. over half) 'cool girls', who are the ones in groups who are 'too cool' to participate and sit there sulking. Maybe I should group them together, then they might actually read and participate? Maybe the selection of texts is not appropriate for their maturity levels.. Food for thought.
The students in orange are also 'target students'. They were identified as target students because of their low achievement in the first place, now they have not made any shifts.. Is there maybe something else happening for these students?
I think overall my reading shifts are good. Although I'm very concerned about the group who didn't shift at 7.5-9.5, others made huge progress which should be celebrated. The other thing that has changed is the students attitude towards reading, and their own reading ability. Those who routinely say "I can't read" and now giving it a try and know who they can work well with. I think another thing that made a difference was changing the content of what we are reading to keep it challenging and interesting. For example, we read chapter books (Literacy Circles) for two weeks, have done many weeks using Digital reading (linked with inquiry) and then some school journals as well. When we do school journals in groups, we do one page per day rather than reading the whole story once and moving on. It provides much better opportunity for understanding new words, making connections, and facilitates much better discussion about and around the text.
Key - yellow shows one level shift upwards, orange means more than one level shifted upwards. Students whose initials are pink are the target students for maths.
Class as a whole - I am quite proud of how quickly the students have build upon their place value knowledge and can use it in different ways. They are more comfortable and confident and naming their strategy (I.e I used place value so I ....). Once this place value knowledge was in place, I could extend them by teaching them how to use algorithm correctly (I hate when they say "I carried the one..", no you didn't, you "exchanged 10 ones for 1 ten") and also introducing decimal numbers. Although for some of the lower students this is a bit too abstract, they can understand some of the place value surrounding the numbers.
DMIC - DMIC maths can be really good and provides opportunity for lots of student-led discussion about the problem. I love the social skills DMIC encourages (E.g. problem solving, negotiating, assigning roles within a group, holding each other accountable)
I think it was quite difficult for students to change from 100% strategy teaching to 100% DMIC teaching, and hence we had some bumps along the way. A challenge I found when I started GLOSSing the students, was that they had forgotten a lot of the strategies I had taught them in Term 1 and they were able to confidently do in Term 1. I understand that there maybe needs to be a balance, and to try to find that balance I have tried changing the independent tasks to more strategy based problems, rather than problems similar to what the group has solved. I don't know yet if this is a good choice or not, but I am trying it and we will see.
I am hesitant to share writing shift, as the two test that were done measure two different genres of writing (Term 1 was recounts and Term 2 explanation texts).
Overall, I feel really proud of the way I taught writing this term.
Last term I felt a little lazy, just doing activities then telling students to write about what we did. I didn't give a lot of 1:1 feedback or specific teachings about features of writing or what good writers do.
I really tried to focus this term on myself teaching writing better - explaining things, multiple opportunities to learn, less 1:1 writing and more buddy/group/class writing.
My reflection of one week of this type of teaching can be found here.
Marking the students writing samples/tests, I can really see they have absorbed the information I taught them about explanation texts and can produce a really good text by themselves.