This year I have made a deliberate effort to encourage students to pose more questions, believing that this gives me a better insight into students’ thinking. On Friday, during a Geography lesson, I saw the benefits of this. In planning the lesson I had decided to model reading the climate statistics of Adelaide, so that students could then explore the climate statistics of their chosen country.
I presented the following table and graph:
I had planned to pose questions like:
- What is the highest average maximum temperature? When does this occur?
- What is the lowest average maximum temperature? When does this occur?
- What is the average rainfall for June?
Instead I referred to the data and got students to pose the questions. They asked much higher order questions, such as:
- Who collects the data? – Do they record accurately or can they manipulate the data if they are climate sceptics? (This wasn’t worded in this way, but it was what they were getting at.)
- How accurate is the data?
- What is the area related to the rainfall? How does this affect the data collected?
- Has there been major differences between the climate each year?
- After looking at the average temperatures, and knowing that the temperature can be much higher than these in Adelaide, one student thought that the statistics may be different if the last few years’ data was used, rather than the previous 30 years.
- Is the data reliable?
- When was it recorded?
- Who recorded it?
- Why is January the hottest month and has more rainfall than February? – February is usually hotter isn’t it?
- Why does the minimum temperature follow the maximum? (Recognition of pattern)
- Why does June have the highest rainfall?
I will continue to encourage students to pose and answer their own and others’ questions.
What sort of questions are your students posing?
What does this show you about their thinking?
Today I presented my first ‘Flipped Learning’ video to my class. They responded positively. Students used the Cornell Note-taking system to take notes and pose questions.
The information seemed to be targeted at the right level. The challenge will now be to maintain the videos in a sustainable way.
What are you beliefs about reading?
What are your practices?
Ways of working
Questioning to get to deeper levels of thinking
- posing and answering – orally and in writing
- exit passes
Thinking – visibly
- Thumbs/ fingers
- Piggy backing
- clarifying question
- giving examples
Making mistakes as a positive part of learning process
- neat, legible, margin – for feedback
- Cornell Note Taking System – to develop key word note taking, heading and questions, and summarising
- develop self assessment and peer assessment against criteria
- ease of reference
DRAFT (acronym to develop better sentence structure)
- add connectors
- form new verb endings
- talk it out
Above the line/ Below the line behaviours
- What do you want to see, hear, feel in/ about/ from your peers?
- What are some things you don’t want to see, hear, feel about your peers?
- Problem, Options, Outcomes, Choice. How did it go?
- Word Wall – included in oral explanations – written
Everyone participating in discussion as much as possible
- “__________what do you think?”
- “Can you give an example_________?”
Peer support, constructive criticism
- Distribution of resources and packing up
- Cornell Note Taking system
- Developing writing along the Register Continuum
- Explore writing styles – in texts we read, including graphs, diagrams, captions, etc.
- Mental Routine
- whiteboard markers and cloths to erase
- Number Talks
- draw representations to match student’s descriptions
- Structure to meet needs of students
- Recall, Apply, Analyse, Evaluate/ Create
- Help Desk
- Secret Code strategies
- used to describe processes used
- Subitising – expanded
- relate to other ideas/ situations
Spelling is not learned by rote or by immersion in writing and reading experiences.
Spelling is learned through:
- the strategic use of knowledge about
- Phonology – sound structure
- Orthography – written symbols to represent spoken language
- Morphology – smallest parts of words that carry meaning
- Etymology – origin of words
- visual activity – memory
- morpheme – units of meaning, base, root words, prefixes, suffixes
- spelling system
- integration with the teaching of phonological awareness, phonics, word study, vocabulary, writing and reading.
Components of Phonological Awareness:
A Comprehensive Model of Spelling for Educators
Motivation and willingness to engage is influenced by quality of the learning environment, characterised by:
- ‘real life’ significance
- reasonable level of challenge
Instruction needs to:
- be related to writing and it’s role in effective communication.
- involve students in group work
- involve solving word problems
- build a community of spellers who know how to research and use words for authentic purposes
- see the teacher taking an important role in modelling and inspiring a passion about words and their value as tools for communication
Differentiation will be needed to meet the students’ range of needs.
“It would be a waste of everybody’s time if they were all expected to learn the same words, strategies and skills.”
To differentiate consider:
- learning profile
To assess readiness the Words Their Way test can be used as a pre-assessment.
- high frequency word lists
- words of interest to student
- words that the teacher has noticed the student trying to spell in writing
- words that contain features that the students needs to practise
- words from topics that are being covered across the curriculum
“Having students work through a commercial workbook, at their own pace, does not constitute differentiated teaching.”
7 Goals for Differentiation in the Classroom – Heacox 2002
- Develop challenging and engaging tasks for each learner.
- Develop instructional activities based on essential topics and concepts, processes and skills, and differentiated ways of displaying learning.
- Provide flexible approaches to content instruction and products.
- Respond to students’ readiness, instructional needs, interests, and learning preferences.
- Provide opportunities for students to work in various instructional formats.
- Meet curriculum standards and requirements for each learner.
- Establish learner-responsive, teacher-facilitated classrooms.
Recommended sequence for teaching sound-letter correspondence.
Spelling Sequence 1
Spelling Sequence 2
Sources of Knowledge
- phonemic manipulation
- word pronumciation
- segmenting words into syllables, phonemes or morphemes
- sound-letter relationship
- common spelling patterns/ letter sequences
- rules for positioning of letter in words
- free and bound morphemes
- root and base words
- prefixes and suffixes; included inflected endings
- word derivations
- rules and generalisations regarding adding suffixes
- compound words
Suggested sequence for introducing morphemes Table 4.4 page 76
Visual perception problems
- interested in words
- being aware of words and their parts
- curious and motivated to learn
Spelling is a thinking process not a rote learning task.
Spelling Strategy posters:
- Sound it out
- Does it look right?
- Spell by meaning
- Consulting an authority
- Spell by rule
Technology based interventions:
- Phonics Alive – Advanced Software
- Clicker Phonics
- Fast Forward – (Fairly costly but developed by neuroscientists)
- Aerobics by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- Wordshark 5 by White Space Ltd
- Prof’s Phonics 1
- Alpha Writer
- Plickers – using a game called ‘You can join my game’
Use data about where your students are at to determine needs and address these.
Assessment is an important tool to do this.
Explicit teaching of
- Phonological Knowledge
- Orthographic Knowledge
- Morphological Knowledge
- Etymological Knowledge
Characteristics of an effective Spelling Program:
- Regular assessment – data analysis indicating growth
- Differentiated practices
- word lists
- choices in activities/ ways of working depending on needs and interests
- Goal setting and regular monitoring with high student involvement in these processes
- Metalanguage developed
- Students increasingly developing vocabulary to describe strategies and thinking processes used
- Learning applied to writing
- Sense of fun, wonder, challenge experienced
- Games, challenges as a class
- Curriculum standards addressed and achieved
- students increasingly able to articulate their learning, explaining patterns and generalisations and appropriately applying these
- Evidence shows development – what students say, write, do and make reflected on skills/ knowledge continuum (may not be linear)
- Intervention strategies implemented for cohorts/ individuals as necessary with support of SSO, parent, peer tutor, regular time with the teacher – tied to goals which are time bound and reviewed to measure effectiveness of processes used.
- Further assessment sought/ referred if intervention not successful
- technological tools could be useful (Phonics Alive, Apps, Text to speech (coping strategy)
- Students use their knowledge and skills strategically to spell increasingly proficiently
- phonological knowledge
- orthographical knowledge
- morphological knowledge
- etymological knowledge
- apply strategies for how to spell unknown words
Working in a system of standards-referenced assessment: traversing the intersections – Lenore Adie
Unit planning – Intended Learning clearly articulated
SOLO – standards clear A, B, C, etc
Success criteria clear to students – They can then use these to self assess
What did you learn?
How do you know you learned it?
What got in the way of your learning?
What helped your learning?
How do you feel?
What can I do to help you?
|Task||You need to include more descriptive adjectives|
|Process||You need to work with your writing buddy to edit this piece of work looking for places to include more descriptive adjectives|
|Self-regulation||You already know the key features of the opening of an argument. Check to see whether you have incorporated them in your first paragraph.|
Bringing it all together
triple-science-guide_assessment-for-learningThe Association for Achievement and Improvement through Assessment
Dylan Wiliam’s Website
Education and Endowment Fund
Learning Sciences – Dylan Wiliam Centre
National STEM Learning Centre
Further Reading/ Resources
Assessment For Learning
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