Sunday, 10 April 2016

2016 Inquiry focus

2016 brings us to another inquiry into my teaching and learning. My new focus:
How can I teach learners to make inferences or judgements from layers of meaning in a text?

Group 1 Background.
Higher order thinking to extend (focus on improving evaluation in Comp) using Solo model 12 kids reading at 14+. These students have reasonable demand on their time with the roles of student leadership for most. They are often called upon to be spokespersons for the school for a range of professionals that visit our school. They have a high standard of the key competencies which allows for good collaboration as well as independent achievement.
  Challenge - area needing strengthening: Stuck on 'Evaluative' questioning and thought processes in probe tests. Ability to infer needs to be pushed further to make conclusions and summaries more easily.
  Action to support: Drawing conclusions across range of texts to prompt the thinking process further than the text in front of them. Adding also their own experience and knowledge. Second group:

Group 2 Background: This group enjoy reading and at times seem bored with it. In discussions they can explain their thinking. When having to respond in writing, often it will seem the wrong way around when. Sequence to answering process is not correct.
  Challenge: Making an inference or a judgement from layers of meaning in a text clearly. When testing they struggle with looking across text to make a clear conclusion or summary using sound judgement from what they could infer. 
Action to support: A lot of 'So what?' questions. Encouragement of full sentences to respond. Opportunities to teach each other about - not simply teacher to student.

Group 3 Background: This group is one of the most enthusiastic. Often asking for the next piece before others.
  Challenge: Word knowledge poor. This prompts a unclear response to text often and an inability to express their opinions verbally.
  Action to support: work on linguistics...sounds/shapes of letters through to words, sentences, contexts. Lots and lots of talking about what we read BEFORE our written responses. A shift in focus for sharing to happen between the group more rather than student to teacher alone. Group 3 this term has shown improvement in understanding inferences through a more focused learning sequence around learning and then sharing - teaching each other. This culture of sharing and teaching one another has prompted a positive approach from this particular group to ensure all understand before moving on. An element of peer support has occurred. A short reminder weekly of how we can help one another with language and processes modelled by myself has supported this group better. Deliberate acknowledgement and praise of when this 'Learning and teaching talk' is heard and seen has been powerful.

 All groups: have deliberate acts of teaching that 'Sell the text' and modelling of linking to other texts.  The students are more enthusiastic about the learning and teaching around selected text when this hook has been made. This is important to do at all levels.

 Term 2: I will continue with a focus on groups 2 and 3. I am hoping with group 1 that the demands on their time will lessen from outside class which will enable a more settled and prepared group of learners - ready to use the SOLO model in a real and meaningful way.