Monday, 7 December 2015


So here is my final reflection for the year in terms of my Inquiry.

In terms of the process of my own Inquiry what has been highlighted to me to me as that the Inquiry should be a reflection of the dynamics of the classroom. It needs to change and diverge depending in the needs of the children. The focus needs to connect into an evaluation of the practice you are using and modifying and altering it to ensure the children are getting what they need.

I initially was intending to focus my inquiry on exploring ways to incorporate more higher order thinking skills in reading with the emphasis on having a range of responses to text follow-ups. This was the focus for the first half of the year for my target group of average to above average readers.

By mid-year however I was disappointed in the progress of my focus group. Although they were classed as at/above readers in 2014 their reading behaviours in class seemed to indicate that their understanding at this level reading was lacking. The mid-year testing confirmed this as on the whole (8 out of the 13) were not able to pass the next level up in terms of comprehension and so had not made the 6 months gain. 

I needed to do something different so I shifted my focus onto the unpacking of texts in a more thorough way in the guided lesson. I still endeavoured to ensure follow up activities were using the higher blooms thinking skills of creating, analysing, synthesising but now with the understanding that the time and energy needed to be spent on the intensive unpacking of the texts to develop that deeper understanding, (without which the quality of their follow up responses would always be lacking). 

What I found really useful with this was the Hilton Ayrey guided teaching books. The step by step process used whilst being somewhat time-consuming did ensure that misunderstandings were brought out into the open as the children had to explain their understanding of what sentences meant and rephrase them in their own words. It gave a good opportunity to explore unfamiliar words and the differing meanings of words. 
As the teacher it gave me a much clearer insight into the children's reading processing and those who were struggling and needed more support. For the children it modelled a clear process for attacking text in order to gain a deeper understanding - a process they couldn't then use independently.

Over the second part of the year,this refocus was beginning to pay off as their comprehension was improving. This was confirmed with all of the group having made up the slow start in terms of progress and made at least the normal shift by the end of the year with  6 of the 13 making more than a year.