Monday, 3 October 2016

Power of Oracy in the Classroom

My fellow teacher/mentor/idea bouncer/buddy Helen King shared this link about a school in England that places a real importance on the teaching of oracy skills in the classroom. Watching it showed how powerful this emphasis could be, in not only expanding children's critical thinking and literacy skills, but also their social skills, and empathy towards others.
Very inspiring.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Term 2 Reflection

This term has continued to be a focus on strategies for reading. I have looked at the points I made at the end of last term that I wanted to consider more carefully and have reflected about these.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Learning Model

Today at our Teacher Only Day we had a look at our Learning Model with the view to it needing to be revised, revamped or replaced .....
It was quite interesting having the chance to wander through Stonefields school to see  their model. What we all found apparent was the consistency throughout the school with what was displayed and talked about. There were lots of really good components that were teased out in detail.
However what I found a little difficult was to get the overall picture easily and coherently.

With this in mind it made me realise that throughout this whole process we need to remember what the purpose for the Learning Model is.  I think that the Learning Model is to help the children understand and be guided in their learning. There are many different components that contribute to this from the key competencies and attitudes to skills and processes.  The dilemma then becomes how to incorporate all these important elements into a model while still keeping the model cohesive and easily remembered for the children to use. The difficulty with a model based on key words is that too many makes it clunky and then hard to incorporate into a simple diagram. But trying to keep it simplistic so it looks uncluttered then means that many components can't be included or have to be part of some other aspect of learning outside of the learning model (as they were at Stonefields)

So in considering all of these points has lead me to wonder if the best way to approach it, is to think of a metaphor or picture that is memorable yet cohesive, but also has the scope to include the many components. As we were discussing possibilities  for portraying our own version of the thinking pit, different images and metaphors were introduced such as Stuck in the Mud (stemmed from Ukutoia) Manaiakalani  and the Hook from heaven with the stars, waka etc. So why not use something that is significant for our school or area that is a single image which then become a narrative where many components can be represented and talked about. I think for children this picture or metaphor would make those triggers to help them be successful in their learning more visible and memorable.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Research Paper About Effectiveness of Reading Recovery Type Programme in Small Group.

Some interesting holiday reading I came across.

Here is the link to the Thesis from the Massey University Website.
Reading recovery as a small group intervention :

Below is the abstract copied from the study which gives a brief summary.

Abstract A small scale pilot study and a larger experimental study were undertaken to determine whether the Reading Recovery procedures could be successfully adapted for small group instruction. The purpose of the pilot study was to determine effective ways of working and to make recommended changes, if necessary, to the standard Reading Recovery lesson format. The experimental study was designed to see if these modifications would be as effective as the standard one to one Reading Recovery program. Both studies involved a high percentage of children for whom English was a second or third language. Pilot study teachers, working with either two or three children, devised ways of working with children reading at the same instructional level and with children working at different instructional levels. The experimental study involved seventy five children. Fifty of these children were taught in a pair situation and twenty five were taught one to one. A wide battery of tests including the Observation Survey (Clay 1993), a word reading test and tests of phonological processing ability was administered to all children prior to commencing the program, at the end of their program, and at year end. The results from both studies suggest that one to one Reading Recovery can be successfully modified for small group instruction, the preferred group size being two. Results from both studies indicated that by investing at most 27% more instructional time, the teachers could service 100% more children. - See more at:


An interesting article that is common sense really but useful to remind ourselves about the difficulties some of our children have staying focussed and motivated. It introduces the idea of purposefully building in strategies to practise self-control.

Research-based Strategies to Help Children Develop Self-Control