Week 5 Term 3


Monday
I have been without my laptop this week as it has been in to be fixed !
I have come to realise how much you rely on the programmes you are use to using, as well as the information you have stored on your laptop. A little of juggling and I now have had imovie HD loaded on my temporary laptop.

I led the staff meeting today in my role as literacy leader in the school -
The readings I have done around professional development have stressed the importance of dialogue between staff as providing rich and valuable opportunities for staff to reflect on their practice , to learn from each other which all has a positive outcome for raising student achievement

In an article Enhancing capacity to analyse students' writing summary by Libby Limbrick, Pauline Buchanan, Marineke Goodwin and Helen Schwarz they outlined

Research has also suggested that when teachers engage in “learning talk” there can be positive outcomes for student achievement (Annan, Lai, & Robinson, 2003; Ball & Cohen, cited in Robinson, 2003, p. 29). Professional discussion can enhance both teacher knowledge and student achievement. Through such discussions, teachers examine their own pedagogy in relation to student achievement, building on identified sound practice, strengthening weaknesses and overcoming gaps in knowledge (Robinson, 2003). However, Timperley (2007), in her inaugural professorial address, emphatically
makes the point that talking is not enough: talk must also transform student achievement.


Today at the staff meeting in three groups - the staff rotated around 3 activities led by a member of staff
Activity one focused on looking at the writing exemplars and the important section that focuses on where to next. This session was particular important in that in the past the exemplars have been used when we moderate the school wide collection of writing samples ie at the end of the teaching and learning sequence. Here we were looking at them as an important tool to reflect on students work, how their work measured up to the exemplars and the next steps to raising the students achievement DURING the teaching and learning sequence BEFORE we collected a school wide sample.
Activity two focused on differentiated planning in writing and what this might look like.
Activity three focused on the school policy of presentation standards and gave teachers time to reflect on the draft books in light of the requirements as outlined in the policy.
Each of these activities promoted the chance for dialogue between staff and TIME to reflect on their practice.

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Tuesday
The children are continuing to draw images to go with their narratives - the ones who are left to draw their images seem to be the ones that take the longest to complete the task - why is that?

While they take their time I have Sarah asking if she could start drawing the images for her next narrative - it's as if she was already done all the thinking behind the images and she is so keen to get on to complete the task.

Before the children went home I showed them the blog and talked to them about adding a comment on the blog. I told them it would be wonderful if I opened my emails and found 25 emails - one from each of them. The reality was that when I opened my emails I had 7 emails from Neve and one from her brother (he submitted the same comment twice). Neve's comment's were short and sweet however she did show a developing understanding that comments can be varied - she left comments about what she liked, answered a question and asked a question. The comment below - says it all

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Wednesday
I found myself sitting in the Epsom campus library today - I haven't been there since I completed my Diploma of TESSOL - which was a while ago !!!!

I picked up a text by Frances Christie - Language Education in the Primary School years. It outlined how important it is to promote the links between reading and writing. How students need to read like writers and write like readers. Readers and writers use their knowledge in complementary ways - readers to construct meaning from existing texts and writers to construct meaning in the new texts that they create.

I feel strongly that one of my most important roles as a literacy teacher is to stress to the relationship between reading and writing, encouraging the children I teach to move between the two using the experiences gained in one activity to inform and enrich the other.

As I have undertaken this teacher inquiry I have made explicit the links between reading and writing as well as stressed the important role oral language has to guide our writing.

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Thursday
The third year student has completed a Y chart on swing bridges. We used this chart to guide our oral language activity - 'the web'. The children then went off to record their oral language planners in a business like fashion.

It is the third time we have written an information report this year and it was interesting to note those who were clinging to the oral language planner - checking those sign posts as to how to construct the text to those who have began to refer to the planner less as their understanding of how to write an information report has become embedded in the way they think.

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The children filled in their written planners - a Y chart recording their ideas with words and illustrations.

It seems timely to be writing on something related to our topic of study. The opportunities for this have been fewer this term - a reflection I think of the topic under study - Bridges.
I always like be writing about/around the topic as it has powerful links for the children.

The last children finished their images for the first cycle of narratives. This has been quite a mission this term this is due in part to the fact that their images are becoming a lot more detailed and due in part to the fact that the process itself has slowed down with the third year student being in full control.

Below are images Katharine drew on KidPIx to go with her narrative

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I had an interesting chat with Ryan today about the image he had drawn to support his narrative - I talked about and showed him images in books.
The images below are before and after my chat!!
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Above are images by Christiane to go with her narrative

Friday
All the oral planners we viewed today were all completed by boys. Over all the oral planners completed by the boys were stronger than those of the girls.

We had a recording session this afternoon. As the children finished recording I asked them what title they wanted. They were quick to choose a title that summed up their narrative. These titles were varied and interesting.

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Sarah saw the computer was free and was quick to swoop on it to finish her images to go with her next narrative about a dog and his bone. Interestingly when I looked in her draft book - her narrative for these pictures was started but not completed as she was sick !!!!
The pictures tell the story - so I will have to get her to finish off her written text.
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As the week draws to a close – I ponder and acknowledge the following
• As a teacher it is important to make explicit the links between reading and writing using the experiences gained in one activity to inform and enrich the other.
• It has taken a lot longer this term to get the children through the first cycle of publishing their narratives - this is due in part to the fact that the
children are drawing illustrations that are a lot more detailed.
• When some children comment on the blog they leave a number of comments that are varied in their content.
• I need to think creatively about the ways I can encourage children to leave comments on the blog.