Students Posing Questions

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?
  • etc.

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? – Here, hidden or head

What does this show you about their thinking?

Graphic Organisers – Reading Comprehension and Writing Plans

Content Descriptors and Achievement Standards – For reference when planning, assessing and reporting

EALD Language and Literacy Levelling Process 2017

Refer to Year 3 text ‘A Spider in the House’

Using the following form and your Language and Literacy Levels book, assign a level to each aspect and decide on an overall level. Discuss findings.
EALD-Notes-for-Assigning-a-level-added-tablesv2-qnfvm1[1]

Continue the levelling process of Wave 2 and 3 students in your year level teams.

Refer to the narratives here to moderate your judgements.

If you prefer to highlight texts as you are levelling use these colours:

– foregrounding- Yellow

noun groups

verbs

circumstances

conjunctions

Teaching Foci-

2015 – Sentence Structure

2016 – Sentence Structure and Text Cohesion

2017 – Sentence Structure, Text Cohesion and expand vocabulary

 

Teaching Strategies

teachingstrategies_1 (1)

A Closer Look at Spelling in the Primary Classroom – G Oakley, J Fellowes, PETAA

Notes:

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
  • metalanguage
    • phoneme
    • syllable
    • affixes
    • morpheme – units of meaning, base, root words, prefixes, suffixes
  • spelling system
  • generalisations
  • 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:

  • meaningful
  • ‘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:

  • readiness
  • interest
  • learning profile

To assess readiness the Words Their Way test can be used as a pre-assessment.

Content

  • 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

  1. Develop challenging and engaging tasks for each learner.
  2. Develop instructional activities based on essential topics and concepts, processes and skills, and differentiated ways of displaying learning.
  3. Provide flexible approaches to content instruction and products.
  4. Respond to students’ readiness, instructional needs, interests, and learning preferences.
  5. Provide opportunities for students to work in various instructional formats.
  6. Meet curriculum standards and requirements for each learner.
  7. Establish learner-responsive, teacher-facilitated classrooms.

Recommended sequence for teaching sound-letter correspondence.

Spelling Sequence 1

Spelling Sequence 2

Sources of Knowledge

Phonological Knowledge

  • syllables
  • rhyme
  • onset-rhyme
  • phonemes
  • phonemic manipulation
  • word pronumciation
  • segmenting words into syllables, phonemes or morphemes

Orthographic Knowledge

  • sound-letter relationship
  • common spelling patterns/ letter sequences
  • rules for positioning of letter in words

Morphological Knowledge

  • free and bound morphemes
  • root and base words
  • prefixes and suffixes; included inflected endings
  • word derivations
  • rules and generalisations regarding adding suffixes
  • compound words
  • homonyms

Suggested sequence for introducing morphemes Table 4.4 page 76

Visual perception problems

http://www.thevisiontherapycenter.com/discovering-vision-therapy/bid/81695/Spelling-Difficulties-in-Students-Caused-by-Vision-Problems

Word Consciousness

  • 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
  • Analogy
  • Spell by rule
  • Mnemonics

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
  • Apps
    • Hearbuilder
    • 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

  • Language
    • phoneme
    • syllable
    • morpheme
    • suffix
    • affix
    • baseword
    • prefix
    • rootword
    • compound
    • homophone
    • homonym
  • Strategies
  • Phonological Knowledge
  • Orthographic Knowledge
  • Morphological Knowledge
  • Etymological Knowledge

Summary:

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
      • sound
      • sight
      • meaning
      • rules
      • mnemonics
      • authority

Phonological and Morphological suggested sequence

Which ‘Characteristics of an effective Spelling Program’ are evident here?

Deepawali – Diwali Notes from Swati

MEANING OF DEEPAWALI (Diwali)
Deepawali or Diwali is certainly the biggest and the brightest of all Hindu festivals. It’s the festival of lights (deep = light and avali = a row i.e., a row of lights) that’s marked by four days of celebration, which literally illuminates the country with its brilliance, and dazzles all with its joy. This year Diwali falls on Sunday, October 30 , 2016. Each of the four days in the festival of Diwali is separated by a different tradition, but what remains true and constant is the celebration of life, its enjoyment and goodness.

The Significance of Lights & Firecrackers

All the simple rituals of Diwali have significance and a story to tell. The illumination of homes with lights and the skies with firecrackers is an expression of obeisance to the heavens for the attainment of health, wealth, knowledge, peace and prosperity. According to one belief, the sound of fire-crackers are an indication of the joy of the people living on earth, making the gods aware of their plentiful state. Still another possible reason has a more scientific basis: the fumes produced by the crackers kill a lot of insects and mosquitoes, found in plenty after the rain.
From Darkness Into Light…

In each legend, myth and story of Deepawali lies the significance of the victory of good over evil; and it is with each Deepawali and the lights that illuminate our homes and hearts, that this simple truth finds new reason and hope. From darkness unto light — the light that empowers us to commit ourselves to good deeds, that which brings us closer to divinity. During Diwali, lights illuminate every corner of India and the scent of incense sticks hangs in the air, mingled with the sounds of fire-crackers, joy, togetherness and hope. Diwali is celebrated around the globe. Outside India, it is more than a Hindu festival; it’s a celebration of South-Asian identities. If you are away from the sights and sounds of Diwali, light a diya, sit quietly, shut your eyes, withdraw the senses, concentrate on this supreme light and illuminate the soul.

Many activities can be done in the classroom Here are Some examples
Colored Sand Rangoli or simple Colorful chalk rangoli

You may be able to buy coloured rice for your rangoli projects. If not, coloured sand (available from craft stores) makes a good alternative. You can also die your own coloured salt, by simply mixing cheap table salt with food colouring and then spreading it out to dry.Coloured sand rangoli
A diya pattern drawn with coloured rice in picture
In traditional rangoli, the outline pattern is drawn on the floor and then filled in by carefully sprinkling coloured powders. Older children could try this technique directly on the ground with coloured sand or salt, having drawn their outline with chalk. Make sure they try this somewhere away from too much foot traffic, and easy to clean!

You will need:
• Chalk for drawing a grid or outline
• Newspaper to work on
• Coloured rice, salt or sand
• Large piece dark paper (black construction paper is ideal)
• PVA glue
• Optional – glitter
You may prefer to draw your outline on a piece of dark coloured paper and then fill in each section with white glue, sprinkling with sand or salt as you would with glitter. Do one colour at a time and shake the excess off onto a large piece of newspaper.
Children could use glitter in some areas of the design for contrast and emphasis. Students can also use simple round candles instead of battery candles.
diwali-1

Diwali Diyas Craft (candles)
diyas

diwali

 

Diwali Cards

 

diwali-cards

Recommended resources from Vicki:

https://www.tes.com/teaching-resources/blog/top-diwali-resources-eyfs-and-primary?utm_campaign=RES-1804&utm_content=australia-newsletter&utm_source=exact-target&utm_medium=email

Questions

I have recently been reading Kath Murdoch’s new book, The Power of Inquiry, and have gathered some different questioning techniques that I will be using this term with classes. Feel free to use what is useful to you.

Questions