Monday, 30 April 2018

Sentence Frame - helping students to write.

Term 2 - 2018

It is a common scene in many classrooms especially at the junior levels, students sit and stare at a blank paper because they were asked to write and don't know how to start or they can't think of the right words to use. 

In my class, not only that I have students who are 5 years old, but these students' first language is not English. They haven't had enough esperiences to be able to speak with confidence. Wether students are asked to write a story, answer questions, or practice vocabulary words, many have difficulty figuring out how to start writing. 

Therefore, I decide to use sentence frame to help them improve the quality of their talk and hopefully lead on to an improvement in the quality of their writing.

My hunch therefore for the next four weeks is: 
Will using sentence frame increase quality talk and writing of my students?

I found this video and I know that there are lots out there about sentence frame, but I like this one because it specifically talks about how sentence frame scaffolds the development of the English Language learner

Friday, 13 April 2018

Evaluation & Sustainability - Term 1 2018

How will you sustain the habits that are promoting success
for your students?
Continue to use 'dictation' - through Quick60, Maths, Inquiry topics and Reading. I will make sure that dictation happens twice or three times a day.

Quick60 program will continue. We have completed the alphabets part, next part is reading. The structure is similar and I believe my students will be able to adapt and do better.

I will make handwriting a big focus and include that in my writing tumble for term 2. I will take workshops for children who are still unable to form letters correctly with confident. I believe that knowing how to form letters correctly helps in the future to write a sentence quickly and correctly.

What did you learn as a teacher / what surprised you?

The power of 'dictation'. It was hard at the beginning because my students were
not familiar with words, letters and sentences. But I am impressed with the end result of
some of the dictation activities that we did.

Quick60 program - focused was on identifying names & sounds of letters of the alphabets.
It helped most of my children to remember the letter formation as well. I really like this
program because it is structured and organised.

How will you transfer your new learning to other students / curriculum areas?  
- adjust class timetable so I could have two quick60 groups next term
- all my new entrants will be using cut-up sentences rather then copying sentences
written by the teacher.
- continue to use TALK MOVES - for children to hear and practice saying academic (unfamiliar)
language correctly.

Friday, 23 March 2018

How to inspire every child to be a lifelong reader ...

Ideas Worth Spreading
These are some of the ideas that I am trying to practice in class, and
I know that these practices help motivate and change my students'
attitudes toward reading.
  • Regular reading
  • Regular spelling test/check
  • Regular writing / summarising of the book

And these are some of the ideas that I adopt and plan to use during my reading lessons.
I am currently using them all but I think I need to spend more time on planning the
questions and prompts to use. I have a library corner in the classroom and children
are using it as they wish. Taking them to the library more often will also be a focus
for this year.
  • Teaching and learning should be two ways - co-creative of knowledge
  • Child friendly corner for children to read - could be done anywhere - as long as it connects children to reading
  • Children looks for a book that will make them laugh - if relevant, a male models into early reading literacy

Have a listen and I hope this video inspires you!!

Monday, 19 March 2018

Will writing/forming letters correctly increases my children's ability to record their sentence quickly down without loosing the words?

Will writing/forming letters correctly increases my children's ability to record their sentence quickly down without loosing their words?

We as parents know how important it is to fine tune those writing skills, especially when they are young and are learning how to write their letters. Many children struggle with letter formation, where to position their pencil, and how to stabilize their piece of paper.

Teaching & Learning  
Through Quick60 program - we learn to form one letter a day
Dictation supports formation of letters correctly - through repetition
Language use for the formation of letters are simple (circle, short stick, long stick, hook etc.

Indicators of progress
(what I’m looking for that shows I’m making a difference to student progress)

Increase letters and words recognition
Increase ability to write a story quickly
Increase passion and confident to write

After 7-8 weeks
- children needs a lot of practice - they need to practice forming letters in different ways
- holding the pencil correctly is so important
- teaching the child to sit still in a position that is going to help with the formation of
letters correctly is also improtant.
- children can also practice letters from home
- it is good to let kids practice on anything - lined papers or not, concrete or white boards etc.

Important Tips
- Always have your child start out writing lowercase letters. This is important because
when they start to read, most of the words are in lowercase letters.
- Remind your child to use their “helper hand,” opposite of their writing hand,
to stabilize the page and hold it down while they write.
- Help them have correct and proper pencil grip. This may take some practice,
but is key to writing letters.
- Ensure your child is sitting at the right size of table with their feet flat on the floor to
create the stability needed to move their eyes and hands with precision.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Will using Dictation help my children's spelling?

Will using 'dictation' help my children's spelling?

Teaching & Learning
Through Quick60 program - dictation is done everyday
Dictate letters, words & one sentence a day

Indicators of progress
(what I’m looking for that shows I’m making a difference to student progress)
- gives my student a chance to practice newly learned words in context
- review old spelling word / letter in a meaningful way
- increases my student's confident to write a sentence independently.

After 7-8 weeks
- definately gave my students an opportunity to practice newly learned words everyday
- noticed students ability to form letters correctly are very poor
- some students are not able to hold pencil correclty
- because most students are taking long time to form letters correctly, writing a sentence
also takes forever.

Things I have learned:
  1. Teacher dictates a phrase or sentence
  2. Student repeats the phrase or sentence
  3. Student writes the phrase or sentence
  4. Student proofreads what he wrote
Will writing/forming letters correctly increases my children's ability to record their sentence quickly down without loosing the words?

What if all teachers had high expectations for every student?

Watch this short video - it's about teachers with High Expectations,  using flexible groupings, and creating warm classroom climates.

You could use this as a focus for your inquiry.

Classroom Rules - Post #2

Sometimes repeating rules and routines to new entrants can be a little too much, especially finding the right time to repeat & reinforce the rules. As a PB4L school, we decided to display those rules  & routines in a way that everyone (teachers, relievers and students etc.) entering the classroom follow the rules easily.

Here are  visual displays of our classroom rules & routines.

Goal: for everyone to be able to read and follow routines quickly.