Friday, 24 February 2017

Focusing Inquiry Term 1


I will use TESSOL scaffolding practices to support student to create and share in authentic contexts.

Indicators of progress

- increase student engagement
- students using key vocabularies confidently
- lots of student talk
- increase confident to work independently whether with the ipad or any other types of activities
- students produce an art or movie on what they have learned.

* hands-on activities (as in our IOL program) lead on to increase student engagement
* some students are able to use key vocabularies by repeating and rephrasing sentences from the teacher
* increasing their confident to participate in a role play, speak with confidence
* Next step - "WAIT TIME" as a teacher - am I giving students enough time to think

Talk Moves and Student Talk

Term 1 - Weeks 1-4

Goal (Hunch): Students are not talking in Maths, they cannot explain their thinking, they do not have the Mathematical language to use and at the end, teacher talks a lot. Therefore for the next three weeks, I will use Talk Moves to increase students’ confidence in talking and for them to initiate discussions.

At first I know that most students in my class are ESOL, they are speaking English as a second language and using Mathematical language is too much for them considering their age as well. I attended PDs about how to increase student talk and I found some good reasons why I had to focus on the above idea.

At the end I came across TALK MOVES as a strategy to help increase student talk. Here are details of the 5 TALK MOVES and what to do at each stage.  

Before teaching and using TALK MOVES I set some expected behaviour - indicators of progress to be seen from students at the end of the four weeks. 

Indicators of progress

(What I’m looking for that shows I’m making a difference to student progress)

  • Some of the students will begin to use Talk Moves to initiate discussions and conversations eg. Repeat - Wait
  • Less Teacher talk (teacher - student - student - student - teacher)
  • All students to read at L3
  • Use Mathematical words to explain their thinking

After four weeks of teaching and using TALK MOVES - it was check point time and I had a look at students performance. Using observations notes (Modelling Book) and seeing work on students workbook, I wrote an evaluation.

Weeks 1 - 4 (17 March 2017)
  • The students continue to find it hard to initiate conversations. For students to use Talk Moves effectively, I find I still need to show them the words and start off the conversation. Once I have done that, then all students are confident to contribute.
  • There are times that teacher - student - student - student is happening, but most of the time, especially with an unknown topic - teacher talk is needed to build the vocabulary.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

What is contributing to under achievement in Maths? - What do we do to help ESOL students?

What is contributing to under achievement?

 Talk Moves - I used a lot of 'rephrasing', 'revoicing' and 'repeating'. Almost everyone in my class are ESOL students and I know that they need extra help to achieve in Maths because it is another langauge to learn.

If a child talked incorrectly or incompletely, I would rephrase it correctly and then asked them to repeat. I did this everytime I worked with a group and I have noticed how much it helped increasing their confidence in Maths.

Here are some examples of some of the things that I have noticed and attended to.

I believe that Specific teaching and specific saying of words correclty would enable students to see the differences between numbers, and therefore allow them to make connections with their prior knowledge (what they have already known in their own language). 

We did this everyday as warm ups - we either use 'number talk' or 'concrete materials' to help explaining the meaning of each number.

Mathematical language/vocabulary is to be spoken clearly, and presented in different ways.  Visual representations of numbers as well as words, such as ten frames, dices, flash cards and sticks; are some of the examples that I used in my classroom.

Recently I made a 'Maths Wall'. I created this with my students and the idea is for them to see it and use it when ever they need it. If we forget a word or a number, we are looking at our Maths Wall for that particular word. I believe that this will also make my students feel success. I want them to feel that they can do Maths and they will be good at it. 

Using of 'Talk Moves' enables ESOL students to hear the language used in class correctly by the teacher, and giving them so many opportunities to practice would help them accelerate. Repetition is one of the key strategies that ESOL students use to learn effectively. 

We are doing in class and students know that I expect them to repeat what I have said or someone else has said if they are not sure of how to say it. 

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Focusing Inquiry for 2017

Malo e Lelei, Kia Orana, Kia Ora, Fakalofa Lahi Atu, Talofa Lava and greetings to you all.

After Considering
  1. My School’s targets
  2. Woolf Fisher Feedback from 2016
  3. Manaiakalani CoL Achievement Challenges

My inquiry this year as a CoL teacher is ...

To accelerate students achievement by providing multiple opportunities for student talk using open and authentic contexts and questions in all areas of their learning.
  • Multimodal texts
  • Balance of student and teacher talk ie. Taking-turn - teacher, student, student, student, teacher
  • Develop cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP).  

Based on Aaron Wilson’s seven inquiry questions
To what extent:

  1. Is there balance between teacher talk and  student talk? (e.g. # of words)
  2. Does turn-taking follow a teacher-student-teacher-student ping-pong pattern? (Rather than teacher-student-student-student-teacher)
  3. Are teacher questions open and authentic questions?
  4. Does the text have a voice?
  5. Are student responses elaborated with reasons, evidence, examples from the text?
  6. Does the teacher use talk moves to keep the discussion moving in productive directions?
  7. Do teachers and students have a shared understanding of the purposes, barriers and enablers for talk about text?

Target Group
These five new entrants in my class are sitting just below the National norm. I hope to see them working at their year level's expectations at the end of the year for all levels. At our school, based on last year's achievement data, Maori students and Pasifika boys are the ones whom we are going to be targetted this year.

Knowing my learner

Level 2
Stage 1-2
Remember meaning
Very few letters known and their sounds - still cannot point finger as he reads - needs to learn to hold information in the head for a while
Level 1
Stage 1-2
Still developing confidence
Very few letters known and their sounds - still cannot point finger as he reads - needs to learn to hold information in the head for a while
Level 2
Stage 2
Can talk or make a story about the book
Can point as she reads
Very few letters known and their sounds - still cannot point finger as he reads - needs to learn to hold information in the head for a while
Level 1
Stage 1-2
Can read few HW correctly
Begin to follow the story (meaning)
Very few letters known and their sounds - needs to learn to hold information in the head for a while
Level 2
Stage 2
Enthusiastic about reading
Learn few words (HF)
Strong with using of meaning to read her book
Reading - blue        Maths - Red        Writing - Pink


Last year our school wide focus was on Maths. We were using Mixed Ability Groupings and Talk Moves as strategies in teaching Maths. This year our school is encouraging teachers to use the same strategies plus other TESSOL strategies in teaching Reading and Writing.


Wait time – individual think time

Revoicing - So you’re saying... Is that right?


Reasoning – Agree/Disagree?

Prompting – Can you add on?

Monday, 6 February 2017

Glenbrae Teaching as Inquiry Framework

Glenbrae Teaching as Inquiry Model

For my professional Inquiry I will be following Glenbrae Teaching as Inquiry Model. 

This means that teachers will have to gather evidence at the beginning of the year and during the year about their targeted students. Gathering evidence includes analysing data from previous year or latest assessment data, observation notes, and looking at students' works. 

Teachers will then have to make plans -  based on what they have gathered and observed - what can we do to help our targeted students accelerate their learning and to achieve what have set for in our inquiry focus (includes Teaching Practice). At Glenbrae we make short term plans hypothesise (hunch) (normally for 3-4 weeks).

At the end of every third week, teachers gathered evidence again on their students performance, analyse and share - what happened as a result of the changes of their own teaching practice.