Camp, Jump Rope, ANZAC, Chinese, Cross Country, NAPLAN, BUPA,GRIP, Gr 6 Transition and more….

Hi all, it’s me again, my turn to blog!

Where do I start??? It’s called the “Overcrowded Curriculum”. Pick a topic, any topic – Camp, Jump Rope, ANZAC, Chinese, Cross Country, NAPLAN, BUPA, Gr 6 transition, GRIP Leadership conference and Buddy program. Does this sound good to fit in a term??? Well CORRECTION….. try first week back after camp. All this happened in the second week of school ( and I don’t have China too, like Kate!!)

I am feeling a little bit under the pump, I think it’s called drowning!

I have felt like I can’t get any work done because of interruptions…. hopefully this will pass and things will settle down!

All these things are great and all have a place in our program but at what cost?

What do you think?

I was pleased with my kid’s end of term self reflections on the Daily 5. They wrote some really meaningful and insightful comments that reflected an awareness of their own learning. I’m really enjoying the Daily 5…. so watch this space. How is everyone else going with it??

Daily 5 with a twist!

I thought I would try a little bit of numeracy using the Daily 5 formula!

So… we now have “Table to self” for two minutes and “Tables to someone” for three minutes each day. It is working well. At this stage the kids use cards, dice, flash cards (thanks Jake) and pen and paper. I’m liking it! We still do other automatic response activities as well.

Daily 5

FLUENT READING = COMPREHENSION?????

No, not necessarily, and I just had that proved today! I listened to a student read fluently a page and a bit to the end of the chapter. I then asked what that page and a bit was all about. They looked at me a little bewildered and said” I don’t know”!!! That was a very big lesson in why the Daily 5 strategy Who/What is critical. Who was it and what happened? This self checking strategy for understanding is so important. I sometimes get them to do it as an oral task to someone close by or get them  to write it in their journal. ( need to step this up though) In the early days I often used to get varying responses. Many students gave a blurb like regurgitation of the  book rather than focusing on what they had actually just read – big difference!
The children are settling very quickly into their reading and whilst it’s always been good it has more purpose now. There are some notable improvements in some children’s stamina due I think to increased interest and “good fit” books. Still though, for a few children their stamina is not as developed as others…. a work in progress!

More Daily 5

Back again for some more reflection  and an update!

As I’m no longer next door to the library I’m thinking I need an official “library day”‘ to ensure my kids have plenty of “good fit” books. Of course I do expect them to be in the habit of returning and borrowing in their own time but as we know….. the kids who are at risk are often the ones who don’t find/make the time to do this. Consequently, without “good fit” books their read to self time and  reading stamina is compromised. So I’m going to run with the library day  idea until I refine it. I don’t want and won’t have kids out of the room selecting books in read to self time!! As yet it hasn’t been a problem, but perhaps it could be! I have borrowed a large number of picture story books as “extra choice” for everyone to enjoy. ( I would love a book case to store them in!) Work on Writing is going very well!. In addition to writing time I’ve added in a publishing session. This has been welcomed favourably by the kids and if they don’t want to publish … they just keep writing. At this stage I’m not mixing the publishing and writing session and won’t for some time.
I was really pleased to see one of my struggling” I don’t know what to write about” boys switch from copying text and cursive letters to a narrative. He asked me twice to read it and left it on my desk just to make sure I didn’t forget!
In Sue’s last session we focused on individual writing goals which I have recorded and the kids too have it on a sticky note. From this I am offering my first mini workshop tomorrow. We’re using a story starter to develop  plot and descriptive vocab. Wish me luck!
Oh, and the reading folders are a hit with the kids!( thanks Upper Dept teachers)

 

Jan’s Jottings …. Here we go!

Hi all and welcome to my jottings!

Having read my colleagues thoughts on the Daily 5 I’d like to add some reflections of my own. As I said in my reply…. Wow, I loved reading the thoughts and reflections and identified with so much. It is an exciting time in our Upper School unit right now. We are all introducing The Daily 5 program into our literacy component thanks to Sue who is delivering,teaching and guiding us. Added to this we have the benefit of the lower school staff who implemented The Daily 5 last year. Their experiences and willingness to share with us their ideas and what worked for them has been extremely helpful. “Baby steps” and very structured has been my approach so far – and I’m happy with where I’m at. My focus has been on reading and writing. Sitting back and observing has been very valuable. I think the most powerful outcome so far is watching children become aware of their own reading behaviours. They are  starting to identify and articulate what they do well and and what they need to change to bring about a shift in their reading success.
Choosing “good fit” books is vital and for some children this is their problem.
This has been a focus of my observation and as the teacher defines who I need to work with closely. That’s enough for now but as I said in my reply…Bring it on, we are all energised and ready to roll with it. Yes, at times it’s a little scary and feel out of our comfort zone  but with Sue we are all learning together and loving it!