Wednesday, 27 April 2016

End of Term 1, 2016 Inquiry: Getting reluctant readers to write

I reached a career changing conclusion this term.  One that, I guess, every teacher must reach at some point. One that is better reacher sooner rather than later: Kids learn differently. I realised that the 12 reluctant writers in my class have 12 different reasons (and some) why they do not freely put pen to paper. Each and every one of them have their own backgrounds, stories, learning needs that have determined how they approach writing. There isn't a magical broom I can use to sweep aside all these complications. There isn't 1 amazing writing lesson I can plan and teach that will blow their minds and motivate them to write beautiful sentences. Each of these 12 children has their own, unique to them, reasons why they find writing a challenge and are reluctant writers.

I have started to discover what some of these reasons are and have begun to implement strategies to try to help these kids succeed in their writing. For example the lower literacy learners are given very scaffolded templates to help them to complete the tasks, the ESOL learner is gifted quite a lot of vocab and closely monitored, the child with behavioural problems is carefully managed.

Term 2 will see me digging deeper in an attempt to help some of those 12 who I feel are still under my radar and still in need of help.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Incredible Years

I am 2 sessions into the Incredible Years programme and, without a doubt, there has been a shift in my teaching practice. I am feeling more comfortable with the way I am teaching and with the environment in my classroom. I think I am making progress with the kids who are often the most challenging and I feel I am making some closer connection with whanau.

Trying to bring large doses of positive energy into the classroom has been a challenge.  Not because I am not a positive person, just that I don't gush positivity. I have expectations that, I believe, should be met and the praise pops out when people go beyond those expectations. This has had to change. I am making efforts to praise kids for meeting those expectations, hoping that this behaviour can become viral. I am trying to catch my interesting kids being good and am choosing to ignore that which can be ignored.

I would love to know if the kids have noticed a change ...