I am a class teacher for Year Four and five students and a team leader for the middle school. My class and I are a part of the Manaiakalani Google ClassOnAir.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Manaikalani school leader's PLG - Accelerating Reading

Today I went to the Manaiakalani school leaders PLG.
One of the sessions was by Aaron Wilson on how to accelerate Reading among students.
Some of the ideas that will help were-

  • Reading should make meaning. Students should understand how writers construct text to achieve particular purposes and audiences. Reading strategies are not a goal but a vehicle to achieve meaning from texts. 
  • Very commonly,  teach students how to describe characters but we need to move on further from this. Students should be taught to deliberately make an effort to analyse relationship between characters and conflict of characters. This will help them to be better readers and writers.
  • Analysing patterns of figurative speech like metaphors, similes and how a writer creates mood through emotive language will enhance the understanding of language.
  • Choice of the text - Teachers should use engaging texts to get an enjoyable effort from the students.
  • Students should get a number of opportunities to read. They should get repeated opportunities to learn to read and read to learn.
  • Teachers need to provide opportunities that will allow students to critically analyse texts they read.  A critically literate person is able to examine the power relationships inherent in language use, to recognise that language is not neutral.
  • Vocabulary is another barrier in comprehending texts.  Building vocabulary is important, so students should have rich exposure to language. They should be aware of connotations of words. They should understand that emotive language is designed to provoke an emotional response. 
  • When reading texts Teachers should draw students' attention to the sensory details and this will help in understanding the text better.
  • Use your clines also helps students to comprehend texts better.
  • Use of conjunctions will also allow students to have richer language.
  • Students should ask questions and share their ideas to clarify their meaning about the text. Talk allows students to peek into the thinking of other students understanding and misunderstandings. Talking about the subject of study supports language development. It supports deeper reasoning and encourages  people to reason with evidence. Therefore it is important for teachers to provide platforms to discuss open ended questions and this will also prevent IRE ( Initiation, Response and Evaluation).
  • Teachers need to scaffold students so they learn but too much scaffolding makes them dependent on the teacher. Therefore teachers need to have a balance in their delivery where they refrain from too much support. Instead, opportunities should be provided for students to take ownership of their learning. A quality scaffolding is that fades overtime and increases student responsibility.
  • Teachers need to design rich tasks for quality learning to happen.

I have tried to summarise the points through this google drawing...

Reflection: Aaron's talk was very informative. It has encouraged me to use small units to plan for reading in my class. 

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