Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Teacher Feedback 1:1

My next step is to work with each of the 8 students in my target group individually to unpack what the peer and teacher feedback is and how they can craft their sentences and their paragraphs for coherence in writing. Our discussion will involve the audience awareness and the impact of their writing on the audience.

I am so looking forward to doing this so we can polish the writing to a high standard, using the feedback and forward. We are all excited about crafting students narratives ready for publishing in the children's magazine Toi Toi.

Before sending the narratives off for publishing the group has decided that the best stories will be selected by a panel made of students and other teachers. Also, the selected stories will be read to groups of students before the final decision of which stories will be sent to be published.

Friday, 11 May 2018

Responding to Peer and Teacher feedback

The target students wrote narratives with the prompts provided by the teacher. They planned their stories, drafted the stories, edited and proofread their work, then shared it with assigned peers and the teacher to give and receive feedback and feedforward.

The students wrote their narratives with the audience and purpose in mind.

Students used the rubrics in child speak to provide the feedback. They then, responded to the feedback provided by their peers and me.

During this process the students mentioned to me that they could see the difference between how they first wrote their stories and how while responding to the feedback, they noticed that the stories sounded better than when they first wrote the story. I think the process we are following right now, mentioned above is working and the students are crafting their sentences deliberately and writing better stories.

This is exciting already.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Professional Learning around giving feedback / feedforward in writing

Today at our staff meeting with Mary Wootton around feedback / feedforward in students writing, we discussed:

Strengths of our feedback
  • Giving specific feedback about the learning and next steps.
  • Timeliness of giving and receiving feedback. Provide a choice for students to ask for feedback at the beginning of their writing or at any time during their writing or at the end.
  • Peer feedback is honest yet helpful
  • Providing time for students to respond to feedback.
Challenges in giving feedback
  • With younger students, unless feedback given is discussed with students, they just read the comments and make minor changes and resolve the feedback comment.
  • Time for giving peer feedback and responding to feedback is a challenge. But we must persevere
The quote from John Hattie is very thought provoking.
"The incidence of feedback in the typical classroom is very low, usually seconds at best per day. "

A feedback strategy: from the book "Enriching Feedback in the Primary Classroom" By Shirley Clarke 2003
'It was dismal.'
Reminder prompts
Say why you thought this

Scaffolded prompt
Why was it dismal? Why did you hate being there? It was dismal because........

An example prompt
Choose one of these or write one of your own
It was dismal because I was bored all the time
I found it dismal only having one person to talk to

Providing feedback and feedforward is really important. Conversations with the writer is a good way to give feedback and set goals to improve their writing.

Sharing students' writing and celebrating is our focus now.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Peer Feedback

The students used the rubrics in child speak and the resource "Crafting Sentences" to provide feedback and feedforward to their peers.
As a group, we read one students' piece of writing (with permission) and co-constructed a positive, thoughtful and specific feedback. The feedback was specific to our learning intention of "Crafting Sentences to improve our writing".
The students got an idea of how to provide constructive feedback and feedforward.
It was heartening to see that students chose who they would provide feedback to and receive feedback from. Every student had two other peers who were giving feedback to them.
It took a few days for each student in the group to read two other peers' writing and provide feedback.

Once feedback was received, students had to sit with the peers who gave them feedback and accept or challenge the feedback in a positive way. It was good to hear some students challenging the feedback and the peers who gave feedback justifying their feedback with reference to the written piece.

This was a time consuming process but did have a positive impact on students who learnt to give and receive constructive feedback.

The students then responded to feedback and worked on improving their writing. A positive experience for all.

I am happy we did this because it was powerful for students to give and receive feedback. The students told me that it enabled them to learn from each other.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Plan / Try / Innovate / Implement

After having chosen students to be in my Teaching as Inquiry target group for accelerating their progress, I gathered evidence, identified trends for students writing well and barriers to their writing achievement from our staff analysis of 2017 end of year writing data. I then read articles around teaching as Inquiry and Teaching Writing in Years 7 and 8: Accelerating Progress.  

Plan / Try / Innovate / Implement
During weeks eight, nine and ten, the students were working on writing narratives in their classroom. This was a good genre to use to start working with my target group. In class the teacher unpacked the structure and language features of writing narratives. I had some input in the lesson. 

The plan was to now to use a resource created by Gemma "Crafting Sentences" I introduced this resource to the students who used the resource to identify noun phrases, zig zag sentences, use of AAAWWUBBIS and complex interrupters in a text. Students quickly learnt how to differentiate between simple, compound and complex sentences using the two resources introduced to them during week 8 of Term 1.  The other resource I used was FANBOYS.

The students also used the resource "Crafting Sentences" to craft their sentences in the narrative they were writing. During discussions the students said that referring to the resource and using it gave them a better idea as to how to write their stories in a better way. They were excited. On checking with the students they did say that they used noun phrases, more adjectives and adverbs in their stories. They also said that they used complex interrupters, AAAWWUBBIS and FANBOYS to write more complex sentences. They also said that being aware of the criteria to write stories (in child speak) helped them be aware of the different criteria in the writing rubrics. This was exciting!!

The awareness that has come upon the students that the stories they write could be taken to a higher level just by crafting their sentences using simple resources is already exciting them as well as exciting me.

Students have written one story, crafted their sentences using the resources provided. They have used the rubrics in child speak to provide peer feedback and feedforward to their peers. 

Friday, 30 March 2018

Gather Evidence, Scan, Identify Trends, Hypothesise and use Research

Gather Evidence:
With my target group selected, I went about gathering evidence: I used the 2017 Analysis of end of year writing data to look at trends in achievement and the barriers to achievement. I took note of high achievers who need to be provided extra support to further enhance their achievement levels.

2017 Analysis of end of year writing data (Senior School)

I also looked at the e-asttle results of these students, checked their attitude to writing from the e-asttle writing scripts. This gave me an idea of where these students were at, in their writing. I even looked at each target group student's end of year 2017 writing sample that these students had identified as their best pieces of writing and why they thought those pieces of writing were the best.

Term 1 data 

Identify Trends:
Attitude of boys to writing is good but girls show much better attitude to writing.
Achievement Level of e-asttle writing (Females within level 4 and males within level 3)
Girls persevere to complete their writing and respond to feedback
Boys struggle to complete writing task and responding to feedback

Boys need to be motivated to write
Topic / prompts need to cater for boys' interests to motivate boys to write.
Girls write on any given topic or prompt

At our staff meeting we read the following articles and unpacked them to make ourselves aware of how students need to be taught "Writing" in the junior, middle and senior school at Glenbrae.

Teaching Writing in Years 1–3: Building a Strong Foundation

Teaching Writing across the Curriculum in Years 4–6: Increasing Progress

Teaching Writing in Years 7 and 8: Accelerating Progress

The Writing Book by Sheena Cameron & Louise Dempsey  A practical guide for teachers -
I read the chapters - Catering for different learning needs,  How to support students to build a 'toolkit' for writing and reviewing editing and celebrating writing. These are really useful for planning and teaching students in my target group.

Friday, 16 March 2018

The process I adopted in my Teaching as Inquiry

I am using the Manaiakalani Teaching as Inquiry Framework as below to work my way through my Inquiry. I am excited to see what difference I can make to the achievement of my target group students from Room 7.

The Process I adopted:
I shared my hunch with Mary Wootton and my Principal Lesley Elia to clarify if it was a good hunch to test: through my inquiry.

My hunch is....
By crafting sentences in their writing very deliberately, students’ writing quality will improve and so will their level of achievement.

Data I have collected or will collect to check my hunch
E-asttle data,  writing sample from End of 2017, student voice (survey)

My Inquiry Question
Will teaching students explicitly to use strategies to craft their sentences, improve the quality of their writing and their achievement level?

Who are my target students?
A group of Y7/Y8 students from Room 7 who have a positive attitude to writing and have a reasonable love for writing, were chosen to be in my target group.  I shared with the students my hunch and my Inquiry question and asked if these students would be interested to be part of my Teaching as inquiry and thereby improve their writing skills and their achievement levels.
The students showed keen interest and enthusiasm to be part of the group.