Monthly Archives: March 2012

Nina Davis -Teaching & Learning in the Australian primary classroom

I’ve had a lot of feedback about this very simple idea… and it works! I’m encouraging all children to use the writing spacer until they feel confident about leaving spaces between words. Here’s a couple of images showing the type of counters they’re using. These counters are colored but clear.

Cheers Nina

View original post

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Term 1 – Week 9: Prep (5 year olds) Independent Journal Writing / Looking for the transfer of my teaching….

Independent journal writing is when I look for the transfer of teaching into their learning. My students are using spaces to assist them and alphabet tool cards. I’m delighted with their progress and looking forward to viewing thier progress next term. They are confident problem solvers!

Cheers Nina

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

PrepD Student Led Interactive Writing (5&6 Year Olds) March 2012: Week 8 of first year of formal education in Australia.

History: PrepD Student Led Interactive Writing is a strategy I developed from the Interactive Writing Teacher Led strategy I had been using in previous years. My professional reading led me to re-think this strategy and ‘switch it up’ to maximise the prior learning my students bring to school. The student – lead strategy is explained below in more detail.

The key is students working collaboratively, sharing their learning, prompting each other and using skills and language generally used by teachers. One comment I received described this as ‘lending our cognition’, and I really liked this description. All students are engaged in the activity, each student committed to contributing with the support of their peers if needed. Groups can be structured to support children, or to extend groups of children. The teacher is able to run a teacher led group concurrently, which I do regularly but not at this stage of the year. The children need to be confident and have experience with the process before I can withdraw.

Each child is identified by a color which they select, and all are given the opportunity to lead a group. Teaching leadership skills concurrently is essential. The children are given poster sized sheets to write on and textas. The role of the group leader is to ensure their team record their name on the side, that all resources are ready (alphabet tool cards and writing spacers) and that each child contributes in name order. I use PrepD Student Led Interactive Writing to assess and plan my weekly writing foci for individuals and the whole class. The color used identifies the writer.

It’s interesting to note that my student’s independent writing improves rapidly. I’m looking for the transfer of my teaching into my student’s Independent and Interactive Writing. Modelled Writing and Shared Writing are also planned into a weekly program from week one. We get going quickly. Language Experience and Inquiry is my ‘holy grail’.

By the middle of the year my students are able to identify their learning needs and will suggest the foci for writing sessions. That is powerful! Some children and they are 5 or 6 years old, will teach the writing focus or make suggestions for me to use. Groups share their writing with the class, with little books made using their Interactive Writing texts used for reading. This strategy extends highly able students, develops students working at the standard expected and supports less able students. I believe it accelerates the writing ability of all students.

We always start each learning engagement with WALT-er: We are learning to…. and WILF– What I’m looking for…. At this stage of the year our WALT is, ‘we are learning to write a sentence….  and WILF has been unpacked by my students. They are able to articulate the task. What I’m looking for is…. capital letter at the beginning of a sentence, a full stop at the end of the sentence and spaces. At the end of a writing task groups share their writing with the grade and we use WILF to check. Walter and Wilfred are characters and are common language and practise at my school.

I’ve included photos of some of the activities my students have been doing. This is the last week of term for my 5 year olds. Last week was their first full week of formal education.

 

A few photos from early March:

It’s been a busy year, but my students have settled well, initial assessment is complete, Prep cohort review for English On Line government assessment has led to excellent educational discussion, planning for teaching and learning at my/our student’s ‘point of need’ has commenced.

Cheers Nina

Leave a comment

March 24, 2012 · 10:53 am

The Briars: Our First Prep Adventure Into the Community

Today our Prep children went on their first school excursion. From the moment we lined up to board the bus the excitement built. It’s such a wonderful experience for these young children to be very grown up, manage their belongings, ride in a bus and participate in our local Mornington Peninsula School’s Environment Week which was established 30 years ago, or so I’ve been told. Our students attended the Expo Paddock which was represented by local businesses and community groups providing ‘hands on’ experiences for our children to learn about their local environment and sustainability.
PD’s Monash Intern Belinda and I showed the children that we are fearless with nature. Belinda knows the following photos will appear here, and I have promised to include me. The wet, cool conditions did not dampen our or our student’s enthusiasm. Tomorrow we will use this common experience to complete a PrepD Student Led Interactive Writing session. A report will follow soon.

Environment Week has been running for many years and this would not have been possible without the support of many companies and organisations. To enable us to bring the best programs and exhibits to you and still make it affordable to all students we rely on our sponsors’ fantastic support. Some companies set up and man activities, some give financial assistance and others do both. We would like to especially thank our two major sponsors Mornington Peninsula Shire and Bluescope and would also like to mention the wonderful assistance that we have received from Bunnings and Woolworths. This year we have natural Systems providing the composting toilets for a much reduced fee. They will also be demonstrating the process in their Dunny Door Project.

A little nervous: And just mentioning we had been rained on! First for the year – a parker under a raincoat. Autumn in Melbourne!

Cheers Nina

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Welcome Belinda – 4th Year Monash Intern to PrepD for 2012.

This year I have an intern working with me for the year. Belinda has decided to create a blog to use as her portfolio for Monash and lesson reflection space. Belinda did this completely on her own and I’m delighted by this. My teacher reflections of her practise will be largely in this space for others to read. That’s confidence which is what we are encouraging our students to be.

Here is a link to Belinda’s new blog. Please support her and leave a comment if you are able.

Link: Belinda’s Blog http://bdorioteaching.wordpress.com/

Cheers Nina

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Authentic Writing by a 5 year old: Wonderful!

Teaching 5 year olds is special. Last week one of my students insisted on writing his own lunch order with the help of a canteen list. He was very proud of his effort and received everything he ordered. The power of writing!

Cheers Nina

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized