DOES flipping reading and writing strategies lead to improved reading comprehension and writing? DOES linking punctuation symbols to movement, colour and emotion lead to greater use of and understanding of punctuation? I’m flipping…

A number of years ago I started thinking that having a dedicated reading block and writing block could encourage students to make less connections between reading and writing. Challenge me on this!

I would conclude that flipping reading strategies to writing and writing strategies to reading does build stronger connections between both. I  also wanted to combine visual and emotional links to explored strategies. Would this enhance student writing and reading? This initially came from a discussion I had with a psychiatrist who specializes in dementia.

The psychiatrist said that people with dementia often remember events if they are linked to an emotion. I already know that movement triggers memory, so why not combine emotional, visual and colour cues and flip strategies to enhance connections.

It makes sense… because if emotion can enhance memory in people with memory loss, surely this would enhance learning for all. Thinking…

Questions, questions and more questions…

  1. Does combining flipping with emotion & visual  strategies enhance learning? When inquiring into punctuation as a reader and punctuation as a writer, will students better understand the power of punctuation to create meaning?
  2. Will enhanced use of visual cues, hand movements and colour/emotion linked to punctuation symbols, paragraphing visuals and visuals for simple and complex sentences lead to greater transfer of each into writing?

FPwheelThe Fountas & Pinnell Network of Processing Systems for Reading became my guide for flipping strategies.

For example: The narrative writing genre strategy ‘Somebody, Wanted, But, So, Then’ was flipped to become a reading strategy for summarizing (Thinking Within the Text). When reading a text students used SWBST  to retell what they had read. Using short sharp narrative texts also enables students to unpack and explore a text within a timeframe.

Analysing (Thinking About the Text) was flipped to explore craft and text structure across reading and writing. I know the notion of flipping strategies is not new, but its worth exploring further.

Something to think about…

Cheers Nina


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Specific Learning Difficulties: DYSLEXIA- SPELD Professional Development

Yasotha V, Senior Psychologist at SPELD Victoria presented at a PD I recently attended. The organisation has given me permission to share part of a slideshow used during this presentation.

I walked away from this PD knowing that students with Dyslexia may be missed and that all teachers should know when to worry! 

Slideshow: Link below…

 SPELD Teacher Conference 4Jul18 – Presenting Features

SPELD: About the Organisation

SPELD Victoria is a Not for Profit registered charity which commenced in 1969. SPELD Victoria provides information and services to children, young people and adults with  and those who care for, teach and work with them. We want to see Victorians having the opportunity to achieve their highest learning potential.

We aim to ensure that:

1. Children achieve their highest learning potential supported by empowered and informed parents

2. All Victorian children understand their learning difficulties and relative strengths (learning profile) and their traditional literacy potential

2. Children with SLD’s use effective interventions and strategies to achieve their traditional literacy potential as quickly as possible

3. Children achieve their academic potential; supported effectively by capable schools and informed teachers

(SPELD Website)

SPELD offers a range of PD for teachers.

Cheers Nina

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The IB-PYP: Futures Planning & Learning

This post is attracting a lot of interest!

Nina Davis: Teaching & Learning in Australia

World Economic Forum The World Economic Forum 2014 -Skills needed in the 21st Century The World Economic Forum 2014 Skills needed in the 21st Century Video 1: What will learning look like in 2028?

video 2: How do we plan for 10, 20 or 30 years time?

These videos are worth viewing. As a trained IB teacher having extensive experience working in an IB-PYP school, I believe the IB program provides the education our students need now and will need in the future.

Video 1: Why 2028? Students at my previous school are already partaking in many of these initiatives now!

The World Economic Forum 2014 -Skills needed in the 21st Century – developed this diagram outlining the skills students will need for future employment.

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 11_21_55

Link: World Economic Forum

What do you think?

Tomorrow is the first day of school for students in Victoria, Australia. Some young learners will be starting…

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Student Agency Part 1-#EduTechAU What the twitter feeds are telling me: The Student!

Student Agency: What are the behaviours exhibited by a student when they have agency? I’m receiving questions about agency, so here are some ideas…

Nina Davis: Teaching & Learning in Australia


Bill Ferriter  Follow the link to read more from Bill Ferrier

Learner Agency is something we talk about often, but what does this look and sound like? Engagement is a word teachers use but has its meaning changed? So what is Learner Agency and why do we want our students to be empowered?

A student developing Learner Agency strives to:

Identify their learning goals using appropriate tools e.g. Learning Cycle, pre-tests, continuums, rubrics, exemplars, reflection, etc.

Identify their learning goals based on previous learning, reflections, evidence, etc.

Be open to and explores possibilities for appropriate learning goals.

Use learning goals to monitor and advance their own learning.

Manage a number of learning goals at the same time – incorporating different transdisciplinary skills.

Identify ‘stretch’ goals and understands the incremental steps to achieve them.

Focus on the process, in addition to the product.

Articulate why they are learning it and how it connects to previous and…

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Student Agency Part 3: The Teacher

Research is now claiming that the role of the teacher is critical to learner agency.

Nina Davis: Teaching & Learning in Australia

Student/Learner Agency is essential if we are preparing our learners for their future. Student/Learner Agency starts from a child’s first year of school for the teacher. In previous posts I’ve talked about the student and the task and now I’ve added the teacher. All three components are crucial to Student/Learner Agency. Student-Teacher-Task

The Role of the Teacher

Plans collaboratively for student needs based on a sound knowledge of curriculum and students.

Refers to the 5 essential IB elements – Knowledge, Concepts, Skills, Attitudes and Action.

Provides tools and strategies for students to be aware of, and monitor, their own learning e.g. pre-Assessments, continuums, rubrics, exemplars, etc.

Supports students to use evidence when personalising and revising their learning goals.

Clarify students’ misconceptions, in order to refine individual learning goals.

Discusses connections between learning goals, learning activities and assessment requirements.

Help students make sense of connections within and between curriculum areas.


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What are the connections between reading and writing? How best can we take advantage of those connections when planning?

I’m using the word ‘flipping’ a lot when talking to educators about literacy planning. Is it better if students are taught in a way that provides stronger connections between reading and writing?  Do students view reading and writing as separate subjects or ‘things’ we do at school? Do students make better connections when strategies are ‘flipped’ to show how the strategies are used when reading or writing?


For example, when viewing the Fountas and Pinnell model, one can see how easily the processing systems for reading can be flipped to the processing systems for writing. For example, inferring and summarising can be easily ‘flipped’. Therefore, should reading and writing be taught concurrently incorporating planned focus sessions for the teaching of ‘flipped’ strategies? What do you think?

Should planning base itself on the ‘read like a writer and write like a reader’ concept?

Example: Flipping – Inferring & Summarising

Inferring also known as reading between the lines requires readers to use prior knowledge and the information stated in a text to draw conclusions. Good writing enables the reader to infer as they read. 

Summarising can be taught using the Somebody, Wanted, But, So, Then (SWBST) strategy when reading a text and flipped for teaching the writing structure of a narrative.

Would focussing on the same strategy when teaching reading and writing enable students to make better connections?

Below: Steve Peha – Integrated Literacy Model

Integrated Literacy

Steve Peha’s Integrated Literacy model provides an excellent framework for discussing ‘flipping’. This model enables educators to build ‘flipping’ connections under each of the six sub-headings for reading and writing when planning.

How do you plan? How do you take advantage of the connections between reading and writing when planning?

Cheers Nina


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Integrated Literacy: The Workshop Method improved… using Whole-Part-Whole structure.

I’ve been working this year with Steve Peha author of Be a Better Writer. I’ve actually used Steve’s material for many years and knew his book would be an outstanding resource for students and teachers. We’ve been looking at ways to structure curriculum and I can see enormous merit in Steve’s Integrated Literacy as a starting point for conversation about best practice.

The term community of learners is a meaningful descriptor for any group of students.

There is concern among educators that the teaching of literacy has moved away from an holistic approach to a segmented  approach e.g. one hour reading & one hour writing, without highlighting the conceptual links between reading, writing and oral language.

Integrated Literacy is a framework for K-12 instruction that leverages the complementary nature of reading and writing to make learning easier for kids and teaching better for teachers. Steve Peha

Integrated Literacy

Steve explains how Writer’s Workshop and Reader’s Workshop fit well into an integrated literacy approach. Our programs need to provide explicit teaching but there are many approaches to workshops to achieve this.

Workshops clearly have to meet students where they are at, often referred as ‘point of need’. Once assessment has been completed, workshops can be structured using a variety of teaching approaches depending on where a student or group of students are at e.g. modelled, shared, directed, suggested and facilitated.


Steve’s article explains the elements of a workshop e.g. Lesson, Status, Work, Conferencing and Sharing (Reflection). Read further and Steve explains the different ways to workshop.

The workshop approach requires a detailed curriculum planning guide covering all aspects of writing and reading using our curriculum, the IB-PYP and Inquiry. The planning guide needs to cover the study of genres, strategies and punctuation.

Steve’s book covers: Better Topics, Better Ideas, Better Organisation, Better Voice, Better Words, Better Sentences, Better Punctuation and Better Fiction.  

This approach does not mean students are unable to explore writing and reading themselves, however, it is about ensuring explicit instruction is in the mix. I want students to see the interconnectedness of reading, writing and speaking.

Read like a Writer… Write like a Reader…Read as a Writer…Write as a Reader.

Steve and I are working on a curriculum framework based on the Australian Curriculum incorporating inquiry with links to material which supports explicit teaching within an holistic approach. This may take some time…

Cheers Nina


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