Tag Archives: Differentiated Instruction

Question: What does learning Maths look like? How best will we learn? Visible Thinking & Learning!

I asked my students to write on sticky notes what they thought learning Maths looked like. After our poster was finished we discussed their ideas and related their ideas to our Learning Cycle. The children were able to talk about our learning cycle and relate our school cycle to numeracy.

The Learning Cycle enables me to reflect when planning. I need to be able to answer these questions!

What do I want my students to know / learn? How best will they learn? How will I know they know what has been taught?

Learner Cycle

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Making learning explicit to our students in all areas of the curriculum is essential.

Cheers Nina

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The year of the circle, cycle or pizza! A common approach to learning, a common language and Learner Agency!

This year the class JD displays just happen to be circles or cycles. Young children make connections quickly when learning representations have a common theme and language. This year across my school and for all curriculum areas we have a common Learning Cycle which students know and use.

Photo 1: The IB Learner Profile

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Photo 2: The Fountas and Pinnell Reading Wheel

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Photo 3: My school’s Learning Cycle which is displayed in every classroom and part of daily teaching. Our Learner Cycle is developing its own look, but essentially it’s the same whether laminated or not. Each part of the Learner Cycle is unpacked with students … and when they are learning they need to be able to articulate (deeply) the following.

What do we/I want to learn?

How best will I/we learn?

How will I know that we/I have learned?

Learner Cycle

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Photo 4 & 5: How best we will learn? Unpacked by students

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Young children when exposed to a learning rich diet are able feedback their insightful and unique understanding without prompting. The language of learning has to be used authentically and lived through daily actions to become embedded in the classroom and students.

Photo 6: On its way… The Writing Cycle in four pizza slices! Each pizza slice will encompass one aspect of writing e.g. the writing cycle, word work etc… You can’t eat one slice at a time, you have to constantly nibble at each slice!

Cheers Nina

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The Studio Teacher Fellowship Program – WNY Education Associates: What have I been learning?

In 2014, I was given the opportunity to complete a Fellowship project under the guidance of Angela Stockman. I’m currently writing a paper summarizing what I’ve learnt. Initially my project started with a simple question:

What are the key ‘bump up’ indicators which should be on a student continuum?

Sounds simple! Well, that’s an understatement… I decided to start by looking at the continuums we have in place at my school, which are based on Fountas and Pinnell. How could I make these usable for my young writers? Then I started asking my young writers…

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Photo: This student was in their second year of schooling in Australia (Year 1). The student is in control of all aspects of their writing from the beginning. I presented the topic for this piece of writing but that’s it. I’m teaching this student again this year and many others, and I’m wondering what their writing will be like at the end of this year.

My project changed many times after exploring current research, speaking to other educators and most importantly my students. How could I nail down a topic or could I?  The very action of looking at my student’s writing and speaking to individual students about what helps them to be the best learners and writers has guided my project. My paper will finish with a list of recommendations largely created by six, seven and eight year old students and I’ll share those here.

Cheers Nina

 

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Week 10: Final Week of Term 3, Victoria, Australia – Independent Writing – Genre: Recount

My Preps (5&6 year olds) are in their final week of Term 3. It’s wonderful to be their first school teacher, and I’m enjoying their enthusiasm for learning combined with their sense of fun. They love to dance, sing and create, and Friday afternoon is their special time when I’m the DJ and they, including their parents supply the weekly music. They’re an active and industrious group of young learners.

The random examples of independent Recount writing contained in this post displays their understanding of the Recount structure. I’m using the PM Writing Big Book exemplars and structure to scaffold writing development.

Extending my Prep’s writing is a focus and relates to our current inquiry. The children realise that their journal is a record of their personal history. They understand that detail in their journal will provide a better record of their experiences when they read their journal in future years.

I’ve included pictures of our WALT – ‘we are learning to’ and WILF – ‘what I’m looking for’ our success criteria. These are wiped and changed for different tasks. I’m very pleased with my Prep’s writing development, particularly their use and interest in punctuation and detail.

 

Cheers Nina

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Week 8 – PrepD Student Led Interactive Writing: The strategy which supports and accelerates the writing development of young writers!

The key is students working collaboratively, sharing their learning, prompting each other and using skills and language used by teachers. Each student is engaged in the activity and committed to contributing with the support of their peers if needed. Groups can be structured to support children if needed or to extend children.

The Process:

Each child is identified by a color 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 colored markers. All students record their name down the side of the paper in their chosen color. This enables the teacher to assess the writing development of individual students.

I use PrepD Student Led Interactive Writing to assess and plan my weekly writing foci. It’s interesting to note that my students’ independent writing improves rapidly.  As with independent writing I’m looking for the transfer of my teaching into my students’ writing. Modelled, Shared and
Independent writing are also planned into my weekly program from week one.

At this stage of the year my students are able to identify their learning needs and will suggest a focus for a writing session. This is powerful! Some children…. and these children are 5 or 6 years old, will teach the writing focus or make suggestions for me to use in my teaching. This strategy extends highly able students, supports and develops the writing ability of students working at the standard and reluctant writers. It is my belief that PrepD Student Led Interactive Writing accelerates the writing ability of all students.

I have written about this strategy many times and provided numerous pictures and a description of my student’s writing development. Naming this strategy the PrepD Student Led Interactive Writing Approach recognizes my student’s commitment and success. They have a passion for writing and I can only hope that their enthusiasm continues as they grow. This strategy has been successfully used with older students.

The genre for the examples displayed in this post is Recount. The children were placed in mixed ability groups writing about a common experience. The Recount success criteria negotiated with my students was to include a title, sequence of events and personal comment. This is the format provided in the PM Writing Exemplars available at Nelson Cengage Learning.

Using WALT ‘we are learning to’ and WILF ‘what I’m looking for’ collaboratively developed with my students provides a clear success criteria and learning intension.

Post Script: 70 000 visits – Thanks for the support, comments, emails and sharing of your ideas. It is appreciated!

Cheers Nina

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The Cognitive Taxonomy Circle – A great visual support for planning for deeper levels of thinking (teaching & learning)

This was shared in another forum and I thought it would be worth sharing here. It’s a great visual planning diagram to view when thinking and planning opportunities for our students to develop deeper levels of thinking. The diagram identifies the activities and products related to Remembering, Applying, Analysing, Creating and Evaluating. Follow the link below the image.

Click and Link :  Cognitive Taxonomy Circle

Mastering Low-Level Content from Scott McLeod on Vimeo.

Excellent short video on Bloom’s Taxonomy: link above

Cheers Nina

P.S Julie, Rachael and Ebony – from the Northern suburbs. Thanks for emailing! Still working on the post to answer your questions.

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What is Differentiated Instruction?

Rick Wormeli: Keynote on RTI and DI at the CLMS Annual Conference, Feb. 26-28, 2010, in Sacramento. This is an excellent clip to show your school staff. Rick answers the questions teachers are asking. This is a ‘must watch’ clip! So what is differentiated instruction?

http://instructionalroundsineducation.ning.com/video/rick-wormeli-on-differentiated

Visit the Instructional Rounds ning, go to videos and view Rick Wormeli’s clip. It’s worth the visit.

Cheers Nina

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