Thursday, November 21, 2013

Literacy Online Update - 6 November 2013

Kia ora tātou,
Week four of term four already and I am wondering where the year has gone.  I know that we are all in the midst of reflecting and reporting.  I am hoping there is some time in your life that you are putting aside for you!  Educating is an all-encompassing lifestyle and it is so valuable to take time to reflect on the very special celebrations and breakthroughs throughout the year.   What has really touched you during this past year?  How can use this experience to impact on your future learners?
It is fabulous to see the collaboration, support and networking on the listserv over the past week.  Please continue to add to the conversations and ask the questions.  Check out this thread around complex sentences.  Thanks to Tina Muller for asking the questions and thanks to all who have shared in the conversation.
Have you used one word with your learners?  Today we used it as a staff.  We brainstormed a range of ways of using this. 
  • Start with basic words for younger students, e.g dog
  • Fact or fiction;
  • Brainstorm story ideas, key words;
  • Vocabulary - building meaning;
  • Kick starting writing;
  • Speed Writing;
  • Increase volume;
  • Phrasing… deep and surface features;
  • Poetry;
  • Write a simile using this word;
  • Collate to create a calligram/shape poem;
  • Synonyms, antonyms;
  • Topic words;
  • Word processing speed with purpose…
  • Done regularly - should increase time to action!
  • Break down fear of getting into writing...

What can you try?  What can you add to this list?
I am linking this article as it relates to our recent discussion on collaborative writing – Vygotsky lives.   “Vygotsky claimed that a child has limits to what he/she is able to learn alone, however these limits are extended under the guidance and support of an MKO.” (More Knowledgeable Other).   Vygotsky states: ‘What lies in the zone of proximal development at one stage is realized and moves to the level of actual development at a second. In other words, what the child is able to do in collaboration today he will be able to do independently tomorrow. [italics added]’  What does this mean for our groupings? What does this mean for the opportunities we create for collaboration?
How could you use this discussion as you begin to think about literacy for 2014? Individual steps are key to literacy in children.
Why buy anything else when you could be buying books?  How can you use this blog post to provoke discussion around book buying?  Do your learners choose, promote, buy the books?  I look forward to discussion around this wonderful blog post.
I thought I would add a couple of links from the Balanced Literacy Diet to encourage you to return and explore this site. Reader’s theatre and Working with Words. How could you use these ideas to support your learners?
Yet another two links in the Small Byte series I add sharing Small Byte #2 – Scrible. “Scrible is a free online tool for saving, organizing, annotating, and sharing websites for online research projects and web quests. It saves a copy of each page you annotate in your personal Scrible library, so that even if the original web pages you’ve made notes on go down, your saved pages and your notes still exist.”
And Small Byte #1 – Spreaker  “Spreaker is a free online cloud-based web audio platform. With this tool, you can create your own podcasts and live Internet radio shows. You can either pre-record or broadcast live, if you prefer. You can check it out for yourself at”
How could you share this with your learners? Who invented writing? - Matthew Winkler  After you’ve watched this clip could you thinkdig deeper and discuss.  If you like this format, how could your learners create their own rich learning experiences to support clips they make?
Have a great week.
Ngā mihi nui
Anne Kenneally
Literacy Online Facilitator
CORE Education

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