Welcome to week five of term. As you are completing your reports for the year I hope you are celebrating the role you play in the lives of your learners. I wonder if you are beginning to think of a teaching as inquiry focus for next year? What have your successes and challenges been? What areas of your literacy programme have you identified that need you to take action? What PLD do you need? What are you going to do to ensure your learners and families are aware of their role in any change required? What trends or patterns are you noticing across levels?
Recent Discussion on the Mailing List
Once again we find that a question from a teacher elicits the greatest response and discussion. Thanks to Karen for sharing her question around standardised testing, with the rich discussion continuing. Thank you to Rachel for sharing her question around iPad usage to support writing and to Denise, Cathy, Tracy, Jane, Yvonne, Jody, Neale, Melissa, Terri, Catriona, Vanessa and Nicole for taking the time to respond. As shown by this wonderful interaction, the mailing list is designed to support the development of rich conversation around your literacy inquiries. Thank you to Jane for sharing her thoughts on How much talk? Introducing the text. and to Tracey, Mandy, Denise, Wendy, Julia and Sue for joining the conversation.
Did you get a chance to view the Building a PLN for Literacy webinar recording, and view the supporting google doc? We aim to keep the discussion going on the mailing list, so if after viewing the webinar you have questions, please ask them to the mailing list and then everyone will benefit from your new learning.
It’s not either / or, it’s both…
Many recent posts to the mailing list have included discussion around the WHY, WHAT and HOW. (Ideas from Simon Sinek and Julia Atkins) Sitting inside, or above all of this is the WHO.
We must start with knowing our learner, their strengths and passions, their unique talents and idiosyncricities. We must also know their needs, next steps and challenge them to achieve to their potential. Who the learner is, should be the driver of the programme in order to meet needs.
Once you know your learners, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) offers a framework to support you in meeting the needs of all of your learners. UDL involves specifically planning for variability, knowing and catering for a range of learners. It involves providing a range of support, that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn.
If you want to learn more about UDL Katie Novak’s keynote at Ulearn provides more detail and examples. The Edtalk recording of this keynote will be available shortly.
The debate is not “will we use technology or not?” but rather “what is the focus of the learning we want to see happen?” Once that is established the next phase is to decide the strategies that will scaffold and support the learning to raise achievement. Once that is decided, looking to see what technology use will enhance the teaching strategies adds the icing to the cake. If you look at the Blended e-Learning Literacy community as an example, you will see how it has been structured around the learning needs rather than the technologies. In the Writing section for example, the navigation includes engaging learners, but then goes on to highlight developing vocabulary, organising your ideas, working on editing, different styles of writing etc., and within those sections are strategies alongside the specific apps or software that will enhance the teaching and learning.
Thank you to Rachel for sharing her question iPad usage to support writing. She shared two very common literacy goals of increasing oral language and engaging reluctant writers. Technology can and does support writing. The challenge for us as educators is to determine what is the focus of the learning we want to happen. When we know the who and why - the what and how become clearer. Writing with pen and paper still has a place. Maybe, If you start writing with pencil/pen and paper, finish on paper, including publishing. If you choose to write on a device, planning, drafting, writing and publishing can all happen on a device. Choose your learning focus, choose your tool/device and write… A happy recipe for success!
Snapshot for Teaching and Learning in Literacy Improving boys' writing using Google docs
Children’s authors around New Zealand:
This week we showcased David Hair. David shares five things he has learned about writing and life.
Anne’s Literacy Links and Look ups…
- Fingers Cleverly Joined into Animal Illustrations by Javier Pérez - imagine the fun your learners could have creating and writing about these!
- App smashing for teachers: The power of app cross-pollination - increasingly we are seeing ways of mixing and matching apps to offer more in the way of learning, creating and sharing.
- Pythagoras' iPhone: Is Listening A Lost Classroom Art? I found this a very interesting read. Would love to hear your thoughts on it in the mailing list.
- 5 Ways to Engage Parents Using Google Drive - If you are exploring Google Apps for Education this is well worth checking out.
- Google for Education November newsletter - also well worth reading and subscribing to.
Have you signed up for the Teachers Ready to Read review webinar on the 20th of November at 3:30 - 4:30pm?
Have a fabulous week!
Ngā mihi nui
Literacy Online Facilitator
@LiteracyOnline2To post to the list email: firstname.lastname@example.org