First, Stewart Riddle talks about literacy in the classroom, then Misty Adoniou discusses phonics and literacy, and the mandatory year 1 phonics assessment.
An effective, documented school reading program, using the Teaching for Effective Learning framework and other key Department for Education (SA) supporting documents for pedagogical guidance, will help a teacher cover all aspects of the Australian Curriculum, and will also help teachers to meet state requirements.
A reading program should rely on well founded, tried and true principles of learning that provide the basis for classroom practices. (Boomer, 1983)
It will ensure that students have daily experiences that develop them as the most effective readers, but will also connect to other aspects of literacy and other learning areas.
Habits and routines that are developed and fostered within what we call a ‘Reading Workshop’, give all students the chance to transfer the explicit teachings that are the focus of each lesson to their own independent reading. This is the ultimate goal of a successful reading program.
A school reading program should make use of the most innovative research and practice that has proven to be effective in a classroom. A school should not rely on purchased programs because they are not likely to meet Australian and state requirements and cater for the specific needs of a school’s student population.
Every one of us in schools is working so hard every day to ensure that our students are receiving the best experiences to grow as readers. In my day to day work with teachers and leaders, we are joyfully vigilant to ensure the best possible experiences to improve reading.
At Cue Learning we immerse ourselves in, practice and share critical understandings about learning read. We believe strongly in the core understandings that Braunger and Lewis outline in their paper: Building a Knowledge Base in Reading
Core Understandings About Learning to Read
1. Reading is a construction of meaning from written text. It is an active, cognitive, and affective process.
2. Background knowledge and prior experience are critical to the reading process.
3. Social interaction is essential in learning to read.
4. Reading and writing develop together.
5. Reading involves complex thinking.
6. Environments rich in literacy experiences, resources, and models facilitate reading development.
7. Engagement in the reading task is key in successfully learning to read.
8. Children's understandings of print are not the same as adults' understandings.
9. Children develop phonemic awareness and knowledge of phonics through a variety ofliteracy opportunities, models, and demonstrations.
10. Children learn successful reading strategies in the context of real reading.
11. Children learn best when teachers employ a variety of strategies to model and demonstrate reading knowledge, strategy, and skills.
12. Children need the opportunity to read, read, read.
13. Monitoring the development of reading processes is vital to student success.
The research-based experiences described by Braunger and Lewis in, Students need many opportunities to read, read, read, provides a clear guide for what we would do well to provide for every child in every classroom, every day to develop voluntary reading:
When we actively promote and establish opportunities for students to read, we open the way for reading growth, at all year levels. One focus of reading instruction is to develop the lifelong habit of reading. However, some schools or programs spend a great deal of time teaching skills then leave little room for students to practise those skills by really reading.
'What is critical is that students do read-lots, for sustained periods, for meaning, and for real and authentic purposes.
Opportunity to read has an effect on various measures of reading skill or achievement, as described in the following findings:
As Cue Learning supports the development of these experiences in schools, so we see the improvement in reading that these research-based experiences promise. Keeping our eye on the experiences that count means keeping our eye on what counts for our readers.
At Kaurna Plains School in Adelaide's north it has been exciting to reflect on our growth this past term using a checklist outlining Braunger and Lewis's research-based experiences. Since one of the goals of the Site Improvement Plan is to improve student achievement in reading, each teacher has committed to developing one or more of the opportunities to support daily opportunities to read, read, read.
So it has been exciting to notice and celebrate the reading growth of students over the first term of 2019.
Some of the most exciting growth points we have seen have been:
You have just got to love the work of these Kaurna Plains School teachers and students!
What a privilege to be working with them all, right by their sides.
This is also a good time to be reminded of the power of reading, reading, reading as we move towards the NAPLAN.
‘All reading tests require speed, fluency and comprehension. This can only be learned in motivated, extended independent reading.’ (Farstrup, Alan e. and Samuals S. Jay. (2002). ‘Preparing Students for High-Stakes Test Taking in Reading’ in What Research Has to Say About Reading Instruction (3rd ed.). Newark:DE, International Reading Association).
There are many stories of wonderful reading growth points around Australia. We would love to hear about them.
Here at Cue Learning we're passionate about teacher voice, good stories and supporting the profession we love.
'If you are a dreamer come in
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hoper, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer,
If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire,
For we have some flax golden tales to spin.
What is a Classroom Library?
A Classroom Library is a collection of a wide range of books and other reading material, sorted, categorised, and enticingly displayed in the classroom so that students have ready and easy access to books for their daily independent reading, content area learning and home reading
The Classroom Library is a powerful tool to support all students' literacy development.
The compelling reasons for establishing a Classroom Library are in it's potential to:
How to create a Classroom Library
The Department for Education, South Australia, understands the critical role classroom libraries play in establishing an effective reading program that leads to school improvement.
Teacher actions to set up positive conditions for a classroom reading program are:
School Improvement Guidebook: Build Foundations, p9
Department for Education, Government of South Australia
Resources to help you
How to Create a Classroom Library
Snowball & Bolton provide an extensive list to help you create an effective classroom library to ensure your students have the best opportunity to access reading material to become motivated, engaged and competent readers.
This checklist guides you through:
Designed as a checklist, it's an easy way to be guided through the process of ensuring your classroom library is ready for every reader in your classroom.
'The efforts placed into creating an inviting atmosphere for a classroom library corner is rewarded by children's increased interest in reading and reading achievement.' (Coody & Huck)
Now, off to the classroom!
Amazing classroom Libraries created by teachers and students
Browse some amazing classroom libraries that have been established by teachers and their students in South Australia.
On Saturday 2nd June teachers from Department for Education, Catholic Education and Independent schools attended our 'Catering For All Maths Abilities R-7' Master Class. There was some very positive feedback from participants on their key learnings/ insights gained from the session. Rob Vingerhoets, a very experienced principal, teacher and presenter, engaged, informed and entertained for 4 hours. Here is a selection of the feedback from teachers:
On Saturday 19th May teachers from Department for Education and Catholic Education schools attended our 'Word Work in Action' Master Class. There was some very positive feedback from participants on their key learnings/ insights gained from the session. Denise Alderman (UniSA) and Sharon Callen (Teachific Literacy), both very experienced teachers and presenters, engaged, informed and entertained for 3 and a half hours. Here is a selection of the feedback from teachers:
Although quality professional development for teachers is the best money for literacy progress that can be spent in your school, you may be looking at purchasing a certain literacy program. That's where the following matrix comes in.
Use it in discussions with colleagues about how a particular program qualifies as a quality initiative for your school.
The Commission on Reading of the National Council of Teachers of English regularly undertakes projects to broaden discussion of important literacy issues and to provide support for teachers as they make informed instructional decisions. Commission members developed the matrix that follows in response to requests from NCTE members for sound, standards-aligned criteria to apply as they select program materials or design local programs of instruction in reading. It is intended to be used as part of professional discussion among colleagues.
See the attached.
with Rob Vingerhoets
Come and enjoy two fabulous, thought provoking numeracy sessions by a master presenter. Then enjoy the afternoon in beautiful Stirling!
Following on from his highly successful numeracy master classes for teachers and leaders all over Australia, Rob presents two highly engaging sessions at St Catherine's School Stirling on Saturday 24th June. Rob's sessions are always thought provoking, 'hands on' and fun, with practical ideas to make every lesson a success. He has modelled lessons in SA classrooms with great effect, as he has in schools across Australia.
Saturday 24th June, 9.00am-1pm, St Catherine's School Stirling
(Two sessions in one!)
10% Discount rate for relief teachers. 10% discount for groups of three or more teachers from the same school.
(Enjoy visiting fabulous Stirling afterwards)
The apps 'Take 10 Mindful Minutes' and 'Take 5 Mindful Minutes' were created by mindfulness practitioner , educator & counsellor Frances Kelly. The Lakes Rotary Club of Mt Gambier supported this project by funding the initial app development process so these apps could then be available for FREE download worldwide .
So far these apps have been downloaded in over 100 countries ... and in their many thousands ...
'Take 10 Mindful Minutes' is aimed at 10+ year old users and ' Take Five Mindful Minutes' at aged 3-10 year olds . The apps, both Apple and android, are advertising free with no add-ons, and once downloaded require no internet use . Also available FREE and for general use are two more apps 'Mindfulness Getting started ' and 'Mindfulness Caring for me' both made available by their creator, Frances Kelly.
Go to: http://www.cuelearning.com.au/mindfulness-resources.html
Students at Salisbury High School are demonstrating their postcode in Adelaide's disadvantaged north is no barrier to academic success and achievement. A record 15,003 South Australians achieved their South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) in 2016, which included every Year 12 student at Salisbury High School. Eight merits were awarded to Salisbury's Year 12s, and student Sariah Howell finished with a perfect 99.95. Salisbury's graduating class includes several students from culturally-diverse backgrounds, whom the school said had achieved results that would have been impossible in their home countries.
There has been a major shift in the teachers' pedagogical practices at the school in the past few years. Cue Learning worked closely with leadership and 32 teachers in their classrooms in the 5 years leading up to these outstanding SACE results. A recent report by Salisbury High School on our Cue Learning Master in Residence work from 2011-2015, shows the impact of our work. See the report below.
Sharon Callen is an experienced teacher, author and literacy consultant. She has worked in schools in Australia and the USA helping improve literacy learning by explicitly modelling in classrooms and guiding leadership.
Phil Callen is a former Executive Director of the Council of Education Associations of SA and Secretary of the Australian Professional Teachers Association.
They both are principal consultants with Cue Learning, an education consultancy which provides highly practical, research based professional development for teachers and leaders in schools.