Visiting Our NeighboursLast term, Kelsey and I visited Simon and Kate from Hornby Primary to have a look at how they organise, implement and assess Literacy. We were also interested to look at how they organise their programme and manage their work load.
Here are some of the observations and points from our discussion:
*Kate takes Reading, Simon takes Writing. This is done for the entire year. The teacher of the subject area is the go to person for parents.
*The hub works in a space that was once the Library and has two main spaces with a walk through area between.
*During Writing, Simon works with a group while others work on Spelling City, comment on blogs or free write.
*Students use their Google Site to navigate and access their learning. I had the pleasure of being talked through student learning and agency by a lovely student Siola.
Check out her blog here.
Reading taken by Kate. Kate uses a TV screen to share learning with her instructional Reading groups.
I didn't see much of the Reading or how the changeover from Reading to Writing worked so I will check in and see how they do this.
*Each writing group has a collaborative, online modelling book. This is where they can work on whatever the writing focus is and create their own pieces of writing on the same doc. For me this looked like an easy way to have access to a a whole groups writing, in one place.
*One use of Google Forms that I thought was a great idea and one that I have not yet implemented, is where students receive a form with a video clip. The form then contains questions for children to answer around what they have seen. This can be used as pre assessment and also for planning where to go to with writing. This is another way to have instant and easy to access data.
Whaea Heather's Room-Bilingual Class
*We spent a little time in the senior bilingual class which was lovely to be in.
*Heather and her tamariki were working on a doc which had been shared and copied. Students shared ideas on a Padlet and when individuals were writing, the ideas bank was visible for all to see and use. They then formulate their writing on their own doc and have sharing moments as they go. Feedback is more oral.
Children in the bilingual class choose where to work.
We had the opportunity to spend time with Simon and Kate to ask any questions. Some of these questions were around the learning programme and some were about managing work load and what systems were in place.
These are the main points that resonated with me:
*A limit with blog commenting is one blog comment per week per child.
*Feedback given during writing is more in instructional sessions. Sometimes typed sometimes not.
*Resources...set up of modelling book takes about 40 minutes for 2 weeks.
*Use class time to make comments.
*Part of writing is that some children comment and give feedback.
*In class data gathering...Google forms...No tracking sheets or anecdotal notes made as these are done mainly via individual blogs.
*School wide documents that need working on are limited. One class profile created in term one and updated in term two, Teaching Inquiry and appraisal.
*Simon is released one day a week to support junior school with Learn, Create, Share and support children moving through to the Year 5 and 6 end of the school with transition.
It is always helpful to visit other classes and see how people are doing things. We both really appreciated being able to have the time to discuss and share ideas. A worthwhile visit indeed.