Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Meaningful Experineces

Ok, so here I go again.  Writing, again! This time I am thrilled to say I have created meaning for my students and excitement.  A friend of mine has been blogging about her Greyhound for over a year now. Every time she puts up a new post it lands on my Facebook feed and every time for the last year I have scrolled on by.  On Monday I didn't scroll on by.  I read it and it sparked an idea for me.  I ask Rach if she would mind if I shared it with my class.  Luckily for my students she agreed.  We read several of h posts and worked on reading strategies. We had fantastic discussions around what she has done as a writer.  We left a comment with questions.  All of our questions were answered along with a post dedicated to us here it is : A big Thank You

My students then wrote responses which lead them to learning to comment on blogs.  We were then lucky enough to have a Facebook message from her saying that she would be happy to take a day off work to come up for us to meet the dogs. This ignited my students fire. Last night they took home their writing books and made jottings of their pet,a skill I learnt the previous Saturday from Gail Loane.  They then wrote some amazing pieces. With Rach now coming up they are looking forward to having an audience for their writing.My students are so excited and inspired to write.

So where to from here with this real motivation.  Letters to the Adopt a Greyhound asking how we can support.  Designing and making a picture book of Chris and Mila's visit. Thank you email to Rach.  Blog posts for each of the students individual 'I have a voice blogs!'

I have become so passionate about teaching reading and writing I don't want to teach anything else.

Rich literacy leads to rich learning! I can't wait to share my next post on writing feedback! Watch this space.

Writing Observation Feedback

Yesterday Tracey and Raewyn came in to observe my progress in teaching writing.  In my initial observation I was teaching whole class and was making limited links between reading and writing.  I knew in myself that my ability to teach writing has improved dramatically.

Feedback from Tracey highlighted my progress and also the explicit links I make between reading and writing.  As my teacher inquiry focus is on catering for diverse needs, I am now teaching my students in ability groups.  One recommendation that Tracey did have for me was making my learning intention explicit to students at the beginning of the lesson.  This is something that I have done previously.  However, now teaching in groups and making sure my writing programme is meaningful I am finding myself teaching lots of parts rather than focusing on one specific thing.  As a class we have had a focus on wholenes of our writing.

What I have taken from this is not to cram to much in as I could be overwhelming my students.  Be clear on what it is that I want from my students.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Seeing kids shine!!

With a continued focus on writing I am pleased to announce a feeling of success.  After working with a group  of writers and wrapping up a writing session, I had students waiting to want to share their writing with me!  For the first time in 6 years of teaching I think I might have lit a fire in some of my students! Whoooo

Being a reluctant writer myself and not really having a passion to say anything, I'm now writing daily with my students and becoming observant of my world around me.  It has become quiet scary in a sense when I am reading, personal novels, for pleasure and start to say to myself that was a well constructed sentence.  I can see why the author used that!! I am becoming a writer.  Just like my student who today was so excited by their piece, I am also excited to be sharing.

Where to from here - start a writing blog of my life, my observations for my students to read.

Here is the piece my student celebrated with me, it is worth sharing with the world!

An overcast day I was at school, grasping my chocolate milk in my hand trying to avoid the soccer ball.  It comes flying towards me.  The force of the kick is so strong I can't dodge it.  Bang! The ball hits me straight in the guts.

Not knowing my primo milk lid wasn't screwed on tightly, next thing I know my bottle full of milk is splattered all on my back.  This wasn't so primo at all!

My top was plain white, I couldn't believe my eyes my best friend was standing there snickering at me.  I badly want to throw mud at her face.

The bell went I raced home, hoping Mum wouldn't fire up like a volcano.  "Muuuum, um well I kinder spilt primo milk on my back."  I turned around Mum's face turned pail.  "OMG" She says "We better soak it."  The next day, thankfully the primo milk stain had come out.  I was so relived