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Jessica D

on 8 October 2014

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Transcript of Literacy

"The literacy block is a sustained block of time dedicated to literacy instruction" (Flint 2014, pg 162).

Literacy block
Many different pedagogies that support learning and developing an understanding of educational contexts.....
My practice that supported student learning
read to students
listened to them read
help with writing
spelling and sounding out words
Digital Portfolio
Classroom text
usually a 2 hour block
varies from classroom to classroom
provides opportunities for students to scaffold
whole - same - whole structure
gives a chance for all students to work on listening, speaking, reading, writing, reflecting and sharing
The literacy block supports both individual and group literacy development:
students can work and share ideas with their peers
they become teachers to each other
developing oral skills
Johnson (2011, pg. 11) defines diversity as “seeing the differences, distinctions, and dividing lines of others with a soft gaze but with a clear vision.”
While on placement, I notice that my mentor's classroom was very diverse.
Understanding that children do not all have the same linguistic backgrounds, home experiences or educational history is an important consideration (Seely 2014, pg. 68).
ESL students and students who struggled with reading.

own special box with unique books
each book chosen with purpose
teacher aide
one-on-one reading sessions
improved reading
Self esteem
Jane Elliott's study about brown eyed, blue eyed
students who believed they were superior worked hard
students who believed they were inferior did not try
inferior students too busy concentrating on why they do not fit in and why they are different
Classroom Text –
Wombat Stew by Marcia Kay Vaughan
Parts of the book had a repetitive line, which invited the students to join along.
My mentor paused at the sections where her students joined in on the repetitive sections.
Throughout the book, my mentor would question her students on what they thought was going to happen in the next part of the text.

Wombat Stew provides numerous opportunities for students to work on...
sentence and story structure
build on student literacy
The story can also provide many literacy activities...
After reading the text a few times, students will realise that only two lines differ in each verse.
As a class, search for words ending in 'y' (e.g. gooey, chewy, brewy, crunchy, munchy).
Students then brainstorm their own words ending in 'y' to create their own verse.
Wombat Stew,
Wombat Stew,
Wombat Stew!

The New National English curriculum is built around three interrelated strands (language, literature and literacy) that support students’ growing understanding and use of the English language.
Wombat Stew is a text that focuses on developing students’ knowledge, understanding and skills in listening, reading, writing, speaking and creating.

book recognises different types of punctuation (e.g. full stops, exclamation marks, etc)
explores various ways of expressing emotions, including visual, verbal, body language and facial expressions

students listen to and recite the verses of the book and inventing sound patterns
students also recreate the text using their own imagination to come up with their own words
students listen and interact with others
share ideas and questions about the book
learn how to speak clearly and at an appropriate volume and pace
when students write their own verse of the book, they are developing skills on their grammar, word choice, spelling, structure and punctuation
have the opportunity to predict what will happen throughout the book.

Placement - Week 5
learning/cognitive abilities
motivation levels
Teacher as researcher...
Case conferencing...
Student becoming teacher...
Joseph Joubert "to teach is to learn twice"
Students learning with the assistance of other students...
According to Vygotsky's theory of zone of proximal development, students will achieve more understanding by socialising cooperatively with a skilled partner.
Mentor models how to research pictures of water on smart board for their poems
Students pay attention and watch
Students go off to complete their 'water' poems on the laptops
Students help each other
Once finished, students return to floor to share work
Practice Described
Inquiry questions:
Why does my teacher use whole-small-whole structure?
Why does my teacher pair students according to their needs and strengths?
Why does mentor include technology into lesson?
Practice Theorised and Explained
whole-small-whole structure provides students to scaffold as they move “from whole class teaching to small group teaching and independent work and then back to whole class” (Seely 2014, pg. 162)
mentor pairs students according to their strengths and needs to help each other out
we need to consider "how incredibly different children’s experiences around texts are in the twenty-first century" (Seely 2014, pg. 4)
students use technology as a form of learning literacy
Practice Changed
It is important to work and support students’ previous knowledge
Using the whole-small-whole structure is effective in accomplishing this
Students learn better with skilled partner to assist them
involve different forms of technology where possible and appropriate throughout class lessons
Reading: Chapter 9
Effective assessment practices for reading and writing
Formative assessments: measures progress during activity
Summative: sum up what students have learned at a given point
Purpose of assessments: make comparisons across states, measure student achievement, give immediate feedback to student about their progress
Show what students strengths are and what they need to improve on
Different assessments: miscue analysis, running records, retellings, checklists, anecdotal notes

Personal Theories
Within the literacy block, what is the importance of spelling for literacy development?

Why is it important for my mentor teacher to choose different spelling words for her students to practice? How does choosing different spelling words for each student benefit each students’ literacy development?


What activities and strategies does my mentor teacher provide to help her choose the most appropriate spelling words for her students to practice?

Placement - Week 7
working as a whole
introduction to day's activity
model reading/writing
mentor read book about poems and students joined in
whole class/sharing and reflecting
share reflect on work
teacher reinforces teaching point
Moon (1999, pg. 4) states "we reflect on something in order to consider it in more detail"
small groups/independent work
students work on skills that were shown by teacher
mentor groups students according to their abilities
students who are capable can assist their peers who struggle in writing poems
zone of proximal development
Wombat Stew,
Wombat Stew,
Gooey, Brewy
Yummy, Chewy
Wombat Stew!

Students reading aloud
Help develop oral language and expressions as they read aloud and practice these skills
Help with spelling and pronouncing words
Flint (2014, pg. 30) states “oral language is important for building literacy skills”.
Flint (2014, pg. 474), “echo reading eliminates the frustration and anxiety that is too often associated with reading aloud”.
Gunning (2012, pg. 128) states “fluency should be modelled and explained”.
Sentence structure and grammar
forming sentences
correcting and helping with grammar (e.g. full stops, capital letters)
grammar and sentence structure improved over the period of time I was at placement
Personal theories connected with literature and placement experience.
each student their own independent spelling words
mentor explained student’s spelling abilities range considerably throughout the classroom
Westwood (2005, pg 21) "learners appear to fall into one of three categories in relation to acquisition of spelling ability".
How mentor chooses spelling words...
high frequency words and Oxford wordlist (common in writing)
Westwood (2014, pg 49) "at an early stage on the path to writing all children should be helped to learn this core of high frequency everyday words".
students become confident spellers
Spelling words that students will use on a daily basis.
Design of mentor's classroom...
Seely (2014, pg. 144) states “some teachers use literature discussion groups or literature circles” so students can “share interpretations, reflections and wonderings”.
New questions
how technology may be used in the development of spelling
how technology may assist teachers choose spelling words
Research limitations and improvements
small sample size
only interviewed one teacher
short time frame to interview teacher
By completing this research I am aware of some of the different techniques teachers and educators use to assist students with their spelling in the literacy block.

My findings have given me a greater understanding of how spelling is approached in the literacy block, and I believe this will assist me in becoming a better teacher in the future.
Practice Described
students continue with silent reading
teacher begins reading conferences
during reading conferences, mentor does nor correct or interfere while student reads
Inquiry questions:
Why do conference reading?
Why doesn't mentor correct student reading?
Practice Theorised and Explained
see what student can do independently
see what level of reading they are up to
know what reading aspect they need to work on
Flint (2014, 348) "Reading conferences enable the teacher to gain a more detailed picture of the reader’s abilities".
Practice Changed
By observing my teacher and her conferences, I can see how it is necessary to see what level your student is at with their reading. In doing so, you are then able to see how and where they need improvement.
Reading: Chapter 10
Reading: Chapter 10.

Many different types of literature
Picture books are what children are first shown as literature
Picture books can be used throughout primary school
Reader response theory – interpret what they are reading based on past experience
Different goals for literature discussions

Chapter 5 in Seely Flint, A, Kitson, L, Lowe, K & Shaw, K 2014, Literacy in Australia: pedagogies for engagement, John Wiley & Sons, Milton.

Chapter 7 in Seely Flint, A, Kitson, L, Lowe, K & Shaw, K 2014, Literacy in Australia: pedagogies for engagement, John Wiley & Sons, Milton.

Westwood, P 2005, Spelling: Approaches to Teaching and Assessment, Australian Council for Educational Research, Camberwell Victoria.

Westwood, P 2014, Teaching Spelling: Exploring commonsense strategies and best practices, Routledge, New York.

Chapter 5 in Flint Seely, A, Kitson, L, Lowe, K & Shaw, K 2014, Literacy in Australia: pedagogies for engagement, John Wiley & Sons, Milton.

Moon, A, Jennifer 1999, Reflection in Learning & Professional Development, RoutledgeFalmer, New York.
Petrick-Steward, Elizabeth 2009, Beginning Writers in the Zone of Proximal Development, Routledge, New York.

Churchill, R., Ferguson, P., Godhino, S., Johnson, N., Keddie, A. M., Letts, W. & Vick, M. 2013, Teaching: Making a difference, John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd, Milton.

Burton, Lorelle, Westen Drew, and Kowalski Robin M 2012. Psychology. Milton, Qld. John Wiley and Sons Australia.

Whitman, N. (1988) Peer Teaching, 1st ed. College Station, Tex: Association for the Study of Higher Education.

Chapter 9 in Flint Seely, A, Kitson, L, Lowe, K & Shaw, K 2014, Literacy in Australia: pedagogies for engagement, John Wiley & Sons, Milton.

Elliott Jane 1970, Blue eyed, brown eyed experiment, viewed 1 October 2014,

Johnson, Michelle T 2011, The Diversity Code: Unlock the Secrets to Making Differences Work in the Real World, American Management Association, USA
Collected the work of two students who have different spelling abilities.
Word walls to remind students what words they have learnt to spell in the past.
Students practice spelling the words in their books and using L,S,C,W,C.
Tables are grouped for students to engage in group activities and work together.
Mentor's reading conference area.
How my mentor assesses her students during reading conferences.
Mentor's and teacher aide's conference reading areas. One-on-one reading helps students with reading.
Special boxes with their own books that best suits them.
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