Monday, November 14, 2016

Editing Writing, what do I do?

I've been thinking all term, how do I teach students to edit their own work effectively without it being a chore?

I tried:

Peer editing
Editing your own work at the end of a session

Both of these types worked but the students weren't engaged at all.

Today we discussed who the audience is for our writing, people all over the world who read our blogs.  Students were asked to peer up and read one story at a time, they needed to check that the stories made sense, and that the reader would be able to understand what they were talking about.

I gave students 3 minutes for each story in their peers, I encouraged them to talk about their story, and different ways they could make it better.  Doing this gave them no time to muck around and they all got straight into it.

This worked well with the boys as they were able to work with a friend and there was a time limit (a challenge).  What more could a boy ask for?

Reflecting on this lesson, next time I do this I would use a rubric for the students to explicitly show what they are focusing on, for eg. Punctuation or Sentence Structure.  I would have this at the top of the writing document that they are working on, then they are able to see exactly what they are focusing on during that session.  I will give them a scoring system to rate their writing out of 4.  When it turns into a competition they always want to be better, which will hopefully make their writing better. They will be able to compete against each other to get a better score which will end in a better piece of writing overall.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Term 4 Inquiry Meeting

One thing that I learned is how to effectively teach punctuation in students writing.  I did this by getting the students to read their story out loud and use extra expression during the speech marks in the text, for most of them this worked and they did really well.  By doing this the kids understood more about the reader who would be reading their pieces of writing that they publish on their blogs.  Being able to get them to be the reader rather than the writer got them to understand they were putting speech marks in the wrong places.  Learning this was awesome for my own practise.

One thing I'm struggling with is how to teach students to use full stops correctly.  I asked my inquiry group and they gave me several ideas, including reading their writing out loud so they can hear when the sentence finishes.  I don't have any specific time for the students to stop and edit their writing, so in my teaching time I will have some specific time at the end of the lesson to focus on editing their writing, or a peers' writing.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Where are we at? Where to now?

After 2 terms of inquiring into Boys' Writing I have become a lot more confident in my practise at teaching writing and the boys are making progress.  I'm still lucky enough to be meeting with this group of boys once a week, but we also spend a lot of time together in the classroom reinforcing what we have learned in our little group.

I also got the boys to present the writing that they had written that day this gives them  a sense of ownership of their writing.  Doing this with them makes it more enjoying for all of them, they look forward to presenting their writing after the lesson.

I now want to observe other teachers teach writing in different year levels, so I can see different ways that other teachers approach writing.  I'm also going to be inquiring into strategies I can use to get students to use different sentence lengths and write effective paragraphs.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Inquiry - Where are we?

After being at the Digital Immersion course last Thursday I reflected upon my inquiry.  I was able to make a movie where I added photos and used a voice over to record the audio.  As I was doing this video I thought how can I relate this to my boys.

I'm going to try and use this with my group and let them script their own movie, and then record themselves speaking for the audio.  I think this will also give them more drive around creating their scripts as they will be excited about making the movies.

I'm still going to be taking these boys' out of class each week for a writing session.  Follow my future blog posts for more updates!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Softball Tournament - Celebrating success

Sport has always been a huge part of my life.  At Pt England I have been able to build a large amount of rapport with students in all years through sport. This year I’m really excited to continue building relationships with students all throughout the school through sport.

This term In week 1 I was able to take softball trials for year 7&8 boys. I had about 4 trials with the boys, and then we had a couple of lunchtime trainings before I took a team to the Tamaki Cluster Schools Softball Tournament.

I wanted to make sure that they played as a team, and I held the team accountable to one another including looking after the gear bag, and getting to each other to and from class or training. I was looking to build that sense of a real team, that sense of belonging, that is often missing from school teams.

I was hard on the students' but let them also know how highly I thought of them. They didn't have much confidence in themselves playing together, especially fielding. I was fortunate enough to be able to take them to a tournament. I knew that they would come together on the day but it would take a while before they were comfortable and settled into their positions. Our first game we were down by one to start with, but came back strong in the 2nd innings and won 3-1.  Everyone was ecstatic as we pulled off a double play that we had been practising lots. This lifted them a bit. Second game was extremely tough, but they held themselves together in the field and we were able to win 3-0. We reached the final, the students were nervous but I assured them to stick to the basics, they did and we won 3-0.

The kids were so proud of themselves that they had won the tournament, and were shaking each others hands. At this point, I was able to reflect, and realised how proud I was to see that they had come together as a team.  The joy on the students' faces, how happy and proud they were of themselves and each other, that for me was more than I could have asked for as a coach of the team (the win was nice though).

I think it is so important for students' to have an extra-curricular 'event' in their lives as they are able to show their strengths and be a leader in different situations to the classroom. Forming relationships with students is so important for teaching. There is a difference I think however, in  being in the classroom, and having the opportunity to connect with learners in different environments. It is so important that every child finds their something that lets them shine, whether it be in the classroom, the sporting field, or something completely different. I love being able to coach sport, and seeing some students in a completely different light.

I need to take what I have learned here, and bring it with me into the classroom. That there are many types of ways my students can excel and succeed, and these need to be celebrated. Not just those that succeed in reading and writing.