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Keryn Wilson's discussion posts

  • Keryn Wilson 25 May 2015 10:15pm () in New Entrant planning

    Hi Helen, I do something similar with prompts as you do. I use just a tiny snippet so it's not too arduous for the kids. I've been using excerpts from books or other kids' writing) mostly just a sentence or two at most - and getting the kids to identify what makes the writing exciting. Each model highlights something e.g: alliteration, 'juicy' words, repeated text, onomatopoeia, etc. Even though there may be more than one thing to focus on, I try to pick one only. When recording for shared writing, I get the kids to write up some of the sounds we can hear. They like to have a turn! I have the Butterflies letter and blend prompt cards too, even though we follow Joy Allcock's sound-letter programme. I find Butterflies pretty good, although I also have Joy's 43 sounds frieze up on the wall for the sounds like ow, er, or, oy, long and short vowels etc. We also have word endings up which helps, too. I split the writing time from the spelling (sound work) learning time so most of the kids have time to play with blocks or cars or something to have a break before sitting down together for sound work. They're usually fairly engaged. Hope there's something of use in there for you!  :)K

     

     

  • Keryn Wilson 25 May 2015 9:36pm () in New Entrant planning

    Hi - it's been a bit busy lately - haven't been on the VLN in a while. I'm not sure I'm the right one to ask in terms of NESB learners as we don't have any at my school and it's been a while since I've worked NESB kids. With regard to language experience, we tend to use things that are happening around the school or generate experiences on a regular basis. Linking into the oral language area is so critical - if they can't talk about things they certainly can't write about it. We are not afraid to embrace things that just crop up - something a child may bring in or a parent may share - we use it and try to springboard it into our writing. I also think I'm not as rigid as I used to be with my littlies in terms of 'coverage' and 'genre' etc.  The kids need to enjoy writing and whatever gets them motivated is fine by me. I tend to still introduce key writing elements for them to explore through my daily shared writing sessions. Sorry I can't be of more help. :)

     

     

  • Keryn Wilson 22 Apr 2015 11:07pm () in New Entrants in a Year 1-4 MLE

    :):)weWe set up a MLE from NE - Y4 last year. We have 3 teachers working collaboratively, but when we consulted with our community they were concerned that the specific needs of children as they enter school would not be met in the 'big' setting. We put a lot of thought into how to maintain the things that were working for us in terms of settling our newest learners into the school setting as well as reaping the benefits of a collaborative approach. Our physical environment helped with this. The building, while not intentionally built as a classroom was most definitely crying out to be used as a MLE with its large open area, two break out rooms and two offices and attached kitchen and toilet area. We set up the 'Sooty' room in one of the break out rooms in the TLC (Toroa Learning Community) which easily housed a smaller group of children new to school.  Because of the close proximity to the main room, the newbies felt Sooty was their space but also developed confidence in the larger space where we meet each morning. One teacher (me) is responsible for their programme including pre-entry visits, parent and pre-school liaison etc. It is a bit like a single cell classroom with literacy and numeracy taken there. I have a strong focus on establishing routines and developing relationships. The ceiling is lower in these spaces too so it feels quite intimate. It's attached to another breakout room with a sliding door - we often spill out into this space during reading and maths. The older children in the TLC like to look after the younger children during activities we do together like fitness etc. We have a shared timetable which all 3 teachers plan together and we (as in the above post) group for everything so the spread is reduced. For some topic activities, we work together and sometimes we rotate groups around the 3 teachers. It depends on what we're doing. We have found that having a degree of separation, allowing children to join in with the larger group gradually when they are ready has been successful. We have a blog that might let you see us in action www.toroatimes.blogspot.co.nz. We really love working together and feel that including the NE group can be done provided their needs are planned for. As in the post above, our children stay in this environment for several years and it allows us to build strong connections with them, but they do tend to not get sick of us (or vice versa) because each of us have our own strengths and work with slightly different age groups in the MLE.

    All the best! :) K

     

     

     

  • Keryn Wilson 22 Apr 2015 11:07pm () in New Entrants in a Year 1-4 MLE

    :):)weWe set up a MLE from NE - Y4 last year. We have 3 teachers working collaboratively, but when we consulted with our community they were concerned that the specific needs of children as they enter school would not be met in the 'big' setting. We put a lot of thought into how to maintain the things that were working for us in terms of settling our newest learners into the school setting as well as reaping the benefits of a collaborative approach. Our physical environment helped with this. The building, while not intentionally built as a classroom was most definitely crying out to be used as a MLE with its large open area, two break out rooms and two offices and attached kitchen and toilet area. We set up the 'Sooty' room in one of the break out rooms in the TLC (Toroa Learning Community) which easily housed a smaller group of children new to school.  Because of the close proximity to the main room, the newbies felt Sooty was their space but also developed confidence in the larger space where we meet each morning. One teacher (me) is responsible for their programme including pre-entry visits, parent and pre-school liaison etc. It is a bit like a single cell classroom with literacy and numeracy taken there. I have a strong focus on establishing routines and developing relationships. The ceiling is lower in these spaces too so it feels quite intimate. It's attached to another breakout room with a sliding door - we often spill out into this space during reading and maths. The older children in the TLC like to look after the younger children during activities we do together like fitness etc. We have a shared timetable which all 3 teachers plan together and we (as in the above post) group for everything so the spread is reduced. For some topic activities, we work together and sometimes we rotate groups around the 3 teachers. It depends on what we're doing. We have found that having a degree of separation, allowing children to join in with the larger group gradually when they are ready has been successful. We have a blog that might let you see us in action www.toroatimes.blogspot.co.nz. We really love working together and feel that including the NE group can be done provided their needs are planned for. As in the post above, our children stay in this environment for several years and it allows us to build strong connections with them, but they do tend to not get sick of us (or vice versa) because each of us have our own strengths and work with slightly different age groups in the MLE.

    All the best! :) K

     

     

     

  • Keryn Wilson 01 Apr 2015 12:02am () in New Entrant planning

    Hi   At the moment, the number of reading groups I have is not so much of an issue as it's the start of the year but I find as time goes on and the little ones start school, my group numbers escalate. I tend to be able to successfully do a good job of shared reading and three instructional group rotations in an hour. I do sometimes try 4, but it usually such a rush. Because of our low numbers in our class, I have got 13 children in my room at the mo. Two have just started so I have put them in with my lowest level group which is level 2, meaning levels 1 and 2 together - no worries. One of the newbies went onto level 2 after a couple of days as her directionality and one to one was fine and she was predicting from the pic so it was seamless to give her the level 2 text. The other little fellow still feels part of that group as it's been established. The children in his group also help him follow the task board, too. I have 5 in that group. My next group is at level 4/5 depending on the text (I find there's a difference between the PM and ready to read series -do you?). I have 2 in that group. My last group is reading at level 6 although one little dot is ready to move on so will put her up to 7 but she can stay with the group as the teaching goals will be similar. One other boy came to school reading Wikipedia and the like Si he works on his own programme. The kids in groups are all reading at their own pace and I provide those plastic reading phones you've probably seen them? so they can hear themselves reading so it's not that obvious if someone is reading a different book. I do find it more challenging if the levels are too far removed from each other but having individual goal sheets helps to personalise their learning anyway. Working in a collaborative teaching environment means we often have conversations about our groups and look at ways to reorganise if we need to. :)K

     

     

  • Keryn Wilson 31 Mar 2015 11:43pm () in New Entrant planning

    Hi... We developed HANG after a visit to Clarkville school where they do an awesome programme called CHILL. We were looking for something to increase levels of student agency (as that seemed to be the buzzword of the moment around the traps!), support children coming in at the start of the day with a structured activity option, allow parental involvement directly in the programme in a relaxed way and for varied lengths of time as it suited them and to incorporate other curriculum elements that might not fit in with time constraints. We plan out our HANG in the holidays prior to term commencing and make links with special weeks (sea week etc) or just fun things like pirates or curriculum based topics like measurement - capacity. We have around 9 activities that children can choose from each day - they might just do one a day. The topic/theme lasts a fortnight. If children don't want to be involved that's fine - they go outside to play then. If they're inside, we expect they will be involved with a HANG activity. We usually have a giant jigsaw puzzle on the go and a guess the number of (whatever) in the jar or other vessel estimation task each week. We each organise 3 activities roughly. Sometimes they involve craft or physical activity like hopscotch or quoits. if an activity requires follow up, we do that during the community time at the start of the day. I don't know if we could do it if we weren't teaching collaboratively - it would take too much setting up but with the three of us it's easy.   :) K

  • Keryn Wilson 31 Mar 2015 11:17pm () in New Entrant planning

    Hi - I love collaboration because the two teachers I work with are amazing. This is our second year working together and we are finding it even better than lat year. We have learned lots. One thing I thnk makes it work is that we're not trying to collaborate on everything. My littlies do lots just with me in a small room attached to the big room. It's more intimate and yet they still feel part of the TLC (Toroa Learning Community) too because the older children take them 'under their wing' and support them during fitness, news, and other times when they are together as a larger group. We're not trying to do everything together when it doesn't naturally fit. I feel really lucky to have such incredible colleagues to learn from. I would add also that as a teaching team, we approached our principal and said we wanted to explore working this way. He has supported us by allowing us to do that. 

    :)K

  • Keryn Wilson 31 Mar 2015 1:10pm () in New Entrant planning

    I have all my planning on a google doc but I'm home today with my daughter sick so thought I might as well share what I do while I'm mooching around!

    Context:  I teach in a MLE with two other teachers. We have NE-Y4 and around 48 children. We take turns 'leading' which means some days a week, we get time (8.55-9.15) to prepare or test or whatever! It's awesome!

    The whole team keeps Monday to Thursday mostly the same allowing us to group across the whole setting. On Fridays we have testing, choosing, Maori, music, library, etc.  We group for ability in core areas but also consider social needs in our groupings. I have around 12 children for the literacy programme (9.15 - 12) and 18 for maths. In the afternoon it varies depending on how we have decided to group. 

    Here's us...

    8.30 - 8.55am HANG (different themed activities available for children and their families before school starts. It's optional.  This week and last week we did 'pirates' - fun) A teacher is on 'Meet and Greet' so families have a point of contact as they arrive at school. Another teacher cuts up fruit, or a parent does. 

    School starts 8.55 - the whole group joins together for any notices, birthday celebrations, important sharing, songs, social stories, reminders etc. One teacher leads.

    9.05am Fitness with whole group. Once completed, children grab a piece or two of pre-cut fruit and go to their writing group. 

    9.15am Writing. We start with shared writing - children on mat with various prompts - small movies from Literacy shed website, children's writing, or just pics or ideas from the children. I usually scribe into a modelling book with children contributing to the recording.

    9.30ish Children then move to independent or (I suppose) guided writing. For this I group the children into 4 groups. One group blogs directly onto our class blog (http://www.toroatimes.blogspot.co.nz) one group works with me, another writes with a parent helper if we have one, and the last group 'publishes' (writes over a pre-printed model. Text in a light grey Kiwi School Handwriting font). Sometimes a parent helper supports the bloggers. I find the children like the routine. It gives me time to spend with each student. Once the children 'finish' they have time to choose some down time activities (lego, cars, drawing on whiteboards, etc).

    10.15am Spelling - we use Joy Allcock's 'Switch on to Spelling' resource and work through a sound a day (4/week). We teach from sound to letter rather than letter to sound. Children share examples of words that contain the sound of the day. We examine how each sound can be written. (I'll stop there - this area is huge!)

    10.25am Handwriting - chalk letters, writing letters with water and a paintbrush, in books etc.

    10.40am Playtime  

    11am - shared reading - I link a big book and a poem to the sound we will cover that week and we share them each day. 

    11.15am guided reading. I see around 3 groups - some groups have more than one level in them. Children rotate around 3 different activities, guided by a task board. We incorporate elements of the Reading CAFE

    12 noon - lunch - everyone in the whole team eats together. 

    12.40 - maths - a shared component first (only in the group situation though - about 18 children???) then 2 rotations, again I use a taskboard

    1.40 - playtime

    2pm - Other things. (Topic/Inquiry/Music/Tuesday Newsday/Art/Sport - as much as we can squeeze in over the course of the week. It's tough!  Sometimes we feel like we're not getting more than 2-3 topic/inquiry sessions in a week.

    I know your breaks are different but maybe some of this will be helpful? Let me know if you would like any clarification - happy to share. NE are SO awesome but a tough area to teach. Routines are so key...

    :)K

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Keryn Wilson 29 Mar 2015 8:40pm () in New Entrant planning

    Happy to send you mine - what times of the day do you have your breaks? 

    :)K

     

  • Keryn Wilson 25 Mar 2015 4:11pm () in Modelling Books

    rdg - red goal

    writing 1ii goal sheet writing 1i goal sheet Hi

    Here are some pics some were interested in looking at... goal sheets for reading and writing. 

    magenta rdg