Today we began Term 2 with a staff development day and reflecting on our ourselves as professional learners. Sometimes it is too easy to focus solely on our students and forget that we also need nurturing and opportunities for enhancing our love of learning.
So what did I learn?
The importance of identifying student’s strengths and areas of need across our 6 pillars of learning (based on Learning across the Curriculum) , English and Mathematics. These strengths and needs will drive our professional discussions and planning within the Early Stage 1 program. Next, in conjunction with my grade buddy, we then created our very own professional learning plan to enable us to meet these needs. We began by setting a SMART goal (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) for each area and then developed strategies to best assist our students to move forward with their learning. We considered what professional knowledge we needed to develop, how we needed to change our professional practice and/or what can we professionally engage in? (PK, PP & PE – NESA). Lastly, we developed success criteria to enable us to see what the student learning would look like and provided a time line to evaluate and reflect on how all the learning was progressing- student and professional.
The last part was choosing one SMART goal and unpacking it from an individual perspective which will be added to our literacy learning/data wall. This makes the learning far more visible and allows that direct link between student learning and my own professional learning.
Where to next?
My focus for student learning is to extend their writing skills – “Students to work independently to record sounds they hear in words and use keywords to provide more detail to their story.” So for me professionally, I will be investigating ways to best support the student’s learning through articles, websites and texts such as “The Writing Book” by Sheena Cameron and Louise Dempsey.
Time to explore and learn……..
Taking a leap of faith entails trust……..in my case “trusting” in myself, the people I work with and the students in my class who rely on me to provide the guidance, stimulation and opportunities that will enable them to be the best learners in a next generation school. This blog will be a way of showing my professional and personal growth as a life long learner in 2017 and beyond!
The beginning is always the students, getting to know them as individuals and finding out their interests, strengths and areas of need. Once we have the data then we can begin to build a framework that will best support their learning within the classroom setting. My immediate learning is focusing on literacy and how best to group students so as to meet their needs for reading and viewing, writing and representing, speaking and listening. All three aspects of the curriculum are of equal importance and therefore will be discussed and shared within this blog.
Today I’m reflecting on writing and representing and how diverse that looks in Kindergarten. From those students who are still learning how to draw recognisable pictures to tell a story and other students who are learning to write compound sentences based on what they have drawn. We need to remember that making marks on paper is the first step to experimenting with print and over time with lots of opportunities to practise, students become more confident authors and illustrators. As a source for learning is the book “What’s Next for this Beginning Writer?” which gives ideas, information to enable meaningful and purposeful modelled and shared writing lessons. I have enjoyed reading the first chapter of this book and would recommend it as a tool for learning for other teachers as well.
This week in Kindergarten we have been focussing on improving our drawings to ensure they tell the whole story which will engage the reader. We have even counted how many parts of the picture we would need to make the story more interesting. After our writing time we are learning to ‘check in’ with a partner for some peer feedback and go back over our success criteria. Our star, star, wish concept for feedback is still a work in progress but there are definitely changes happening with students being able to prove how they have been successful with their story writing.
What resources do you find the most useful when planning effective modelled and shared writing lessons?
Writing and reflecting an ongoing cycle!