Wow! What a day! My brain hurts but in a good way.
I had the opportunity of leading a session with Tiffany on How We Use Data in our classrooms. There was a lot of discussion about how we already use pre tests to inform our planning and to group students for English, Numeracy and even goal setting- there was also a difference between the different stages such as Stage 3 had the students comparing their results from pre and post tests and looking at growth not the number of correct answers. After reading our John Hattie reading "We Aren't Using Assessments Correctly", it got us thinking about the importance of giving timely feedback, having students own their data and making it worthy of their time. I was a bit worried that people might think using assessment as a reflection of teacher practice as negative but in fact everyone agreed that student results was actually a reflective experience for them as educators and helped them improve their practice because we recognise that what we plan, in practice may not work.
I really enjoyed the mini sessions after morning tea- Clinical Interviews, Guided Reading and Marking Criterias. I learnt a lot of information from these sessions- amazing how you never stop learning.
My highlights include how to implement the Clinical Interviews and use the website to gain ideas to assist students to move along the continuum. We are often happy for students to use strategies that they are comfortable with such as counting by 1s but in fact when you look at the outcomes, they need to implement other strategies and if they don't it can signal a learning gap.
The Guided Reading session helped me feel better because I feel like I am on the right track with looking at Here, Hidden and Head questions. I have also been asking students to identify language they are unsure of but Daniella also pointed out that it might be helpful to expose the students to the language beforehand as it can assist with their understanding of the text. The proforma is also very straightforward and I feel like it will help guide me with my Guided Reading sessions. It was a good opportunity to hear how others lead their sessions as it gave me some ideas. For eg when Alex listens to her student read, to keep the others on task and continue to independently read, she writes questions on the board for them to focus on. I can't wait to try it.
The biggest eye opener for me was the Naplan Marking Criteria- especially for Persuasive texts. For what feels like years, we have been harping on about language features such as modality and opinion. To look at the criteria and see it was only worth 4 marks shocked me. The highest marks were allocated to Audience, Vocabulary and Spelling. It generated a lot of discussion about how do you mark audience and if you nail it, the results can also be seen in vocabulary and spelling. This is because when you have a clear audience, the language you choose is very specific. This has made me rethink our Writing program and how I have been focusing in the wrong direction. Such a small word but makes such a big difference- it reminded me of our work with Tom Barrett and the importance of making the audience tangible to the children.
Lots of ideas... time to think ...