Year 3 was fortunate enough to work with both Tom & Pat last week during RFF in order to deepen our English curriculum knowledge. Thanks to Lauren - we came well prepared with a variety of non fiction texts that matched our theme of Living Things. We are directing our learning (post NAPLAN) towards informative texts as we continue to work on our goals that we set during RISE week. (Lucky for us - we share similar goals around reading and developing our own capacity to deepen students comprehension through effective questioning). CUE - Tom Barrett...
After a brief discussion around the ease with which our students have adapted to the new learning spaces upstairs, we began unpacking the reading outcomes for our stage and identifying some specific skills that we want our students to be able to apply when reading more complex texts.
This conversation sent us on an INCREDIBLY VALUABLE (almost) TANGENT that was the best professional development around reading that I have ever received. We delved deep into the mental model of the Abstraction Ladder (see Carly's blog post for more details) and developed our own skill set for questioning 'up and down the ladder' in guided reading. It was through this rich dialogue, coupled with the use of quality non fiction texts, that I was able to gain a deeper understanding of reading a whole and am beginning to see reading as a fluid process for students in which they weave in and out of a variety of skills and strategies to gain meaning.
After this powerful dialogue, I (albeit nervously) suggested that we touch on writing for the last 15 minutes. I was nervous that this was a bad call to switch our thinking from reading to writing in terms of our programming... However, I am excited to say that 15 minutes was perhaps even more powerful than the first hour and half. We brainstormed an overarching goal for our writing program and scoped out a shorter feedback loop for the rest of this term. I am looking forward to designing this program with my gradies during our next RFF and am glad that we have a specific focus on 'audience'.
I have to say - the professional learning at our school this year has been the best yet. Can't wait to see what else may come through the capacity building work that is being done!