Sunday, 6 December 2020

End of Year Reflection

This term has been a very busy term with testing and getting things sorted for the end of the year. The children in my focus have been coming to school daily and have improved in their reading. 

 What’s has been working: 
 I have been consistent in using the Gwenneth Phillips prompts and following what Helen Squires suggested at the PD at our Teachers Only Day. 
 - Giving a short introduction to the book and then giving the children the readers to read. - Looking at vocabulary and meaning of words. - Giving children multiple opportunities to share and discuss what they have read. 
 - Comprehension and inference questions for eg. the author mentioned that “Kitty cat was naughty.’ What do you think? Is Kitty Cat really naughty? Prove it. Where is the evidence? Where does it say that in the text? 
 - Giving children time to notice the errors they making and self correct their reading. - Using the prompt ‘you know a word that ends like this’, can ran. Prior to our instructional reading, I would remind children to listen to their reading, check to see: Does it look right, does it sound right, does it make sense? If not, then they got to fix it up. 

 I am pleased with the children progress. In term 2 they were reading Red 1 Level 3 and now they reading at Blue 1 Level 9. All four students can confidently monitor their reading by asking themselves, does it look right, does it sound right, does it make sense? They are attempting unknown words by breaking them into parts, looking for known words and looking for clues in the picture. They are also looking at the beginning, middle and ends sounds whereas before they would just look at the initial letter and guessed a word they know starting with that letter. All of my students got support from home with their learning and this made a big difference to their learning and progress.

Sunday, 20 September 2020

Inquiry Focus End of Term 3

On returning to alert Level 2. 5 not many of my students have come back to school. In saying that I am pleased that the children in my inquiry group have all been coming to school everyday. Student:TT and student TH joined the Google Meet Team sessions as well as accessed learning on the Class Site completing the lessons every single day. With their parents support at home they completed majority of the tasks on the slide deck as well as shared their learning by blogging their work. Student IM is very shy and found the meeting sessions overwhelming however completed all the learning tasks.

Over the past few  weeks:

- I have been consistently using Gwenneth Phillips prompt by keeping it on my table so that when students made an error I could support them using that prompt.

- The students are beginning to make connections and this noticing, fixing, self correcting is used in other learning areas as well for eg, maths, writing, engage programme games, 

-The voice recording of the lesson is a terrific idea as I can replay the lesson and plan accordingly.

- I have to write down the error made on a piece paper really quickly because at one stage as the child was checking I forgot  the error was made by the child- so that did't go as expected however as he checked along with me he managed to self correct himself.

- The children have made progress in their reading as well as have confidence in themselves to have a go. give it a try before asking for help.

-  I realised the importance of giving students time to work out the unknown word(waiting time). Students would look at me and I would quickly pretend to be busy doing something else. They had to think of strategies  to read the unknown word- attempt themselves and most of the time they got it right. This in turn boosted their confidence and self esteem. It also. made me realise not to jump in too quickly to help the.

Next Steps:

-Woking on the next prompt of finding and fixing:





Thursday, 27 August 2020

Inquiry Focus Term 3

My inquiry focus has changed this term from the Engage Programme to a school wide focus on Reading.

My inquiry will focus on the CoL Achievement Challenge:

#3. Lift the achievement in Reading for all students, with a particular focus on boys and Maori students, with                         particular focus on boys and Maori students (both genders) Years 1-13.


The knowledge of phonics helps children to  work out  “ how to say the printed words”. In other words, it refers to the learners understanding which letter(s) make which sound. The learner can then use that knowledge and phonological awareness to encode(spell) and decode(read) regular words.This initial learning process is the building blocks or the foundation that children need to have to begin to read on their own and build their fluency and text comprehension.

This term our school wide focus is on Reading. The focus is to lift the achievement of students who are below the expected achievement level. Teachers have been given Professional Development (PD) to support us with this inquiry.

My Focus Group:

My focus group consists of three students,(student: T, student: KM, and student: IM). Student KM and IM started at the beginning of the year and the student T started school last year in October. They are all presently reading at Level Level 5 (Red 3).


What are my learners doing during our reading session?

I noticed that:

- Learners were engaged during the orienteering of the reader and were developing the confidence to share similar experiences as in the text. They would chat/discuss about what the picture “was telling us”

- When student IM and T would come to an unknown word they would look at only the initial letter and guess the word. Eg for home, they would look at the h sound and say here because the word here is a known word.

- All three students would sometimes just appeal or stare at me silently waiting for me to tell them the unknown word.

-When I was not looking they would skip that word and continue reading or sometimes make a few muffled sounds under their breath.

- They know most of the high frequency words and would look at the pictures to support them.

- They were confident and fluent in reading a familiar reader (previous day’s reader) and read that book with fluency.

-They have letter sound confusions for e.g. b and d confusions.

- Capital letter and little letter confusions for e.g when a sentence starts with a capital letter, And This, they are unable to read the word.


Working on over the next few weeks:

- Using Gwenneth Phillips Prompt consistently:

-I will use a voice recorder to record the reading lesson to get some input or understanding of what strategies children are using,  listen to ‘what am I saying’ and then plan accordingly.







Tuesday, 10 March 2020

My Inquiry Focus for 2020

This year I have 10 students that started school last year and 8 students started school at the beginning of the year. I have 11 boys and 7 girls. During the first few weeks of school my focus was on establishing rules and routines in our classroom.Over the past few weeks the children have formed good relationships and friendships with each other. They come to school happy and are excited to learn and be with each other. 

My inquiry will focus on the CoL Achievement Challenge:
#5. Improve the achievement of students with additional needs in the learning areas of English/key competency using language symbols and texts.


My focus is using the ENGAGE programme to teach skills to help children self regulate behaviour so that they can manage themselves.

I will use the engage programme, focussing on Literacy in Terms 1& 2 and Numeracy in terms 3 & 4.

The engage programme has three domains:

1. The Emotional (Feeling) Domain-RED
Recognising and regulating emotions, calming through breathing and movement, mindfulness.

2.The Cognitive (Thinking) Domain-Orange
Listening and playing attention, remembering instructions, blocking out distractions, fine and gross motor skills, controlling speed of movement, balance, etc.

3. The Behavioural Domain ( Doing) Domain- Green
Controlling impulses, patience, turn taking, delaying gratification.

I will be focussing on two of these domains looking at a group of children however the games will be played by everyone in the class as every child will benefit from these games. Two games are played for 10 minutes over a period of 4 weeks and them the students are assessed.

In Term One, Week 1-4 we played did:



1. Deep Breathing: Emotional/Feeling Domain
Children learn to control their breathing by filling their stomachs with air like a balloon and then breathing out slowly.

Prompt-Things you can say:
This helps us control our breaths in and our breaths out."Big slow breathing can help us to feel calm and relaxed."

Deep Breathing
Smell the flower. (Breathe in slowly)


Blow out the candle. (Breathe out slowly)





2.     Relaxation: Emotional/Feeling Domain
A fun exercise that encourage children to tense and relax different parts of their bodies according to different instructions.

Prompt-Things you could say:
"We need to relax ourselves"
"We need to take big breathes when we relax"
"It helps us to feel calm"

What have I noticed:
Playing these games consistently do help children self regulate behaviour. They look forward to playing the games. Children are beginning to use the prompts with each other for example: when working in small groups I would hear a child saying " you need to wait for your turn." After lunch eating the children would come into class and find a spot and lie down to calm themselves down."
We were reading a the story called " The Three Billy Goats Gruff." We were discussing a part of the story and the meaning of bad-tempered troll" One children said " I think the troll is angry, maybe he needs to calm down and do breathing like us." The children are making connections which is pleasing to see.

Next steps:
I will introduce two new games for Weeks 5-8. I will continue to play the breathing and relaxation games especially after playtimes or when the need arises.

Monday, 9 December 2019

Inquiry End of Year Reflections

This is what happened for my students:
At the beginning of the year I did writing following Dr. Gwyneth Phillips writing programme. iPads were used as a resource to record students ideas and then replayed to write the sentence.down in their books.This approach showed an increase in children's confidence and some children moved towards becoming independent writers.
At this time I decided to change my inquiry group to students who were capable of writing a few sentences however I wanted to extend their ideas using rich topic related vocabulary. I decided to follow Dr. Jannie van Hees writing programme using visual images and gifting vocabulary and word groups.
The evidence that I have for this is:
The students writing in their books, class blog, individual blog posts, Class On Air Episodes books, e -Asstle data and Six Year Net Data.


This graph is a visual representation of data in the table above.

The data shows that overall most students in my focus group performed well.I am so very proud of them. They have worked hard this year.

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Inquiry Term 4, Week 1

Term 4 has come way too quickly and it will be a busy term with testing, reports and prize giving items. This term our inquiry focus is "Telling stories through drama." We will be reading lots of stories and legends and then will be writing about some of them.
I will continue using a brainstorm to help children put their ideas in correct sequence.
I will use images and visuals as a resource to support learners. My focus will be on the  characters in the story and gifting lots of topic related vocabulary, word groups for characters or parts of the story.
A very useful resource:








I have used this resource in the past and I think it will be useful for my focus group. An exciting term ahead and will be interested to see how my students progress this term.

Monday, 23 September 2019

Inquiry Term 3, Week 10

I am continuing to use visual images for writing. some images are related to our Inquiry focus for the term which is "There's something in the water."

We start our writing with a whole class brainstorm:



What I have noticed in their writing:
- ideas are being repeated, words like " and , and then, because" are being repeated.
- ideas do not connect and therefore the story does not make sense.

What support did I give these students:
- each child had some one to one time with me - we brainstormed their ideas, broke them into parts, for eg what happened: first, next, after that, how would like to end your story.
- I wrote the words in their brainstorm and they used this as a guide when writing.
- children use the ideas from the brainstorm to help them write their sentences. They have to stick to it cannot change. Here in the brainstorm you said "they going to play hide and seek" "does that match with what you have written. This prompt is used in reading and DMiC which I find very helpful.

Results: