Monday, 23 October 2017

Keeping my learners engaged through talk...

Adrienne Dines' phrase 'talk is the action of learning' really resonated with me as I saw this as another way I could encourage my learners to keep talking about their learning. So as we start the term two of my groups (this includes my target students), are going to self manage their own learning conversations. To do this they will be working with revolving ‘Book Buddies’ so that they can talk about the texts they are reading. What I mean by 'revolving,' is that each text change comes with a buddy change to allow for different perspectives to be shared and heard.

The thinking behind this is that my learners will feel empowered as they continue to learn how to explain their thinking about event and character development in longer texts. The reason I have put the ownership of the learning back on these students is because they are all at the reading to learn stage, whilst one of my groups needs more guided attention as they are still moving towards the reading to learn stage. This does not mean I will be sitting back and leaving them to it; just that they will not have as much guided teacher time as the other group.

After asking my learners what content they wanted to see in our reading program at the end of last term, I created our Navigating Narratives challenges. Our texts were selected together and there is no set order the follow up tasks need to be done in as I have found learner choice leads to a stronger buy-in. The idea is that these tasks will be done in pairs. This means each pair can choose their own text, and after reading for 30 minutes (our reading blocks are 90 minutes), will decide what they want to explore at a deeper level. The follow up frameworks are consistent with the work we have done throughout the year to help to maintain and build on the connections to the learning that are already in place. The challenges have guiding questions to get the talk going and plenty of opportunities for peer led feedback to be given and listened to.

I didn't begin by introducing the site page in detail, instead I simply shared the link and asked them to explore. This strategy generated a lot of talk as each person was able to make their own connections. When I asked my learners to choose their buddy I found that this had already happened. My target group have opted to pair up with each other, but completely unexpected was who chose to work with who. I assumed the boys would work with the boys and the girls with the girls as that has been the norm so far, however this time it appears skill set with skill set have paired up.

I am excited to see where this takes us as we head into the assessments this term.



I have included the link to the site page above for anyone who would like to use any of these ideas.



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