Where to from here?

  • I want to include 2 other students in the group to see if they can spark more conversation. This will also be an opportunity to include more than one boy in the group. 
  • I will continue to use the short text book format as this is how we can get as much mileage done in the time available, and what the students enjoyed.
  • I want to step away and see if they can fill in the sheet by themselves, this will also stop them from looking to me when they respond to the text.
  • After a few more sessions I wan to record the conversation and write up a transcript to see if I can identify trends in the responses and comments.
  • I also need to make sure I go over what the language of questioning with the group so that they know what sort of response is needed.
I am hoping to give this another 2 weeks and then do the recording and check in again with the students about how they think it's going.


Asking the students

We did our third session today. The students are starting to take more initiative and our responses and comments continue to improve. They knew that I wouldn't be talking so they were quicker to respond with their ideas, and respond to each other. However they still mainly spoke making eye contact with  me rather than talk directly to each other. Even when commenting on someones response.

I decided that I would ask them too fill in a google form about how they had found it so far.
They reported that the easiest part was sharing their ideas as a response to the text and the hardest part is commenting on other peoples responses.

Interestingly they all preferred to read a book, but liked the most challenging text we have done that was presented as a digital text.
They were a bit confused by the question asking them what I could do as the teacher to make it easier and replied with what they could do: "Go back and read the text again", "Give more responses", "I need to go back to the text to get my own ideas from it"


Creativity Empowers Learning

During our Manaiakalani staff meeting this term we were reminded of all the wonderful creative things we do to engage our students with their learning, and the way our digital tools can help us.

Here are some of the gifs I made...


First session

This week I started the intervention with my target group. They found the activity and text very challenging (more so than I expected). They understood the goal was to have a discussion, but they defaulted to putting up their hand and talking to the teacher.
The scaffold I had created worked well as I was able to record how many things were said and the students used the sentence stems really well to respond to the text. They were even able to use it says in the text... which was great. They were less able to comment on what each other had said, so this will be a focus for our next session.
I think that I will need to find a simpler text for the next session. So that the focus is on the discussion  points I'm introducing.



Robyn and I were lucky enough to meet up with Aaron Wilson on Friday and check-in with him about our planned interventions. It was beneficial to have the conversation about my thinking and what I planned to do as it helped me consolidate my aims and what I was going to talk to the students about to introduce the intervention.
I have a mystery text that I have broken up into 3 parts, all at crucial points in the story to help the discussion to be about the clues we have so far and what we think will happen next. This is what the slide for the week looks like on our class site.
Aaron suggested we also talk about the meta-language of a mystery text as there is a 'red-herring' used in the story.


Discussion Starters

Starting week two I am going to introduce the following scaffold to my target students. At the moment their responses to text are short and at a surface level. By using this scaffold I am hoping to hear more in-depth discussion and dialogic responses where students are replying to each other, rather than just to the teacher. At the moment the scaffold has been created by the teacher but, as we get familiar with the responses and comments using I am hoping to include more student created prompts.


The Chain of Events

Our expert partners at Woolf Fisher shared this diagram with us to help put into perspective where our intervention sits.

My inquiry fits under our Kahui Ako Achievement Challenge 4 -

A rewording of this would be:
Increase the achievement of years 7-8 in reading, as measured by agreed targets.

The outcome I hope to achieve is improved comprehension through evaluation. Allowing students the opportunity to make evaluative judgements by having dialogic discussions about decisions faced by characters and then relating them to their own ideas and experiences.

The specific language outcome includes being able to re-organise text as well as make inferences. Being able to justify their evaluation using information from the text. This dialogic discussion with an elaborated response, with explicit reference to the text, is a focus of Talk about Text.