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Showing posts from March, 2020

Online Distance Teaching During Covid-19

If you asked me two weeks ago how prepared I felt to teach exclusively online, I probably would have laughed. I found it really hard to imagine a world where I couldn't visit my classroom or speak to my students face to face. But we have adapted and we have a programme underway.



In fact, we managed to get up and running on Tuesday - the first day that our students weren't able to attend physical school. My team leader had decided that we should begin to teach our students what distance learning might look like on Monday (this was awesome as many of us thought we would have longer at school), so we just managed to teach our students some protocol and gave some quick advice before we closed our doors.

Since then, we've been able to stay in contact and deliver our lessons through Google Sites and Google Meet/ Hangouts. In the short video above, I explain what our daily programme looks like and how we plan for learning. I really hope the video gives you some ideas of what can …

How will my Inquiry Make a Difference?

I am determined to lift the achievement of my students in reading, to the extent that it makes a difference to their Star and PAT Comprehension test results. This is important as our year 7/8 results in both my school and the cluster have shown to be lagging behind the younger year levels.

I have started by looking closer into the tests themselves, as I noticed that our running records and in class observations do not always align with the results we get for PAT. I discussed the tests with other teachers, senior management and I've looked at some research. See my blog post about this here.

I know from my conversations with the other teachers in my team and Y7/8 teachers across the cluster that this is a common issue. I believe if I can try an approach and demonstrate shift in my end of year PAT and Star data, then I can take my findings to my colleagues. It is important to note that I am not looking for a new way to teach reading, nor do I believe that we have been doing anything …

PAT Reading: What is going on!?

Does assessment data always accurately reflect the capabilities of our learners? As teachers we use multiple data sources to inform our  OTJs, in order to account for the odd bad day or fluke test. But when we know we had positive testing conditions and that our children are motivated, we cannot dismiss our results.

Last year I felt that my class had performed really well in reading. Their class work, learning conversations, increased interest in reading and running records (which are administered by a relief teacher) all pointed towards positive shift. We used even used Read Theory, a website not too dissimilar to the PAT tests, to practice for them. So I was really disappointed when the results came back - most of my learners results demonstrated they'd made average shifts, despite some increasing their reading age by over two years.

What does the research say?
Corkey (2014) studied the PAT results of a group of year 8 students who were stronger decoders than comprehenders. I fou…