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Back to Business!

It feels so good to be back at Pt England this term. I feel refreshed from my maternity leave and eager to get back to business! I left part way through my most successful inquiry yet! My students were getting eyes on text like never before, we had great discussion and the whole class managed to read a novel (many for the first time). This meant that my students made great shift and I was really pleased with how I left them. The week after I left for maternity leave, New Zealand entered another long lockdown. Some of my students didn't return until the very end of the year, if at all. In term one, sickness and a strong message to 'stay home if you have a sniffle' from the government meant that attendance was at an all time low. This is still the case, it is now week five and there are a couple of students I have taught twice this term. Twice. I am definitely feeling the pressure to support these children, as they are often playing catch up and I am having to spend some clas

Making a Comeback

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Becoming a mum has definitely been the most rewarding experience of my life, although it has come with new challenges! I have been fascinated with early childhood education, reading studies about language acquisition and early development. I think I can finally see the appeal of teaching young children; their rate of growth is incredible!  I have quite often heard Dr Jannie Van Hees in my head, reminding me to keep conversing with my daughter. "Serve and return". Or Dorothy discussing how many millions of words children should hear before starting school. I guess I can thank them both for my very chatty (loud) girl! I joke, but it has been really helpful to experience these things instead of simply reading about them. Now I have a new surge of energy to bring to the classroom and a new perspective too. I've been relieving and working in new spaces which has given me more insight and eased me back into school life. Throughout term two I spent a lot of time thinking about w

Ka Kite Ano!

Today is my official last day at Pt England for 2021 before I go off on my next adventure: motherhood. It's going to be quite a change and funny for me to be away from this place as I still have such passion and love for teaching, my classes and my colleagues.  I will of course be keeping in touch as I will be returning in 2022. I'm eager to see how my target students perform in their end of year tests, but also to see my students graduate and prepare for college. I'm also excited to visit with baby so that she can hear the singing that she has kicked along to every morning in assembly. This blog may be a little quiet for a while, but I will be back with regular posts in 2022. Until then, ka kite ano!

Getting Gains; What my readers think caused their success

 Today I interviewed my target learners to get their thoughts about why they made such great improvements in reading. I also followed the same interview structure as I used before the intervention to see if their overall attitudes or thoughts about reading had changed. Due to some transience, my original target group have changed, so I am not comparing all of the same group which is a shame. However, I had enough of a group to identify some trends. Attitude to reading has improved! In the first round of surveys, 3/4 of the students reported that they didn't enjoy reading. In this round, the worst response was 'its okay', with three pointing out things that they liked about reading. Two students said that reading is a calming activity. I also noticed a slight increase in students reading for fun at home. Interestingly this is because more of them have discovered manga and comic books. Reading Independently Several of the students discussed our independent time as helping the

Reaping the Rewards: Midyear Testing!

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 After making changes to my intervention over the course of the term, I was really excited to look at the progress that my literacy class had made and even more so to share the results with my learners. However, this has also been a bittersweet time for me as this is the end of my intervention - I am off on maternity leave next term. I can't help but wonder where we would have landed had I stayed the year.                                   At the beginning of the year, I identified a group of learners who had a reading age between 9 and 10 years. These students had even been stuck at one level for a while or had made minimal progress in the last couple of years. I also had a large group of students reading just below their biological age.                                      At the end of term 2, every single child in my class has made at least six months progress. Woohoo! Interestingly, it was my boys who made the most progress. With many of them making over a year. This mirrors m