Student Voice: What do the students notice about my teaching?

The really annoying thing about collecting data to inform a self study, is that I am already hyper aware of myself and beginning to change elements of my practice. I know when I get my literacy class again some elements of my practice will have certainly changed from the last time I taught them in term one. This is due to a number of factors, from my experience with distance learning, the PD I have received and the literature I have read.

To try and gather some data from my students, I tried to repeat some 'classic Danni lessons'. I gave my maths class some tasks that my literacy class had previously enjoyed (and that suited their reading levels) and followed the same planning as much as possible. One big limitation of this was that I am not teaching the students in small groups due to our furniture arrangement - instead we have half class groups and discussions.

After teaching a week of these 'classic literacy lessons', I gave the class a survey to reflect on what we had done. I asked the students to be as honest as possible and told them I wasn't looking for them all to tell me we do those things all the time, if that is not the truth. I tried to pitch the survey to support my current focus question (a working title!) : how am I supporting my students to monitor their own understanding of a text and their use of strategies?

I first asked how many times a week I teach a reading strategy. 20% couldn't remember, which I will definitely explore more - is it that they didn't understand the question, or are they sitting lost when we talk about strategies in class? Of the rest, 30% said once a week (I can understand this as I usually talk about a strategy of focus on a Monday) and 50 % said once a reading lesson or more. I am so interested now to see how that would differ if I used reciprocal teaching with this class, which requires multiple strategies to be discussed in each session. I think I could be a bit more explicit with the way I discuss reading strategies with the class however, so the students are more aware of them throughout the week.

I found this question fascinating, as over half could not think of a time they talked about using a strategy. In conversation many of the kids said they remember talking about a strategy at the start of a lesson before reading, but did not tell the teacher when they using a comprehension strategy in real time, or after reading a chunk of text.

This was a real mixed bag! However, it was interesting chatting with the students about what they thought afterwards. Something I do all the time (which I don't even really think about), is getting the kids to show me a thumbs up, side or down,  or a score out of 5 to rate their level of understanding. I do this really quick and then might call some to get more support or extension. The students all expressed that I did this far more frequently in maths than I do in reading, and I think they are right! I rarely do 'thumbs' in reading. This may account for the disparity in answers as I didn't write reading in the question!

Overall I can't say that this was the most scientifically sound method of data collection. My survey wasn't the best and I didn't have my usual literacy class with me. However, this class is so articulate and there survey results (but more so the discussion afterwards) have really got me thinking about my own practice. 

Next Steps

 I will run a similar survey with my literacy class next term which will be repeated in term four to support my baseline data.

I will consider the responses to this survey when I start planning my intervention.


  1. I think this is great and how you have linked this to previous posts. I also like how you use casual language like 'chat' to the kids as its really important when asking for student voice that we do not make it seem like a test. We like how reflective you are being in your practice with the use of next steps. Awesome from Sharon and Tash


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Unpacking Our Reading Journey

Inquiry 2018

Running out of time!