We met for the last time on Wednesday. We discussed three key questions.
How did looking at our reading graphs affect how we developed our explain everything activities?
What effect did using the progressions have on creating our EE activities?
And lastly did we achieve our desired goals?
Higher order thinking
As I tested my students I saw them making steady progress. One of my colleague's students had made no progress and had sometimes gone backwards in previous years. Now that they were working on their explain everything activities alongside their reading books, they had gone up a whole years reading age in only 6 months. This was significant and encouraging progress, indicating we were on the right track.
Using the reading progressions to create our EE activities gave the students a purpose for their activities rather than making them just do busy work. Students are learning their letter sounds, keywords, extending their vocabulary, comprehending what they read, summarising texts, describing, predicting, comparing, and forming sentences. Using the reading progressions also gave me a sense of direction as I prepared my activities.
We are definitely extending their thinking. I personally continue to strive to design activities that push the students further into higher order thinking. This is a constant challenge, as I consider their needs, looking at new and creative ways to engage my students. Now that some of my students are reading at level 29 I continue to reflect on the reading progressions and how I can further extend my students.
When our students were using these activities engagement was high. Partly because of the novelty of doing activities on iPads and partly because we tried to come up with interesting and original ideas each time. I found that motivation was closely linked to engagement. My students were highly motivated to complete their given tasks.
As I worked with my reading groups I carefully went through their tasks and checked in on them between reading groups. In this way generally they worked independently. My students work in mixed ability table groups. In this way students were able to ask their buddies at their table for help if they needed support. Overall students were able to complete their task independently.