Reading and Writing - A Focus for Improvement
Literacy is a priority for improvement in the College’s Strategic Plan as we recognise the importance of reading and writing in providing increased opportunities and success for all students now and for their future.
Teachers’ Professional Development focused on reading and writing strategies to increase Literacy skills across all Learning Areas at sessions presented by “Ticking Minds” on Monday.
Ticking Minds provided a literacy expert to talk to teachers, present sample activities and facilitate discussions on how to include reading and writing strategies with increased rigor and ways to raise the level of our students’ reading and writing.
This reading workshop looked at three stages in the reading process: before reading, during reading and after reading. In the workshop, teachers were shown why each of these stages are important, how we can explicitly teach students skills to use at each of the stages, and activities and strategies that can be used in every classroom, including maths, for students to engage in pre-reading, reading and post reading activities to hone their skills.
Teachers were given a range of examples from every subject.
The Writing workshop looked at three effective approaches that could be used consistently towards writing in every subject.
- Teach students vocabulary – the nuanced students’ vocabulary, to better their thinking about a topic.
- Teach students different sentence types for different writing tasks – explanations, discussions and evaluations (writing we use in all subjects) all require different types of sentences. We need to model these sentence types to students.
- Design effective writing tasks – students need feedback on their writing to improve. How do we design tasks that allow for feedback, revision and improvement? Teachers were shown how each of these approaches applies to every classroom.
The afternoon session looked at creating opportunities for and building the confidence of all students to participate in discussion, group work and whole class learning activities.
This workshop shared with teachers a wide range of practical and motivational strategies to build the success that all students experience in class participating in group work, discussion and whole class learning activities. The workshop demonstrated for teachers, procedures to model for students in any class to foster an environment of mutual respect, where students teach each other, build upon the ideas of others and challenge each other to develop and justify their ideas.
These strategies particularly focused on the ways to ensure that students of different learning abilities can be scaffolded to participate in all activities.
Parents, please be aware that expectations around your child’s literacy will increase. Your child and BSE value your support in their development particularly in this area. This might include regular reading times of literature that stretches their ability and practise of writing in response to teacher feedback and advice on their drafts and final pieces.