We try to remember Our over-riding purpose in asking teachers to fill out the case study form and other records is to stimulate rich conversations and thinking about the students We would provide similar outlines for teachers to discuss and record what they are doing even if we never collected any of it We want to change experiences for students – it’s about what happens in classrooms, not about building a data base
Qualitative data sources Case studies Who are the students? What does our individual student data look like? Record of questions and actions What are teachers investigating? What are they doing? What are they learning? Reflections from facilitators and participants
What are we learning … About the case study students? About our groups? About teachers’ questions? About strategies and approaches teachers are trying? About our data? About what’s next?
The case study students Not a random sample – they do not represent anyone except themselves Our data reflect teachers’ perceptions – we only know what teachers chose to record. The summary is based on my interpretation of teachers’ records. This is neither more or less accurate than any other record – it just is.
Visualize … As I talk about the students, please record your impressions and ideas in a visual format – sketch, web, doodle … I’m not going to show you the “list” of characteristics until later, so that you can construct your own vision …
Strength and optimism 450 of the luckiest students in BC Incredibly diverse Some people might be surprised to learn that most of them are holding on to their own sense of optimism. Their teachers see most of them as: motivated, hard workers – they want to learn social—they like being with their friends, they are often described as “kind” and “caring”, and they are well-liked by others Having a tonne of strengths and passions – they are often creative, physically gifted, artistic –
The flip side Very few are characterized as “unmotivated”, having social problems There were only a handful where teachers seemed unable to identify a strength or passion (and I’m sure, by now they can!)
Strength and optimism Many of these students really like books and stories – those who are not able to read the books themselves, like to listen And they want to be better readers They are generally happy and have appealing personalities – teachers often describe them as “happy” “bubbly” “sweet” “funny” There are, of course, a few who are visibly angry, unhappy, and sometimes “frightened” – but not many
Comprehension and oral language In describing their literacy and other strengths, teachers often noted strong oral language and comprehension (often listening comprehension.) BUT they were just as likely to identify these are areas of concern.
But … With all of these strengths, why are teachers concerned? In most cases, the students were identified as “struggling with reading” “reading below grade level” “pre-literate.” Not surprising – that’s what we asked for! Looking further into how teachers described them, the most common description was that they lacked self-confidence, or, in many cases, had a lot of anxiety. They were also often described as unable to self-regulate – unfocused …
And their reading? Where teachers offered more specific notes about the ways in which students were “struggling”, they most often mentioned: comprehension decoding knowledge of letters and letter sounds (mostly K-1) And, of course, we noticed the enormous overlap between self-regulation and use of reading strategies (for both comprehension and decoding)
How many of each? Currently, 459 – expect about 10-12 more K = 53Gr. 2 = 138 Gr. 1 =154Gr. 3 = 90 ‘Other’ = 24 M=268 F= 189 Aboriginal = 128ELL/ESL/ESD = 72
Inquiry Questions: Counting … From 42 districts Approximately 250 questions Sometimes one question among several people Sometimes one question for each participant Many questions deal with more than one aspect (e.g., self-regulation and comprehension)
What are teachers asking about? Look at two aspects: what is the intervention/change in teaching practice (the independent variable) What is the anticipated result or change in the students’ literacy (the dependent variable) To date, I have coded for the IV – what are teachers trying or changing? In terms of the students, a scan indicates that teachers are most concerned about improving comprehension, engagement and confidence – but also many focusing on decoding/accuracy, oral language (especially K)
What practices are teachers changing and exploring? Developing self-regulation Developing comprehension strategies/approaches Developing social-emotional skills Developing decoding strategies/skills Direct teaching Developing oral skills Increasing/changing “talk” in the classroom
More changing practices Increasing choice “Personalizing” learning Changing/increasing conferencing Working on joy and passion Peer support Parent support And many more!
Question Sampler Individual Read the list, looking for Question that you would like to working on Question that surprises you Question that would be relatively easy for you to offer advice A personal favourite—you would like to meet and talk to this teacher … Meet in group of three – aim for diversity Share some of your choices and reactions (not all) Choose one question: what advice would give?
SRL-Samples How can we help anxious students to develop coping strategies that alleviate pre- existing anxiety toward reading so that they can be calm, focused and alert? If I model self-regulation strategies while reading will students begin to use them on their own? If I use self-regulation techniques will the students be able to engage in what is happening in their thinking in order to deepen their questions and connections with their peers? What techniques can we use in the classroom to help students to self regulate their behaviour before, during, after reading? How does involving students in setting small, measurable and specific reading goals affect their skills and confidence? How do we help students develop the confidence and strategies that will enable them to struggle through the difficult parts to build their literacy skills?
SE-samples If I explicitly teach social-emotional strategies focused on building a safe classroom community, in what ways will students become more engaged confident readers?” If we explicitly teach the concept of learning as a journey, in what ways does this increase students’ confidence and engagement during the reading process? And in what ways does this lower anxiety for our most vulnerable and anxious readers? What happens to students’ motivation and engagement when I implement t1-1 reading conferences
Comprehension: Samples How will the explicit teaching of monitoring comprehension strategies and decoding skills impact the student’s comprehension of text? How will explicitly modeling and teaching connections improve reading and engagement with print? How will asking questions during reading, help with student engagement and comprehension? Will using a variety of graphic organizers help students recall main ideas and supporting details/summarizing in a variety of texts? In what ways will students access reading and writing strategies and work independently once explicitly taught to do so?
Choice How does interest-based choice affect engagement and recall in reading? Will their engagement and recall increase? If we provide daily opportunities for students to talk about the books they have chosen, in what ways will they becomes more engaged, motivated readers?
New ways of working How will having at least one positive daily interaction with an adult impact student social emotional development? What happens when I provide one to one reading check-ins on a daily basis? What differences will I notice in my teaching of reading when I let go of judgments and embrace the joy of learning? Will strategies developed by a collaborative, reflexive classroom team increase students' reading success? What differences do I notice in students' engaged sustained reading if I facilitate interest based inquiry projects?
And more … In what ways can we incorporate students’ interest in Aboriginal culture into literacy instruction to promote engagement? How can I use talk structures to guide rich discussions that create increased engagement and oral language skills? If students read to an engaged, attentive listener for 10 minutes on a daily basis and discuss concrete connections to own experiences and/or other stories with the listener, will reading fluency and comprehension improve?
Going forward … Meetings 4 and 5 continue with the “meat” of the inquiries and case studies – continue submitting in the same way as meeting 3 (group records and case studies) Meeting 6 needs to set up final data collection so Begin summary of inquiry – there will be a new VERY SIMPLE form that essentially asks: What was your question? What are some key things you did? What are the 1-3 most important things you found out? And for each, how do you know? Why does this matter? What next?
Don’t worry! This is just an overview. Maureen will send a set of slides and notes for meetings 6 and 7.
Meeting 6 Meeting 6 needs to set up final data collection so Draft a summary of inquiry – there will be a new VERY SIMPLE form that essentially asks: What was your question? What are some key things you did? What are the 1-3 most important things you found out? And for each, how do you know? Why does this matter? What next? The info should come from their ‘record of questions …’ At minimum, they should have a draft of this by the end of meeting 6 – and many will finish it. Our experience is that it takes less than an hour.
Meeting 6 (cont.) ERA should submit these as soon as they are finished (to firstname.lastname@example.org)email@example.com AND make copies for everyone in the group You can also allow for some ‘touch-ups’ and additions at meeting 7 – but do get the bulk of the work done
Meeting 7 Ask that the focus group writing be a reflection on their participation in the project and please collect it (we will send an outline you can use) – we will use this as part of our final reporting Provide a short time (10 min max) for each group to share their report (the one they drafted in Meeting 6) Remainder of the meeting is devoted to the case studies; There is a summary form (draft is in your materials.) It should be completed within the meeting and submitted ASAP. If possible, have these shared (time will be tight—it will depend on how many in your group etc.)
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