Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Oral Language across the curriculum

This workshop presented by Sheena Cameron and Louise Dempsey aimed "to support teachers to include more quality 'learning talk' in the classroom and to embed purposeful oral language opportunities across the curriculum." This was timely PD for my Teaching as Inquiry with my focus on developing Oral Language.

We started the session with the Talking strip - Introductions' by turning to a partner and by follow the steps on the strip.

We can use oral language strips to get children talking and using full sentences. Explicit teaching can include using pictures - lips closed, eyes open, ears listening etc.

The types of talk:
1. Exploratory talk (to help us understand and develop ideas)
2. Presentational talk (to share ideas and information and to entertain others)
3. Conversational talk (to build relationships)

Types of listening:
1. Informational listening (to obtain information and understand ideas)
2. Critical listening (to evaluate ideas and form opinions)
3. Appreciative listening (listen for enjoyment)
4. Responsive listening (listen to build relationships)

Establishing a 'think, pair, share' culture. Move away from the 'hands-up' approach as it is controlled by the teacher and severely limits student talk. This often results in a small group dominating the talk in a competitive manner.

Listening activity ideas:
1. Partner activity: call a friend - pretend to talk on the phone to a friend about something. Sit back to back and share.
2. Barrier games - making shapes, use a barrier to hide. Two students have the same bag of sticks. One student makes a shape, the other has to make the same shape through listening to the other's description. Another one is the Pizza barrier game where one has to explain to the other how to add pieces on the pizza.

Asking more open questions using:
1. Question strip
2. I wonder...?

Students should be talking in full sentences and elaborating on ideas...

Some elaboration questions / Prompts:
- Tell us more about...
- Why do you think that?
- Can you give us an example?
- What is your evidence?
- Can you justify your opinion?
- I have another example...
- I have a different idea...

Some alternatives to questions:
1. Students sit in a circle. Introduce a talk topic. Students use a microphone for taking turns to talk and to generate questions.
2. Shared Reading - predictions from cover. Do think-pair-share. Move away from hands up.
3. Make a suggestion - "My idea is ..." can help with getting students into a discussion

Talking groups:
Use different groupings to increase opportunities for student talk
1. Think, pair, share (partners)
Pausing in a lesson engage students in 'think,pair, share' and benefit both students and teacher as students shift from passive to active learning.
- Think:  allow students five seconds to think of what they will say
- Pair: students talk for a short time with a partner. Teacher can end talking time with simple countdown from five
- Share: a range of students can share back responses when appropriate and not necessary every time students talked to a partner.

2. Think, pair, square
Instead of sharing back as a class, partners can turn and face another pair and then share as four. Students can listen to ideas from one pair and summarise/add and new idea/ask a question.

3. Doughnut circle
Students sit or stand in two circles, outside one faces inward and inside one outward, so that all is facing a partner. Each student have a turn to speak. When it is time to change partners the teacher could call 'switch'. The inside circle then moves one partner to the left.

4. Jigsaw
Effective when planning an in-depth collaborative task. Each student in the group is given a number e.g. 1, 2, 3 or 4. Students with same number move to form a group. students then work together to learn about a topic and afterwards return to their home group and each team member shares his or her information.

5. Listening triads
Students work in groups of three taking on roles e.g. speaker, questioner, recorder [and/or] speaker, listener, questioner. The speaker talks about something specific and afterwards the other two students follow their roles by either asking questions (Questioner) and taking notes (Recorder) in order to feed back to the speaker, another group or whole class. Roles can be rotated.

6. Circle
This is a common grouping in the classroom. The idea is that everyone in the circle have a turn to say something. Students talk and listen to other's ideas and points of view. It is also good practice for speaking in full sentences.

7. Line up
Similar to the doughnut circle except students face their partner in two lines.

8. Horse shoe
Similar to the circle, but students are able to view the teaching area as well as each other.

~ "Children need writing to help them learn about reading, they need reading to help them learn about writing; and they need oral language to help them learn about both." - Anonymous ~

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Local stories - some of the history...

I spent a lovely day at Ohaaki Marae (with some colleagues), learning about the local stories of Ngāti Tahu-Ngāti Whaoa...

The Māori of the valley decended from the Arawa tribe. The Ngāti Whaoa moved inland from Maketu to Wai-O-Tapu (Māori for "sacred waters") and the Paeroa Hills.

Ngāti Tahu maintain a separate identity, but they have also been described as subtribe of Ngāti Tuwharetoa (who originally lived in the Kawerau area). His people are descended rom both Te Arawa and Mataatua (particularly Ngāti Awa ancestors). 

From the earliest times the Waikato valley near Orakei Korako was occupied by Maori of the Ngāti Tahu.

The names of the meeting houses of Ngāti Tahu Marae reflect their tribal history. Te Ohaaki is the parent marae and the meeting house is called Tahumatua, after their eponymous ancestor. Ohaaki has many claims to fame. It has unlimited supplies of hot water and steam and had one of the biggest and most beautiful thermal hot pools in the Rotorua-Taupo region. Unfortunately, the natural features at Ohaaki have been irreparably damaged by development for power generation.

The Paeroa ranges had once been occupied by the Tribe of Whaoa and at Waitawhero a meeting house was built which was named Whaoa. The south of Mangakara was once occupied by the Ngāti Tahi Tribe and north it was occupied by the Whaoa Tribe. 

Learning a Waiata...

E ngā iwi
E ngā mātā waka
E ngā hau e wha
Anei rā
Ko tāhū whaoa
E tū atu nei
Kia whakatau i a koutou
I te nei ra
Tū mai rā Paeroa
Hei whakaruru hou
Mo te
Hui aroha

Glossary of word meanings:
iwi - people / tribe
mātā waka - every 'waka'
hau - wind
anei ra - here we are
whakatau - informal greeting
I te nei ra - on this day
Paeroa - long ridge
hei - as
whakaruru hou - shelter
mo - for
te - the
hui - gathering

This day contributed in developing a deeper understanding of culturally responsive and relational pedagogy

~ He aha te mea nui o te ao, he tangata he tangata he tangata (What is the most important thing in the world, it is the people, the people, the people.) - Māori proverb ~