Pokuru Pg 2

Term 3 and 4 Reflections

As mentioned on Page 1 our two major areas of focus this year in writing were on editing and spelling and enhancing vocabulary. Classes have done a tremendous amount of work in this area and are continuing to make use of IT tools to improve student achievement in writing. We recently did a check point for our targets based on writing rubrics we developed at the beginning of the year. We were pleased to see that many of our students have made progress and in the senior school in particular we managed to move our very at risk students out of the first two steps of the rubric and we also extended our students working up in the higher levels.

Classes have used writing exemplars in relation to our writing rubric to create writing goals based on the areas they are focusing on. Students have been setting individual goals to improve their writing including identifying where they are now and what needs to happen in order for them to improve. This learning plan is shared with parents through portfolios.

Room 3 took on the task of "being the teacher." They taught rooms 1 and 2 how to insert a picture, speech bubble, font (size and colour) and how to insert wordart. A lot of discussion was generated and excitement. There were two main benefits to this learning task. Room 3 were able to consolidate their learning and they also felt a sense of acheivement when teaching someone something new. Rooms 1 and 2 were able to learn key computer skills while practising good communication skills, asking questions and clarifying what they were asked to do.

Classes continue to use silent card shuffles to teach new concepts eg. nouns, verbs, adjectives and tenses. This activity provides students with a model that includes an example and a visual reference. Teachers have found children grasp new concepts quicker and the sharing aspect of the shuffle generates discussion.

Classes are using a range of graphic organisers to help children organise their ideas and to enhance ideas and vocab. We are beginning to see students working with these graphic organisers independently and they are now requesting and choosing an appropriate graphic organiser to help them to sort and plan their thinking.

Students continue to publish stories using word daily to consolidate keyboard skills eg. where keys are and also how to save, change font, size, colour etc. They also have learnt to effectively use spell check and synonyms to enhance their writing. Students are motivated to publish their writing as they have ownership of how it looks and who sees it.
We endeavour to publish examples of student writing in our school newsletter as appropriate. These stories often include a description of the focus and objective.

Room 6 were looking at myths and traditional tales. They then went on to create their own. This learning was taken one step further with the support of our ICT Facilitator. They created clay models and pictures (using paint) of scenes from their writing and then went on to animate these using power point. They shared these with other classes within the school.

After our Lead Teacher attended a Lead Teacher day visiting 3 schools in Tauranga. She created a power point to share what she saw, learnt and new ideas for the staff to try.

Room 3 has been collaborating with Cambridge East Primary and Hatea-a-Rangi school (on the east coast) through a blog. There is 4 children from room 3 that are involved in comunicating with the children from these 2 schools and they are thoroughly enjoying investigating these 2 schools and getting to know the other children. The 4 children also report to the rest of the class, getting ideas for questions to ask next time they are on the blog.
The blog is http://4sblogging.blogspot.com/

Classes are also continuing to investigate other words that we can use in our writing as well as exploring new and interesting words to increase childrens Vocabulary.
Room 5 looked at other words they could use instead of said.
Room 3 read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. They found that Roald Dahl uses some fantastic descriptive words in his stories. We found out the meaning of these words and used word art to present them.