Sunday, 27 May 2018

Term 2's Inquiry - Oral Language and Vocabulary Building in the Digital Technologies

After a meeting at the end of last term about implementing the Digital Technologies curriculum, I thought this would be a good area to branch my Inquiry into for Term 2. This meeting re-inforced the notion that as exciting as coding and all the fun technology we could provide would be for the kids, they would need a lot of language around how to use and understand them.

So far this term I have been focussing on directional language. We have been looking at our left and right, forwards and backwards, and all the different prepositions we could think of. The children have enjoyed guiding their friends through mazes and discovering different words to describe concepts they already had. - Such as "beside" instead of "next to" and "between" instead of "in the middle of".

I feel like this is giving them a good basis from which to begin their coding on Scratch Jnr.

Where to next? There is always more language to be gifted, and I think the key is to not be scared to use big words that the children may not yet understand. How else are they to learn them if they never get exposed to them? Once I feel Digital Technologies vocabulary has been built up sufficiently, I will probably choose another area in which to scrutinise my teaching of subject-specific vocabulary. Given our current focus on DMiC, Maths looks like a good area to move into next.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Professional Inquiry Progress end of Term 1

I have mixed feelings about my success with my Inquiry this term. It has been a busy term for me, my first in the role of Team leader, and I have been distracted by the needs of my student teacher and our whole staff development in learning to teach Maths the DMiC way.

Having said that, I am definitely proud of the classroom atmosphere that I have fostered. All children seem more willing to engage, if not at the whole class level, then in their smaller group work. Some children have really taken off with the idea of questioning their peers, but this needs to be a continuing focus.

DMiC lessons have allowed me to take a step back and observe the children's interactions with each other, at least in the learning context. I feel I have a good understanding of the strengths and needs still to be addressed within the class.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Getting the non-talkers to talk!

This year, my professional inquiry is going to be focussed on Oral Language. Too many students in my class struggle with finding the words to express themselves or share a story. I want to help them learn to speak in sentences and to understand what a sentence is. I want them to extend on their ideas and include more details. We will be working on having a conversation between two or more parties, that includes thoughtful questioning.

The challenge I face is that many of the children are not used to sharing their ideas themselves. They are willing to give one word answers to questions directed at them but not initiate their own sharing.

I hope that by regular, daily encouragement and scaffolded questioning, the children will at first, at least improve their confidence to share.