Well that was a dismal failure!

I'm VERY ADHD in my teaching approach.  I change things every term, and I'm beginning to think that sometimes I don't think things through carefully enough before jumping straight in!  Sometimes this works really well and I get amazing results! This term has NOT been one of them.

Take this as a lesson from me - kids need MORE structure in their lessons rather than less... 

Onwards and upwards, try again next week.

So what didn't work
  1. Giving kids the choice of what they wanted to do in literacy time
  2. Not having enough structured activities to reinforce concepts
  3. Not having a set writing task (this week I told them that they could write about anything they wanted! Who doesn't like that?! Apparently my class
What will I do differently next week - Well we are going back to contracts.  I am a strong believer in the idea that developing independence in a child's learning is WAY more effective than teaching them how to answer a specific style of question.  And in the past this has definitely be proven.  The contracts I use have a few main elements.
  1. Reading (LOTS of reading)
  2. Word work - normally a dictionary skills based activity, or something to do with proofreading
  3. A graphic organiser of some description (based on the reading)
  4. Research (along with questioning skills)
  5. Writing (based on the research done)
The books that are read are based on the inquiry topic we are focussing on - which also guides the rest of the contract.  It also means that the kids have all the "facts" they need when we are looking at inquiry later in the afternoons!

 This contract was based on last term's concept of "Cause and Effect".  The kids had 6 days to complete the contract before moving on to the next one.  There were 4 contracts that had the same basic structure.  None of the kids ever finished all the work in that time, but that wasn't the point.  They had the expectation that they were supposed to, which made them work harder from week to week.  By the time they got to the last contract they knew how long they should be spending on each task.  They also were called out to have guided reading and writing lessons in this time.
Where it says "try to use all the colours" on the ASK section - it is talking about using a question matrix.

These contracts were the ones I made up for the start of the year before levelling the students.  They only had 4 days to complete this, along with having testing and guided groups at the same time.

So that is what I am going back to... How do you promote independence in your readers?



  1. Aww, it doesn't sound like a dismal failure. It actually sounds like you did some serious thinking about your lessons and came out with a clearer direction. I call that a win!

    1. Thank you Gary! Yes one thing I am very good at is reflecting on my lessons! I think you have to be when you change things up as often as I do! Thanks for your lovely supportive words!


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