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
- Giving kids the choice of what they wanted to do in literacy time
- Not having enough structured activities to reinforce concepts
- 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.
- Reading (LOTS of reading)
- Word work - normally a dictionary skills based activity, or something to do with proofreading
- A graphic organiser of some description (based on the reading)
- Research (along with questioning skills)
- 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!
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?