Archive for 2008

Repeating a school year – a big decision!

Sunday, 30 November 2008 at 2:33 pm

Deciding whether to repeat a child at school is often difficult for administrators, teachers and parents. A range of social, emotional and learning issues must be addressed as adults endeavour to make the best decision possible for the child concerned. Repeating offers no guarantees, so when is it the best decision?

In some cases, a decision is clear cut. And for many children, repeating a …

English grammar returns to the classroom

Thursday, 30 October 2008 at 8:28 pm

New curriculum or more effective teaching practices?

James O’Loan covered an interesting topic in The Courier Mail on October 16 which has sparked ongoing discourse within the teaching community and beyond. Mr O’Loan highlighted the “controversial ‘new’ curriculum focusing on grammar and punctuation” and including phonics as part of students’ literacy education. Is Mr O’Loan inferring that this is a controversial new curriculum because …

The Literacy Solutions Survey

Wednesday, 15 October 2008 at 1:39 pm

Literacy Solutions’ annual educator’s survey is now open. The information it collects will help us determine the ways with which we can meet the professional development needs of literacy educators. The more people who complete the survey, the richer and more detailed the picture will become.

The survey has only 13 questions, nearly all of them multiple choice. A fluent English speaker should be able …

‘Smart Queensland’ & the role of strategic language instruction

Monday, 29 September 2008 at 12:56 pm

The Queensland Government has announced an early education initiative aimed at increased participation in pre prep programs by children aged 3-and-a-half to four-and-a-half years.

Queensland currently has 97% of children aged four-and-a-half to five-and-a-half attending full-time preparatory year programs, but only 29% of pre prep aged children participate in early education programs, delivered by qualified teachers. Whilst participation in education programs is relatively low, 48% of …

Targeting Literacy Intervention Strategies

Wednesday, 17 September 2008 at 9:53 pm

Queensland Education minister, Rod Welford recently commented on the results of the Years 3, 5 and 7 literacy and numeracy tests on ABC radio.

Mr Welford commented that a student’s success at school is largely dependent on the literacy levels of their parents, and in particular their mother.

Extensive studies highlight the link between students’ home lives and their school achievement levels. Factors of race, …

Guided Reading: What’s the point?

Sunday, 31 August 2008 at 10:13 pm

The practice of homogeneous group reading is not new. This model of reading has been a common practice in schools for many decades. So what is the difference between small group, round robin reading and guided reading?

Guided reading occurs when teachers select texts based around the instructional reading level of students and also consider how texts support and challenge particular groups of students. At the …

Teaching writing – whose job is it?

Tuesday, 19 August 2008 at 2:16 pm

As new literacies evolve and students embrace new technologies, often developing expertise before their teachers, it is interesting that the old debate around (print based) reading and writing, and whose responsibility it is to teach these, continues.

At a recent workshop, the following question arose.
“I am a teacher of mathematics. Should I be expected to teach literacy?”

If we ask education bodies, there is a resounding, “Yes! …

Reading comprehension – connecting readers to texts

Sunday, 10 August 2008 at 4:43 pm

I recently conducted a reading workshop with a group of middle years’ teachers. When discussing comprehension strategies, one teacher noted that her students found it difficult to consider texts from perspectives other than their own. As we fleshed out the importance of connecting to and from texts, I shared a recent lesson I had conducted with a group of Year 5 students in …

It’s a start!

Tuesday, 5 August 2008 at 10:05 pm

After debating whether to devote time and energy into adding a blog to this site, I have finally decided to do it. Hooray! for David, my web obsessed husband. He has finally managed to drag me into the twenty-first century.

Since it’s always easier to do things when you have a sense of purpose, I have spent much time thinking about what this blog should be …