Monday, 9 May 2022

Reflections on the Reading Design Group workshops 5-6 May 2022

Last Thursday and Friday I participated in the Manaiakalani Reading Design workshops held at Pt England - ten of us from schools around the motu working on creating a PLD programme teaching teachers to effectively teach reading comprehension. The focus will initially be on years 4-8, but I learned a lot that I am taking back to my team (both of English teachers and in a cross-curricular sense) and that I think is of value to us as a Toki Pounamu cluster. My question for teachers and principals at all levels is: what do you do to model that learning new reading comprehension skills is a life-long skill? I think of the new vocabulary I have learned in the last 2-3 years about Covid, the types of graphs I have learned to read and compare and the comprehension skills required when taking my first RAT tests. One aspect we notice at high school is students who tiredly note that they already learned to read at primary school, and nothing more is needed. I think that we can all reflect on how we use language to make clear that reading development is indeed a life-long skill, and not just for those who go on to university. Two days immersed in the language of primary school reading instruction prompted me to make a lot of notes and ask a lot of questions. Something I am interested in understanding more about is how your teachers identify the difference between instructional reading levels and independent reading levels, and what choices they make with that information. We would definitely benefit from taking this thinking into our secondary space, across all curriculum areas.

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