Tag Archives: active spelling

English Focus Group – Active Literacy

Sharon Wallace, Effective teaching and learning teacher and Carol Paton, Curriculum Support Officer, both of the Curriculum Support Team have begun work with a focus group of English teachers with representatives from all Falkirk High Schools.

This group has been set up to identify the key features of current approaches to the learning and teaching of English and to identify commonalities and differences between Primary and Secondary establishments.

The group began the first meeting defining Active Literacy. They then went onto provide an overview of current practice in the teaching of English in their schools.

 Colleagues from our High Schools have requested a further meeting with Sharon and Carol to examine the Active Literacy key methodologies and strategies explicitly taught at Early, First and Second level.

Sharon was able to share some of the online resources available via GLOW, Falkirk’s You Tube Active Literacy training videos as well as the Curriculum for Excellence – engaging parents short film.

Colleagues were able to consider next steps in establishing effective transition of literacy skills across learning. These included sharing ideas with their department, reviewing materials on GLOW and finding out more about Active Literacy in their cluster primary schools.

Comments included:

‘Am looking forward to coming back and finding out more about Active Literacy’.

‘Thanks – looking forward to meeting again’.

Using Reciprocal Teaching to Engage Parents in Active Literacy

Sharon Wallace, Effective Teaching and Learning Teacher, Curriculum Support Team, along with Class teachers and  pupils, carried out an Active Literacy Parental Awareness Workshop at Deanburn Primary School.

Pupils participated in an overview of the strategies and methodologies relating to Active Literacy before engaging parents in an active workshop.

Pupils used the Reciprocal Teaching method to engage their parents in activities such as: spell-er-cise, fun spelling tasks, Elkonin boxes, diacritical marking and dictated sentences.

Parental feedback was collected by P7 pupils.

‘What did you like about the Active Literacy Workshop?’

  • WOW
  • Very informative session will definitely use some of those ides with my son
  • Very useful workshop has gave me a greater understanding of my daughter’s learning journey when she starts P.1
  • It was good to get to see what kind of activities go on in schools in Falkirk council
  • I have a much better understanding of literacy and thought it was very intelligent of the children how they explained it

‘Which ideas or advice will you use to support your child?’

  • I will use the recipe checking together and the list making for shopping and packing bags
  • I will read more to my children even they are older
  • Very informative, especially diacritical marking #
  • I will try and make up stories in the car with my son
  • I loved it
  • I will get them to think of unusual ways to learn tricky words (e.g. mnemonics or words within words)

Parents took way Active Literacy leaflets which contain a glossary of terms, useful websites and lots of great ideas to support literacy activities at home.

How Good is your Spelling? An Active Literacy Approach to Strategy Spelling

Sharon Wallace, Effective Teaching and Learning Teacher, Curriculum Support Team has been working with a number of Falkirk schools trialling the new materials contained in the Second Level Active Literacy pack.

The new spelling programme is run on a two week basis with the first week looking at spelling strategies and the second week looking at vocabulary building.

Word lists are divided into 13 sets of the most common tricky words with 15 words in each set. Pupils are to choose five of their own spelling words to add to these sets.

Sharon has been working with Miss McNally (P6/7) at St. Bernadette’s and Mrs MacLeod (P7) at Bankier Primary School on Set 1 in order to gather feedback from staff and pupils on the new programme.

Sharon is going to use the experiences and feedback from these trials at forthcoming training sessions for the new programme.

Sharon demonstrated strategies for three words: ‘accommodation’, ‘queue’ and ‘climb’ and the pupils then used the Reciprocal Teaching method to devise strategies for other words on the list.

Some pupils then incorporated at least half of these tricky words into a paragraph. Other pupils chose to present these in different ways including plays and other performances.

Feedback so far is very positive.

Which strategies did the pupils like best?

Accommodation
‘Two heads and two beds because it is easy to remember’
‘I like the two heads and the two beds because it rhymes’
‘Accommodation – the two cc’s are the heads and the two mm’s are the bed’

Climb
‘Climb the mountain because the M is in the middle of the word’
‘Climb because ‘M’ for mountain’

Queue
‘I like granny at the bus stop, it is easy to remember’
‘I think the granny at the bus stop with her four grand-children’

Pupils completed exit passes containing three words from the list and this assessment strategy demonstrated successful learning had occured.

An overview twilight of the new Active Literacy programme is being held at Camelon Education Centre on 13th May from 4 til 5.30 where the new packs will be distributed.