Sharon Wallace, Curriculum Support Officer of the Service and School Improvement Team, delivered a session to 25 Principal Teachers as part of their network programme. The course asked participants to consider how the use of active learning methodologies raises attainment across the curriculum.
Colleagues began the session using a placemat activity to examine questions, challenges, successes and barriers to monitoring active methodologies.
Sharon then provided an overview of the active literacy programme from Nursery to S1 which included: spelling and phonics, reading and writing. The principal teachers were provided with a range of materials to support effective monitoring in this area. They then watched a range of good practice videos highlighting active literacy strategies and methodologies in action in Falkirk schools.
Sharon then provided an overview of effective teaching strategies within cooperative learning and what to look out for in a ‘cooperative learning’ environment. Again, colleagues were able to watch a short series of videos highlighting the five basic elements of a cooperative learning lesson. Discussions were stimulated around the use of effective questioning and use of Assessment for Learning techniques.
The session concluded with participants stating next steps to further development effective monitoring in active methodologies.
For further information, please contact Sharon Wallace – firstname.lastname@example.org
Feedback was positive with colleagues expressing thanks for the opportunity to see the whole programme across all stages.
Sharon Wallace, Curriculum Support Officer, Curriculum Support Team delivered a workshop to 95 colleagues from across Scotland and beyond at this year’s Scottish Learning Festival.
The theme of the presentation was ‘Sharing the Learning with Parents/ Carers – Active Methodologies’ and the aim of the session was to provide an overview of the wide variety of approaches Falkirk establishments are using to share active methodologies with parents and carers.
The agenda for the workshop was:
- An overview of the Falkirk picture
- An explanation of the range of active methodologies used in Falkirk
- Parent/ carer workshops on offer
- Literature/ leaflets used
- Online methods – blogs/ you tube/ twitter
- Working in partnership with schools/ partners
- How this fits into Falkirk’s Literacy Strategy 2013 – 2016
Three pupils from Kinneil Primary School spoke eloquently and confidently about their experiences helping out at active learning workshops for parents. They talked about how attending the parental workshop gave their own parents ideas on how to support their homework.
Sharon shared a short video of Susan Dyer from Bankier Primary School explaining the impact an active learning workshop had on her school, as well as a video from a Bankier parent describing what it meant to her and her family.
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"Inspirational, you have really motivated me!"
"Thank you for sharing the Active Literacy parental leaflets - they are very useful."
Lots of delegates who attended this seminar then came along to Falkirk Council's stand in the Local Authority Village to enquire about our short animations Falkirk has developed on CfE and Active Literacy.
Sharon Wallace, Effective teaching and learning teacher, along with Carol Paton, both of the Curriculum Support Team delivered a Cooperative Learning academy to 80 Secondary High School Support for Learning Assistants at Grangemouth High School.
The academy examined a range of Cooperative Learning strategies and aimed to raise confidence and knowledge of how to support class teachers and lead small groups using Cooperative Learning techniques.
Newly formed ‘home’ teams developed their team identity with the design of a flag which encapsulated commonalities. One stray, three stray was used to share the learning. Colleagues also participated in ‘think, pair, share’, ‘stand and deliver’, ‘paired reading’ and group processing activities. A range of social skills were included across all of the activities.
Class builders included an ‘inside/ outside circle’, ‘corners’, ‘find someone who’ and clock partners.
The day concluded with the sharing of team poems which were delivered with confidence, enthusiasm and lots of laughter!
Next steps were examined and colleagues returned to their schools to share their new learning.
Click here to view full presentation: SLA day course revised april 2013
For more information on Cooperative and Collaborative learning, please visit: http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/learningteachingandassessment/approaches/collaboration/index.asp
Sharon Wallace, Effective Teaching and Learning Teacher, Curriculum Support Team is currently working with two Falkirk Secondary Schools on a very exciting Active Literacy transition project.
The recently published Active Literacy pack takes the Active Literacy programme into S1 and Sharon is currently team teaching with John Doherty at Larbert High School and an S1 class, and soon Graeme High School, also with an S1 class on higher order reading skills.
The P4/5 Active Literacy pack develops the higher order skills introduced at P1-3 and the P6/7/S1 pack takes these skills even further.
The S1 classes are developing the six key reading comprehension skills using the Alfred Noyes poem ‘The Highwayman’ as a ‘text’.
The initial lesson looked at Strategy 1 – prior knowledge of ‘highwaymen’ and this period in time, followed by Strategy 2 – using ‘metalinguistics’ – picking out key phrases/ interesting vocabulary. The pupils then used Strategy 3 – using visualisers to produce a mind-map which incorporated the main themes of a non-fiction text about ‘Highwaymen’.
This is a very exciting project taking the Active Literacy programme into S1 and the skills even further into real life.
The second lesson in this series was really successful and examined comprehension strategies 3 (using visualisers), 4 (inference), 5 (main ideas) and 6 (paraphrasing). In a very short timescale, S1 pupils from Larbert High were able to produce visualisers to summarise the main ideas of two stanzas from the poem. Working in cooperative groups on two different stanzas each, the pupils were able to cover the entire poem. They then went onto producing a summary/ paraphrase of those two stanzas using only 140 characters and published these live on twitter.
Some of the tweets included:
‘The highwayman knocks on the window of the inn and finds Bess #younglove x’
‘The Highwayman is a structured poem which has good describing words #shotottheface‘
‘The highwayman rides to the inn. Sings a song to the girl. Redcoats make her shoot herself. #death‘
Sharon Wallace, Effective Teaching and Learning Teacher, Curriculum Support Team, has been working with a number of schools on active approaches to reading.
Sharon has been working on the development of skills which address ENG 1/2-17a – ‘To show my understanding, I can respond to different kinds of questions and can create different kinds of questions of my own.’
Working with ‘Lost and Found’ moving image as a text, Sharon has been working alongside class teachers to use Blooms question fans to support generating, and indeed, answering their own higher order questions.
Using a ‘book detective’ approach, pupils have been given specific tasks to find evidence within the ‘text’ to support themes/ characterisation/ setting/ plot and structure.
Incorporating co-operative learning strategies such as ‘corners’ (literal, evaluative and inferential questions) and ‘two stay/ two stray’, pupils have generated their own questions and model answers for other pupils to solve.
In their co-operative learning roles of question master, clarifier, recorder and summariser, pupils initially answered prediction questions about the text, followed by generating their own questions to ask others.
Pupils were highly engaged and motivated during the whole of the sessions. These sessions culminated in pupils taking on the role of teacher (Reciprocal Teaching) where they devised their own lessons for younger pupils using the same moving image as ‘text’. Pupils incorporated Assessment is for Learning strategies into their own lessons and shared learning intentions and success criteria.