Sharon Wallace, Effective Teaching and Learning Teacher, Curriculum Support Team has been busy sharing the active literacy message with initial teacher education students at Stirling University. Third year students were provided with a brief overview of the Active Literacy strategies and methodologies before embarking on a practical workshop of activities. The third year students participated in a traditional spelling test followed by an active learning spelling test. They commented on the difference between the two and how much more effective the learning was using the Active approach. They also attempted to split words into Elkonin boxes learned about single phonemes, joined phonemes and split phonemes. They examined a range of ‘texts’ including recipes, stories, picture books and film looking at how the six key comprehension reading strategies can be applied at early level. Students were enthused by this creative approach to active literacy and ‘on a mission’ to try out some of the methodologies on their next teaching placement. It was a really enjoyable morning and Dr. Lynsey Burke commented on how important it is to have had a valuable input and insight into current active literacy approaches within Falkirk Council.
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/dwxmPrBdIcQ" width="425" height="344" allowfullscreen="true" fvars="fs=1" /]Yvonne McBlain, Effective Teaching and Learning Support Teacher in Falkirk Education Services Curriculum Support team has been working with class 4C2 at Falkirk High School and their English teacher Laura Fyfe. Laura wanted to support 4C2 as much as possible in their study of Macbeth as a text for their Higher English exam critical essay paper. Laura consulted with her pupils to see what they felt they needed to revise, she then worked with Yvonne to devise a support programme around their wishes to give the pupils a deep and flexible knowledge of the play. On 13th March the pupils created mind-maps to help them review their knowledge and understanding. On 20th March, Yvonne designed a lesson to help pupils realise the difference between high and low order questions. The pupils used Bloom’s question fans to work in pairs and trios to create questions about the play. Next Wednesday pupils will pose their questions to another pair/trio. This will allow them to self assess their questions and get peer validation of this. Our plan then is to create a bank of higher order questions which form a quiz for our last lesson on 17th April. Today, pupils were observed looking back through their notes in order to gather information to make their questions. They were obviously drawing on their knowledge, collaborating with peers to develop their understanding, and applying all of this to their creation of the questions. The pupils found it difficult to understand the categorisation of questions at first, but the video above was helpful to them as part of the lesson. Click on Anderson’s revision of Bloom’s taxonomy below to see the lesson power point.
Here is a selection of the questions pupils have composed so far:
Remembering – Can you recall who said “Is this a dagger I see before me?” ?
Understanding – Can you explain what is meant by “none of woman born can harm Macbeth”?
Applying – What examples can you find to show the effect Lady Macbeth had on Macbeth?
Analysing – Why did Macbeth choose to kill Duncan?
Evaluating – How would you evaluate Macbeth’s mental breakdown?
Creating – How would you improve the plot?
Sharon Wallace, Effective teaching and learning teacher, Curriculum Support team, has been working on GLOW CPD tv sessions relating to Active Literacy.
The short CPD tv clips provide an introduction to each stage/ aspect of Active Literacy for class teachers.
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/Al8aAuatSpc" width="425" height="344" allowfullscreen="true" fvars="fs=1" /]
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/eTnP9ArCeck" width="425" height="344" allowfullscreen="true" fvars="fs=1" /]
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/NuHmDLxFREs" width="425" height="344" allowfullscreen="true" fvars="fs=1" /]
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/32oXIbrzzgo" width="425" height="344" allowfullscreen="true" fvars="fs=1" /]
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/D0Sb-Jm_mEA" width="425" height="344" allowfullscreen="true" fvars="fs=1" /]
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/A62fESpf8DY" width="425" height="344" allowfullscreen="true" fvars="fs=1" /]
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/Rkz1CuJnx7M" width="425" height="344" allowfullscreen="true" fvars="fs=1" /]
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/i4cA9YJl-O8" width="425" height="344" allowfullscreen="true" fvars="fs=1" /]
Sharon Wallace, Effective Teaching and Learning Teacher, Curriculum Support Team, has been carrying out some research with pupils in Falkirk establishments to see what they really think about Active Literacy and how they think it helps them to learn.
We first asked the pupils:
“How would you describe active literacy”?
It is fun and really exciting! It is also very helpful with spelling words, I really like it (P6/7)
Active literacy is a language task that is used to help children improve their spelling and sounds (P7)
It helps you see the phonemes in words (P6/7)
Fun if you are working with a partner (P4/5)
I would describe it as a fun lesson to learn different phonemes and spelling rules to help us spell accurately although I enjoy the tasks (P7)
Fun, great way of learning and very helpful for spelling and understanding of spelling (P6)
A better way than spelling tests (P4/5)
I do like active literacy, but sometimes it can be difficult (P5)
We then asked the pupils how they think Active Literacy has helped them in class and this is what they said:
The spelling rules and syllabification.
I understand my literacy work more using active literacy.
I have got better at spelling and I learn lots of new words.
It helps me get better at my literacy work because we learn different language rules that we remember to help us spell so our work is correct.
It has helped me get better because I really understand it now.
I have learned more about the sounds of words.
It helps you see phonemes in words.
I have learned loads using active literacy.
Here are a few pupil quotes:
“I like active literacy because it helps me improve on my story writing and phonemes. I really like the active literacy homework. I like the spellings”. (P4)
“I like active literacy because I am a better reader and speller and I like all the fun tasks for homework. My favourite task is bubble spelling”. (P4)
“I like active literacy, my favourite part is Elkonin boxes. I prefer Elkonin boxes to diacritical marking, but at least it is helping with my vocabulary and spelling. For homework I like the jingles. My spelling has improved since I started Active Literacy. (P7)
Sharon Wallace, Effective Teaching and Learning teacher, Curriculum Support Team led an active literacy workshop at the Early Years Conference. The workshop explored ways Nursery and P1 are working together to ensure a smooth transition for literacy development. Good practice was shared by Camelon Nursery and Carmuirs Primary School and this was well received by colleagues.