Increasing the Literacy of Stage 6 Students
|Posted on 23 March, 2016 at 1:50|
As teachers, we all spend a great amount of time teaching and reiterating the key concepts of literacy to our students. Regardless of the subject matter that we teach or the age or learning ability of our students, learning literacy is critical to brain development and overall educational success.
I have seen many primary teachers spend countless hours teaching young children components of literacy, key terminology and encourage them to practice those techniques over and over again until they are mastered. Such learning is necessary in order for our students to progress through the school stages and to possess the skillset that is necessary to learn the content learned in other KLA’s such as Maths, Science and PDHPE.
When students arrive in High School they have been drilled with reading and comprehension skills and can more than likely define every key literacy term including what a pronoun is. Unfortunately, much of this is lost throughout high school as there is very little space in the teaching timetable for students to solely learn literacy as its own subject area. Many teachers in various KLA’s (and in particularly, English) spend considerable time discussing the necessary literacy skills that are needed to complete particular class work tasks and assessment tasks.
With a huge emphasis now on NAPLAN tests, teachers are also studying the story behind the schools results and are working tirelessly to create and implement strategies that will assist their students beyond the national test and better prepare them for the HSC and future education.
As a stage 6 teacher, I have spent countless hours and lessons observing my students, asking them to write task after task in order to determine what literacy skills they need to work on. Within a matter of weeks, it was quite observable of what I needed to do to push my students from a band 4 to a band 5 or 6. And all they needed was to was be guided in a few key areas. I chose to do with some scaffolds that they could modify to suit their own personal needs.
I recorded all of the areas that all students in my class required assistance with. Even if there is just one student who doesn’t proofread their work, I still included this in my resources as I believe that all students would benefit from the skill. I then used Microsoft Powerpoint to create my Literacy Cards.
This is a really easy step, but just so long to complete. I simply printed enough of each Literacy Card for my 30 students (I chose a different colour paper for each literacy concept), laminated them all and cut them up.
I bought shower curtain rings from Bunnings (a Hardware store) for about $2 for a package of 8 rings. I simply hole punched the cards and inserted the ring. Now the cards are ready to be used by students.
My students are very positive about the cards and now ask me to provide them with the cards when they are working on their writing tasks (in particular, their extended responses and their reports). I have observed that my students are more conscientious of their work and are more determined to improve in their own writing each time they complete a task.
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