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What are we learning?
One-word summary
OPTIMISM!
We try to remember
 Our over-riding purpose in asking teachers to fill out the
case study form and other records is to stimulate rich
conversations and thinking about the students
 We would provide similar outlines for teachers to
discuss and record what they are doing even if we
never collected any of it
 We want to change experiences for students – it’s
about what happens in classrooms, not about building
a data base
Qualitative data sources
 Case studies
 Who are the students?
 What does our individual student data look like?
Record of questions and actions
 What are teachers investigating?
 What are they doing?
 What are they learning?
 Reflections from facilitators and participants
What are we learning …
 About the case study students?
 About our groups?
 About teachers’ questions?
 About strategies and approaches teachers are
trying?
 About our data?
 About what’s next?
The case study students
 Not a random sample – they do not represent anyone
except themselves
 Our data reflect teachers’ perceptions – we only know
what teachers chose to record.
 The summary is based on my interpretation of
teachers’ records.
 This is neither more or less accurate than any other
record – it just is.
Visualize …
 As I talk about the students, please record your
impressions and ideas in a visual format – sketch, web,
doodle …
 I’m not going to show you the “list” of characteristics
until later, so that you can construct your own vision …
Strength and optimism
 450 of the luckiest students in BC
 Incredibly diverse
 Some people might be surprised to learn that most of
them are holding on to their own sense of optimism.
Their teachers see most of them as:
 motivated, hard workers – they want to learn
 social—they like being with their friends, they are often
described as “kind” and “caring”, and they are well-liked
by others
 Having a tonne of strengths and passions – they are often
creative, physically gifted, artistic –
The flip side
 Very few are characterized as “unmotivated” , having
social problems
 There were only a handful where teachers seemed
unable to identify a strength or passion (and I’m sure,
by now they can!)
Strength and optimism
 Many of these students really like books and stories –
those who are not able to read the books themselves,
like to listen
 And they want to be better readers
 They are generally happy and have appealing
personalities – teachers often describe them as
“happy” “bubbly” “sweet” “funny”
 There are, of course, a few who are visibly angry,
unhappy, and sometimes “frightened” – but not many
Comprehension and oral
language
 In describing their literacy and other strengths, teachers
often noted strong oral language and comprehension
(often listening comprehension.)
 BUT they were just as likely to identify these are areas
of concern.
But …
 With all of these strengths, why are teachers concerned?
 In most cases, the students were identified as “struggling
with reading” “reading below grade level” “pre-literate.” Not
surprising – that’s what we asked for!
 Looking further into how teachers described them, the most
common description was that they lacked self-confidence,
or, in many cases, had a lot of anxiety.
 They were also often described as unable to self-regulate –
unfocused …
And their reading?
 Where teachers offered more specific notes about the
ways in which students were “struggling”, they most
often mentioned:
 comprehension
 decoding
 knowledge of letters and letter sounds (mostly K-1)
 And, of course, we noticed the enormous overlap
between self-regulation and use of reading strategies
(for both comprehension and decoding)
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Another sample
How many of each?
 Currently, 459 – expect about 10-12 more
 K = 53
Gr. 2 = 138
 Gr. 1 =154 Gr. 3 = 90
 ‘Other’ = 24
 M=268
F= 189
 Aboriginal = 128 ELL/ESL/ESD = 72
Inquiry Questions:
Counting …
 From 42 districts
 Approximately 250 questions
 Sometimes one question among several people
 Sometimes one question for each participant
 Many questions deal with more than one aspect
(e.g., self-regulation and comprehension)
What are teachers asking
about?
 Look at two aspects: what is the intervention/change in
teaching practice (the independent variable)
 What is the anticipated result or change in the students’
literacy (the dependent variable)
 To date, I have coded for the IV – what are teachers trying
or changing?
 In terms of the students, a scan indicates that teachers are
most concerned about improving comprehension,
engagement and confidence – but also many focusing on
decoding/accuracy, oral language (especially K)
What practices are teachers
changing and exploring?
 Developing self-regulation
 Developing comprehension strategies/approaches
 Developing social-emotional skills
 Developing decoding strategies/skills
 Direct teaching
 Developing oral skills
 Increasing/changing “talk” in the classroom
More changing practices
 Increasing choice
 “Personalizing” learning
 Changing/increasing conferencing
 Working on joy and passion
 Peer support
 Parent support
 And many more!
Question Sampler
 Individual
 Read the list, looking for
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Question that you would like to working on
Question that surprises you
Question that would be relatively easy for you to offer advice
A personal favourite—you would like to meet and talk to this
teacher …
 Meet in group of three – aim for diversity
 Share some of your choices and reactions (not all)
 Choose one question: what advice would give?
SRL-Samples
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How can we help anxious students to develop coping strategies that alleviate preexisting anxiety toward reading so that they can be calm, focused and alert?
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If I model self-regulation strategies while reading will students begin to use them on
their own?
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If I use self-regulation techniques will the students be able to engage in what is
happening in their thinking in order to deepen their questions and connections with
their peers?
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What techniques can we use in the classroom to help students to self regulate their
behaviour before, during, after reading?
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How does involving students in setting small, measurable and specific reading
goals affect their skills and confidence?
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How do we help students develop the confidence and strategies that will enable
them to struggle through the difficult parts to build their literacy skills?
SE-samples
 If I explicitly teach social-emotional strategies focused on
building a safe classroom community, in what ways will
students become more engaged confident readers?”
 If we explicitly teach the concept of learning as a journey, in
what ways does this increase students’ confidence and
engagement during the reading process? And in what ways
does this lower anxiety for our most vulnerable and anxious
readers?
 What happens to students’ motivation and engagement
when I implement t1-1 reading conferences
Comprehension: Samples
 How will the explicit teaching of monitoring comprehension
strategies and decoding skills impact the student’s comprehension
of text?
 How will explicitly modeling and teaching connections improve
reading and engagement with print?
 How will asking questions during reading, help with student
engagement and comprehension?
 Will using a variety of graphic organizers help students recall main
ideas and supporting details/summarizing in a variety of texts?
 In what ways will students access reading and writing strategies
and work independently once explicitly taught to do so?
Choice
 How does interest-based choice affect engagement
and recall in reading? Will their engagement and recall
increase?
 If we provide daily opportunities for students to talk
about the books they have chosen, in what ways will
they becomes more engaged, motivated readers?
New ways of working
 How will having at least one positive daily interaction with an adult
impact student social emotional development?
 What happens when I provide one to one reading check-ins on a
daily basis?
 What differences will I notice in my teaching of reading when I let
go of judgments and embrace the joy of learning?
 Will strategies developed by a collaborative, reflexive classroom
team increase students' reading success?
 What differences do I notice in students' engaged sustained
reading if I facilitate interest based inquiry projects?
And more …
 In what ways can we incorporate students’ interest in
Aboriginal culture into literacy instruction to promote
engagement?
 How can I use talk structures to guide rich discussions
that create increased engagement and oral language
skills?
 If students read to an engaged, attentive listener for 10
minutes on a daily basis and discuss concrete
connections to own experiences and/or other stories
with the listener, will reading fluency and
comprehension improve?
Going forward …
 Meetings 4 and 5 continue with the “meat” of the inquiries
and case studies – continue submitting in the same way as
meeting 3 (group records and case studies)
 Meeting 6 needs to set up final data collection so
 Begin summary of inquiry – there will be a new VERY SIMPLE
form that essentially asks:
 What was your question?
 What are some key things you did?
 What are the 1-3 most important things you found out?
 And for each, how do you know?
 Why does this matter? What next?
Don’t worry!
 This is just an overview.
 Maureen will send a set of slides and notes for
meetings 6 and 7.
Meeting 6
 Meeting 6 needs to set up final data collection so
 Draft a summary of inquiry – there will be a new VERY SIMPLE
form that essentially asks:
 What was your question?
 What are some key things you did?
 What are the 1-3 most important things you found out?
 And for each, how do you know?
 Why does this matter? What next?
 The info should come from their ‘record of questions …’
 At minimum, they should have a draft of this by the end of
meeting 6 – and many will finish it. Our experience is that it
takes less than an hour.
Meeting 6 (cont.)
 ERA should submit these as soon as they are finished
(to [email protected])
 AND make copies for everyone in the group
 You can also allow for some ‘touch-ups’ and additions
at meeting 7 – but do get the bulk of the work done
Meeting 7
 Ask that the focus group writing be a reflection on their
participation in the project and please collect it (we will send
an outline you can use) – we will use this as part of our final
reporting
 Provide a short time (10 min max) for each group to share
their report (the one they drafted in Meeting 6)
 Remainder of the meeting is devoted to the case studies;
There is a summary form (draft is in your materials.) It
should be completed within the meeting and submitted
ASAP. If possible, have these shared (time will be tight—it
will depend on how many in your group etc.)
OPTIMISM
!
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