Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Re-designing the learning

Checking and re-thinking... leading to redesigning

One of my hunches was that the learners had limited mileage, along with lack of engagement in texts. Our library facilitator, Anna Malan, has been instrumental in adding new and exciting texts to the collection at our school. For the first time, one of my learners actually sit and read of his own volition, totally engaged in a Minecraft Zombie book.

Being inspired by listening to some Korero Point England Blog posts, the learners are excited to create similar book reviews. Not only will they learn through multimodal texts, but they will create and share their learning through multi-modal means as well. They will eventually choose their own book to read and review, but first they needed the process of reading, summarising, evaluating, justifying, recording and sharing their book review.

Here, I have hit a road block. While the text we are reading is the right level, my hunch is the children are not used to sustained periods of reading and retaining events in the text.

What followed yesterday was a very frustrating lesson on reviewing what had happened in the chapters 1 and 2 of Rat Island (Stu Duval). Frustrating for me because I had planned to teach how to evaluate the text so far in order to scaffold their end in mind (book review).
Instead, we had to go back to basics - thinking about the text and making connections between events. 

After checking and scanning, now I need to refocus - I need to make sure I re-design their learning experiences in order that I am giving them enough time to read and evaluate. Perhaps before our reading workshops the children have to re-read the previous chapter to remind themselves of what is happening. Another scaffold may be 20 mins designated purely to reading in the lesson in order to build that mileage and dosage time of sustained reading.


  1. Hello Rebecca.

    How are the multimodal style and new books helping with increasing motivation? I had my students pick genres which I used to decide texts to help with motivation. I think I have the same issue as you in regards to the sustained reading. Has the multimodal style helped with that?

    Thanks for the post and the link to the book review blog post. This post has given me some ideas for the future, however it might have been easier to follow if there were headings showing the different topics in the post.

    1. HI Greg, Thanks for your feedback. The motivation of these learners to read is increasing, this is something I really notice when taking the learners to the library now. They are all confidently looking for books and having deeper discussions on which book to choose and why it engages them. Previously, lots of these children spent their time browsing aimlessly and chatting to their mates.

      It's hard to say whether the multimodal style alone has helped them to sustain their reading, as I am using a multi-pronged approach with extra reading sessions with parent helpers, running the Pizza challenge competition and supporting deeper discussion in our guided reading sessions.

      There is certainly engagement there with the multimodal texts... I am finding it is still a struggle for my focus group to finish what I assign to them independently in the given time frame, whether that be continuing reading a chapter/website or completing a task to help them delve deeper. This links back to their ability to drive their own learning, and is something they are growing in!