Teaching According to the Stages of Literacy Development

Today, we have added yet another new presentation to The Literacy Bug's YouTube channel. The presentation is entitled Teaching According to the Stages of Literacy Developmentand it can be found below or at the following link: https://youtu.be/D7vUhqVXLWg.

Like its predecessors,  Teaching According to the Stages of Literacy Development clocks in at just about one hour long. So grab your popcorn, sit back, watch/listen and enjoy. The presentation slides are available, so download them here.

This presentation explores the changing nature of literacy across the various stages of literacy development. In so doing, we discuss how instruction must change as learners consolidate core skills and prepare for new skills and expectations. Teaching routines for the various stages of literacy development are also discussed. Please explore and enjoy!. 

To be exact, the presentation sets out to meet the following objectives:

  • to emphasise the developmental nature of literacy;

  • to emphasise how literacy instruction and learning changes across the lifespan, particularly as certain skills are consolidated and new skills and expectations arise;

  • to outline literacy as both a cognitive and social achievement that involves both the mastery of skills and the exploration of content; and

  • to outline the various texts and routines that are applicable to Chall’s Stages of Literacy Development.

(If you are new to The Literacy Bug, feel free to visit our popular page on the Stages of Literacy Development.)

Let us know what you think. It's another longer presentation. We hope to produce some shorter ones in the future.

Below is the audio from the presentation. Whilst it includes references to the visuals, the audio may well make sense on its own. If you would prefer to listen, feel free to play online or download for offline use. Also, it might help to download the slides, and you can follow along as you listen.

We hope the presentation is useful and thought-provoking. Please explore and enjoy!

How to plan and monitor effective teaching and learning - a video presentation

Today, we have added a new presentation to The Literacy Bug's YouTube channel. The presentation is entitled How to plan and monitor effective teaching and learning, and it can be found at the following link: https://youtu.be/cZrtB8dTZEg.

Like its predecessor,  How to plan and monitor effective teaching and learning clocks in at just about one hour long. So grab your popcorn, sit back, watch/listen and enjoy. The presentation slides are available for download here.

Please note that the presentation does NOT explore what to teach or how to teach in detail. Instead, the presentation provides advice on general planning, monitoring and reflection principles. To be exact, the presentation sets out to meet the following objectives:

  • to encourage informed, intentional, evidence-based teaching, which takes into consideration the learners’ currents skills, knowledge and intentions;

  • to emphasise the importance of gradual, progressive, sequenced practice that allows learners to become proficient, confident and knowledgable;

  • to reinforce how instruction may need to include both “intensive” and “extensive” activities; and

  • to reinforce why it is important to reflect regularly on teaching and learning activities.

Let us know what you think. It's another longer presentation. We hope to produce some shorter ones in the future.

Below is the audio from the presentation. Whilst it includes references to the visuals, the audio may well make sense on its own. If you would prefer to listen, feel free to play online or download for offline use.

We hope the presentation is useful and thought-provoking. Please explore and enjoy!

Let the Teaching (folder) Begin ...

"Thinking too has a time for ploughing and a time for gathering the harvest." Ludwig Wittgenstein, from Culture & Value

It is with great pleasure that I announce the beginnings of the Teaching Folder of the Wittgenstein On Learning website. The Teaching Folder is and will be a special section on the site. Its pages will seek to apply Wittgensteinian principles to practical, balanced teaching techniques and examples.

For some visitors, this section might appear to stray away from direct commentary on the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein. This is true. This section will be the one that is the most Wittgensteinian and the least Wittgenstein in nature.

In the Wittgensteinian spirit, it will provide teaching advice, strategies, assessment techniques and examples that meander between cognitive and socio-cultural explanations of learning. The advice will straddle structural and contextual considerations as well as individual and cultural perspectives. Over time, I hope the section will provide visitors with ideas that facilitate rich, meaningful teaching that is multifaceted, developmental and experiential.

A few housekeeping tasks have been completed to pave the way. The Topics Folder has been rebadged as the Background Folder, which now includes the Why Wittgenstein? and Initial Notes pages that previously could be found in the Home Folder. The Overview page has been retitled Key Themes and the Essays page has been moved into the Teaching Folder.

There is much work that still remains ahead. Visitors will notice how the Balanced Teaching, Planning & Assessment and Example & Case Studies pages are all currently under construction. Nevertheless, the bones of the skeleton are in place and a bit of flesh has already started to take shape. To receive updates, I encourage visitors to select the link below -  "Subscribe to the Journal". 

In the meantime, enjoy and explore!!

Talent is made manifest through practice

Genius is what makes us forget the master's talent. (Wittgenstein, Culture & Value) 

The video in this journal entry is an ABC News piece that can be examined through a Wittgensteinian perspective. The topic is talent, and the article examines what contributes to the realisation of talent (or ability). In brief, the news item makes reference to the book The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle and emphasises that the important roles of hard work (practice), effective teaching, and access to the space and time for total concentration.

Isn't this common sense? How else would success be achieved? Surprisingly, this picture contradicts another prevalent world picture that is sustained in the American public and media; that is, there are those in the community who exhibit extraordinary talent which can launch these individuals into the heights of the culture through their innate ability alone. In the words of Coyle, "talent is the last magical thing. It's magic ... Tiger Woods is magic. Michael Jordan is magic. Mozart was magic." 

Contributing factors such as context, culture, practice, relationships and circumstances are pushed to the periphery because they may threaten to unseat the prevailing mythology that some people are just amazingly talented.  One would prefer to believe in genius, luck, and egalitarianism rather engage in deeper questions into the people, opportunities and culture that fosters skills and practices. The ideas presented in the video do not deny that innate ability plays a role in the realisation of talent; however, the ideas seek to correct a misleading view, which is one that wants to forget that other key factors play vital roles in the fostering and maintenance of talent.

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Learning as Puzzle Solving

"A thinker is very much like a draughtsman whose aim it is to represent all the interrelations between things." (Wittgenstein, Culture & Value)

Learning is often completed collaboratively with others, and features a sense of mutual accomplishment as the learners embark on a journey of discovery, consolidation and confidence. The seven principles of "learning as puzzle solving" are taken from the following reference:

  • Geekie, P., Cambourne, B., & Fitzsimmons, P. (2004). Learning as puzzle solving. In Grainger, T (ed) The RoutledgeFalmer reader in language and literacy (pp 107 – 118). London: RoutledgeFalmer

Please continue to read to explore the seven principles and how they apply to effective teaching.

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A Letter from An Anxious Teacher

17 November 2013

 

To whom it may concern,

 

I am a teacher. I stand in front of awaiting eyes, ears, mouths and minds. I don't always stand in front. Sometimes I sit side by side or sit gathered in circles. I have plans for my students. I have expectations. I would like to consolidate skills through practice. And I want to consolidate these practices by providing opportunities for my students to learn and to practice and to grow. I have a picture of what a successful learner looks like. I think I have this vision. I think it is a fair vision. I feel that every child can achieve. I am deeply curious about my students. Most importantly, I see education as transformative. I need to remind myself of this. I shouldn't need to, but I do.

I can point to those in the classroom who share my expectations. They know what success looks like and they have the means to work toward the goal. They are more or less motivated. I don't want to let them down. I want to support and challenge them.

I am still nervous, though. I have set up the environment. I have laid out my expectations. I have planned out my lessons, and I have planned regular opportunities to scaffold the learning for the apprentices that are before me. I feel that my teaching will be engaging. Not just fun ... The learning will be engaging and the discussions will be engaging. I tell myself this, but there is no guarantee. I need to be honest in my reflections and determined in the way I navigate this ship.

Despite being nervous, I am enthusiastic. I am passionate about what I teach, and I know the students can share this passion and find pathways to apply this learning. I care and believe that I can inspire (or, at least persuade) my students of the importance of what they are about to learn. 

I am still nervous, though. Some will need more support than others. Some may even get lost at times. I think I can tap into their knowledge and interests. I think we will both be learning together.  I will make myself available. And I am dedicated to monitoring their learning, reflecting on their growth and intervening when extra support is required. That’s my professional duty. And I really believe that through practice and opportunities, the students take this learning on.

I know there will be those who it will be difficult to reach. There will be some students who are not at school everyday. There will be others who face considerable learning challenging. And there will be others who may need some time to trust or to engage. I do not accept that I will not reach these students. I do accept that I will need to reach beyond the school walls to build partnerships and seek advice.

I will teach with kindness and urgency. I will demonstrate expertise and empathy. I will do my utmost to be of service to the students and the community.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Anxious Teacher

Book Tip: Showing and Doing: Wittgenstein as a Pedagogical Philosopher

By Nicholas C. Burbles, Paul Smeyers, and Michael A. Peters.

Burbles, Smeyers and Peters have collected an excellent series of essays which are directly applicable to an educational perspective of Wittgenstein's philosophy. The premise of the book "Showing and Doing" reflects the ways in which individuals are brought into knowledge and practices, including technical as well as ethical domains. The book's chapters probe cognitive aspects of learning (e.g. imagination and concept-constructing) as well as social factors (e.g. communities of practice and apprenticeships).

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