Friday, 28 September 2018

Learn - Research - Literature Review

Seddon, M. (2017). Strategies for integrating literacy into a science classroom. Graduate Research
Papers, 115.

Simply assigning reading (even if it’s from a variety of sources) in a science course is not adequate
for students to become effective readers that can utilize the text to delve deeper into the science
content. In order to be effective in the use of the strategies listed below, teachers must understand
the strategy’s purpose and how to instruct and model the use of the strategy to students.

Content literacy strategies:

  • Annotation
  • Anticipation reading guides
  • Reflections
  • Graphic organizers
  • Summarization and synthesis

I’m going to break down these strategies into different blog posts so it’s not an overload for my

Have students make markings in the text in places where they make connections or have questions.
Markings could include symbols, phrases, and reflections written in the margins or within the text.

This strategy provides students with a visible record of their thoughts that they can use to respond,
summarise and reflect upon their learning later. It slows the reading down and allows students to
discover or uncover ideas that would not emerge otherwise (O’Donnell, 2004). Students should
begin to see their reading as an active process of comprehension or a way of learning.

Students tend to categorize their annotations into making predictions, asking questions, making
connections, defining vocabulary, analyzing or evaluating the author’s craft, stating opinions, and
spotting patterns or trends. To ensure students take ownership in their learning from annotation,
students should be required to use their annotations again upon completion of the reading by
reflecting on them or through written or oral discussion.

To incorporate annotation in your classes, start with a short story or article that can be read in less
than a class period, e.g. from, Science Daily, New York Times Science, or IFLScience.
However, annotation will become a more powerful tool when it is incorporated in a full unit where
students utilize their annotations before, during and at the conclusion of a unit to demonstrate their
learning and understanding.

I’m going to cover the other strategies in later blog posts :)

Friday, 21 September 2018

Learn - Research - Literature Review

Croner, P. E. (2003). Strategies For Teaching Science Content Reading. The Science Education
Review, 2(4).

Science students need to be aggressive reading their textbooks. They need to be active readers
who build background knowledge before beginning to read, know the purpose for reading, looks
for clues as to what the text will be about, makes predictions and breaks the text into manageable

Good readers use comprehension strategies such as forming a mental image, rereading, adjusting
the rate of reading, searching the text to identify unknown words, and predicting meaning that lies
ahead (Collins, 1994).

Word sort
First, students copy vocabulary terms onto note cards, one word per card. (The terms should
include both new and known words.) Then, either individually or in groups, students sort the words
into categories. The sorting may be closed (the teacher provides the categories) or open (students
choose their own categories and identify their own labels for each category). Once sorting has
finished, students should discuss the reasoning behind the choices they made.

This can also be done with SOLO hexagons, and students can explain the relationship between
words or ideas as they explain why they positioned them the way they have, in relation to one

Click or clunk strategy

This is a strategy for students as they read - students ask themselves as they read if sentences “click” for them or if it goes “clunk.” If it clunks, they should ask what they can do to make sense of
it. The purpose of this activity is to have the students slow their impulsivity and take some time to
check for understanding. This is a simple way of getting readers to stop their reading and rethink,
rather than continuing to read without comprehension.

Friday, 14 September 2018

Learn - Research - Literature Review

Literature Review on Literacy in Science

I searched in Google for “literacy strategies for science” and opened all links from the first search page.
These were the results:

As I move through these readings I will not describe the same strategy twice, so I will just omit
mentioning it in the reading that came second..

I feel that is QUITE enough background reading for a full-time teacher with other things on her plate!!

Friday, 7 September 2018

Learn - Research

Session with Dr Jannie van Hees - Language in Abundance.

Having language in abundance means that students can be dripping in available language
to ascribe meaning.  

Knowledge is still important these days, and we arrive to knowledge through words; spoken
OR written. Learning new words grow brain connections and also allows learners to expand
their knowledge base. BUT! Learners need language to even begin to be able to learn!

Dr Jannie ran through the experience of learning under different conditions with more or
less language available each time. What do the differences mean for our learners’ experiences?

For example, making a kite:

1. The first condition is a video showing a very CLEAR demo only; no spoken or written
language available. These were my thoughts:

I could DO the thing but I wouldn't know why I was doing it or what the end goal is. As I’m
watching this video I am thinking to myself “that’s tape, get some tape, stick it on, oh ok make
a curve..” If I didn’t have language I would be able to mimic what I see but not learn much
about it. I also couldn’t tell anyone how to make one after. I might experience frustration. I might
not have the language to even ask for help.

2. The second condition was making a kite with both written and spoken language available
in the video. These were my thoughts:

If I didn’t have the language to understand what the written instructions were saying while
they were flashing up, or knew the names of the equipment then this condition could be
frustrating. The words do give a sense of context and purpose “we’re going to make a kite,
if you want to learn to make a kite keep watching!” Some words enhance the possibility of
knowing how to make a kite..

3. The third condition was an illustration with no spoken words, but written language is
available as a transcript on the side.

My reflection at this point in the presentation was:

To me this is cyclical? We need language to have the language to build knowledge from the
language, so we need to stop and look at the language carrying to concept - before, or after?
During? Do you do big-picture understanding with little, simplified language before you learn
the supporting subject-specific language that assists the understanding of the larger concept?
Or do you learn the subject-specific language to let students view and understand the larger
concept with the supporting vocabulary?

Manaiakalani and Tamaki’s inquiry question this year is - HOW? How do we get our students
to be ‘dripping with language’ to assist them in ascribing meaning?

Strategies from Dr Jannie van Hees

1. Focus on quantity (park the quality focus for a while) - ensure structures are in place in class
that allows language to flow. Don’t always ask for hands up - let the discussion flow. Set up a
safe culture where everyone’s contribution is a valuable contribution. There are gems to be had for
sure, but honour the efforts of anyone.

Anecdotal evidence of this from my year 13 biology class from Sharon on 8.2.18 “why did you put this
there?” I asked, about the SOLO hexagon arrangement her group had laid out. “Why, is it wrong?”
replied Sharon. “No,” I said, “I’m genuinely asking why you’ve arranged them like that, what were you
thinking about when you did that?!” “Oh!” exclaimed Sharon - “usually when a teacher says that it
means I’m wrong.

2. Elaborating - responding to the message and meaning of what students say and then gifting
them further words to add to their collection, and then giving them time to practice using the words
again. Have multiple encounters with vocabulary - not just repeats of the same context - but we
can’t learn from one time.

3. Talking aloud - talking about their thinking. Aim for TRULY dialogic conversation “oh I just
thought of something” says one kid “nah but there’s another way to do that” might say another.
Vocabulary will not carry meaning unless it’s put into context.

4. Reading in class - Do we read enough to kids? Do they read to each other?

5. Activate prior knowledge - Trigger the known to connect to the new.

We need to pay attention to how we get our young children to EXPLAIN.

Anecdotally, kids who are failing to cope with things and who snap sometimes can’t explain how
they’re feeling, while the ones who ARE coping CAN explain.

Explaining is also important because in NCEA being able to explain is Merit upwards.

Anecdotally - if you asked a student “what is a cup?” and they said “well you can drink from it,” then that is not an explanation. 

If you said “what is a cup?” and they were dripping in language and confident to use it then they might say “well a cup is a container that you can drink from. It has a handle that is perfect size for your fingers so you can hold it and not drop it, and you can put lots of liquids in it, such as hot or cold, coffee or water.”

Consider the sources of language in your classroom:

Spoken texts: face-to-face, television, lectures, presentations, classroom conversations, radio, 
brought-in experts. 

Written texts: teacher-selected, curriculum, incidental, displays, newspapers, students-selected, recreational reading, etc. 

Our inquiries are into how we build/lift the language of our akonga!