Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Learn - Scan

Yesterday I interviewed five of my target Māori students about their reading and writing habits at home and at school, both now and in the past. The code names for students remain the same.

I asked them what their reading habits were like at home:

Student 1 (e-asTTle reading level 4P)
Reads anime comics online, and they specified that these are both 'flicky' and downwards-scrolling texts. Student 1 "sometimes" reads offline.

Student 12 (e-asTTle reading level 3B)

Reads the Bible, and also visits the library to read 3x a week. Finds it too distracting to read at school.

Student 2 (e-asTTle reading level 3P)
Doesn't read at home, unless social media posts count.

Student 15 (e-asTTle reading level 4P)

No reading at home other than flicking through junk mail like newspapers and fliers.

Student 6 (e-asTTle reading level 3P)

Never reads at home.

I asked them what reading activities were like in Primary school, and all of them reported taking turns reading sentences or paragraphs in a book, being asked to summarize, and then answering questions about the text.

I found this interesting because students' didn't mention practicing identifying key points (without just reading out a full sentence), evidence, perspectives, key words and definitions - although this could have happened during the 'questions about the text' stage.

I asked them what strategies they would use to read a difficult science text.

Student 1 (e-asTTle reading level 4P) would just jump straight in and begin to read.

Student 12 (e-asTTle reading level 3B) would skim and scan first, identify key words, then read. They would ask friends about any words they found hard.

Student 2 (e-asTTle reading level 3P) would look for definitions.

Student 15 (e-asTTle reading level 4P) would "start from the beginning."

Student 6 (e-asTTle reading level 3P) would "just read" and if there was a difficult word they would "search it up."

I asked them how engaged out of 10 they were in school, and in science (there may be some bias because they were reporting this to me, their science teacher!)

Student 1 was 6 when friends were away, 4 when they were present, and 10 engaged in science
Student 12 was 9 in school and 8 in science
Student 2 5 in school and 8 in science
Student 15 was 7 and 7
Student 6 was 7 and 5.

I asked them if they could describe what they were learning in science at the moment, and all of them said "energy" along with "types of energy, such as kinetic, sound, and how they can't be created and destroyed." Student 2 went back in time and said "babies, DNA and genes."

I asked them whether they write differently in other classes compared to science:

Student 1 and 12 spoke together and said that in English they do fiction writing, but science is more factual. That they would "write anything" in English and use their imagination, but that science required fact.
Student 2, 15 and 6 said they didn't know..

And finally I asked them whether they had learnt any writing strategies in science:

Student 1 said he learnt everything in English.
Student 12 said simple sentences and adverb sentences.
Student 15 said adverbs.
Student 6 just shrugged.

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