Thursday, 29 November 2018

Learn - Create - Share - Year 13

Literacy is still a massive issue in the senior years and a barrier to achieving credits at Merit or Excellence levels, due to student’s ability to explain, analyse and justify. Jannie Van Hees was talking yesterday about Lexical chains in paragraphs.

I’m just rolling on with my literacy inquiry and using the previous research on literacy strategies rather
than summarising them all over again.

Today I spoke to Marc Milford (our literacy specialist at Tamaki College) about some work he’s been doing with Karen in Design.

I’m going to try this idea with my Y13 biology students by analysing an exemplar about a socioscientific issue. The content and context are completely different to what we will be writing about in our own internal, so I think it will be a useful exercise.

First, I collected data about what students think the assessment will include and how confident they are about what they must write about. I used this form to do that.

Then we went through this short booklet that Marc helped me to create. It includes explicitly pointing out the language features in the exemplar, giving students the opportunity to identify them, using language and grammar features to recombine a paragraph, and teaching about key words such as what 'justification' actually means.

Before the activity, student's didn't know what was expected of them and confidence was low. After the activity, students were able to articulate requirements and felt much more confident. Unfortunately, that was the only measure I was able to take. The exemplar also managed to completely confuse one of the lower-ability students who suddenly thought they would be writing about folic acid (the context of the exemplar).

The orange pre test has a lot of "I don't know" answers. The white post-test answers are much more explicit.

The orange pre-test measure of confidence looks like an average of about 2 out of 5, while the later pretest answers look more like a 3-4 out of 5. 

Did this actually help them with their literacy? I had no measure for this. However, I did film this lesson and we can observe it for ourselves.. here!!

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