At Clearview Primary, we have two different types of buildings. We have our Stage 1 build, which opened in 2010 and our Stage 2 build, which opened in 2013.
Today I spent some time in the Stage 1 classrooms. These blocks consist of 6 classrooms, with small breakout rooms between each class. There is also a full length learning studio, which runs beside the classrooms. There is a teacher workroom, wet area and technology area.
The teachers in these blocks are experimenting with collaborative teaching methods. Our school this year is working towards pedagogical changes, to enhance the learning experiences for our students. The teachers are working either in teams of 2 or 3. They are very much trialing differents pedagogical approaches, and constantly refining to see what works best for their students.
I spent some time with two of our Year 2 teachers, observing the way they are running their reading programme in a collaborative way. There was some amazing learning taking place.
These teachers are using their 2 classrooms, learning studio area and breakout room.
The students are grouped for reading according to ability.
One teacher works in a classroom, taking reading groups. The next day the other teacher takes the reading groups.
One teacher roves. Students might be working on follow up activities, literacy games, reading or other word study type activities. They have Interactive White Board games and reading eggs to access on the student laptops.
The teachers plan for their reading groups together.
The teachers running this programme are noticing many benefits for their teaching and student's learning.
They both know the students really well, as they take turns with group teaching. This has meant excellent professional discussions about student progress and intervention plans. When making overall teacher judgements, they can discuss a student confidently, and have support with their assessment. The teacher who is roving is able to interact and question students about what they are learning. They are on hand to provide support and immediate feedback and feedforward. The teachers feel that independent activities have become so much more purposeful and are reinforcing the learning, rather than just being fillers while the teacher takes reading groups.
I definitely noticed how engaged the students were in these classes. They were focused and on task. I also noticed students teaching each other. The set up for reading is also being replicated in Maths, so I look forward to observing that session also.
In the Year 3/4 block, they are getting underway with team teaching in Maths. Although just getting started, I could already notice how well the different spaces are being used, with students selecting work areas based on the learning styles and preferences. It will be interesting to see how this develops over the term.
My name is Ngaire Shepherd-Wills. This website is a record of my TeachNZ sabbatical, Term 2, 2013 and then I have continued to share my wonderings and discoveries about Innovative Learning Practices. I now work for CORE Education. Views are my own.