Thursday, 22 October 2015

Revisiting Recounts!

This term has kicked off with our end of term assessments looming. To make sure my class are set up for success we have been revisiting our previous learning about recounts. I am both amazed and empowered by the level of content knowledge my learners have been able to recall. For many years I have been a fan of using acronyms to support structural knowledge. This year a colleague and friend, Aireen Ah Kui shared with me the 'new' acronym of TREE.

Title, Reveal, Events and Ending... four little words that my learners connected to quickly. We repurposed the prompt DLO that was shared with us so that our own academic and content language was embedded throughout. With this knowledge in place we have been able to spend time focusing on the language features that support this genre. I was stunned today when connections were made between TREE being seen as a dinner plate and the language features being seen as the food you add. A visual image everyone could connect to, after all we all know the difference between a bland dinner and a delicious one!

Over the last two weeks we have followed the mantra of 'repetition without boring'. I'm now quite skilled at saying the same thing in many different ways! We have spent time building our TREE plan (success criteria) both as a class, in groups, in pairs, and independently. Making sure my learners are able to recall and record this information using our words was vital to them being able to plan efficiently. Our Room 5 rubric has helped so many make visual connections here. I noticed a huge difference in the quality of the content this week after focusing on planning a recount rather than simply writing recount after recount. It is interesting to note here that more than half my class were not using their writing plans so learning how to write and use a plan became the tangent on which we travelled.

Our recent learning sessions once again highlight the fact that it is not only is it vital to ensure that the learning you provide allows for connections to be made but also vital to realise the impact that harnessing the power that comes with really knowing your learners can have on deepening those connections. My favourite part so far, when one of my learners said "Don't forget to remind us about the simple stuff!" Yet more evidence that in Room 5, we own our learning!