Friday, 4 March 2016

Five For Friday

MiniLit (Meeting Initial Needs in Literacy)
Testing students to go on the MiniLit program.
MiniLit is an explicit and systematic program that targets the bottom 25% of students and aimed for struggling readers. (Tier 2 based small group of four students).  It comprises of sound and word activities, text reading and story book reading.
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Workshop on Trauma and Learning
I posted about this workshop.  You can follow the links below to read the posts.
Wednesday Words of Wisdom
"When someone is drowning it is not the time to give swimming lessons".
(From book "Children are People Too" Dr Louise Porter, 2001)

Dr Louise Porter, an Australian psychologist, uses the above tree diagram to explain to parents what children’s needs are.;postID=1446052636437876907;onPublishedMenu=posts;onClosedMenu=posts;postNum=1;src=postname

Trauma and Learning;postID=4889335960428430909;onPublishedMenu=posts;onClosedMenu=posts;postNum=2;src=postname

Personalised Learning
In the process of completing ILP's (Individual Learning Plans).
It is important that teachers work along side students, parents and other agencies to ensure they have are planning an ILP that meets the student's individual needs.

Sustained Silent Independent Reading.
I have been working with a small group of primary students who are reading below their age group and have a low reading esteem.  I'm aiming to help these students find the "just right" books they will love to read using the five finger rule. I want these students to read a book independently every day for a period of at least 15-20 minutes.  My aim is for the students to start and finish a book with the emphasis on reading for enjoyment.  Some students will pick up a different book each day during D.E.A.R (Drop Everything and Read) time and therefore they never experience the pleasure of the characters coming alive and the anticipation of what is going to happen with the delight of the ending of the story.
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I am also giving the students bookmarks Pick a Just Right Book and Stuck? Try... that has some reading strategies they can try if they get stuck on a word.

You can download these bookmarks for FREE at my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Just follow the link below.

Visual Literacy
“As with most of my stories, it is the emotions in the text which interest me most.” 
Margaret Wild. 

I am in the process of designing a program for a group of primary students using the book Fox by Margaret Wild as a stimulus.  A colleague of mine recommended this book to me and it certainly is a winner.
In the book "Fox" Magpie can't fly and Dog is blind.  Dog rescues the Magpie and they become friends.
Together they explore the world until Fox arrives on the scene.  Will Fox break up this special friendship?

Tuesday, 1 March 2016


"When someone is drowning it is not the time to give swimming lessons".
(From book "Children are People Too" Louise Porter, 2001)

This book is an extremely valuable read.  It will make you reflect carefully on how we reward children and school reward systems.  Dr Louise Porter is an Australian child psychologist and has written many books.  She has a website at

Following from my post yesterday on trauma and learning and reflecting on Dr Porter's quote "When someone is drowning it is not the time to give swimming lessons" I feel it is important for teachers to  always be sensitive and caring towards their students.  Often we don't know why or how regarding their behaviour but being able to be calm will be a critical factor for working with students with challenging behaviours.

It can be difficult at times when a student is violent, verbally abusive or difficult but getting out of control isn't the answer.  Teachers who argue or scream at the student will only escalate the problem.  As they say "slow and steady wins the race".

Always being positive and letting the student know that you care about them is paramount.  Teachers can do this  in so many ways, simply by smiling at them, greeting them personally and telling them that you are glad they are there today.  This will slowly shift even the most difficult student. Developing a genuine relationship that is honest, friendly and comforting is crucial.

We need to remember that for some students school is there only refuge and school is where they feel safe.

Have you had a student with difficult behaviour and how have you handled the situation?