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Literacy

Across the curriculum


In the classroom


Pedagogical change through critical
reflection

Salisbury High School


2011 2015

Contents


Scope and scale


Upskilling of staff and support for
student learning

Just right readers and classroom
libraries

The Learning Log


Sharing of professional practice


Teacher Feedback


Concluding comments


Appendix A
Teacher Feedback sheet

Appendix B
Teachers, curriculum areas and foci

Appendix C
Learning Log an example

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Report produced by:
Julie Wilson, Senior Leader Literacy, Intervention and Support
Salisbury High School
August 2016

Scope and scale



Scope
Following a presentation to staff by Sharon Callen (Cue Learning) in late 2010
on literacy and, in particular, just right readers, and in line with the then
Northern Adelaide Region focus on comprehension, the decision was taken to
create a whole school focus on literacy. This focus included staff involvement in
various literacy programs (TESMC, TTR, L4L) and school based initiatives, as
well as direct classroom support.

This direct classroom support was provided by Cue Learning using the expertise
of Sharon Callen. The intent of the support was for Sharon to work closely with
individual teachers in specific classes. Each teacher was supported across one
semester. The constraints of the timetable and Sharons availability determined,
in part, the teachers and classes supported.

Sharon discussed teaching topics, learning intent and the literacy aspects of the
teaching with the individual teachers prior to undertaking class visits. This
allowed the teachers to identify the focus areas. These class visits occurred on a
two to three week rotation ensuring that each teacher involved worked directly
with Sharon on six to eight occasions across the semester.

Each class visit was followed by a professional conversation between the
teacher and Sharon. Sharon also provided a formal Learning Log for each
teacher for each class observed.

The teachers involved shared their experiences and practice with a variety of
presentations at whole staff meetings.


Scale
During this time Sharon worked with 32 teachers across seven curriculum areas
on a variety of negotiated literacy initiatives with students of varying abilities
across Years 8, 9 and 10.

The curriculum areas involved were: Science, English, Humanities, PE/Health,
Mathematics, Technology (Digital Media), Arts (Dance and Drama).

The focus areas included: reading strategies and text selection, writing and
vocabulary, comprehension strategies, text features and scaffolding learning,
developing effective sentences and paragraphs, the impact of quickwrites on
student writing and classroom delivery.

Upskilling of staff and student support for learning



The challenge for Salisbury High Schools involvement with Cue Learning was to
assist teachers in building their skills at identifying explicitly the literacy aspects
of their teaching and supporting their students in developing their curriculum
specific reading, writing, vocabulary and comprehension knowledge.

The predominant focus areas across the five years of involvement were:

2011
the recognition of just right texts, reading strategies and the
development of classroom libraries English, Science, Humanities

2012
writing across curriculum areas PE/Health, Science and Maths

2013
comprehension and reading strategies and vocabulary Humanities,
Technology, Arts and Science

2014
Text features, comprehension strategies Maths, Science,
Humanities

2015
building subject specific vocabulary English, Science, Humanities

Writing was a constant focus.

Observation was also accompanied by direct discussion with students in class
and with identifying professional readings, strategies and resource ideas to
support teachers.

The impact on teacher practice has not only been in the classes involved but has
been across the range of classes that those teachers teach.

Some students were involved in this initiative across several of their classes and
have benefited from the literacy focus.

The senior school results over this time reflect, in part, the effectiveness of the
schools involvement with Cue Learning and the focus on literacy.

Just right readers and classroom libraries



Just right readers and classroom libraries formed the basis of the initial
involvement with Cue Learning. Sharon led a discussion with the first group of
teachers involved. As a result, a student reading survey was developed and the
results were used to facilitate book distributor displays at school and student
visits to bookshops in both Salisbury and Adelaide.

Students had the opportunity to select fiction and general interest books for the
school library and also subject and topic specific books for their classrooms.

Once the texts had been purchased, Sharon worked with classes and teachers to
develop the classroom libraries and encourage students to use effective reading
strategies.

Whilst the classroom libraries were used in the first year, there have been
challenges in continuing them from one year to the next. This continuity has
been easier in English than the other subject areas.

A workable alternative has been to hold the texts in the school library and create
different combinations of texts for a limited timespan for classroom use.

The Learning Log

The Learning Logs have been a consistent feature of the feedback and
feedforward for teachers as well as a platform for professional conversations.

The format of the Learning Log is one of information, reflection and
accountability.

The Learning Log identifies the teacher, year group and subject. It includes a
reflection on the staff development activities as well as identifying next steps for
the teacher, Literacy coordinator and the consultant.

Each teacher received a copy of the Learning Log after each class visit and before
the next. The Learning Log included information on all the classes observed. This
gave teachers insights into the development of the focus areas in other subjects
and provided an opportunity for sharing experiences.

The Learning Logs captured and extended the post lesson conversations. They
were the way of documenting and recording the dialogue and the exchange and
development of ideas.

Sharing of professional practice



Of the 32 staff involved with Cue Learning, 18 have presented at staff meetings
to the whole staff on their involvement and its impact on their teaching and
student learning.

All presentations have included examples of student work before and after, in
particular writing. Presentations have also included videos of classroom activity
and subject specific literacy resources developed and used. These have included
open and closed sorting techniques, creating classroom situations to encourage
subject specific dialogue, peer review of writing/assessment/evaluation tasks,
developing questions, using the register continuum.

An example of staff presentation:
In December 2014 the three teachers involved with Cue Learning during
Semester 2 of that year presented to staff.

Teacher A Science
Articulating thinking through question design how to help students develop
questions and what might questions in science look like that seek evidence
Staff activity:
How to establish a picture from the evidence available
Powerpoint:
Developing questions, using scientific language, in the search
for evidence student posters

Teacher B English
Using prior research and questioning skills modelling the process through
picture book analysis, evidence of students own work, recording
of students stories, annotated classwork techniques applied to
marking
Staff activity:
Picture books on table Stevie to guide on one focus area for
annotation
Powerpoint:
Cue learning as a sounding board for developing ideas. Direct
classroom involvement allowed identification of good practice

Teacher C Science
Accessing and thinking about scientific information using the textbook a
glossary of terms was built up through discussion, students
became more comfortable and confident using scientific
language, students moved along the register continuum in the
way they talked about science. Have been applying similar
techniques across other classes.

Teacher feedback

The feedback form has five sections. Included below is a range of responses
that teachers involved with Cue Learning made in each of those five sections.

The information sought was:

What has been the impact for you of/on:

Professional conversations and your understanding on subject based
literacy
The post lesson conversations provided an opportunity for real reflection on
classroom practice.
General awareness of subject based literacy including interpretation of diagrams
and graphs.
Identifying useful strategies like thinking squares and word walls to help in the
interpretation of scientific data.
Conversations leading to the development and unpacking of lessons were very
supportive and led to changes in classroom practice encouraging active listening,
students making decisions about sources of information.
Whilst the conversations were appreciated and enjoyed (giving reassurance of
effective learning tasks) the advice for improvement was only small adjustments
I know understand that literacy is a whole school responsibility. I have geared
changes to all our design brief and evaluation exercises.
Explicit and beneficial with direction/ideas towards practical and purposeful
process/structures to help shape student learning and communication.
Allowed for alternative ideas/ways of thinking to be unlocked ahead of time so
that ideas could be implemented as activities in class.

The learning logs and suggested resources
The learning logs were useful and guided my own reflection.
The observation notes were good to read to reinforce that what I was doing was
effective for my students learning.
The Learning Logs were useful to keep track of progress. The students responded
well to the suggested materials and strategies.

Classroom practice and the agreed focus
Some of my classroom practices have changed to reflect greater emphasis on
terminology, definitions and sentence construction but there is still work to be
done in this area.
The literacy focus allowed my teaching practice to develop.
I was able to focus on small aspects like bookwork and neatness.

The focus on decoding unfamiliar text through analysing words, expanding student
vocabulary and other strategies allowed students to be able to access more
sophisticated texts.
I was able to utilise more effective methods of using/teaching subject specific
language/terminology. I now use glossaries across all classes that I teach,
including senior classes.
I was able to make huge shifts in implementing new strategies to improve the
writing tasks.
The discussions on communication/student led focus has benefited me individually
and professionally and allowed reflective growth.
I actually found it easier teaching with Sharon in the class as the kids knew what
she was there for and were able to show off their work. Her insights and ideas
gave students ownership and responsibility and acted as a sounding board for me
in class practice.

Development in pedagogy
Changing pedagogical approaches takes a great deal of time. Constant
reinforcement from CUE Learning facilitates this. My awareness of my use of
language has improved as a consequence. Technical terms are introduced with a
greater concern for students with literacy issues. More emphasis is placed on
moving students language across the register.
My pedagogy has definitely improved in relation to how I view teaching and
conveying information.
I actually do a lot without realising it and CUE learning has helped me to be more
explicit.
I have developed the explicit teaching of book based resources for humanities
looking at sources of information and making judgements about reliability.
The formal identification of open sorting as a technique is now something I
consciously do across my classes to help students identify patterns or links.
I now approach all writing tasks in a manner that does not assume that students
are writers. This is the only T&D that has made a lasting change for me.
The strategies and ideas in comprehension and professional/pedagogical
processes have allowed immediate implementation of practice in the school wide
humanities curriculum.
Cue helped with classroom resources in a significant way, the activities were well
thought out. The resources were very supportive in developing student
understanding. I was able to try different tactics.

Student engagement and achievement
Student surveys suggest they are quite happy with the understandability of
instructions.
Increased ability to engage with content.

Including students in making subject based decisions fostered a stronger sense of


curriculum ownership.
The strategies I have used have improved student engagement and achievement.
A huge change in the quality of writing within the class and in comparison to
similar classes that have not unpacked the writing process.
Has allowed more student involvement and expression in the communication of
knowledge and key ideas. Very happy.
Students were engaged as the work was scaffolded enough to allow for several
entry points. Students became proud of their achievements and were confident as
the term went on.


Concluding comments

The school has valued the involvement of Cue Learning and the focus on
classroom practice and pedagogical change over the period 2011- 2015.

This initiative has been one of many adopted by Salisbury High School over this
period and has undoubtedly assisted in raising the achievement of the students.

The emphasis on professional conversations and the upskilling of staff in subject
specific literacies has allowed for positive reflection and improved classroom
practice and approaches in literacy across the curriculum.

Appendix A

Teacher feedback


Teacher
Your feedback is important in evaluating the effectiveness of our involvement with Cue
learning over time.
Please respond to the following questions and return to me by the end of Week 3 (Friday 19
Feb).
What has been the impact for you of/on:
1. professional conversations and your understanding of your subject based literacy

2. the journal logs and suggested resources

3. classroom practice and the agreed focus

4. development in pedagogy







5. student engagement and achievement

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Appendix B

Cue Learning staff involvement in classroom literacy initiatives 2011 - 2012


Year

Semester

1
2011
2

2012

Teacher

Curriculum
area

Teacher
Teacher
Teacher
Teacher
Teacher
Teacher
Teacher
Teacher
Teacher
Teacher
Teacher
Teacher
Teacher

Science
English
Humanities
Humanities

Teacher
Teacher

LINK Science
LINK Science

Year
group

Focus

English
8

Reading strategies and


text selection,
Just right texts
Classroom libraries

Science

PE/Health

Reading strategies and


text selection,
Just right texts
Classroom libraries
Issues analysis writing
Writing and vocabulary
Scientific method and
prac writing

8
2

Teacher

Maths

Teacher
Teacher
Teacher

Maths
LINK Science
LINK Maths

Presentation
to staff
Yes







Yes
Yes

Yes

Yes
NAR
Comprehension
Expo

Classroom libraries in
maths and writing

Yes

Link with SEAP project


focus on student writing



Yes

Cue Learning staff involvement in classroom literacy initiatives 2013 2015


Year

Semester

1
2013

Teacher

Curriculum
area

Teacher
Teacher
Teacher
Teacher
Teacher
Teacher
Teacher

LINK Science
Humanities
Digital media
Dance
Drama
LINK Science
Science

Teacher
Teacher
Teacher
Teacher

ICT
Digital media
Humanities
Humanities

Teacher
Teacher

Maths
Science

Teacher

Humanities



2014

Focus

Presentation
to staff

8 & 9
10

Writing
Reading strategies
Writing
Vocabulary
Language and writing
Writing
Comprehension and
reading strategies
Language, vocabulary
and writing
Text features and writing
Comprehension
strategies
Scaffolding learning
Text features, scaffolding
and writing
Building vocabulary and
homework reading tasks
Text features linked to
Information reports
Developing reading
strategies and text
features
Developing effective
sentences and
paragraphs



Yes
Yes
Yes

Yes

Teacher
9
2

2015

Year
group

Teacher

Science

Teacher

English

Teacher

English
Humanities

9X

12

Yes
Yes


Yes





Teacher
Teacher
Teacher

Science

Humanities

9X
8X

2
Teacher

Science

Building vocabulary over


time and tracking
progress

The impact of
quickwrites on student
writing and classroom
delivery
Continuation of Semester
1 approach.



Yes

Yes








By the end of 2015 a total of 32 staff will have worked with Sharon Callen across seven curriculum areas on a variety of literacy initiatives
with students across Years 8, 9 and 10.

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Appendix C

Consultant Name

Sharon Callen

Date

16/9/14

School Name

Salisbury High School

School Address

Salisbury

Region

Northern Adelaide

Type of Work

Personalised Learning Classroom Based

Current Goals for this School / Grade

Communication Criteria: Writing, Vocabulary, Speaking


Differentiation
Higher Order Thinking


PARTICIPANTS

STAFF DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES

NEXT STEPS
Teacher/Literacy Coordinator

NEXT STEPS
Consultant

Teacher
Year 8 English

the teacher and her student teacher have been co-planning a new
unit of work around the text, Dont Call Me Ishmael.
The student teacher delivered this lesson, giving the teacher and
Sharon some opportunity to extend the planning process and
consider the comprehension strategies that could form a strong part
of this unit.
Sharon provided Barretts Taxonomy of Thinking strategies to both
teachers
Sharon and the teacher also drew on two further resources Sharon
provided
These resources were left with the teachers at their request

the teacher is incorporating more tools and techniques into the
lesson structure to activate the students thinking
Use of brainstorming, thinking prompts, student discussion,
students being called on individually to reveal their thinking (in this
double lesson, students were called on no less than 4 times each, to
articulate thinking)
the teachers key question: How do I better engage students in
deeper thinking?
Post lesson discussion lead to 2 focus areas:
1. Exit strategies for the lesson to capture understandings, new
learning, confusions
2. Develop close reading strategies, to activate students thinking
when reading
the teacehr combined with another science class to demonstrate a
number of chemical reactions
To engage students in thinking and sharing, the teacher had
students record thinking, ideas, questions on small whiteboards

the teacher and student teacher to use the professional


resources to gain a better understanding of the importance of
teaching students the strategies that good readers use before,
during and after reading a text
The key to this planning is to remember that teaching strategies
means teaching the reader and not only teaching the book

Sharon to support the teacher next term in further developing her


understanding of comprehension strategies and empowering
applications

the teacher to develop cards for possible exit strategies: eg


-
Jot down 3 deep new understandings from today
-
What are 2 new learnings and 1 burning question?
-
What are you curious to discover?
-
Using the vocabulary of the unit, demonstrate a new
understanding
-
Demonstrate your understanding of three content
vocabulary words

Sharon to have the teacher share some successful exit strategies he


develops
Sharon to interview two teachers post USA visit to High tech High re
deep learning and what they learned from their experiences

Post lesson reflection: Develop an expectation that students will


be asked to contribute their thinking/questions/engagement
through random selection of students throughout the lesson
(easier with one class at a time!) This strategy is developing solidly

Sharon to encourage a joint presentation by three teachers re


activating thinking and articulation
Two articles referencing Steve Jobs (and others) concern with
childrens overuse of technology, as promised to the teacher

Teacher
Year 9 Humanities

Teacher
Year 9 Science

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Teacher
Year 9 Science

throughout the lesson


the teacher used prompts to engage the students in being active
thinkers
What all teachers found puzzling was students ambivalent
response to experiments and thinking prompts

This lesson focused on students using text to support them in
deepening their understanding and to use information effectively
the teacher has also deepened students ability to read strategically
evidence: Using the text to read back for answers, using headings
and subheadings as cues for relevant information, using background
knowledge
the teacher has developed, through persistence, a culture of
thinking, articulating thinking and accountability
Homework task: the teacher gave each student a pictorial
procedure of Acid Rain. Students were asked to turn this series of
pictures into words.

in the teachers class, where a culture of articulating thinking is


building. The teacher is establishing this as a strong strategy
through the use of named pop sticks randomly drawn.
Collegial discussions could develop this strategy to suit the
teachers style and class

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/11/fashion/steve-jobs-apple-was-
a-low-tech-parent.html?referrer=&_r=2
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/relationships/fatherhood/1108897
3/Apples-Steve-Jobs-was-concerned-about-his-childrens-gadget-
use.html

Post lesson discussion revolved around the next steps in the


homework task
Subsequent lesson to homework would have the teacher
develop an Acid Rain vocabulary list from student input. The
teacher would add any missing key words
Students would then, thinking like scientists, using their
homework writing, and the vocabulary words to write a stronger
description of the processes that lead to Acid Rain

Sharon to photograph elements oft his process and compare the


two writing tasks

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