Digital teaching tips & tricks, ideas, examples, and general thoughts and reflections. Follow my Inquiry.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Anecdotal Evidence

I love anecdotal evidence. It's the 'feel good' stuff in an inquiry.

As my Year 6's are beginning to undertake their last round of testing for the year, I thought it would be nice to reflect on the other evidence I have collected surrounding their shift in reading, before I look at the "real data".

At the beginning of the year my class:
  • picked a book based on the cover.
  • did not care for or respect the books they were given to read.
  • found it difficult to sit and read for extended periods of time.
  • did not know the author of the book they were reading.
  • spent the majority of "silent reading time" trying to catch each others eyes or whisper to one another.
  • did not ever finish a book from cover to cover.
  • did not care if the book was too easy, or conversely too hard.
Image result for reading sucks meme
Now in Term 4 my class:
  • picks books based on the author or on someone else's recommendation, or at the very least by whether the blurb sounds interesting to them.
  • place a great detail of care over their books and the class library.
  • enjoy reading for extended periods of time, and a large number have admitted to reading at home at night and in the weekend.
  • always look at who the author is, and want to know what else they have written. Many of my students exclusively read books my our "class favourite" authors.
  • only spend a small amount of "silent reading time" trying to catch each others eyes or whisper to one another. ;)
  • almost always finish a book from cover to cover. Although, we allow a 3 chapter test if we are unsure after the blurb.
  • use the 5 finger reading test honestly to check the level of the text. Some students still reach too high, but do so knowing they will need to read slow, and possibly re-read parts or pages.
I do look forward to seeing their academic progress against their formal tests, but I am more than chuffed with their growth and maturity in regards to a love of reading.

Image result for love reading

Monday, 1 July 2019

Looking at the Data - Running Records

Wrapping up Term 2 it's good to reflect on how is the Silent Reading inquiry is going.

From a anecdotal perspective it's going great! The kids are really into reading and jump at the chance to do silent reading, rather than the horrible grumbly murmur that used to echo around the class. Some students have chosen to stick with one series or author, and are onto the 4-5th chapter book. Others like to chop and change regularly.

The hardest group, has been my readers who are reading below 8.5 years, as there is a far more limited selection of books. I also think they wish they were reading some of the higher level books that the other kids are too.

However, being that we just sent reports home with kids. I thought it would be good to look at the data.


Room 7 - Running Record Movement Term 2

 At a glance you can see the results are fairly positive.

  • Twelve students made expected 6 month shift
  • Seven students made 12-18 months shift
  • Six students made less than* 6 months shift

*I say less than instead of 0 months (or none) because for one of the readers in this category, although they did not make a 'half-year gain' they did in fact pass a running record level, and make progress.

So I wanted to show the scores in a slightly different light.

Room 7 - Number of Passed Running records Term 2

At a glance it looks very similar however the numbers are little bit more positive.

  • Eleven students passed 1 running record
  • Nine students passed 2-3 running records
  • Five students did not pass a running record

So what about these 5 that did not pass any tests?



  • No obvious connecting group (i.e. same cultural background, gender etc)
  • 3 at the same level(ish)
  • 1 in the top group
Anecdotally, these 5 couldn't be more different in the way that they engage with their silent reading. In fact, they aren't all that similar across any of their reading work. Because of that I won't be looking for a collective need, and will be trying to support them each at an individual needs level.