Last Friday we met with our Ongoing Professional Learning group of Reading Recovery teachers and tutor. Some of us travel over an hour, and a few very dedicated teachers travel over 2 hours to join in with the sharing and learning at these meetings.
Our main focus was making the most use of our daily running records to drive our teaching choices. We were reminded to look for patterns of responses (strengths and weaknesses) over a number of days to set student goals. We also discussed ways of recording more information on our running records to capture the behaviours of the students as they are reading, e.g. long pauses, short pauses, grouping words together in phrases, word by word stretches, responses to punctuation, and comments from the students. (A different type of comment from one of my students last week was “Can l have this room when you’re dead?”. When l replied that l didn’t plan on being dead for quite a while he looked me up and down and seemed quite sceptical!)
Another discussion point was about self corrections. We celebrate when our students self correct errors, especially in the first half of their series of lessons because it shows that the student acknowledges that an error has been made and is then able to solve the error in some way. But if the student is continually making a lot of self corrections we have to question why so many errors are being made in the first place. Is he / she scanning ahead to see what is coming next? Is he / she only thinking about the meaning, or is she /he only looking at a few letters and guessing?
The professional development we do always leads to many questions as we reflect on our own teaching behaviours. It is not only the students who are doing the continual learning.