At our last Ongoing Professional Learning session we were shown this video about Ba-Da-Bing. It is about adding extra information to make sentences more interesting / exciting. The student starts with a simple idea and then thinks about: Where did I go? What did I see? How did I feel?

Our tutor gave us the starting sentence ‘I watched the football’. In pairs we added more information using the 3 questions above, e.g. Last season I watched Carlton play St Kilda at Etihad Stadium. It was great to see the Carlton fans madly cheering and waving their flags as wins didn’t happen very often. l was so excited that there was hope for the future.

Here is another video about applying Ba-Da-Bing using slightly different questions (that mean the same thing).

Teachers can use 3 pictures ( e.g. feet, eyes, thought bubble) to prompt the students to think and talk about what they are going to write. Talking is important for getting ideas and picturing an event or topic in our minds so that we can describe it to someone else. This will help students to clarify what they are going to write. We came away from our session planning to try Ba-Da-Bing with our students.

Word Solving Prompts for Writing

writingHere are some word solving prompts I have recently used when my students have been working out how to write an unknown word. I have a list of all the words that each student has independently written before so l know which words will be useful for comparisons. I might also refer to books that were just read, or refer to previous pages in the writing book.

Say it slowly. Do you know a word like that? (zoo)

Say the 2 parts. Think about he. You know the ending.

Do you think it will be c, k or ck? Are you going to write n or en? (What would you expect to see?)

You know a word that rhymes with book. (look)

What will go on the end to make it look right? (Same prompt had been successfully used for bike.)

It ends like mother, father, monster.

Look back at this page. Look how you wrote rain. Circle the 3 letters making the ‘ain’ sound. Use them in paint.

Baby Bear asked a question – Who makes honey? Think about who in the book. How did it start? Can you write more? Let’s check it.thinking

When a prompt is given you are asking the child to activate his / her thinking.

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Processing Strategies


3537327425At our last Ongoing Professional Learning session we were reminded of the reading process and the strategies that our students need to develop to become more independent readers. We had recorded samples of our students reading and we shared our observations. We were especially looking to see how often students were told a word, and how much reading work the student used before help was given. (Remember to give ‘wait time’ so that your child is actively trying something first.)

Some questions to think about as the student reads aloud:

Is he attending and searching? For example: purposely looking for information within the print and pictures, known words, familiar text features (punctuation, words that are in bold /italics etc.) and sentence structure (grammar / we can say it that way).

Is she predicting? For example: Anticipating what will come next / forming expectations by using prior knowledge of experiences and language.

Is he cross-checking and confirming? For example: Checking that it makes sense and fits with what has already been read.

Is she self-correcting? For example: Stopping /  looking puzzled, searching for  additional information to arrive at the right meaning.

These are all processes that your child is being prompted to use every time he / she reads from the earliest lessons to the last lesson.

Accumulating the parts of a word

Your child may come to an unknown word and just stop reading,
e.g. The racing car went in the muddy puddle and made a big car

You could prompt him / her to take some action (if you think that it is a word he / she is likely to be able to solve).
“Go back to the beginning of the sentence and get ready to start that word”.
The racing car went in the muddy puddle and made a big s_____.
(Say the 1st letter with him/her if necessary.)
“Can you say more?”
“Try it all again.”
The racing car went in the muddy puddle and made a big sp____.

This may be enough information for your child to work out that the word is splash. If not, you could do some more prompting.
“Say it slowly like you do when you write”.
sp-l-ash, spl-ash (or any other variation trialled by the reader).
“Check it”.
The racing car went in the muddy puddle and made a big splash.
“Does that sound right?”
“Does it look right?”

In this example the child is asked to reread to regather the meaning and structure of the sentence and to accumulate the parts of the word by starting with the 1st part and adding more. Encourage your child to say chunks (spl-ash) rather than letter by letter (s-p-l-a-s-h) as this is what efficient readers do. The aim is to have the child take some action rather than waiting to be told the unknown word.