Once I had finished my first semester of uni I went back to help at the school and in the prep room I could see the differences from the start of term 1 and the 2nd to last week of term two, the preps had greatly improved.
- They know the alphabet, and what sounds that they make.
- Days of the week.
- Can count well.
- Most handwriting is legible –two finger spaces mostly remembered.
- Some students are writing phonetically and others can do so with help (the zone of proximal development).
- I could see that they are really settled in their routines and rituals-evidence when they told another teacher what they were ‘supposed’ to be doing when she filled in for the regular class teacher.
- I saw that they had reading and writer’s workshops in operation and the kids were all sorted at the appropriate levels. The groups were even adjusted so that the children that were moving up in levels were in the correct group. The groups were of things that do not give the level differences away to the students. The explanation phrased in such a way that the students did not realise what changing the groups meant- improving levels.
- Saw evidence of how a mini lesson works, followed by a ~40 minute work session- had seen this at the start of the year but now it really connects to what I have learnt.
- Saw how in literacy activities different groups had to complete the same task with different variations to it according to what level they were at. The kids did not seem to grasp that they were supposed to be doing different things-one group was supposed to order the animals in the way that they appeared in the book and the other was not, they did not seem to realise this distinction and did what they wanted to do.