As I talked about in my previous post, I decided that I would add 2 new learners to the group as a way to spark some more conversation. This has the added benefit of making the group a mixed ability group. An unintended consequence, but a happy one, is that the original 4 students took the lead as they 'taught' the newcomers what we were trying to do. This has been an amazing change as we have had the most interactions that we have had so far. This ties in well with what Dr Hunter talks about in maths.
'Our achievement results for Pasifika children are “dismal, heartbreaking”, says Associate Professor Bobbie Hunter, but they do not accurately reflect their capabilities. Because Pasifika children tend not to talk, their teachers assume they don’t understand and put them in a bottom group. Once there, they become trapped in a self-reinforcing cycle of low expectations.'
It is interesting that we have grouped our students for instructional reading for so long that perhaps we have locked our lower students into a cycle where they are only exposed to talking about text in a way that is lowered by the abilities of the people in the group. If we are aiming for acceleration in makes sense that we try new things to break the cycle of what we have always done.
I am excited by the possibilities that this session has brought up. I am looking forward to seeing what happens next with this group of learners.