Welcome to my blog! I'm Karen Belt, a fourth year teacher working at Lynmore Primary School in Rotorua, New Zealand. I'm teaching in a Year 3 class using iPads to engage and motivate learners and improve student achievement. This blog documents my teaching journey and my learning processes with iPads in the classroom. I've proud of having been a member of the inaugural Manaiakalani Digital Teaching Academy(MDTA) program and last year a Spark Manaiakalani Innovative Teacher (MIT) and Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir teacher.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

More Reading PD

I love reading and its definitely my favourite curriculum area to teach.  It's no surprise therefore, that when we were given some choice in our inquiry topic this year that I would choose something to do with reading!

Today the junior teachers participated in our second session around the Gwenneth Phillips style of teaching reading, which forms the backbone of how we teach reading at Pt England School.  For me, hearing and seeing other teachers who have been teaching using this style for some time, demonstrate their practice was extremely purposeful.  I can also see the huge benefits of using the same prompts throughout the school so that learners become accustomed to them and progress can be built on in subsequent years.

While today's session focussed mostly on levels above where my learners are currently reading (Blue - Gold) there were plenty of take away messages embedded throughout the session and it reinforced again the importance of the micro teaching groups.


  • fluency - the importance of this was emphasised by teachers that are reading recovery trained - something I need to remember to practice during my guided reading lessons with learners at red level and above
  • focus on one prompt for a week or two - this allows the learners to really understand this prompt as well as embedding it as a habit in my teaching
  • Explain Everything is a terrific way of reinforcing the word work that occurs during a guided reading session - I'm constantly reminded how this makes the follow up activity more personalised to the needs of the individual or small group - I could see links between many of the activities I've created and the word work demonstrations today
Where to from here?
Again I can see areas where I'm not quite using the prompts correctly and need to be more precise with the language in order to ensure it lines up with the school wide reading pedagogy.  Definitely focusing on a prompt for a number of days/weeks will assist in getting the precise language correct and embedded in my pedagogy.  We have prompt cards as well as a rich powerpoint resource which will shortly be supported by teacher exemplars which will help to improve my practice.

This PD indirectly relates to my inquiry for the year and as I continue with that, I'll be building on the successes of the micro group guided reading sessions.  Already, in the month since our previous PD on the Gwenneth Phillips  methods I can see the phrases and language becoming more of my "teacher speak" and I look forward to continuing to work on this in the coming weeks and months.  Anything that makes me a better teacher of reading I will embrace wholeheartedly, as I'm passionate about reading and believe that it is so essential to learning in other areas




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