Scaling Up Excellence means improving with a plan that an organisation or group of people adheres to with some differences for localisation. I have been mesmerised by the concepts in this book and have been trying them at a whole class level. The examples in the book are compelling. When I think of the concept of uniformity, I think of McDonalds and the way the company has a rigorous system in place that all stores adhere to-it is a proven system that brings results. But there is variation in prices at the local level.
Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less
After reading different parts of the book, I decided to apply the concepts to a class.
Have you ever wondered if you could have the whole class achieving 100%?
I decided to improve class spelling, just at the word level for the moment and then in writing later. Why I have decided to concentrate only on the word at this stage is because a lot of children have failed to learn the sounds, the rules and the delights of spelling. Yes, I did say the delights!!
In order to perfect spelling and achieve 100%, it was necessary to start at a lower grade in the school. By doing this I would be assured that there weren’t many children who had fallen behind and if there were a few, it would be easy to bring them up to speed. That is also one of the many reasons why early intervention is so important.
In the classroom there are children with disabilities and others who find it difficult to begin a task, pay attention and complete a task once the teacher walks away from their desk. In order to achieve a hundred percent it is important that all children know that we are relying on each and every one of them to gain a top score. This means that every child has to listen carefully, be ready to learn and know what is expected.
The second point is that the class must go over the sounds every day. For some classes this means moving to more complex sounds and learning new sounds each week.
Thirdly, the class must be able to write all the letter combinations that they have learnt for each sound. For the lower grades these letter combinations are fewer than the higher grades. For Grade One an example would be the letter combinations that they have learnt so far for the sound of /e/. The children are expected to write: e, e-e meaning magic e or VCE, ee, ea and y. This is a very important area of spelling. It is quite easy for students to say the sound when the letters are in front of them but to recall the group of sounds and write them can be difficult for some children. This is entirely different to the strategy used to improve reading-saying the sounds as the letters are presented.
Each day, with small individual whiteboards on the desk and pens ready the children begin the half hour lesson to perfect spelling. Every child must be ready before the lesson begins with pencil sharpened and whiteboard cleaned. It is the child’s responsibility to have all items ready so that no time is wasted.
Each day all concepts previously taught are rehearsed and once per week a new concept is introduced. Last week we began beginning and end consonants blends. This week this work will be added to the rehearsal area and long o will be introduced.
Rehearsal means that the child has the opportunity to improve and consolidate each concept or knowledge. Every two weeks there is a little assessment to see if all the class has achieved the work that has be taught. If they haven’t they are placed in a target group to reteach and practice what they didn’t know. All work with the children is completed in the classroom.
Children are rising to the expectations.
A scope and sequence of letters, sounds and rules is adhered to as well as an amazing program that supports teachers and parents with delivery. Follow the link below to access information about the best program available. Without the best program children will not succeed https://www.allaboutlearningpress.net/go.php?id=1374
Ann Foster tutors children who have difficulties in reading, writing and spelling.
Contact Ann on 0414340883 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Diploma of Teaching
Bachelor of Educational Studies
Master of Education (Special Needs)
Master of Education (Counselling & Guidance)