As part of our inquiry, we are also taking part in professional development across the school to ensure we are all on the same page. Last week, year 5-8 teachers had the privilege of having Dr. Jannie van Hees.
"Developing a Dialogic, Orally Expressive Classroom"
This was a great way for us as teachers, to take a good look at our practice and see how we explicitly grow student expression in the classroom. Most of us were able to reflect back on what we already have in place in our classrooms, but most of it happening accidentally - as a by product of what our initial focus for teaching was. Instead, Jannie has encouraged us to be more explicit in our teaching of oral language. We need to allow the students to think more freely on their feet, learn to retain chunks of information in their heads and be able to say it out loud later.
Some of this has allowed me to look back on what I had already learnt from TESSOL and act as a reminder on what I need to implement in my class. Some ideas that came to mind while Jannie was taking PD, was front loading information to your students so they have a starting point which student would be able to start making connections from.
I do hope to be able to report back what changes I have made in my teaching as a result of this PD.