Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Inquiry Update - Word Worm

This term my inquiry is investigating into how I can support a group of three students to retain high frequency words. Reflection on the teaching programme in the first term highlighted that these students were retaining knowledge that was repeated over a series of days, they enjoyed working with manipulative materials and also were more engaged in tasks where an element of challenge and competition was involved. Often in the first term, I had not taught individual words on consecutive days, therefore the students had not been repeatedly exposed to a word until they were able to commit this knowledge to memory. 

The designed intervention was therefore going to incorporate an element of repetition, overlearning, challenge and competition. I created a digital tool called "Word Worm" where students completed a series of slides based on one particular word. They would complete the same "Word Worm" task daily until they could read this word without teacher support (the teacher would test the student randomly on the word - to make sure the student had retained the word over a period of time the test would be completed when the students arrived to school in the morning).

Here you can see the designed digital tool with a brief explanation of each slide:

In order to incorporate an element of challenge and competition, the students were told that for every 5 words they learnt they would be able to select a prize out of the prize box. A record of the words they had learnt were placed on the wall - this worked as a word bank for students to refer to throughout the date and also was a visible progress chart.

The students have really enjoyed the activity so far and I definitely believe the extrinsic motivation of a prize helped to encourage their engagement. Reflecting on the intervention so far, I believe  in order to ensure that the learnt words are not forgotten I need to create a "test" activity where each new word they learn is added and reviewed. 

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