Episode 15 Reading for Lifelong Learning

In this episode, Dan Jackson discusses why he sees reading as the number 1 skills needed for lifelong learning. He discusses how you can use NAPLAN results to come to know your students and find teaching strategies that will help them develop their reading.

Reading the most important skill for lifelong learning

Currently I am homeschooling my son who has just started school. One of the focuses for me over the coming years is to teach him how to read well.

He has already shown an interest in Learning and particularly enjoys using the App “Reading Eggs”, but of course I cannot leave this learning to him doing lessons on an app. 

From a young age my wife and I have read to my son… actually, I read to him while my wife was still pregnant. And he still loves having books read to him. But of course I want to shift his skills so that he can read on his own. And as I focus on this and think about the importance of this skill, I have realised just how important a skill it is for his future.

Once he can read, he can then learn anything he likes.

With the internet providing so much content these days and the increased accessibility to academic works, he can literally learn about anything on his own once he can read.

The same is true for our students. Being able to read is so key to their success as lifelong learners that we do a massive disservice when we don’t have this as a focus in every subject and each activity we do.

Previous workshop

  • I used to run a literacy workshop for teachers which really began with knowing your students
    I remember getting massively frustrated when I first began to learn more about literacy because I was finally exposed to the insights we can get into our studebts from NAPLAN results
  • Now our culture and society and many schools, especially principals have given NAPLAN a bad wrap using it as a way to compare one school against another.
  • I remember constantly being told that our school was ranked higher than surrounding schools, so we were doing well, but that was as much as we were told.
  • However, reality is that the results from NAPLAN provide you with fantastic insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the students in your class.
  • If you, like many teachers have not seen your students results from NAPLAN, I encourage you to ask your executive for access and for some training on how to navigate and interpret results. I know they used to, and hopefully still do, provide graphs that show the growth of each individual student which is real data you can use to see if students skills are improving

Class profile

  • One of the key steps in the workshop I used to run was to use the results from NAPLAN to create class profiles. All we did was enter each students overall result for Reading, Writing, Spelling, Grammar and Numeracy.
  • We then colour codes the results, red for students who scored lower than 50% and green for over 85% this then provided a quick snap shot of what the students know and don’t know
  • From here, if I had a student who any red I would create an individual profile for them breaking the skills down further.
  • Finally, I would find teaching strategies that matched the weaknesses. Amazingly, NAPLAN provide these as well. 

Give it a go!

  • Grab my templates by entering your Name and Email below
  • Get access to your NAPLAN results
  • Create a profile, identify an area for at least 1 student, but obviously the more you can help at once the better 
  • Then find the strategy you can use to help your student to develop their reading ability.
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