Tuesday, March 24, 2015

February Post- Lynn Burnham

After struggling with a jumping off point, I finally took the leap and started a mini inquiry with one of my small groups of 2nd graders.  I felt a little hesitant based on time constraints, and topic, but felt that I had to just jump in.  The inquiry topic I chose is around vowel teams and how they impact our reading and writing.  Now, keep in mind, these are struggling readers and I have them for a very limited amount of time each day.

So... here is my reflection:

I used to think:

  • vowel teams might be interesting
  • vowel teams might be fun to immerse ourselves in
  • vowel teams have an affect upon many of our words in the English language, and make what should be a simple act of decoding a very complicated process
  • kids who struggle in reading by second grade are getting caught up in attempting to decode phonemes that are not decode-able
  • I have enough time to do an inquiry with my intervention groups
  • The kids will have fun
  • I will have fun
Now I think:
  • Vowel team SUCK and this is NOT the right topic to study through inquiry
  • The kids did not have fun beyond our first couple of days of "vowel team hunts" and our decisions around how to categorize different vowel teams
  • Kids who struggle in reading struggle for many different, complicated reasons.  Explicitly immersing kids into vowel teams does not always teach them how to become systematic, fluent cross-checkers of their own reading  
  • I do NOT have enough time to do a full inquiry in my intervention groups... It sacrifices too much time that I HAVE to commit to scaffolding instruction
  • Now I get how Val Beckler struggled with her word ending Inquiry... and I give her HUGE kudos for seeing it through!
  • Sometimes it is OK to abandon ship mid-stream! :)
Phew-  lots of learning here for me personally!  I guess I need to accept failure and move on!!  

My new questions are:
  • HOW does inquiry look in a small, guided intervention group? 
  • CAN it work in this setting?
  • WHAT is the impact of it working in this setting?

1 comment:

  1. I am so impressed you attempted inquiry during your groups. Your time is so limited. I can understand how this would be a huge struggle. I am interestd to see how your thinking changes through the course of the rest of the year.