The Teacher's Tool Kit For Literacy

Introducing the 7 Timeless T's of Literacy

Episode Summary

In this episode, Sharon Callen provides a snapshot of the 7 Timeless T’s of Authentic Literacy instruction and talk about engaging children in literacy learning.

Episode Notes

Sharon covers a range of literacy learning insights and strategies, including:

"How do I engage every child in literacy learning?"

With literacy learning, what do teachers want? They want their kids to be engaged. They want to cater for all abilities and motivations.

Our approaches to literacy learning

It's not about a blanket program that works for all. Not every child is the same. Some approaches are better than others - Sharon has discovered this over years of teaching.

In the Cue toolkit, revealed to you on this podcast, there are some great tools and techniques that will enhance these approaches.

How do we know which approaches work best?

Over the years, Sharon has seen first hand the increase in engagement of the kids in their classes and those they work with. When students own their own learning, they are more engaged.

Sharon talks about the three selves – self-motivated, self-regulated, self-directed.

This is just a broad start!

Getting started with 7 Timeless T’s of Literacy Instruction

In this episode, Sharon goes through each of these as an overview and give ways they have worked in my classrooms and give techniques/tools that has been useful.

TOGETHER: All the children on the same task, together. This builds a community of learners. Learning together means that as the teacher we need to know our students well enough to provide an entry point for every child and no ceiling, allowing everyone a chance to grow. 

TIME: Allow plenty of time for students to read or write what they choose to read or write. Without this time they don’t have an opportunity to really demonstrate what they can do. 

TANTALISING TEXTS: In the previous episode Sharon and Phil talked about the central role literature takes in the Australian Curriculum and other curriculums. Building a tantalising library of books the students can choose from is key. It is this choice that research tells us is the most critical aspect to engaging readers. Tools: Easy to find and appealing books in attractive baskets is the first step in creating a great classroom library. Teachers find out what is wanted by students.

THINKER’S TALKING: Always make a time in literacy sessions – in the beginning, middle or end - for identified students to share to the whole group. This will be students who have gained a particular insights or discoveries that will benefit the rest of the group. Keep a roster of who is sharing so that over time all students are contributing. 

TRANSFORMATIVE TEACHING: Picking up on what you noticing in observations and conferring and then aligning the next steps in your teaching with the curriculum, you're honing in on where the needs of the students are – as individuals, in groups or as a whole class, you're looking for opportunities to take a group or individuals aside and teach them a new skill, as they need it, in that moment. 

TRUE TASKS: If tasks are meaningful they are more likely to engage the students. How do you make them more meaningful? This occurs when connections can be made across reading and writing.

TRANSFORMATIVE TRACKING: When you track the learning closely it’s more powerful than a standardised test in showing the teacher and the student where they are in their learning. 

Summarising the key themes:

● Allowing all children an entry point

● Empowering students through choice vs blanket scripts that they follow/top down approaches

● Learning together with Timeless T’s vs grouping students into ability groups 

End of episode questions:

● A tantalising text - The Beetle Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta

● A tool - Phil has mentioned a few including Reading Calendar A3 blank calendar grid

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The Teacher’s Tool Kit For Literacy is the free podcast for motivated teachers and school leaders who want the latest tips, tricks and tools to inspire their students and school community in literacy learning. 

Hear from literacy expert and founder of Cue Learning, Sharon Callen, and special guests.

At Cue Learning, our literacy specialists draw on over 30 years of teaching and international consulting experience to deliver world-class learning solutions. We equip, empower and support teachers to become their authentic selves. 

To find out about upcoming webinars, and about how Cue can help you and your school, visit the Cue Learning website

And you can get even more amazing teaching resources, right now, at Teachific

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Produced by Apiro Media

Episode Transcription

Podcast transcript Ep 2