REVIEW OF MELIT AFTER-SCHOOL SESSION JANUARY 22, 2019
“I’VE TAKEN A RECORD OF ORAL LANGUAGE, NOW WHAT?”
- with Jennifer Flight, Reading Recovery Teacher Trainer, CIRR Western Region
Not only a chance to meet up with early literacy colleagues from across the city, not only a chance to enjoy salad and pizza courtesy of MELIT, the After-School session “I’ve Taken a Record of Oral Language, now what?” with Jennifer Flight, Reading Recovery Teacher Trainer, at Prince Charles Educational Resource Centre was an opportunity to think more deeply about how to use the information from Marie Clay’s assessment tool to guide teaching. Beyond getting a score on one of three levels - children working with complex language structures, average-for-age, and those children we are most worried about, those working with simple language structures - Jennifer invited us to describe what “structure” is. Then, thinking about how sentences are constructed, we analyzed how the ordering of the component parts of a sentence can convey different meanings and range in complexity. Listening to a child’s response to the assessment, we considered patterns of error and length of utterance. Then, using fun highlighters, we analyzed the language in the assessment to inform our grasp of sentence difficulty. Teachers appreciated the opportunity to work in partners to analyze the kinds of structures the child controlled in his writing. Finally, continuing to think of this student, Jennifer challenged us: “How is it we choose a book for him that’s going to be on his cutting edge?” Teachers were given texts for three very different stories and were invited to have a sincere debate with one another about which book they would choose, and why.
I knew the session had been impactful because the next week I received repeated requests from teachers to borrow copies of Clay’s “Record of Oral Language” text!
Submitted by M. Michelle Hildebrand
WSD Reading Recovery Teacher Leader