Resources: Shared Classroom Strategies

These resources have been shared by a range of contributors.

Y and T Charts

Y and T charts can be used as a strategy to activate prior knowledge and involve learners in in-depth thinking and dialogic sense-making around new problems, concepts or topics.

It encourages students to move from concrete to abstract descriptors and helps build their knowledge and understanding of new concepts or ideas. It enables the teacher to 'see' their students thinking, and to discuss or clarify their understanding.

Contributed by Hine Waitere.

Pair Definitions

This vocabulary strategy provides students with the opportunity to recall and write their own definitions of key academic or subject specific words and find out how well their definitions convey the intended meaning to another student.

It gives teachers the opportunity to assess their students' understanding of key vocabulary (generalised academic as well as subject specific vocabulary).

Contributed by Raewyn Ngaamo.

Word Maps

Word maps can be used to active students' prior knowledge of the subject content that terms relate to.

The purpose of this strategy is to introduce students to new vocabulary through collectively brainstorming words that relate to a single "focus word" chosen by the teacher. This allows the teacher to find out what relevant words the students already know and to introduce new words.

The word map can also clarify relevant subject-specific meaning of a word that has more than one meaning.

Contributed by Stephen Rowe.

Concept Star

The Concept Star is a thinking organiser that activates prior knowledge, enables students to externalise their current conceptual knowledge or clarify misconceptions, make predictions and develop vocabulary.

This strategy can be used in multiple ways - individuals initially, then in pairs or groups - as a pre-reading activity or at the introduction to a new topic or concept. The dialogic aspect of this strategy is the most important part - where conceptions can be developed further and misconceptions deal with by those with more expert knowledge.

Contributed by Nyree King.

Media Literacy Activity Ideas

This is a group of ideas through which students can develop critical literacies within science, technology and mathematics by engaging with the media.

These ideas are useful as starters for teachers to create contextualised learning opportunities and ways to engage students in develop critical literacy. They may also work to support students to co-construct their own contexts for learning.

Contributed by Dawn Lawrence.

Comprehension Strategies

The following strategies have been shared by Kate Christensen from William Colenso College. Kate offers detailed explanations for how each strategy support learners to develop comprehension skills, how teachers can support students’ learning, and how to implement the strategy. She also provides references and ideas for further reading.

Concept Circles

The following three strategies have been shared by Roz Clent from Kerikeri High School. Roz gives examples of how she has used these strategies with her Y13 Art History students however, as she points out, these strategies are easily adapted to other year levels, curriculum areas or learning needs.

Predict and Check

This example is contributed by Julian Cosgrove from Kerikeri High School. It is focused around Social Studies - however, it can be easily adapted for other curriculum areas. Ako relationships for learning can be activated when students work in pairs to predict (before reading) and to check and collect evidence from the text (after reading).

Dialogic three-level guide (adapted from Rowe et al, 2000)

Robbie Lamont, a member of the Kia Eke Panuku team, contributes this strategy. Robbie provides a basic outline of Three-level guides, suggests how they can support literacy across the curriculum and makes connections to culturally responsive and relational contexts for learning. An example of a Three-level guide is provided along with website links.

Read (View or Watch) and Retell (adapted from Brown and Cambourne, 1987)

This literacy strategy is contributed by Robbie Lamont, a member of the Kia Eke Panuku team. Robbie provides an outline of the strategy, suggests how it can support literacy across the curriculum, and makes connections to culturally responsive and relational contexts for learning. Possible applications of this strategy to support the development of oral and visual literacy skills are also suggested.

Best Evidence Synthesis Exemplars

Therese Ford, a member of the Kia Eke Panuku team, shares two strategies from the Best Evidence Synthesis Exemplars: Reciprocal Teaching (BES Exemplar 4) and Learning Logs (BES Exemplar 5).

Authentic Learning Contexts

Lisa Larwood is from Flaxmere College. Lisa’s strategy focuses on creating an authentic context to engage students with reading. She outlines how she has implemented this approach with Year 8 students using comprehension skills to locate relevant information in a text. She also provides a journal article for background reading.

Rugby and Automatic Writing

Simon Williams is at Queen Charlotte College. He has shared two strategies. The first he calls Rugby! It's a quiz game that develops subject specific vocabulary and knowledge. He suggests it also helps build positive relationships and provides opportunities to review previous learning. Automatic writing is a successful strategy to initiate student writing.

Other resources within the Literacy Network Kete