iFLT 2018 – Part 3 – Reading Strategies

This workshop was presented by Bryce Hedstrom.

Bryce told us that we should give our students lots of opportunities to read. Use FVR (Free Voluntary Reading) time. Start this slowly, with 3 minutes at first, gradually building up to 10 minutes. More advanced students may want to read for even longer! Read your current class story , then change it a little each lesson and read embedded versions of the story, or read a parallel story and compare it with the original.

Bryce suggests that if you are using a class novel (more advanced students), then first locate the essential structures. These are what you need to teach before starting with the novel. Pre-teach the Super 7 and structures that will be repeated throughout.

Post Story/Chapter Activities:

  • Bryce gives his students points depending on how they respond to the story – if they state a fact, they receive 2 points, if they listen and respond (to the fact) they get 5 points and if they ask a question they get 5 points.
  • Read the story – in pairs, on their own (with a worksheet to complete) or reading club with the teacher.
  • Independent readers can write comprehension questions about the story, co-operative groups could read on their own and then make a book map or some other group project.
  • Popcorn Reading
  • Translate line-by-line
  • comic strip retell
  • wanted poster for main character
  • create a text conversation between two characters

From Reading to Assessment

The following can be used as assessment:

  • parallel read with questions (in English)
  • cold read with questions (in English)
  • Bloom’s type questions may be used for older students

Reconnect with the Real World

  • do simple science experiments
  • presiden Joko selfies (with black velvet peci)
  • infographic (how many students have a dog, cat, etc)
  • make sure authentic resources are interesting and not frustrating to read
  • adapt materials to rebus style (using pictures in place of words)

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iFLT 2018 – Part 2 – Starting off the Year

Getting Off to a Good Start – presentation by Carrie Toth

Carrie Toth

A good way to start the year is by folding a little card of A5 and asking kids to write their name on it and a picture of something they like, or something they did on their holiday. Then you can Circle with Balls Ben Slavic Circling with Balls

Or you can start the year with Bryce Hedstrom’s KLB (Special Person) Special Person

Use stories to increase the input. You can tell a story, ask a story or listen to a (familiar) story. Use silly stories! Find a resource that inspires (eg the news story about the 12 soccer boys being trapped in the cave in Thailand), build a story from an image or a story based on the Super 7, a personal experience or on a familiar folktale/story that students would already know (Goldilocks).

Don’t limit  yourself to picture talks! Use pictures from National Geographic, do map talks (cari Sumatra, warnai laut biru – find Sumatra, colour the sea blue) and recipe talks. Use follow-up activities to add input, such as a Round-the-World quiz (students move to different parts of the classroom) where students write their answers in different spots around the room. Or put lots of laminated pictures in the middle of a circle and anyone who wants to picks up a picture and says something about it. (You cannot repeat what has already been said) This is called ‘Circle the Wagon’.

Transition well: give classroom jobs, have students up and moving, emphasise the connection between what you are doing and why, have everything set up and ready to go and vary the types of input you use.

Get grades in the gradebook: use exit tickets (5 quick questions), quick writes, compare/contrast, venn diagram, what’s your opinion/why? (for upper levels, or use emojis)

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Use a related video to stretch out your story:  Jurassic FartBHD Cactus Bank. Make predictions, but with younger students give them options eg Is he going to run, or is he going to eat? Continue to use previous structures and add new ones as needed.  Take screenshots of your video. Put all of these up on the Smartboard, or print and laminate all the slides. Use the ‘gutter’ (spaces between the pictures) to make up stuff about the places, characters, etc that are not obvious. Manipulate the students to get them to remember difficult words (this is a Year 5 word so you guys probably won’t be able to remember it). Use 5 main pictures for retelling.

Screen Shot 2018-07-26 at 12.44.38 pmTo do this, use Powerpoint. Insert different shapes, then select shape fill, then picture.  Ask your students to retell the story. Share a picture of the slide to their iPads, or ask them to take a photo. Then they tell the story to a face (a stuffed animal face, a picture of someone), then to a friend, then to the teacher.

Assessment of the story could be:

  • retell to a partner (record and send to teacher)
  • write the story
  • write a different story
  • write questions to the character, or for a quiz

iFLT in Cincinnati, USA! Part 1 – Coaching.

I have wanted to attend this annual conference for a while, but hesitated due to the expense. The US-based conference is aimed at helping teachers teach for proficiency using CI-based strategies (See iFLT for more details). When Bu Cathy expressed an interest in going as well, I decided that 2018 was going to be the year for iFLT. I was more than ready!

Coaching for Coaches

Encouraged by Bu Cathy, I decided to also attend the Coaching for Coaches workshop held on the Monday before the main 4 day conference. I am so glad I did! It was a small group, so we had a chance to take the roles of coach, teacher, student and observer. What a great way to encourage and nuture up-coming CI teachers! I loved the quote one of the presenters (Michelle Kindt and Terri Wiechart) showed us “Comparison is the thief of joy” (Theodore Roosevelt). A great reminder not to compare ourselves with other teachers, we all have our own style of teaching and we are all great! I also loved “People who aren’t smiling are the ones who need a smile the most”, a reminder that CI teaching is not only teaching to the eyes, but teaching to the heart.


  1. The teacher must feel safe
  2. Discussion must be carefully directed by the coach
  3. The focus is on the skill, not the language
  4. The experience must empower the teacher

These are the steps we followed while we were coaching:

  1. Go through the rules with the participants
  2. Set up chairs and positions for students, observers, teacher and coach.
  3. Explain to the teacher how the activity works, asking them about the age group and experience of the ‘students’ and the skill they are wanting to focus on.
  4. Give them time to write up language structures on the whiteboard while you as coach explain the roles of ‘students’ and ‘observers’.
  5. Ask the teacher how much time they want, and time them. Tell them they may stop at any time.
  6. Guide the discussion,  asking the teacher, ‘students’ and ‘observers’ how the teacher made them feel part of the classroom community and how the teacher kept it comprehensible. Don’t forget to ‘feed forward’ and well as feed back! (How would you continue this lesson? Where would you go next with this?) If anyone gets off task, tell them, “We don’t have time!”