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Bump It Up Wall Research – where is it?

Bump it up walls are displays intended to ‘bump up’ your students’ level of achievement. They are growing in popularity due to the research of John Hattie, and Lyn Sharrat, and are popping up in classrooms and staff meetings around the world.

While they are growing in popularity, Bump It Up Wall research is still notoriously hard to find. If you do a quick search on Google, then you will be disappointed to find that there are very few research papers specifically researching the effect size of BIUW pedagogy.

However, we can make links to other research about the way learners learn and John Hattie is a great place to begin. John Hattie found that worked examples have a very high effect, and as Bump It Up Walls are created from worked examples, the link is very clear.

A ‘worked example’ or text sample used within the Bump It Up Wall framework. The text is annotated.

So what is a worked example and how do they relate to bump it up wall research?

A worked example provides explicit guidance indicating how to solve a particular problem,

consisting of the problem statement along with a possible solution (Hilbert & Renkl, 2009;

Renkl, Atkinson, & Große, 2004). 

They are more commonly used in maths and science (think about mathematics anchor charts and textbook examples) but they can also be used in literacy settings (annotated modeled response, leveled text, writing exemplar).

Worked examples reduce cognitive load (Paas et al., 2003). For example, showing a student a figure of a square, rather than trying to describe the square verbally, reduces the extraneous cognitive load for that student. This means students’ attention can be redirected toward information that is important for the development of schemas, such as vocabulary and real-world examples (e.g squares are 2D shapes that have four equal sides – like a waffle or a floor tile).

Worked examples also demonstrate excellence (think of WAGOLL or ‘What a good one looks like’). In a classroom setting, we can use partially worked examples and give students the task of completing the ‘problem’, for example ending a story. We can also give students pairs of worked examples to compare and contrast.

bump it up wall research
Leveled texts with annotations.

So what makes effective worked examples and how do we emulate this in a Bump It Up Wall?

Renkl (2005) suggests that students only gain deep understanding through worked examples when the examples: 

(1) are self-explanatory. 

(2) provide principle-based, minimalist, and example-relation instructional explanations as help.

(3) show relations between different representations. 

(4) highlight structural features that are relevant for selecting the correct solution procedure. 

(5) isolate meaningful building blocks. 

To translate this research to bump it up walls:

1. We can make our walls self-explanatory by including a Learning Intention (and explicitly deconstructing the learning Intention so that students understand the learning task).

  1. We can ensure that our examples are of high quality, our examples and walls are not cluttered, and that they only include success criteria that have been explicitly taught. They should also include annotations that help students to better understand the examples.
  1. We can link our examples through visual means such as color-coding, string, and organization of our wall. 
  1. We can ensure that the core domains of the worked examples are clear; for instance, when writing a text, features highlighted should include structure, language features, grammar and punctuation, story arc, etc). Information relevant to other text types should not be on the wall confusing students.
  1. We can use the most meaningful building blocks: success criteria. For early primary (K-3) between 5-7 success criteria should be agreed on (co-constructed is preferred). In middle to upper primary and above, 7+ success criteria can be used. We can isolate success criteria by planning to teach each success criteria explicitly, provide clear visual aides detailing each success criteria, and provide a student checklist that clearly states every success criteria.

In addition to providing worked examples on your BIUW, provide students with multiple examples. ​​ Spiro, Feltovich, Jacobson, & Coulson (1991) affirmed that providing a wide range of examples (and having students create their own examples) helps foster broad knowledge transfer and “cognitive flexibility”.

While research relating to Bump It Up Walls is limited, we can learn much from existing research and its application in the paradigm of Bump It Up Walls (and their close cousin, Learning Walls).

Ready to get started with Bump It Up Walls? Try our done-for-you Bump It Up Wall resources.

Get the most out of Bump It Up Walls and Learning Walls with our Teachie Tings Facebook group

It’s our friendly community where we share ideas, discuss pedagogy and boost the success of our students thorough Bump It Up Wall and Learning Wall pedagogy. Join here!

References:

Hattie, J. (2008). Visible learning. Routledge.

Hilbert, T. & Schworm, Silke & Renkl, Alexander. (2004). Learning from worked-out examples: The transition from instructional explanations to self-explanation prompts. 

Paas et al. (2003) Cognitive load theory and instructional design: Recent developments

2003, Educational Psychologist

Renkl, A. (2005). The Worked-Out Examples Principle in Multimedia Learning. In R. E. Mayer (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of multimedia learning (pp. 229–245). Cambridge University Press. 

Renkl, A., Atkinson, R.K. & Große, C.S. How Fading Worked Solution Steps Works – A Cognitive Load Perspective. Instructional Science 32, 59–82 (2004).

Spiro, R. J., Feltovich, P. J., Jacobson, M. J., & Coulson, R. L. (1991). Knowledge Representation, Content Specification, and the Development of Skill in Situation-Specific Knowledge Assembly: Some Constructivist Issues as They Relate to Cognitive Flexibility Theory and Hypertext. Educational Technology, 31(9), 22–25. 

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A handy student reflection activity

student reflection activity

‘We don’t learn by experience, we learn by reflecting on our experiences’ -John Dewey

One of the best learning experiences we can give our students is the experience of self-reflecting on their learning.

I like to keep this very simple for my students – it’s not a detailed self-evaluation, or time to set new goals, however, it is specific.

Self-reflection in my classroom is simply, ‘How have I grown?’ It’s a celebration of everything they have learned and is intended to boost their confidence.

Here is a freebie that I have created for student reflection. You can use it as a general exercise and let students choose their own statements,  or you can use it to complete the teaching and assessment cycle.

You will need:

  • This freebie
  • Student assessment pieces (let’s reflect on math and English)
  • Student access to pre-tests and check-ins with completed student checklists*

How to use it:

  1. Complete this activity after students have received your feedback from the assessment. 
  2. Students should view their pre-tests and check-in pieces to find success criteria (I can statements) that they missed at the time. 
  3. Students then check if they achieved that success criteria later (either in check-in or final assessment)
  4. If they have shown growth in that SC, they write that success criteria on their sheet.

To ensure that this activity is successful:

If students are not familiar with self-reflection, you could complete this activity as a class. Print on poster-size paper and review success criteria that were explicitly taught during the teaching and assessment cycle. Add the poster to your learning wall as a celebration.

When completing individually, support students who may struggle. Help them to identify success criteria and individual growth areas if needed. The goal here is for students to reflect and feel successful.

* When completing pre-tests and check-ins always attach a student checklist that details the success criteria to be achieved. Highlight achieved SC green, and yet-to-be achieved SC orange. This helps students identify learning goals and will aid them in completing this reflection activity. You can read more about using student checklists with Bump It Up Wall and Learning Walls here.

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Rich text recommendations for Australian Animals

Rich text recommendations for Australian Animals

Are you teaching Australian Animals as a unit this year? Then you are probably looking for some rich text recommendations for Australian Animals to explore with your class! The best thing about this topic is that lots of hybrid fiction/non-fiction books have been written. Hybrid books are fantastic for linking facts with fiction texts, and also for learning that fiction books can still give us facts about an animal

You can use these texts as the hook to engage your students, help students learn the difference between fiction and non-fiction texts and introduce hybrid texts, use them as whole-class researching tools while recording facts for students to use (I didn’t expect my Year 2 students to be able to note-take, but you may), or just for fun and learning about Australian animals!

When reading, you may look for classifying information, information about appearance, movement, habitat, diet, lifecycle, and more, while taking notes for your learning wall that your students can refer back to if you are culminating in a writing task. There are so many learning opportunities with these amazing books!

Our recommendations are:

  • Steve Parish Storybooks (written with Rebecca Johnson), such as Cranky Crocodile. The series cover land-based animals, reptiles, and ocean animals as well. As a bonus, real photographs are used.
  • Searching for Cicadas by Lesley Gibbes. This non-fiction picture book is a beautiful blend of cicada facts and Australian childhood memories. Facts are highlighted in ways similar to a nature journal and the story is rhythmic and a delight to read.
  • Shy the Platypus is an old classic by Lesley Rees, and follows the story of a baby platypus in her nest, growing up, encountering humans, and more. It is a short book, with some topic vocabulary to unpack, particularly in the early years. There is a lot to learn about platypuses from this book.
  • Blossom Possum by Gina Newton (a marine biologist, zoologist, etc), a retelling of Chicken Little for Australian audiences. It has great pacing, common Aussie phrases, and repetition. Be warned: there is a fight between animals at the end and a minor threat of being eaten – read first to check this is ok for your students.
  • Samantha Wheeler book series, including Mister Cassowary. Mister Cassowary is a fabulous family mystery, woven with facts about the world’s most dangerous bird!
  • Christopher Cheng books. These are amazing books with a fictional narrative on one page and informational text on the opposite page. Check out Python and Wombat.
  • Claire Saxby books are also a combination of fictional narrative and information text. Dingo follows the day of the dingo, and is complemented by facts throughout. The images are beautiful but different.

All of the book selections can be found for sale online, and you can also find many read-alouds on YouTube.

Looking for Australian Animal information and reading? We have a collection too!

FIND THEM HERE!
⭐ Australian Animal Information PowerPoint with Real Photos
 Australian Animal Reading Comprehension – Koala FREEBIE
⭐ Australian Animal Information Report pack
⭐ Australian Animals Information Report – Koala Pack

These reading passages include comprehension questions and are great exemplars of information texts at this level. Students will love learning about the six different Australian animals.
⭐ Australian Animal Reading Passages – Years 1/2

Looking for links to Aboriginal perspectives?

Why not try these resources?

For a slightly older audience, but easily differentiated. This is the perfect Dreamtime Story to tell alongside information about the emu.
⭐ Aboriginal Astonomy – Emu In the Sky Dreamtime Story and Information text

What are the animals doing at different times of the Aboriginal calendar? Find out with these informative colouring pages.
 Aboriginal Seasons – Animal Colouring Pages | NAIDOC

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Reading Fluency Ideas

Are you looking for reading fluency tips to implement in your literacy block? Here is one of our faves.

Fluency Pairs

Are you pairing students to practice their fluency?

Fluency reading is paired reading, complemented by word lists aligned with your phonics sequence.

The words can include real and nonsense words, and all sounds should have been explicitly taught.

Why do fluency pairs?

Fluency is best practiced for short amounts of time regularly, rather than in one large block (or worse, once a week). Fluency pairs means everyone in the class reads for a set amount of time, every day.

How does fluency pairs worK?

  • The routine is quick, sharp and consistent – it takes 10 minutes. That’s it.
  • Use a timer.
  • Sudents are sorted into A or B groups, and then A + B students are paired together according to phonics knowledge (complete diagnostic assessments before pairing).
  • Use decodable readers, or short age-appropriate texts for students that can read extended code.
  • The text needs to be familiar so students are practicing fluency rather than decoding. ( I like to change texts every 2-3 days so students read the same text 3-4 times). You may even like to model reading the texts as w whole class before resading pairs.
  • Organise fluency pairs in your usual reading spot.
  • Students always sit in the same place.
  • One group reads first (As), while Bs need to read along and help if their partner gets stuck. They do this for 4mins. (or an amount of time that suits you) Then students swap and read for another 4 mins.

Practicing fluency using word lists (minimal code knowledge)

This is the same routine, however instead of reading a book, students are reading word lists. You could also reduce the time duration.

  • Students read through the list, reading the words straight away if they know the word, or sounding out if they don’t (e.g. b-e-d, bed). Their partner helps them if they get stuck on a word.
  • Take turns reading the words; down, then up, then down again; taking turns.

Setting expectations

Practice the routine and reward students for completing the routine in 10 mins.

Have an agreed set of expectations and success criteria. Our Fluency Pairs Word List resource includes handy posters to help.

Other useful activities and tips

  • Choose book at independent level (not instructional, so focus is on fluency and not decoding).
  • Students could record themselves reading on the iPad. They then listen back and see where they can improve.
  • Find free decodable readers on SPELD SA
reading fluency
Our Fluency Pairs Word List resource includes handy posters to help implement fluency pairs.