Welcome to the Oz Lit Teacher Community!
The aim of this passion project is to build teacher confidence and competence in effective literacy instruction.
(To learn more about the WHY behind how Oz Lit Teacher read how the project started here.)
I have a secret goal in life to hook every child (and adult) into a lifelong love of reading and writing (with a deep love of books to go with it). The resources, support and professional learning provided through Oz Lit Teacher are aimed at supporting this goal (and I am hoping you will help me achieve it as well.)
Oz Lit Teacher focuses on building teacher knowledge around effective writing instruction (read why further below) and uses the 6+1 traits as a basis for developing a shared vocabulary around this. In reading, the scaffold used to build a shared vocabulary are the comprehension strategies outlined by experts such as Miller, Harvey and Goudvis, Sarravallo etc.
What support and resources does Oz Lit Teacher provide?
Mentor text reviews
Currently, the support provided by Oz Lit Teacher takes the form of weekly mentor text reviews with a checklist of writing traits and comprehension strategies aimed at building teacher content knowledge about how best to mine mentor texts for teaching points for both writing and reading. These reviews are uploaded to Instagram and Facebook weekly and look like this:
After receiving lots of feedback and appreciation from the Oz Lit community, I now include a link to a downloadable bookplate with every mentor text review. These bookplates are 1 page PDFs that include all the information from the mentor text reviews and are designed to be printed and stuck inside the cover of the books at school so teachers can share the knowledge with other teachers. Click here for an example of a bookplate.
In order to build the capacity of every teacher to hook students into a lifelong love of reading and writing, I encourage you to join the Oz Lit Teacher Facebook group to share your ideas, experiences, questions and challenges. I would LOVE to see other people creating mentor text reviews and uploading these to the community for every students benefit. Imagine the power!
Watch this space for other support opportunities and forthcoming Oz Lit Teacher projects. There are exciting things in the pipeline!
Supporting teachers to teach writing
Writing is an area of Literacy that many teachers do not feel confident to teach. There are many potential reasons for this. Some might include;
- Many teachers are readers but do not consider themselves writers.
- If they do write, they might think they aren’t good at it.
- Writing is more subjective than reading- we can’t get our students to do a test to give them a ‘level’ or tell us their strengths and areas for improvement.
- The spelling component of teaching writing scares some teachers.
- Teachers may have had negatives experiences of being taught writing themselves.
- The strong focus on teaching genre over the last decade has, in many cases, reduced writing instruction (and therefore professional development) to a recipe of how to construct a piece of text rather than building teacher and student knowledge about the qualities of writing beyond organisation.
My strong belief is that the more teachers understand about teaching writing, including having a deep understanding of the qualities of good writing, the better teachers they will be of both writing AND reading.