Data analysis for small-group instruction (Tier 2) transcript

Elaine Stanley:

To determine students requiring Tier 2, we now start looking across the dataset at individual students' results. I'm looking for students that need that little extra level of support, and I'm also looking for patterns in like needs for my students.

I've already thought about letter–sound correspondence knowledge and what to do for students who haven't got particularly the two sounds of th. The next thing I'm going to focus on is whether there are students who need support to read and spell at that word level in this phase. The arrows here show us word-level reading (columns K and L) and word-level spelling (column R).

Let's see who those students might be. I can see Naomi, who we know is new to the school and hasn't been taught SSP before, so she needs some extra support at that word level for reading and spelling.

Then we've got Sadie. Now, she was one of the students in our Topic 2 demonstration and she's working mostly at the word level, slowly extending to sentence level as you can see, but still some work to do at that word level.

And the same for Marco, who is working mostly at that word level. He was new to the school at the beginning of this year and he has an EAL background. What we need to really do is support him and slow the pace when he's really learning to apply his blending and segmenting skills.

We can support these students a little bit further in that way beyond the whole-class lessons. What I'm going to do is work on the reading and spelling with these students.

I'm also going to include another student in this group as well, Shiv. If I look across at his results, I can see he's got all his letter–sound correspondences. He's able to apply his knowledge to reading the words, but he's still got a little bit of work to do with the spelling at the word level. And if I look at his notes (column X), it tells us that we need to focus on isolating all sounds in words when he's spelling and also to focus on correct letter formation. So, I think he could benefit from being in this group as well.

We might also include a focus on the word ‘once’, because I can see all the students need that as well. We're going to work on word-level decoding, word-level encoding, and practising the irregular word ‘once’, with these four students.

I'll follow exactly the same instructional model as in Tier 1, with the difference that it's a smaller group size (shown in purple) and we're going to target instruction at the immediate point of need for these students. We're also going to slow the pace and up the level of guided support from the teacher and the guided practice that we're going to do together.

This is my plan for areas of focus with my small group. Now not all teachers will make a planner like this for Tier 2 and Tier 3, so I just wanted to set this out to show you what we're going to cover. As long as you are following the same instructional model as you are in Tier 1, and you know your focus area that you're working on with your small groups and which words and sentences you're going to use, then you might have your own way of recording that some way. We're not trying to make more planning for teachers, I know you've got enough already!

I would say, though, if there's someone supporting you who's doing this work with a small group and it's not you as the classroom teacher, then the plan becomes more important because you really want that consistency of practice between staff members working with students. So that helps to ensure that.

For these students, our main focus is word-level reading and spelling. What we're going to do is first have a bit of a daily review and just practise the sounds they already know well and read and write some words and even a simple sentence with sounds they know really well just to practise that. And I can give support where I need to at the sentence level.

Then we're going to really focus on reading and spelling words in our session and blending sounds to read and segmenting sounds to spell. I might use the opportunity to just practise th as well, and do that with them. So, get them to tell me the two sounds and we'll then incorporate words with those sounds as well. You can see then, at the word level, we are reading and spelling some words with the ‘I do, We do’ process again.

I've even included some sentence-level work, but I'll be doing most of the heavy lifting there. They can just join in wherever they can, because I still want to lead them to that sentence level, so it's worth still including that but supporting them as much as you need to.

And then I'm going to do my check for understanding to see how they're going applying those knowledge and skills after we've had that session.

Looking at my data, that's my first group. Now looking at my data and notes I've made, there's also a group of students who are experiencing particular difficulty with sentence writing (column W). I would like to provide some extra support for them as well. You can see we have May, Sarah, Raffi and Win, and they're highlighted there on the right in yellow with some notes that I've made about them. I'm planning to focus on sentence-level work, both for reading and writing, in my whole-class phonics lesson, but I would also like to work with these students in a small group to really break that sentence writing down into the component parts with them and really slow the pace. It's just that extra level of support that I can see these students need.

I know some of the issues that are occurring with this group. May is rushing too quickly and not checking her spelling for accuracy. For Sarah, she's not segmenting every sound she can hear in a word. And Win and Raffi, for them, all the parts involved in writing at the sentence level are not yet automatic. We can just build their skills by that extra level of support. What I'm going to do is focus on slowing the process down and working on one word at a time with these students. We are going to make sure we segment all sounds in every word we are writing. We're going to check every word to make sure it's accurate and we've used the right letter–sound correspondences, and then we'll re-read a complete sentence.

Again, same instructional model, but there's a greater focus this time on ‘We do’ and greater level of teacher support and a slower pace. What we're going to do again is a daily review at the beginning, we're going to really focus on all those areas, the process of the sentence writing, and I'm not going to do the word work now with this group because I know they can do that and they're actually breaking down each sentence into individual words. I'm just going to go straight to sentence level for reading and spelling and then give them a dictated sentence at the end to see if they can show me they can apply their learning.