MECS Blog

Laugh out loud learning

Laugh out loud learning

Thursday, 20 March 2014  | Di - Primary School Coordinator

L.O.L.L ‘Laugh Out Loud Learning’ – living in joy

‘This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.’ Psalm 118:24
If you came along to the first Primary GT (Get Together) you will have heard 250 students laughing as they met up with our old friend the MECSican- Amigos, Gonzalez MECSican (alias Ali). Amigos regularly pops into our GTs to help remind us of the way we act and be at MECS Primary. Amigos and his new friend MECSy Poppins (Daniela) reminded us that at MECS we value and celebrate our learning together. This year in the Primary school we are focusing on the celebration and love of learning, hence L.O.L.L (Laugh out Loud Learning). We want our students and staff to enjoy and wonder at the rich diversity of God’s world as they unpack it in their studies. We want students to be excited to work hard and see and celebrate their improvement in Literacy and Numeracy. We want our students to understand what it means to persevere even when things are tough and know the joy in that. We want to read, read, read and develop great skill and a love for reading and writing (Daily Five). We want to have fun, laugh and relax together so that learning is a delight and not a chore. So we invite you to notice L.O.L.L around the school and with your children at home, and if you happen to pass a class and hear a giggle you will know that L.O.L.L is taking place.

Daily Five and Café
What is Daily Five and Café you might be asking your Primary student? Are they getting the kids to eat their Daily Five fruit and veg? Wasn’t that Brainfood? Are they sipping baby cappuccinos in a new school café?

Here is the low down on Daily Five and Café.
Daily Five and Café are a very exciting Literacy venture that the Primary began to undertake last year and have fully adopted this year. It began as a pilot program in Senior Primary in 2013 and quickly snowballed into a whole Primary school approach to reading and writing. It teaches independence and gives children the skills needed to create a lifetime love of reading and writing. It consists of five tasks that are introduced individually. When introduced to each task, the children discuss what it looks like, sounds like, and feels like to engage in the task independently. Then, the children work on building their stamina until they are successful at being independent whilst doing that task. When all five tasks have been introduced and the children are fully engaged in reading and writing activities, the teacher is able to work with small strategy focused groups and confer with children one on one at their point of need and help them set individual goals.

Daily Five activities are
read to self
work on writing
word work
listen to reading
read to someone

Café helps students understand and master different strategies used by successful readers.
CAFE is an acronym for Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency and Expanding vocabulary, and includes goal-setting with students in individual conferences, posting of goals on a whole-class board, developing small group instruction based on groups of students with similar goals, and targeting whole-class instruction based on emerging student needs and fine tuning one on one conferring. Specific teaching into each of these areas helps students grow in their reading and writing. Teachers will also be working with students on behaviour that supports good reading habits, including
get started right away
stay in one place
work quietly
read the whole time
increase stamina
select and read ‘Good Fit’ books.

What is so good about it?
Every day students get to do the real ‘nuts and bolts’ of learning to read and write by reading and writing for sustained periods of time with explicit and targeted instruction. We are seeing our students make positive gains in their learning and developing of real stamina and perseverance as they work at their own level. Exciting stuff! Over the coming weeks look for the Daily 5/Café segment in the newsletter so you can learn more about the strategies. For more information visit this link.

Community building
MECS is a great place to join together with families in building community. The start of this school year has been marked by some wonderful activities in the Primary School; the Prep information evening, JP Family night  and  ‘Grandparents and Special Friends’ day. I am sure you have enjoyed reading accounts of these events in recent newsletters. We greatly value these times to grow in partnership together.  
MECS is certainly a rich patchwork of educational life and we look forward to what 2014 will bring as we ‘Seek the Kingdom of God in Education’.
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