Dr. Lorraine Hammond AM is an academic and researcher from Edith Cowan University in Western Australia who works with schools across Australia taking up Explicit Instruction and regularly coaches teachers. Lorraine has published research on Explicit Instruction and its impact on students’ literacy outcomes and teacher knowledge. Dr Hammond provides professional learning and instructional coaching for the Kimberley Schools Project for the Department of Education in WA.
Bulbous, heinous, colossal…do you use these words in your writing? Students in remote schools in the Kimberley of Western Australia not only understand and spell these ‘Tier Two’ words (Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2013) but regularly use them in their daily writing. Writing is an essential skill for academic success and a crucial part of communication and critical thinking yet is considered one of the most difficult academic areas to teach. This is because it involves the integration of many different precursor skills and knowledge that many pre and in-service teachers report feeling ill-prepared to teach (Clary & Mueller, 2021; Graham, 2021). To improve the written expression of mostly Aboriginal students, who often speak English as a second language, teachers include short and explicit writing lessons that integrate vocabulary, spelling and sentence level writing. This short daily instruction teaches the subskills to enable students to produce longer texts.
The instructional approach, which is based on the principles of explicit instruction lesson design and delivery, has yielded significant improvements in students’ writing and far greater engagement and enjoyment of writing. The term ‘explicit instruction’ refers to a systematic method of teaching with emphasis on proceeding in small steps, checking for students understanding and achieving active and successful participation by all students (Rosenshine, 1987, 2012).
This session will outline the daily instructional sequence developed for primary/elementary students and show video examples of how vocabulary and sentence structure is taught.