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Inside Teaching : June 2011
Inside Teaching | June 2011 READERS’ COMPETITION WINNER 6 MARIA SMITH explains how providing time and space for young minds to explore and reflect can develop children’s oral language skills. When I discovered our Literacy Coordinator, Anne Solomon, had won the April Inside Teaching readers’ competition and would receive a $200 book voucher from the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) and the special prize of a professional photoshoot and an article about our school, Holy Name Primary School in East Preston in Melbourne’s north, I became excited about the opportunity to showcase the Years 1 and 2 oral language development sessions we hold in our new Interactive Learning Centre. Our new Interactive Learning Centre operates on the understanding that learning in today’s world involves teaching students not only what to learn but how to learn. Language and thinking are inextricably linked – thinking involves language and language involves thought. Proficiency in both of these areas is fundamental to children’s learning and development in all academic spheres. Wondering exercises assist children to formulate questions based on curiosity and to engage with each other dialogically so as to better understand their own and others’ wonderings. Some students already possess the necessary oral language to be able to express their wonderings, but educational research has noted that some Wonderful Why good learning is full of wonder