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5 February, 2013
A Warrnambool Primary School teacher has developed a new program which is changing the way children learn to comprehend.
The program developed by Thom Fraser, a Deakin University PhD candidate and Warrnambool Campus graduate is using a simplified system that children, their peers and their teachers can use to assess their reading comprehension.
He recently had the opportunity to return to the university where he outlined his development at the `Rethink and Reimagine’ conference.
The lesson planner was developed to help teachers to assess students’ reading comprehension.
“One of the problems facing teachers is how to assess pupils’ reading comprehension. This program contains everything they need.” Mr Fraser said.
It uses simple language to help students set their own learning intentions and success criteria.
“They know at the start of the day what they need to achieve and can set their own goals,” Mr Fraser said.
“They follow the activities and rate themselves and then go through peer assessment. They then have a one-on-one conference with their teacher to make sure they have achieved their criteria.
“It hands ownership to the students. Every student is constantly learning.”
The program can integrate with any existing literacy program in the school and is underpinned by the noted educational research of Professor John Hattie, Greg Whitby and Professor Michael Fullan.
Mr Fraser said the program was popular with pupils and other schools have expressed interest into researching it further.
Mr Fraser's PhD is looking at independent and differentiated learning in primary school literacy.
Deakin Media Relations
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Thom Fraser's new lesson planner is helping students with literacy. Picture: Rick Bayne