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SAS News!

It has been a great start to the SAS Reading program for Bray Park State School, with all students eager to participate and use their web conferencing tools.   In the final session of week one, we completed a general overview of some comprehension strategies:  Questioning, Inferring and Synthesising.
Many of the students in our large group wanted to share their own reading strategies, as well as their understanding about QAR. Grace recalled using QAR in Grade Four, while Jackie said that making connections was one of her favourite things to do. Most students were happy to answer questions were keen to read aloud as well, which was great to see. 
It was a good second week for Bray Park State School in SAS Reading.  In our first lesson, we looked at what makes NAPLAN different to reading in the classroom and we explored the different types of questions that will be asked. The students also had to think about their own ‘plan of attack’ for NAPLAN.  In our final two lessons we explored in more detail the Question-Answer-Relationship (QAR).
The students practised recognising ‘right there’ and ‘think and search’ questions, highlighting key words and referring back to the text to determine answers. ‘Author and me’ questions proved a little trickier, with the students really having to explain their inferences.  Both Kade and Cody worked very hard in all of their lessons, and Janaya was an active participant, providing excellent verbal responses.  I look forward to more SAS lessons with Bray Park next week.
Mrs Armit, SAS Distance Education reading teacher
What a great start to the SAS Writing program! The Bray Park State School students came to the sessions prepared and ready to learn. They displayed confidence in using their web conferencing tools and were enthusiastic to talk to me via VOIP and the chat box.
In the final session of  week one, we analysed persuasive and narrative texts and discussed what they were, the audience and purpose.  We discussed that in NAPLAN this year the genre will not be disclosed prior to the test and that we will need to be confident in writing both narrative and persuasive texts.  The students have shown enthusiasm in their participation and have all been willing to share ideas.
In week two we started by exploring the NAPLAN marking guide and analysed how we will be scored for Audience in NAPLAN for both narrative and persuasive texts.  Students were able to demonstrate verbally what language they would use to persuade their audience and how this language would change depending on who we were trying to convince. 
In our second lesson we started by analysing a persuasive text. I modelled by highlighting the key points in the introduction, body and conclusion. Students then attempted to extract the main reason, and facts and evidence which supported the reason for the 2nd paragraph.  I highlighted how it is important to have a conclusion, and I explained to the students about a strategy of what they can do if time is running out.  Most students now understand it is okay to skip the 3rd body paragraph and complete the conclusion, depending on how they are going with time. 
Our third lesson focused on the narrative structure with students viewing a narrative – The Ugly Duckling.  I modelled the beginning (Orientation – who, where when and what) and the middle (complication – the events and the problem) of how the planning would look for a narrative. Students then independently demonstrated their understanding of the planning process by identifying each part of the resolution (how the problem was solved and how the story ended) on their own slide. 
Well Done! Most students have been keen to participate, putting in a good effort to share their answers, with Jackie and Kade putting in extra effort.  Keep up the great work, Bray Park.
Mr Horne, SAS Distance Education writing teacher