Archive for September, 2011


Something exciting happened this week. James Forsythe, from Phuket International Academy, has been reading the 6SS Class Blog. He noticed some similarities between what our 6SS have been thinking about and what his Grade 3/Year4 class have been thinking about. Both classes have been looking at wisdom and trying to understand what it means. He showed this posting from the 6SS blog to his students and used the 6SS students thinking to take his students’ conversations further:

Read the comments to see how the students’ thinking develops and to see where James adds his students’ thinking to the conversation.

James then sent through some photos to show the process he took his students through to arrive at their interpretations of what wisdom is.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This kind of cross-pollination of thinking using a blog doesn’t happen that often, but it’s great when it does. Has it happened to you? I am always happy to help people work on their blogs to make them work better as learning tools.

Advertisements

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

EY2MI students are taking a book home to read with their parents at the moment. It is a very special book because they wrote it!

Using themselves as the main characters, familiar things like clothing and colours and repeating patterns this book not only empowers these students to feel like authors but they are also able to read what it says. Brilliant!

Which conceptual understandings is Ruby working towards here?

Listen to the way these students explain what they are doing and invite other people into their learning by being so articulate, expressive, honest and confident. Which conceptual understandings are these kids displaying?

This is Elmarie’s class blog. She has embedded a Wallwisher page as a way of collecting her students’ thinking. She is asking parents to speak to their children about school and get them to tell them what they enjoyed most about school this week. Then, the parents “post a sticky” on the wall to share what their kids said. How cool is that?

Reading in 6GD

Glenn has put together this video to show what reading looks like in 6GD. Watch and enjoy.

Could you create something similar? Would you like to? If so, let me know and I can come and help you use the new version of MovieMaker (it’s much better than it used to be!).

Kids are kids, and many adults are kids too. One of the things that struck me when I spent some time down in Early Years was the power of play in learning, and particularly the power of role-play. Early years classrooms have dress-ups and role-play areas where the kids can immerse themselves in the contexts of their units of inquiry. Teachers may, during a unit about transport and travel, create a travel agency where the students buy and sell flights, bus journeys and ferry crossings. Why do we stop doing these things as our students get older?

I decided to ask my students to start collecting clothes and props so we can have a role-play area too, I decided to make drama a regular part of what we do in the classroom, I decided to give my students more opportunities to develop their ability to put themselves in other people’s shoes though acting. The students have responded really well to this.

I’ll video some of the role-plays that we put together this year and share them on this blog.

This is a really interesting video about how science and dance can work together. I was skeptical at first, I have to admit, but as I watched the video I saw genuine conceptual connections that definitely deepened the students’ understanding of the science, and also helped them to understand how they can communicate through dance.

Try to ignore the ridiculous amount of times the boys say “like” though!!!

This is an idea I have been pondering for a while, inspired by the wonderful professional inquiries that have been going on in the school. I wonder if people would be interested in reading the same professional books and getting together – either in person or online – to discuss the book, share ideas, create resources and put things into practice?

I am currently working through Comprehension Connections by Tanny McGregor, which I borrowed from Trish. Like all of you, I have little time in my life and often start a book and end up forgetting I am reading it!!! Would anyone like to read this book with me? It has really influenced the Year 2 and Year 3 teaching teams and I really want to start putting some of these ideas into practice in my Year 6 classroom. The approaches suggested in the book, however, would work equally well in any age classroom.

What other professional books are you reading at the moment? Could other people read them with you to share the load?

There is a folder on the server in which there’s a lot of useful stuff. The most recent addition to this folder is this correlation chart that has been collaboratively created by Y4 and Y3 teams:

Here is a video clip (aren’t I clever?) that shows you how to access the Language Arts Documentation folder on the portal:

This is a wonderful posting by Cristina Milos on a collaborative blog put together by Edna Sackson, both regular visitors and commentors on Art of Language.

The reason I have put it on here is because, although it is primarily about inquiry and taking students beyond the facts, it is also very rich in language and in the use of language to unlock and deepen student-thinking. It encapsulates the sentiments that all of our teaching teams expressed about language as a “vehicle for inquiry”.

Click on the image to get to the posting. Please feel free to comment either on here or on the posting itself.