Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Walk the Talk Clevedon Day 3

It was another great day in Room 7 today. I was so involved with the children that I forgot to take photos except for the few below during one session.
This was the first day that teachers came to visit. The children rose to the challenge and enjoyed talking about their learning with the visitors. The students who were out at soccer yesterday had a bit of catching up to do, but the other children helped them to find their way.

I have been using Class Dojo with the students. It is a behaviour modification programme, but I am mainly using it to make sure that I don't miss out talking to or acknowledging students, which is easy to do if they are very quiet and don't do anything for you to notice them.
It has worked extremely well for some students who enjoy seeing their number of points increase and work hard to attain them.

I added the 'participation' one today to help some students who needed to concentrate on developing their participation skills. It worked beautifully!
Clevedon School works on a different value each week so I have added 'Unity' for this week and 'Understanding' for next week.

Students are gradually understanding the Writing Charts of Drafting, Proof Editing, Conferencing and Publishing. They know not to put themselves on Conferencing if they haven't checked off their 'Have I...' chart. And they are learning very quickly that if I see any missing punctuation they have to leave the Conferencing group immediately and work on it.
This was the first time I worked with a conferencing group using the Apple TV and TV set. It was perfect for the job. Students were able to mirror their work to the TV, and the other children were able to peer edit it for them with a little input from me. I had their group learning intentions and success criteria in front of me and was able to keep referring students to what they had to concentrate on.
I worked with a couple of writing groups as well and could see that we all need to work on developing our sentences!

Students were all engaged and on task during reading time, even the ones who were away yesterday. They are enjoying using the Kindle app and are starting to understand how it can help them to read. Some of the students hadn't downloaded the Dictionary but once they did that they could see how it would help them to decipher words and understand what they were reading.

Another use that I came up with was when we were looking at their Vocab Logs, we could search for the word they had chosen, which would show the passage it came from and then we could click on the passage and it would open to the page so we could read the word in context! Brilliant! They found that very helpful!

I had that classic moment that all teachers have on regular basis where your technology fails you, and
 you have to leave what you thought you were going to do and move onto something else. I am using Mathletics and Studyladder as teaching tools. My link to the Mathletics failed me, so after writing this post that is my next task to fix the problem!
Students were able to work independently on their own choices of tasks.

Some were making nets, some doing worksheets, some doing geometry games on the computer, some working in their maths books.

I held a quick '2D Shape Animal' Workshop where I showed them how you could use the shapes in the Keynote app to make animals. Once I showed them how to colour, resize, flip, translate, rotate (spot the maths language there!) move behind and front,  that took probably less then 5 minutes. I left them to it! A few minutes later one of them came up to show me how rotating the green circle on the Pentagon shape made Hexagons, Octagons etc (more maths language!). They carried on making
those and saved them to be printed out. I had one girl who was working on other activities come up and ask me 'If I didn't come to the '2D Shape Animal workshop, could I still do the animal shape activity?' Of course I said yes, because I knew a few students were watching and those that weren't saw what the others had produced and asked them to show them how to do it. Students teaching job is done!

I had a breakthrough with the Inquiry unit today. I saw students looking at their large mindmap and then looking at their Inquiry doc to see if they had answered all of the questions (unprompted!).

It was a very loud noisy afternoon with Inquiry. But all of the students were engaged and 'participating' and on the whole have done very well with their mindmaps. Photos will follow this week. I will be doing quite a bit of work scaffolding and teaching them research skills as the weeks progress.

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