Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Share and Learn

Today at our lead teacher meeting each teacher shared new tools and websites we use in our classroom. We were given 5-10 minutes to share, usually called a smackdown. I found this very useful and will need some time to go thru these sites as I was looking for some that my year 1 students will be able to use independently. Study Ladder is a great NZ learning website with content graded according to levels. The link here is great and was created by a teacher on sabattical leave. It has Maths activities at the various NZ satges and is split into knowledge and strategy activities. BJ shared with us the rss feed and igoogle. I find that very useful and hopefully can soon set up my igoogle page. Here are some websites I will use in my class.
Count me in too
The other useful links are:
Library skills

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Student Led Conferences (SLC) @ EPS

End of Term 2 our school had our first SLC. It was great to see learners sharing their work, goals and achievements with their parents. The best part of the SLC for me was my kids that are not usually attentive or require extra support were the ones that shone at the conferences. Every child shared their learning with pride. They were able to answer questions and show how we did things in our class. Lots of them confidently talked about the displays around the class. If your school is thinking of doing SLC, my advise is to go for it as the results are immensely positive! It made me see that my students had indeed learned heaps, more than what I was thinking. Depending on how hard you (Teacher and pupil) have worked to prepare for them it definitely is a great feeling of achievement for both. Every parent that filled the feedback form had positive comments. Parents were amazed to see the amount of work that is done in class.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lead Teacher Meeting

We had our Lead Teacher Workshop at BDS today. The discussion about SOLO was really good. I myself am still getting a hang of how to use it in class. We visited classrooms and saw how teachers integrate ICT into their classroom programme. We saw children working on a programme called Communication4all and The children were so engaged in the learning, listening to the reader and doing the literacy activities. BJ shared some cool things kids could do on i-pads. Schools should invest in i-pads to give children the hands-on learning experience. BS shared how she uses Google translator to get to her ESOL learner who reads and write only in his home language. She puts her instruction into Google and it is translated for the student. He is then able to carry on with the class task.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Eager to learn

As an e-learning lead teacher I believe my role is to inspire and support my colleagues to seek ways to integrate it into their classroom programme instead of compartmentalising it. So I emailed my team of 11 teachers letting them know that I would be available to support them and share my Action Research ideas with them. This would then lead them to set up a classroom blog. I was excited to get positive replies from 2 classes and so we met up and I asked them to tell me what they were already doing and I loved the things they were doing. They wanted to improve the writing of their students so I shared with them some ideas that I use in my class. They were eager to give it a try and said that they would like to take small steps, which was fair enough. They are willing to start with creating Kid-Pix slideshows using the shared book of the week. I have emailed them the "How-to" sheets. T will need to show their kids how to log on to the server and save their work in the folders that we created. Another teacher has made a time with me so that we could set up a class blog and she will try Kid-Pix too. A blog must have a purpose for it to be successful. I have told the teachers that we could be class buddies visiting each others blogs and commenting on work. I also use the blog as a Listening post in my Reading Programme.
I have begun to work on my mini action research in Maths, mainly to make it a fun time and improve the achievement level of my students in Maths.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

LearningatSchool Rotorua 2011

This year I was fortunate enough to attend the Learning@school conference in Rotorua. All the keynotes and workshops that I attended had great emphasis on thinking, learning and assessment. It was great to try out new things and also to reaffirm what we do at our school and in my classroom. I thoroughly enjoyed the 2 workshops by Karen Boyes. She talked about how we should let students create their own goals and evidence of student understanding. The Key competencies relate so well to the habits of mind. She showed us some examples of how students could measure their learning using a success-o-meter and also shared the brain foods with us.
The workshop run by Mary-Anne Murphy was of particular interest to me. We talked about the mental models of assessment that we have and the characteristics of effective assessment. We also explored some new web2.0 tools that are available to support Assessment for Learning practices.
Here are some online tools to support writers:
Travelbuddies- to find a buddy class and swap a toy.
phraser- put in a phrase and it creates a digital image
comic creator, wordle. fotobabble, zooburst you write a story (4-5 sentences) here and it tells you like what writer you write. I write like James Joyce, an Irish novelist and poet. He is best known for Ulyssess (1922), other major works are the short story collection Dubliners, Finnegan Wakes. That was good to know.
I also attended a workshop by teachers from Our Lady Star of the Sea and saw examples of how SOLO and the define map is used in their school.
Loved every bit of the conference, not forgetting the dinner and dance night.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A new year, new learning

Well, it's nice to be back and see my new little class. Another year of learning, creativity, growth and fun! Can't wait to begin...