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.