After a week long argument with technology to get Allison's video on the blog, it still failed so hopefully this is successful.
Learning is about failure followed by success - I need to refine my tech skills further!
Its been an absolute delight planning and team teaching with Allison this term on her LOTE research.
We had the gift of content not eating up our time and were able to focus on the skill of explicitly teaching some research skills which then evolved into a sequence which explicitly taught preparing for a speech. This sequence was part of literacy implementation and looked specifically at the threads relating to summarising in the comprehension section of the literacy continuum. It evolved to include writing threads as well.
Our initial plan was that students were given only the task of finding information using a booklet we had designed that looked at summarising information. They were not given the final task for a couple of reasons. Firstly because the norm is for students to go straight to computers, open up the final presentation format - eg publisher or powerpoint - and then go back to "google" where a copy and paste fest began. Secondly, Allison wanted to view the process in class - she didn't want students taking the work home and then miraculously arriving with pages of information - again often copy and paste, or with substantial input from others. She was also keen to observe the process individual students went through to read and select information. I was interested in looking at their questioning process, and the way they went about form
Given the booklet, students were asked to collect information - in dot point or summarised format - on their topic (a famous French personality). Students did some initial searching to check that they had chosen appropriately and sufficient information was available to them in either books and/or on the internet. they were expected to have at least two separate sources form the internet.
The booklet contained space for them to write bibliographic information as they went.
During this process we realised that the booklet needed refinement based on how the students were navigating through it and this has been amended in preparation for the next class to complete the task.
The following video explores Allison's journey and explains how the teaching sequence evolved.
For me, the graft of designing and improving not just the task, but the way it is delivered has been profoundly satisfying. Also, the engagement of students, the way technology disappeared as it became an integral part of the process with students using the ipads to tape each other and then using the subsequent footage for self assessment, and their insightful reflection on the process and willingness to review their own work as well as advise on improvements for the future - particularly with the format of the booklet has been gratifying.
The two classes 7.1 and 7.3 have been engaged every step of the way and actually having conversations about their learning.
At the moment the library Webpage is feeling a bit like the blob. Like I have created a monster! It is positively oozing at the sides. Its either because I continue my career as a digital hoarder with enthusiasm - unfettered and out of control, or because the needs of the community demand a central storehouse where they can leap off into discovery.
Personally I do like to think it is the latter, in fact I need to reassure myself it is the latter otherwise this blob will continue to grow without purpose or reason.
I have been flogging the webpage generally to anyone who will listen - students and staff. And I do know that students are accessing it - even if its just to use the citation machines on the research page. Small steps.
I have added a new page this morning on which I hope to communicate information about new books coming into the library. Even thinking about adding forum widgets for some of the texts - hoping for feedback at some stage!?
On coming across this slideshow this morning, I was inspired in particular by slide 8 titled, you guessed it, simplexity.
The slideshow itself offers much food for thought in regards to not only the learning process, but how this resonates through the requirements and skill sets of the 21st century learner.
I think it puts the focus back on the process not the product which we often struggle with in a very product driven system. Until we can begin to try and quantify and value the process and pass this value onto learners, the teaching process remains cloudy.
The ideas also resonate with the mind set discussions of the staff development day. Product driven learners asking what did I get? Who did I beat?
Food for thought - and MUCH to digest.
Fresh from reading Paul Carter's "Is that thing diesel?" I'm keen to get my hands on his other book also recently purchased for the collection - just awaiting accessioning.
I picked it up on Friday to have a quick flick while out on cross country duty and found myself buried in its rollicking anecdotal style. Rudely ignoring Miss Tucker and Mrs Walker who were on the same checkpoint, I chuckled and guffawed my way through the first quarter of the book. Whilst I must give a language warning as it is fairly heavily peppered with expletives, Paul Carter is a great storyteller. My interest in motorbikes is minimal - I owned a Honda 90 in my twenties, my son is a motorbike tragic and I work hard to ignore his lengthy monologues about the intricacies of motorbikes, their performance and their engines - yet I was compelled to fly through this highly readable account of Carter's circumnavigation of Australia on a bio diesel bike.
Needless to say, Friday night was spent finishing the book and it has already been passed on to a friend who had heard of the author and was looking for one to read. I headed back to the final instalment of the Wool trilogy "Dust" for the remainder of the weekend. I can thoroughly recommend this series too.
I've beaten around the bush long enough and it is time to publish regardless.
There are several thwarted attempts in drafts, but this will be the beginning!
Term two is a term of new beginnings. We begin with a new Principal - welcome Glen Sawle, with a host of new books - checkout the display shelves, with a new season - get out the winter woolies, a new lunchtime chess competition - Monday lunch is it, and off course a new Teacher Librarian blog - I have been silent too long. (Some would debate that!)
I was happy to have great feedback from the borrowers of blind dates for the holidays. With such a positive response I think we could make it a regular event. And speaking of regular events, this years "Snapping with the Staff" photography competition kicks off again next term, so get those cameras and phones out and get ready for another awesome set of snaps to be on display at the end of next term.
We have a great display of year 7 musical instrument in at the moment.
Come on in and check it all out, and have a terrific term 2!