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.