Friday, 15 April 2016

Site up and ready to roll for Term 2!

Next Term, we are going to trial this site as a rotation during literacy. Students who have completed their reading follow up activity (our reading follow up activities are on the iPad and consist of cut up sentences, writing word work, picture taking and drawing - created as slides on Explain Everything) or need a task to work on until the teacher takes their group, will go onto the site and select an activity of their choice. The site is designed to fit their iPad screen, so students do not need to scroll to find the activities.

The activities will change as the learners needs develop, and will target specific learning areas. Currently, we are focusing on students learning their alphabet letters and sounds, high frequency words, and letter blends. All the activities on the site now are built around students building this knowledge in a variety of modes. We noticed many of the students want to engage in a variety of activities (both on and off the iPad), so it will be interesting to see how they engage with choosing a range of activities off the site,

Going onto a site will be a new challenge for all our learners, so we will take the time to make sure they understand not only the expectations, but also how to navigate their way around. Will keep you updated on how it goes!

Click on the picture to check out the site!

Inquiry Update

This year, my inquiry began as a research project into Gwenneth Phillips' strategies for teaching reading. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the specific prompts she developed to guide students, and have begun using these in my lessons. I found that it helped greatly in guiding students to stop and think, before I too eagerly jumped in to help them out. It has definitely been a great challenge and one I will continue to work on over the year!

Last week, I decided to veer my Inquiry down a new path, in order to meet the needs of a specific group of children. These children have been working very hard this term, however have demonstrated difficulty in their retention of high frequency words. The group have little alphabet and word knowledge, which has caused them to plateau at Magenta. Over the next weeks, I am wanting to research into memorisation strategies and create a learning tool to help students retain the high frequency words needed to progress in reading. This will be an exciting journey in Term Two - will post my plan of attack over the next few weeks!

Friday, 8 April 2016

Creating a site to support literacy in Year 0/1!

In our MDTA course we have been challenged to create a Google Site, which we can use in our classroom to support learning. Teaching in a New Entrants/Year One class, I need to make sure the site is easy to navigate, interactive, and allows for all levels to engage in the activities. Currently, my idea is to focus the activities around letter-sound knowledge, blends and their sounds, and high frequency word recognition. For each of the three focuses I plan to have an appropriate YouTube clip, an activity on Explain Everything, and a hands-on activity using materials (they will use their iPad to record evidence of completing this activity). The site is planned to function as a place where students who have completed their daily literacy task go for further "meaningful" tasks to support their learning. Students will be asked to complete one video activity, one Explain Everything activity, and one hands-on activity, in order to engage in a range of modes.

I have attached a screenshot of my Google site plan so far and will post updates as they this space!

Monday, 4 April 2016

Rewindable Learning

As I endeavour on my first year in the classroom, I have definitely battled trying to manage catching up students on work they have missed due to being absent. This can be due to students not showing up to school, showing up late, being pulled out of class for other commitments, or even being absent due to lack of understanding or focus.

It was inspiring to hear Dorothy Burt and Helen King speak to us today about how we can manage this in our digital environments. Some ideas raised included recording lessons taught on a device, creating video tutorials for strategies, and recording instructions on tasks that are to be completed. These digital REWINDABLE resources would then be placed in an accessible folder where students could revisit these ANYTIME, ANY PLACE at ANY PACE. Students are able to rewind learning sessions to either catch up on learning they have missed or revisit concepts they want to consolidate.

Creating visible and rewindable learning for students not only can reduce the amount of dependence students have on their teacher, it allows students to take ownership of their learning and realise that learning can occur away from the immediate radius of the teacher.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Creating a Collaborative Current Events Site

Today, I got to experience how valuable it is to learn through "doing". Although we were not completely thrown in the deep end (we have been fortunate enough to have some guidance through sites already), getting stuck in and creating a page allowed me to actively learn and engage in the construction process.

As a team, the MDTA is constructing a resource on current events for teachers to use in their classroom. Our site is multi-model and encourages students to look at various perspectives of groups involved in the event. We have included teacher notes, lesson outlines and many various resources to engage students in their learning. Follow the link below to my page!