Archive for Class
Here are the extra planning and programming bits and pieces that you asked for in the workshop yesterday:
Planning Proformas/ Grids
My wiiMusic Worksheets
My wiiSports Tennis Plan
I hope that these sheets help guide you in planning and using games consoles in your classroom.
Please link back here so we can all see what you have tried in your classroom.
Who says that learning is all not all fun and games????
If you need/want any other info or help or ideas please just leave a comment here
Future Directions in Literacy Conference – Sydney University
This term I have been using the wiiMusic Game with my class to develop knowledge and understandings about music. Here are a couple of posts from my class blog – 09AllStars – all about what we’ve been doing.
We are studying music for the next few weeks, and we will be using the wii to help us explore and experience a huge range of instruments.
We used our Golden Time today for the intial taste of what the wii can do – everyone had a quick turn at playing an instrument and we all had a bit of a laugh as well.
Stay tuned for more posts on what else we are doing with the wii Music.
Over the past week we have been playing the wiiMusic in small groups so that we can practise the activities and get better at the games.
We have been playing lots of different instruments and hearing and accompanying many different tunes. Its quite hard at times to play tunes that you haven’t heard before. We have found that you get better – and it becomes easier – the more you practice and the more familiar you are with both the instrument and the tune.
We have found out about “pitch” by playing the “Pitch Perfect” game – you have to listen carefully to match the notes that are the same, or put the notes in ascending order by listening to them. Sometimes this is hard, and the timer is counting down so you have to hurry!
Literacy is my home, my comfort zone: I know what to do and what to expect.
So I’ve been a bit uncomfortable for the past few weeks, as our wiiMusic unit develops and grows.
Enabling the students to discover, explore and make connections with what they know and are familiar with about music and what they are learning about music through playing with the wiiMusic game, is a vital part of the learning cycle.
We have been talking our way through the game, the concepts and the terminology, investigating ideas and thoughts more fully through art as well.
We’ve written some informational texts, but I have been uneasy and at a bit of a loose end and I think it’s because I haven’t been able to harness the fun and excitement of the wiiMusic game into the literacy learning of the class.
I have tried to placate myself with thoughts that my students are learning about music – the language, the sounds, the instruments etc – but I was a little apprehensive about the lack of meaningful literacy moments that I could take advantage of.
I LOVE creating and crafting texts with my students: of playing around with writing so that it connects to readers and says exactly what you want it to say – but the opportunity had not arisen ……. Until today!
Today we shared ideas -
We built on each others words,
We explored vocab together,
We searched for the appropriate phrases,
We put images into words.
We created together!
This class is different to the classes I’ve had over the last couple of years: as a group they are much more reserved, they are less confident in themselves, there are fewer risk takers, there are more early phase ESL students in the group, and as a group they are less academically engaged in school.
So the strategies I used
⇒ were modified,
⇒ the positive reinforcement more frequent and specific,
⇒ the scaffolding was greater,
⇒ the re-phrasing and modeling more explicit, and
⇒ thinking time was more individual rather than shared
But the results were astounding!
Once the initial shyness was overcome there was much clapping and supporting of the efforts of all!
A shared purpose.
A shared pride.
A shared success.
I have felt like I have been slugging it out for the past 6 weeks or so – desperately trying to get back into school mode and working with my class again after being away for a couple of weeks of long-service leave at the end of last term.
Re-connecting with my class was crucial as we had a number of students added to my group and so we had to get to know each other and sort the social and academic groupings all over again.
It’s been hard work: time and thought consuming, problematic and frustrating all at once.
There’s been social issues, behaviour issues, routines issues, learning issues, attitude issues and friendship issues – tears, tantrums and tirades!!!!
Just when you think “that’s it!” – “I’m over all this” – a moment happens …..
A spark is ignited, fanned by some positivity and fuelled by some camaraderie and I think, maybe, we’re off……..
Onwards and upwards!
Let’s go AllStars – light the way!
Image: ‘Light it up …‘
I was introduced to Mouse Woman today, a cute and cheeky character found in stories from the Haida, one of the First Nations bands of the North West coast of Canada.
Mouse Woman is a shape changer, a narnauk, who lives and travels between the human and spirit worlds, helping and guiding young people in need by offering suggestions, options and alternatives.
Mouse Woman, or Grandmother, likes life to be balanced and works with humans and nature to equalise good and bad, right and wrong, and deal with the humans or spirits who had upset the order of the world.
As payment for her help, Mouse Woman loves wool, which her ravelly little fingers like to tear into a lovely, loose, nesty pile of wool.
The stories, written by Christie Harris, are refreshing, fun, mischievous, scary and thought provoking. I ‘m sure that I will be using the stories with my class. They will be great for discussing and exploring positive values, symbols and actions, and even ideas of natural balance, ecology and rights and responsibilities.
The stories also give a wonderful insight into traditional Haida life and beliefs – the descriptions of the forests, coasts and oceans are beautiful and poignant. The social structures and way of life in the Time Before are also shown and explained.
I’m so glad that I’ve met and fallen under the spell of Mouse Woman – and I hope she will join me back in my classroom to share her adventures with children on the other side of the world.
The AllStars have been searching through “Oceans of Info”, following a variety of interests, and have now reported their findings.
Their task last term was to “Create Something Extraordinary” about oceans.
First they puzzled and wondered about things that interested them.
Next they spent time reading, researching and learning about their topic.
Then they negotiated a rubric to support them in “creating something extraordinary” using web2.0 tools to present their learning.
After that they experimented with a web2.0 tool they hadn’t used before.
Finally they got down to creating.
You can see most of the presentations as they come up over at the 08AllStars site.
Oceans of Info 1 a voki and a Toondoo
Oceans of Info 2 a pirate voki
Oceans of Info 3 “Mermaid News” video
Oceans of Info 4 Vokis by a marine biologist and a pirate
Oceans of Info 5 a Voki about the sinking of the HMAS Sydney
Oceans of Info 6 a video about whaling
Vokis, videos, puppets and comics are some of the ways the students chose to share their information creatively.
I am truly proud and amazed at the wonderful ways that the kids told their stories. I think that the AllStars are ALL stars!
I was feeling very guilty … I was letting my Year 4′s down … I had planned a series of activities to “do” with the Year 4′s (ages 8-9) that tied in with the Dolphin Island game, but I hadn’t had time to do more than explain some of the ideas of what we could do.
When I finally called them all together to get “started” I had no takers – they were all otherwise engaged!
Four students were bunkered down on the pillows totally absorbed in playing the game. Someone called “TIME” and the games were passed on to the next player, the groupings moved around and the next lot of kids were soon quickly drawn into the game as well.
A little group were huddled around the DOCs (Dear Old Computers or Dead, Old Computers depending on the current state of operability!) reading and typing from their writing notebooks information about dolphins onto the class wiki.
One little person was flicking through non-fiction texts looking for creatures that were in the game. Winson was looking up more facts about orcas on the internet – and pushing his and my current knowledge about the relationship between dolphins and orcas.
I didn’t want to interrupt so left them till later.
However…… later on ….
- some Year 4′s were looking for images of sea creatures from the game on Flikr to use in an art design project,
- others were involved in the design work,
- another pair were playing the game,
- Deon was writing out his narrative that would accompany the Voki he was going to make about orcas,
- Justin was searching through Flikr creative commons to find new pictures that he could legally use to illustrate the information reports he had written for the wiki about a number of marine animals.
I’m afraid that my Year 4′s are just too busy
- Experimenting, and
to “do” my activities.
Isn’t it great
I have always got my class to set goals at the beginning of each term or semester. I think that this is one small way that my students can learn to grow as effective and more independent learners. I think that setting goals for the term or semester can help my students organise themselves and “learn to learn”.
Goal setting is important
- to focus
- to get involved
- to “own” learning
- to build confidence
- to motivate
- to set what needs to be done
- as a path to learning
Some times and classes are more successful than others -
- is it the particular students, their understanding, their commitment?
- is it the structures or scaffolds that help the students to set goals and targets?
- is it the follow through/reminding / checking / follow up that SUPPORTS students and keep them focussed?
Students gain much from articulating their goals and their targets to reach their goals, and in my experience they need to
write it down
mark it off
look for “personal bests”
celebrate reaching targets
think about the goal
Student goal setting needs to be open, students need to be accountable, they need to be able “see” and “say” their goals and targets.
Now, in the spirit of keeping on, we will track where we want to go this semester ….
My class is studying oceans and conservation at the moment and all are involved in projects on an area of interest related to this overall topic.
I had been waiting for an opportunity to try using the school DSLites with my class. I had come across the game “Dolphin Island” and knew that the time had arrived
The 9 Year 3 & 4 students are the target group as they still need/enjoy a little more structure than the rest of the group. As well as playing the game and learning about conservation, there are a number of other off computer activities that this group will be undertaking as well.
The students are researching a sea creature and adding the info to our class wiki, identifying conservation issues and trying to work out solutions, measuring sea creatures, investigating mathematical problems based on the game, and participating in art/craft activites!