Thursday, April 30, 2009

Today during our weekly computer timetable, most of the children worked on their wikis and set up their own blogs - some children posted a message. We now have to encourage the parents and wider community to participate in feedback on their work. Next week I will send home the hardcopy of a learn how to use a wiki, blog and give constructive and reflective feedback. I will also upload it to my class wiki. I have also drafted a notice for our school newsletter to inform the school community of my project and how they can become involved. In groups the children will also be expected to write updates sharing their work in the newsletter. Our School IT Tech Angela Cole is ironing out any possible glitches in our online audience participation. She is one extremely supportive of my project and will go that extra mile making sure things work.
Overview of my first TRD.
I started the term off by immersing the class with fairy tales. I decided I'm going to try and use our school inquiry model to help the students further develop their higher order thinking by using graphic organisers; created an online a writing survey; video interview students for their personal views regarding writing and online wiki knowledge; researched further information on reflective feedback and met with IT Tech to discuss technical ideas and issues that will assist with online audience interaction; wrote homework tasks for two weeks; wrote a draft outline of my project and what the class are doing.
Over the holidays the children were asked to read as many fairytales as possible and bring their favourite fairytale books to share. We started the term by discussing what fairy tales are; brainstormed as many fairy tales as possible - this brainstorm will be uploaded as a Wordle to show which fairy tales are the most known at the Year 3/4 level in our school. We viewed "Shrek" without sound focusing on the characters, then transferred the characters onto a fairy tale identification chart. The students are already beginning to make connections between fairytales.
Within our guided reading programme the students have tasks that relate to their specific reading level fairy tale. They are also expected to complete a classification chart then select two to complete a venn diagram.
We have discussed what are the main features of a narrative and how to use a story plan to assist with ideas and sequencing. We have read traditional fairy tales and some modern day silly fairytales. All of the children have written an unassisted fairytale based on one they have already read. They were expected to change the story in some way.. Just as I was expecting there is certainly a huge range of writing levels within the class.
I have created a writing survey which I am using when video interviewing the children. We have also created it online for the children to go online in the classroom to complete it. The results will then be sent back to me for collation. I video interviewed 5 students which was interesting.
One question they were asked was how could the easi-speak or a recorder help them with their story writing. Two said 'it would help them to get their ideas onto the easi-speak then they could replay it to make sure they had their ideas down'. Yay exactly what I was hoping for. I believe the students have become extremely confident and competent with using the easi-speak that they can see all sorts of possible uses that will help them in their learning.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I have spent the day at school going through the resources we have relating to fairy tales. I also spent quite a bit of time working with our IT Tech discussing what would be the best and easiest way for the children to manage their wikis and blogs. We decided to have a page called Our Stories with each childs links to their blogs. What we think will be best is that the children will write their story, scan it and upload it as a PDF file. Our online audience will be able to view it but not make changes. They can then click on the childs blog link and blog their ideas, feedback and suggestions.I also found a hook that will lead into using our Inquiry focus on inventors and cars. I went to the Hamilton 400 Streetrace and bought the book 'Go Murph". This story is about Greg Murphy but written in a narrative using the car as the character. This story was written by students from Hamilton West School, so this is another form of motivation showing primary children can produce amazing stories. It also explains the research process which will blend nicely with our inquiry and our narrative.I have also found some very good webquests using fairy tales so I will link the sites to my class wiki.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I seem to have many wheels spinning at the moment to be prepared for Term 2 and ensuring I have covered the main teaching points for my E project.
I've been busy researching fairy tales online and ways in which to teach the writing process in a Year 3 / 4 class. The students will be viewing a modern fairy tale to help them recognise a range of fairy tales. They will be able to check the fairy tales off their lists that they will brainstorm at the beginning of Term 2.
I have also been researching readings on "Constructive Feedback/ Feed forward" which will help my classes online audience to provide appropriate feedback so the students can make changes to their writing. My parents will be given a hardcopy booklet which will give them ideas and examples of constructive feedback/ feedforward. The booklet will also have a basic guide on how to communicate their ideas onto the students wiki page or make comments on the students blogs.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

My Project:
Developing Rich and Reflective Writing with Year 3 & 4 Students: to explore the use of strategies which enhance student engagement and success of their writing through sharing with an online audience.
The aim of this project is to use fairy tales as a context, where students will develop their understanding of the codes and conventions of narrative writing to communicate meaning and ideas through the use of mind mapping, graphic interpretations, multimedia and/or animations enhancing student's learning and understanding of effective communication, using a range of ICT / Web2 Tools.
The students will begin to understand how to develop their writing through interactions with an authentic online audience, for their personal reglections on their work and through their engagement with implementing changes, as a result of processing feedback. To do this, the students will be uploading their draft writing onto their wiki page where regular discussions / feedback and feedforward from the wider community will be used to assist the students to reflect and make changes to improve their writing.