Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Regional Cross Cluster Workshop

Last night I presented at one of the Waikato Regional Cross Cluster ICTPD workshops.
This was a very good opportunity for me to trial what I might do and say at ULearn. With an audience of about 60 teachers it was a little bit nerve racking. Once I relaxed and started sharing my project people started asking really good questions.
I aimed to get across the importance of giving the students time to process the conventions of print and the skills they have learned to assist in their fairy tale writing.
I also explained how important it is to get the parents involved with the online feedback - showing some examples on the wiki and explained how engaged the students have been because of the reflective feedback.
One teacher asked how the children dealt with negative feedback - I explained how the class have realised that all reflective feedback is important and they actually haven't been upset by what could be seen by adults as negative feedback. It made me realise how important it has been for me to get across to the students from the beginning that we need reflective and constructive feedback to help us improve in our learning.
I showed examples of the Web2 tools we are using and shared how important it is for the students to be given time to practise the new tools skills in the classroom with a relevant context ie: writing a fairytale for an online audience.
I also shared the ICT tools we have used in the classroom and some examples of what ideas the children have recorded.
I hope some people got comething from it.
I hope the group got something from my project.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sharing my project

Over the weekend I have been preparing a presentation of my project for a cross cluster ICTPD workshop on Wednesday.
Preparing for this workshop has allowed me to review my project and really reflect on the impact online audiences have had on Year 3 and 4 students.
I think it is very important to get across to this group the importance of incorporating ICT and Web2 Tools throughout all areas of curriculums and the power of reflective feedback within the class and from an online audience. I think the other point I want to get across to this group is how important it is for us to slow the process down to give the students the opportunity to produce quality work rather than only giving them 3-4 weeks to complete a specific writing genre.
I have been using our school STARS Inquiry Model during the planning and implementation of this project. This has really reinforced how effective and relevant each stage of the writing process fits within our Inquiry model. The children are constantly being reminded of the stages of learning and how important reflective feedback is to their learning.
I have shared how I have used our school inquiry model with John Cubitt (Pekerau Primary School Principal) and he now wants me to share the plan to with our staff.

During Week 8 I want to spend more time conferencing and videoing the students to show what they have learnt and what has impacted on their writing the most.

Reflective Feedback

The children are continuing to check the blogs hoping to get feedback.
Several have commented on how important and helpful the feedback is for them. It helps them read their stories again looking for the parts that have been commented on and make decisions on how they can change their story.
Some students have had assistance with the word processing so that they can get a lot more of their story uploaded.
Fortunately we have some extra adults in the room prepared to help the students.These extra adults read the story to the student specifically focusing on no punctuation so they can recognise what punctuation is required. The student also notice if their story is repeating itself or doesn't make sense Yay.
The students are also becoming so use to getting and giving feedback that they are confident in transferring the feedback strategies into their Inquiry tasks.

Target Groups

My target groups are making good progress with their stories. I have found it interesting that one group which has had a lot of group planning sessions and have joint plan, have written completely different stories. These guys definitely think quite differently.
I have asked the groups what they have enjoyed the most. They enjoy the 1 on 1 conferencing and like to share the online feedback they have had. They agree with some of the ideas and make some of the changes.
One area we are still having a struggle with is their editing skills. I'm sure kids don't see the point in punctuation and think we are simply nagging them. I'd love to have an easy way for them just to get the importance of editing in the writing process.
I am finding I need to get some of the students to dictate what they have written mistakes and all, just to get another draft online.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Week 7

We are thinking that we will begin by using Art Rage to create the scenery and their story then put it in movie maker and upload it onto the wiki this way. We are trying to use the programmes we have available at school rather than pay for new ones for a one off task. I would like to use the interwrite programme but I am investigating whether it can be uploaded easily. Last year this was difficult so I will have a wee practise prior to giving the children the task, making sure I have ironed out any issues.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I have been busy looking for relevant readings on online reflective feedback. I am finding most of the students are really enjoying getting feedback online and are happy to make changes to their stories and am wondering if this is what other teachers have found or is it just because its a new techniques for them.
The students have become confident at being able to share their stories to the class or just to small groups expecting some form of feedback. They are also the first to remind me to get the camera ready to video the discussion sessions.

Week 6

Our computer time is often when our Prinicpal John Cubitt wanders through to see what we are up to and how the project is going.
My class are very good at getting John involved in their wikis. One of the children has shown John how easy it is to blog so we will be setting him up with his own sign in next week and give him a more intense lesson so that he can participate in the online feedback. John is very impressed with the progress of the students writing
love Thursday mornings because of our class computer time. We have 16 computers in our suite which means most of the children can go on at the same time and finish updating then uploading their stories.
After our computer session I had a quick look at the changes then discussed them with the class. A few of my students have commented on their frustration at the typing. They are not fast at it and their stories don't get up to date compare to whats in their books or that it takes them a long time to try and edit all of their work because have too many mistakes. I have decided I will rewrite them online over the weekend as best possible then upload them into their wiki page.

Hopefully they will also get more online feedback because the audience can actually read it and make constructive comments
Some of the children feel they are ready to move onto the next part of their story. Several have decided they need to work out how to create a second problem and its solution. Having the children use a traditional fairytale as their basic framework, with a New Zealand twist, has been an easy way for them to remain focussed. It has been interesting to see how some of the stories have evolved from the basic fairytale into something quite different and intriguing. I am looking forward to seeing each new development in their stories

Week 5

This last week the children have been busy trying to edit their work, making changes from the online feedback and class feedback. We had a discussion which I remembered to video about how they felt getting feedback online. It was really interesting and filled with positives. They get excited when we are viewing the blogs. They love seeing their names and wonder who some of the audience are. They also think its great when we look at the traffic feed and see that we have had hits from all around the world , including South America.
The children are really understanding how important it is for their stories to make sense and tell a great story rather than just get to the happily ever after bit. They are beginning to make real connections with their writing and the writing process including the conventions of print. When they have had to read their stories back to their buddy word for word they realise there are bits missing and that punctuation does have an impact on their stories.