I have been busy throughout Term 3. It has been about winding up my project and reflecting on the outcomes.Did my project succeed?What was the most effective part of the project and why?Did I have to change my thinking regarding my original project outline outcomes?How did the children feel about themselves and their writing ability?Did the parents/ online community take up the challenge?
I have gone into more detail on my wiki http://ginnysjourney.wikispaces.com/My+E+Journey
I'm not sure that I have changed my thinking regarding the power of online feedback but like anyone in teaching I adapted my writing process to suit the students and modelled each stage. I also believe that we must take more time to teach the stages of writing including the conventions of print. I planned for the students to be creating their stories over 6-7 weeks including the visual stories. The first 3 weeks was very much immersion of fairytales, comparing modern and traditional fairytales, practising visualisation strategies of settings and characters. recreating fairytales through drama and looking at movies that have fairytale formats. I also found hooking the families by home learning fairytale surveys was informative and lots of fun. Each child was confident in sharing there family members favourite stories and characters and could explain why.I really enjoyed seeing the childrens enthusiasm towards learning about new characters and loved how they could adapt their stories to create a New Zealand setting or use of at least one native animal or mythical creature like the Taniwha.
I have spent part of Term 3 assessing the students writing and comparing it with results from the beginning of the year. I had a core group of low level writers who were predominantly low level readers as well. I would like to think that my project has impacted on the reluctant writers considering their attitude towards writing has significantly changed. I used the exemplars to help assess each part of the student writing process. The data shows all of my students have improved. The children have also made very good progress in their reading levels which again has helped with their attitude towards all areas of their learning.
At the beginning of the term the children continued to complete the writing process. They have enjoyed the project and have continued to upload their writing onto the class wiki for more feedback. Each child has created a visual story in either movie maker or photo story and recorded their stories then uploaded them onto the movies.
Interviews and Surveys
I completed several video interviews with the students, some parents and a teacher who has previously taught the children as well as been involved in adding feedback to the childrens work.I was very impressed with the children when they were interviewed because they were not given any time to write their thoughts down (as usual in teaching I had to record them during class sessions). Each child was able to articulate how they felt about feedback/ feedforward and how they benefitted from receiving it online.I am fortunate that my class have become use to being asked questions and are expected to reply with explanations and examples.
Again during parent interviews I was able to ask my parents to take a survey home and send it back to school with their child. Parent Interviews have been a fantastic forum to be able to really get the personal committment by the parents to help their children in their writing.I have to say that my parents have been very positive throughout this research project. They only want the best for their children and most have enjoyed being able to go online and become participants in their childrens learning environment. One parent said it was fantastic to see what their child had done in the class and how each draft of their writing had developed into a more visual story.
Teaching Colleagues Perspective
I have been fortunate that one of my colleagues has been followed my project and been involved in blogging the students with feedback. Jill Flemming has taught several of the children in my class in the junior school and has had several opportunities to look after my class during Term 2 and 3. She has commented on how proud and impressed she is with these children and how some of them were definitely reluctant writers and now have a positive attitude about themselves and their writing ability.Jill commented on how she has noticed a significant difference in not only the children's writing but in their ability a to share ideas, give constructive feedback and collaborate with each other to help individuals improve the task they are working on.