So we are nearing the end of Week 7. Wow what a journey.
As I wrote 4 weeks ago, relationship building has been the focus. I continue to do this with each and every learner in my class. Everyday trying to make sure I connect for at least a short time with them – whether it be about some learning or before school for a chat or at morning tea and lunch time or even just in a casual way to catch up about how things are going. I need these kids to know I truly care about them as people AND about them as learners. I can SEE how this is having an impact after 7 weeks and it is hugely rewarding.
We have done a LOT of unlearning (I have not used this term with them although I am going to soon). At the end of the term we will do some reflecting about what has been ‘unlearned’ and ‘re-learned’. My plan being to share THIS video and seriously discuss what they have achieved over the 10 weeks of Term 3. I am hoping one of my students (who is into biking AND who is one of my more difficult students) might be interested in ‘making’ us a backwards bicycle which we can ‘test’ this theory with.
Our daily videos on a range of topics has been the BEST thing I could have done. It is now a habit for us to have a ‘message’ which we sketch note about. We are now visiting the ‘Learning Pit’ concept and building some understanding of how this links with our new found Growth Mindset. It has been amazing watching these kids come to some understanding that we are capable of learning anything if we put in the time, effort, and practice! I can truly say I have witnessed massive change in their attitudes towards the way they approach learning. Those who used to call out ‘I am dumb at drawing’ or ‘This is too hard’ or ‘I don’t know how to do this’ now just get on with their sketch noting and adding the word ‘YET’ to other Fixed Mindset statements. It is exciting to hear and see. Activities like the one below have helped embed this new found belief in themselves.
We have discussed Digital Citizenship AGAIN and the importance of this when we are connecting online through platforms like Edmodo and Twitter.
We have learnt how to structure an Edmodo post and an Edmodo reply.
I gave the kids an opportunity to share their voice on whether they think we should use Twitter in the classroom for learning. Their responses were interesting and varied. We discussed how it all comes down to personal responsibility.
We went on to learn about how we can use Twitter for learning – especially for #NZreadaloud to connect to the author – and how to structure a tweet properly. For their very first tweet – the kids all tweeted a question to the author. And a day later Mary-Anne Scott had replied to all of them!
We have also started a piece of explanation writing to share what we have learnt about the Zoo and Jungle Tiger metaphor for learning. The kids all brainstormed their ideas and I synthesised them into a #storyhui format.
Today we focused on their opening paragraph.
The other exciting thing happening in between all this learning is the group working on ‘innovating a teacher storage room’! Since the first week I was here this small and dedicated team have gone about planning what they want to do to turn this wasted space into a cool and comfortable breakout room for our class. The painting has begun!
Three weeks till the end of the term and lots of things happening and loads more to get through. As much as it has been the hardest thing I have ever done – it has also been the most rewarding.
I am now looking forward to where I can take these kids by the end of the year.
Watch this space!