#observation

1 02 2013

A special treat for technowellies readers today, a blog about ….. Wellies! Or rather the drawing of them. Many of you will have fathomed that our current topic is ‘weather’. For art, i decided to utilise my stash of outgrown wellies for a still life lesson. Grouping the wellies in threes of varying patterns, sizes and colours, the children set to work using pencil, pen or pastel. Their target for the lesson was to use line to create an accurate picture of the wellington boots.

All was going well for the first twenty minutes, until one bright spark ( and he is a bright spark) asked another child why they were drawing boots. The other child replied that it was because of our weather topic and that boots were useful in rain. A second child piped in and said it was because Mrs Lydon must have lots of wellies so it was an easy thing for her to get together. My bright spark was having none of these answers though, and posed the question, “but why do we have to draw anything at all?” At this point I realised two things. Firstly ‘sparky’ was not enjoying the task as much as I was and secondly my target was not appropriate. Why had I decided to ask the children to sketch wellies? What was the point of using one hour of our precious learning time?

I stepped in at this point and joined the discussion. I talked about the need for close observation in other walks of life, how they were recording the weather by observing closely what they could see, not what they thought they could see…how they were editing their stories using close observation, trying to read what they had written and not what they thought they had written…. how they checked their maths by looking carefully at their actual answers, not what they thought they had answered.

Luckily this seemed to satisfy the children, who resettled, refocused and closely observed what they really saw, and not what they thought they could see. And as for the results, well, you can see for yourself….

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#solo

22 01 2013

Today I went solo, probably prematurely, as i haven’t quite managed to read past the first few chapters of my new book,but I was so excited, and my ‘snow lesson’ ( despite Edinburgh being the last place in the UK NOT to be snowy) leant itself so well.

So rather than the research and present content,( rather shallow learning) we researched, put ideas, information and learnt concepts into hexagons and connected our thoughts, and then presented our learning. ( probably nothing approaching abstract relational, but nevertheless deeper learning than it would have been.

I enjoyed my role as Devils Advocate, questioning children’s ideas and concepts, forcing them to re jig and reconnect and rearrange . Other children picked up on this role too, so that when sent to question other groups they were quick to try and spot links and connections that they thought the others had missed. All in all, a fun and constructive 2 hours for my class, the test will be tomorrow when I ask the what they gave learnt!

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#talk

11 01 2013

Talk has definitely been the theme of today, right from the first ‘chat’ of the day in the car park whilst unpacking my marking from the boot of my car. More talk as I install a visualiser on the way to my classroom, and yet more talk as the class excitedly ask one member about his birthday.

Talk fascinates me, some talk too much, some not enough, some control exactly what they say, others seem to have no control. The task today was to take a ‘Just so story’ summarise it to 100 words or less and then present to the class. The different styles the class used was fascinating, as were their presentation styles. As usual some totally blew me away. The group which took the story about how the camel got his hump, managed to turn the story into a very short and very funny play! Genius!

MORE Talk as I run through maths plans, reading levels, art resources, ICT equipment with colleagues, ‘talk’ as I catch up with friends from other parts of he school, ‘talk’ about the future technology school might deploy. Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk….

I have to admit i find talk easy, but in my drawer i have the stuck in the following quote stuck by Steven Covey…, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
Like most people, I still do this from time to time…today in my rush and excitement I know i have done this too much… Bad move- two ears, one mouth for a reason! Understanding is so important, whoever i am talking with. And reflecting on today, the most important moments were the listening ones, where I remembered to really focus on the message the talker was sending…Maybe my next blog post should be #listen.

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ActivInspire for Primary teachers

31 03 2009

a new tutorial guide for the primary version of the software. (page link to the right)

Enjoy.

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spelling city

5 02 2009

So, you all wait a week and then three new blog posts arrive on my site!!

Anyway- spelling city-I stumbled across this whilst looking for a way to demo the whiteboard using spelling resources. It is FAB- and I think I will be rolling it out to parents as well as staff!

Dead easy to input words, dead easy to play and very simple to take a test too. Off to try it with children. I cant see any adverts on it either, which is great.

Sometimes spelling sites need a lot of time and effort to get the space to add words, this seems simple enough to get the children to log onto it, enter the words and play!

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