Week 2 Term 2 Autumn Poems

Monday

Yesterday I attempted to upload a quick time movie we had made of Autumn poems made in keynote. Frustration set in when it could be viewed perfectly on my computer but when added to the class blog the second page played without the audio. A hurdle but one that I will need to think through, after all one needs to preserve when using ICT tools. I decided to upload the clips to teacher tube – something I haven’t done before.

Viewing the recordings of today’s personal recounts – some students videos are missing and the quality of the oral language text vary greatly and were on the whole a bit disappointing. Upon reflection it’s important to celebrate the small steps being made after all improving the construction of oral and ultimately written text will take time. Reflecting on our construction of oral text I feel is the key - those healthy discussions about what made something interesting to listen to and then reinforcing these ideas as the students record their ideas is important in lifting the quality of the students work.
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Interestingly as we undertook an experiment for our inquiry about water one of the students took photos as we went. Another cried out we should make a slide show with these photos!!!!
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Tuesday

24 hours later – my videos on teacher tube have not been approved – another frustration. I have sent them an email to find out why. However I showed the class the 3 movies I have completed which included 6 students work – so they could see where we are headed in terms of putting together a finished product. Their response was instant – one of enthusiasm and excitement. (click on the image and the page will turn)

We viewed some of the oral text today – reflecting on each of them – Before we viewed them I asked the student to articulate what was our success criteria to reinforce what we had discussed the day before. After viewing each clip we reflected on the success criteria.
• follow the planner
• describe what happened
• keep the planner (paper) away from your mouth.
• Using passing of time words

After I modelled adding on to the text I had started yesterday the students moved off to write. One of the students (who had said the following at the end of last term when I asked him if he liked writing at school “ no not much – it’s a bit boring.)came alongside me and asked to view his video which he did with a fellow class member showing him how to access it from my laptop. He went away and added on to his personal recount and was then keen to get on to the computer to draw some pictures to go with it. I watched with interest as he applied himself to complete the task and wonder if this will change his attitude to writing.

Viewing the students written text it is so pleasing to see that descriptions are evident within them e.g within the students text they wrote
When we threw the leaves up they fluttered down on our clothes and hair. (Zoe)
We walked past the junior playground. We saw beautiful light coming through the trees. (Ryan)
Last Wednesday my class went for an Autumn walk on a crisp cold morning (Ora)
The leaves were crunchy and wet. They crunched in my hands. (Liam)

It's exciting to see that rehearsing the structure of a text orally and reflecting on these oral texts is helping to build an understanding of constructing written text.

I have passed the support sheet of how to add a comment to a blog on to our buddy class in a hope this will support them adding a comment to our blog.
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Wednesday

The classroom was bubbling with excitement as we passed around the ball of ice, hand of ice and ice cubes. We spent a lot of time looking at, touching and describing the ice and with limited time we didn’t actually get to use the visual planner – that will have to wait until tomorrow.

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Later in the day as a class we went on to teacher tube to see if our videos had been confirmed. It was with great excitement that we discovered they were there. We quickly turned off the lights to view them only to find that the audio track didn’t run correctly!!!!! The students were obviously disappointed but also found it amusing to hear the wrong voice with the image and the next page to have the person talking but no sound.

What a disaster – time to rethink. Talking with a colleague he made a few suggestions. – Tomorrow during my CRT we are going to work through some of the issues.

This takes me back to the learning at school conference and a comment made by Jamie McKenzie about the importance of talking about the dark side of using ICT – things don’t always run smoothly.

Today it was pleasing to see 6 emails in my in box from our buddy class They have made comments on our blog – I will work through these with the students tomorrow.
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Thursday

Time was against me today as a training police education officer took a lesson with my class and time got away from us. I used the time left in the first block to go over the process of recording each other – how they can support each other during the planning stage. I asked for volunteers to model the process and hands shot up using the flip video is so appealing. We talked about helping each other when they get stuck.
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Second block I met with our e-learning support teacher and explored placing the keynote quick time into imovie and then exporting it as movie web size. Then we loaded it on to the blog and it could be viewed – audio and all - FANTASTIC

After lunch I showed the class our blog – ‘it worked’ was the call loud and clear from the children when they saw the videos on line. GREAT. I was then asked by many when will mine go up, followed closely by I’ve lost my discovery zone user name and password.

We viewed the comments written by our buddy class and published most of them. We decided to talk to our buddy’s about two of them; one because a typo had turned fantastic to funtastic and that error was picked up by one of my more able students and another the sentence was incomplete. It raised an interesting point – do you accept spelling errors made by the children when commenting on each other’s blogs? My current feeling is no – it’s a public space and because of this spelling errors should be corrected.

Interestingly after school two boys came up to me and asked for their user name and password. They are so keen to view our blog. I found the information they required and placed it into their reading logbook.
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Friday

I took the morning out of the classroom to work through the last of the recording to complete the first cycle of multimedia presentations. Reflecting on the fact that most of the recordings to date have the children looking up to the left or the right depending on where they were reading their poem from I placed their poems on to the flip video – which was much better.

One child's poem was incomplete – writing is always more challenging for her as she has dyspraxia. She walked into the withdrawal space to video her buddy and I commented that I couldn’t find hers and then realised it was because it was incomplete it hadn’t been published. Without a blink of an eyelid she said I know mine and immediately recited her poem – one she made up on the spot. This was amazing, for a child who finds speaking in complete sentences and the writing task so difficult was able to structure the poem only missing one line. It was a magical moment – I put her in front of the flip video and her buddy videoed her. I can’t help but think that the rehearsing of language for a child like this is so valuable and the oral language activities had scaffolded her to be able to produce an oral text without the planner. Her high level of concentration was obvious and then her sense of achievement was priceless once she had finished videoing. From her recording I will publish her poem.
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When our buddy class came again, we showed them our blog sharing our autumn poems and thanked them for writing comments on our blog. We then talked about some of the spelling errors in their work and highlighted to them that when writing a comment a spelling error will be underlined in red. The buddy class was excited to see our short videos so I quickly showed them how I had done it – it would be great to get them to make some.
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As the week draws to a close – I ponder and acknowledge the following
- The importance of being solution focused when faced with frustrations and disappointments.
- Establishing effective systems assists in the smooth running of a project like this.
- Students commenting on a blog is a skill that needs to be taught
- The important role of rehearsing language through oral language activities for the less able writer.