Illustrating our narratives

Monday
A return to writing a personal recount was taken in their stride. Using the news plan they shared their weekend news. I'm hoping that the focus on describing what happens when writing a narrative will have a positive spin off when they write their personal recount - time will tell.

This afternoon we looked at the blog and again I tried to drum up a bit of support for writing comments. We got all those who have made it to the 'bloggers wall of fame to stand up'


Tuesday
We listened to 4 oral planners this morning, taking note of the text organisation of each as well as some language features namely the use of the past tense and passing of time words.

At our syndicate meeting I introduced the junior staff to teaching narratives through the use of three pictures and the important oral language activity that precedes it. I talked to them how the use of this activity exposes the children to a range of rich language even though they might not actually use it in their written language. I demonstrated (using the monkey and zoo keeper pictures) how I use this approach, with the teachers pretending to be 5-7 year olds. The demonstration was a lot more powerful than just talking about what I do - seeing is believing. I then read 4 children work - which highlighted how varied their stories were and how achievable it was for the varying levels of ability.

The three year one teachers have decided to all try the same pictures over three weeks so they can support each other through the process. The dialogue between the teachers will play an important part in staff development and ultimately as refinements are made to the teaching and learning sequence student achievement will be the winner.


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Wednesday
My third year student teacher had her visiting lecturer watch her teach this morning - she undertook the oral language activity prior to writing a narrative. and had the children video each other using their oral language planner before they went off to write.

The lecturer was most impressed with the level of oral language - and how they made use of the oral planners - and how this helped the children when they wrote. This was all very affirming for the student teacher. It was also interesting for me on a number of fronts
- to see a student teacher grow professionally to the point she could articulate to a lecturer why she did the things she did and explain how the recorded oral language planners would be used to focus on text organisation and language features tomorrow.
- to have a lecturer comment on the students oral language in such a positive light . The lecturer's written feedback to the student teacher stated... you extend childrens language well (describing words) - you have got some excellent words..... the children's language is endlessly interesting........

Today some of the children drew their pictures on KidPix to support their written text.
I showed them how they could draw one image and save it eg Hanbin 17a ( 17 being the task number we are up to, a being the first picture he had drawn)
Once saved as 17a they could save it again this time as 17b. Once saved as 17b I talked to the children how they could change aspects of their picture to tell the second part of the story. By doing this it ensured the main characters were wearing the same coloured clothes etc. and the children weren't drawing their picture from scratch each time. This process was repeated for 17c

It's so pleasing to see how far they have come in drawing visual images to support their work.

We looked at the blog today and looked if people other than those from New Zealand were looking at our blog lately. They were delighted to spy a flag that clearly was different from the usual ie NZ flag. We wondered whose flag it was - when one of the children said drag the mouse over the flag it will tell us. We did and Julius declared its my country - he was delighted.

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Hanbin17b.jpg
17B In this image Hanbin just rubbed out the lady with the big hat and coloured the seat in red again.
Hanbin17a.jpg
17A This was the first image Hanbin drew. He saved it three times once as 17A the other as 17B, the other as 17C

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With 17C He drew the people in front of the lady with the big hat while the image of the three was still at the back so he could match their clothes. He then rubbed out the three people at the back and fixed up their seats.
Thursday
We listened to two oral planners and then the children continued to write their narrative about the cat on the fish tank under the guidance of the student teacher. It has become clear how important it is to adhere to time frames when working on a project like this. With the current over runs in the classroom the children are getting less hands on time to write and as some of them rush their work they miss writing the interesting detail in their text and forget to include speech.

Children continued to draw images on KidPix. I supported them through the process. DongHae saved his first picture as 17a and 17b then decided to draw the picture from scratch for 17c.

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Donghae17a.jpg

Donghae17b.jpg
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Friday
'Charlie' from our buddy class came today to help the children who had questions they had to answer on the blog. He is so keen to come more regularly so we agreed he should come Wednesday and Friday and I'd call him if required between those time frames.

This afternoon we had our recording session and it worked like clock work again. Some of the children are beginning to voice their opinion as to which tool they prefer to use for recording. Some have a strong preference for using imovie over keynote using the flip video. I find this interesting and am wondering if its something to do with the fact that when we use imovie their work is up on the blog a lot quicker. I wish I had seized the opportunity and asked them at the time.

As the children went out for lunch I asked them to give me a word to describe how they felt when their work went up on the blog. I used wordle to capture this - writing every word they gave me.

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As the week draws to a close – I ponder and acknowledge the following
• A lecturer could see the value of this approach in terms of the oral language the children displayed.
• Drawing three pictures really does reinforce the notion of a story having a beginning, middle and an end.
• Saving one image twice can speed up the process of children drawing their images on KidPix
• The children are developing an idea of what makes an interesting picture.
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