Week 8 Term 2

Our second visit from Vince from Core Education was met with enthusiasm and excitement. Sharing our journey is just seen as part of what we do in room 15.

Following on from last weeks work on 'snapper' we started by making 'a web' of all the facts we had acquired about them. From there the children used the oral planners with their literacy buddies. After I modeled the use of the Y chart for writing, the children set off to fill in their Y chart planners in their draft books and began to write. It is interesting to see some children using detailed visuals to convey their facts while others are using key words.

As part of the literacy process the children have to rehearse their written text - ready for publishing. Most do this as individuals but some are beginning to do this in groups each having a turn reading their work and giving feedback to each other. This gives the children a chance once again to read to an audience as well as reflect on each others work. This I see has real benefits and I must encourage the children to do this more often.
As a class I talked to the children about commenting on the blog and how over the last few weeks I had seen the following comments
Those that
- gave feedback on the way we spoke
- gave an opinion of what we liked
- asked a question of the writer
- had been written by the author added more to what they had initially written
I drew a quick visual to go with each and placed it near the computers as a prompt/ reminder to vary the types of comments they make on the blog. I will develop this further.
It is interesting to watch the way children work to create visual images. Today Aart was busy drawing his picture of the water cycle on KidPix - I took a photo as he worked - He always does his outline first as if planning it and then uses the paint bucket to fill it all in.

I spent the morning with Vince talking about the inquiry - It's great to talk to someone about the project and what they had observed in the classroom. This all helps me to reflect on the process itself.

The following things stand out for me the most
- commenting on the blog is helping to promote reflective learners.
- the children have an understanding of the process we are using and therefore know what to expect next in the process.
- the way I view literacy is the way I teach it. For me literacy is embedded within every part of the school day so therefore I teach it in an integrated way using e-learning .

I had an interesting conversation with a colleague, about the spelling errors children make when commenting. I think that capturing the children's thinking through their comments is more important than the spelling. Therefore I have told the children that they are to write their comment and that I will fix any spelling errors before placing them on the blog.

This morning before school two children were on the blog leaving comments- some of them are well and truly hooked - they enjoy writing and receiving comments.

This afternoon I showed the children the new visual I have made to reminder them of the various ways they can comment on a blog. I decided to place some vocabulary around it - words that they are consistently using and spelling incorrectly and I have showed them how they can take the words off the board - use it and put it back. The blank cards are to add words to the board. It will be interesting to see if this makes a difference to the number of errors made.

Today I had 2 blocks of CRT. I undertook some running records. The children's ability to recall the text has certainly improved - is this because they have become more aware of the expectation that running records require or are they somehow more aware of how texts work and are able to draw on this when retelling a text. It's hard to know

I have had to hand over the flip video to teachers in the junior school - this is a double edge sword. - On one hand it's wonderful to see colleagues using the flip , while on the other hand it means I have to be more organised about when I timetable the use of it ! Sharing technology is hard sometimes. We have a camera per room and I'm hoping that in time we will be issued with a flip video per room!!

The children have begun to draw goldfish and label them. These will be published with their information report. Their skills are certainly improving.
I had to go in search of the flip video this morning ! Once found I set it up in the classroom and we held a recording session in the classroom. The children responded to it really well - respecting the fact that we needed a quiet classroom in order to get through as many people as we could. I'd call a child and immediately their buddy was there ready to video their buddy. What did the rest of the class do I hear you ask. Well they were placing this weeks poem into their poem books and completing a activity based on their terrariums, while others were busy on the classroom computers drawing their goldfish.
As the week draws to a close – I ponder and acknowledge the following
• At times as teachers we have to decide what is more important ie is it the spelling or the thoughts/thinking the children are trying to convey.
• Commenting on a blog can be varied and we as teachers can encourage the children to comment in different ways .
• Recording can occur in the classroom as long as their is an expectation that this requires a quiet room!
• Setting up a system to ensure tasks get completed is important.