Week 9

Monday
This morning we talked about personal recounts - we haven't done this for a few weeks and we went over the text organisation we would expect to hear in our oral planners - which for some children came with ease while for others it required more scaffolding.

This afternoon we discussed the way Aart had answered a question I had asked him on the blog. The way he had answered it, it read as if he was eating the fish bait ! This led to an important discussion about making sure we read our comments before we publish them to make sure they make sense. We reworked his original comment and placed it on the blog.

The system I am using to track the children through drawing pictures on KidPix and then moving on to rehearsing their text for recording is working smoothly. When their work is published - it is hung on the wire in the classroom and the children know that they will record later in the week and therefore at reading time they have to read their text to at least two people one of which has to be their literacy buddy. Those who are working on their illustrations know they have to draw their pictures, save them and tick their name to indicate they have finished the task.
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Tuesday
We listened to 4 oral planners that had been videoed yesterday. I clicked on one and immediately
the children told me it wasn't a personal recount as the child in question was talking about something that was coming up and not something he had done. Most are very clear that personal recounts involve recalling events that have occurred.

The children worked through drawing their pictures to support their information reports, their illustrations are becoming a lot more detailed as their skills improve . They also have a growing understanding of the importance of illustrations.

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Sarah who is highly motivated by this approach to publishing wrote about her cat getting stuck in the garage door as it closed. As soon as she had finished writing her text she was on the computer drawing the pictures to go with it. She told me that she needed to draw 3 pictures not 2 to tell the story. Three delightful pictures were drawn and carefully labeled 16a, 16b and 16c so I knew which order to put them in.
16a is clearly the cat stuck in the garage door
16b is the cat being taken to Nana's as Sarah was staying there the night and is said she had to make sure the cat was o.k so took it with her!
16c is Sarah looking after the cat at Nana's
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Wednesday
Sometimes you just have to slow down a bit and today was one of those days. I took time out of the busy writing schedule to enable children to finish writing their personal recounts while others spent more time on editing their work than they normally do.

Across the school we had difficulty connecting to the internet today as we did yesterday. There was a lot of discussion about it between staff as we reflected on how much we have come to rely on the use of this in our programmes.

Every day we always view our blog - talk about who's visited and view the last posts. I was surprised at the level of disappointment at not being able to view our blog. They kept encouraging me to try different ways to view our blog but everything we tried resulted in the same response - error . One of the children was extremely keen for it to work as I'd told her in the morning I'd placed her work up on the blog. She is unable to view the blog at home at the moment as her computer is not working. This is clearly problematic for her as she is so keen to view he work on line.

Thursday
Today was 'blue day' - a celebration of our inquiry - water water everywhere. It was a day that deviated from the normal classroom programme that captured the children's enthusiasm and enjoyment of the topic. Throughout the morning we played ice melting madness, undertook simple experiments and made badges using KidPix. It was a bit of a mission to get 21 badges drawn and laminated in 2 blocks but we did it. The level of engagement and motivation was there for all to see. We went off to the syndicate assembly proudly wearing our badges to share with the rest of the team and wore them home with pride.

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BubbleShare: Share photos - Easy Photo Sharing

Visual images can be so powerful and today 21 keen learners showed this. I'm sure they will remember 'blue day' for quite some time.
Friday
I took a morning out of the classroom and set myself up in 14A to watch the children video each other. I was hoping to be that fly on the wall and although I know the interactions between the literacy buddies would have been influenced by my presence I came away with the following insights.
- children are incredibly supportive of each other through the recording process
- most children do 4 recordings before they are happy with it.
- some children will preserve until they get that recording they are happy with even if it takes 7-8 recordings.
- some are still a little unclear about how to zoom in on the flip video

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As Ashane and Liam recorded each other Ashane alerted me to the fact that 2 of the latest postings on the blog were wrong - as two voices were being played on the one slide. I then checked some I had ready to place on the blog - they were all the same!!!! In my attempt to speed up the process I had made such a major error that will result in double the work!!

As the term draws to an end I reflect on the number of postings that have been made. When I started the inquiry I had decided that I would aim for each child to have 5 posts completed by the end of the term. This was never intended as a numbers game as after all the quality of the work and the process itself is what is important. I just wondered what would be a realistic expectation given a class of 24 children. It will be interesting to see how many children will have 5 postings completed by the end of the term. - 7 children are already there and some will be there by the end of the week while others who often take longer to work through the process of writing and illustrating their work will not. The exception would be Ora who is a keen writer but has been away with chicken pox for a week and is away next week on a family holiday.
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As the week draws to a close – I ponder and acknowledge the following
• When recording, children are incredibly supportive of each other .
• Some children will preserve to achieve a quality recording even if this means 7-8 takes. We as teachers need to be patient and allow the children the time to work through this process.
• A simple but significant error in setting up the keynote master has resulted in double the work.
• A motivated learner is beginning to make her own decisions as to how many pictures she needs to support her written text.

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