Sunday, March 14, 2010

Numeracy, literacy- learning

There is a real urgency in classrooms to ensure that our children are all being challenged in their learning. How do we do this?
Not necessarily in this order but:
- accurate assessment data
- analysis of that data and "where to"
- learning conversations (15 minutes one on one with each child about their learning)
- teacher observations- ongoing (assessment) discussions regarding student learning
- meaningful learning contexts (it needs to hook the child)
- effective use of ICT, people and other resources
- time , time to plan, prepare, to set goals and to reflect

Relationships, relationships, relationships.
Relationships are the key to doing anything meaningful with the above. The teacher needs to connect with the child to challenge them, to know what is best for them and to effectively monitor progress. As we head to the end of this first term relationships should be well established and our learning humming along.
I will share some with you tomorrow!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Wonderful Learning- A day at Windsor

My visit's to classrooms today left me with the distinct impression that our children have a fantastic learning environment here.

In one class the children were using literacy (oral, written and reading) to present short skits/ plays showing our PRIDE values. the children had created and memorized authentic scenarios and presented them to the class for feedback and improvement.

In the next class the children were created hip hop dances and the dialogue that was going on was fantastic.

The next room ( Year 6) were writing ballads - what a challenge, certainly nat as easy as one would expect yet they were persevering with the guidance of their teacher and created some wonderful pieces- as an aside they were collaborating in groups of two or three.

In the next room they were singing Waltzing Matilda! Now that was strange until it was explained that here was another ballad- the learning in this was multilayered- the ballad, the setting, the song, the culturally specific language.

In another room a child told me she was "Sleeping in my clothes tonight!" she was so excited about a trip the next day she was dressing for it the night before!

My wanderings finished with a visit to a class engrossed in visual art. They were using their determination and excellence in developing skills for the portrait they were about to do.
My visits reinforced to me:
  • Numeracy and literacy are skills, knowledge and tools to unlock the world- a means to an end not the end itself
  • Our children are so creative and innovative
  • Our children lear well alone , in pairs and in groups- they collaborate so well!
  • They problem solve with ease to overcome obstacles
  • Their oral skills are developing well
  • Our belief of "Rich Tasks and meaningful learning contexts" is critical for positive and challenging learning to occur

I hope to have some pic's and updates for you in the next few days