Today I spent the day working with the other mathematics coordinators in the school looking at how we teach and assess the students in their Mathematics. We decided we needed a new way to assess them using a more Assessment as approach instead of an Assessment for or Assessment of learning. We came up with a new Learning Journey document that asks the students to demonstrate their understanding of each concept starting at years 1 up to years 6. We feel that this document will give the students and teachers greater ownership of their work and where they can go to improve. See my Pre test page for the download of an example of th Learning Journey. You will not be sorry!
Coming soon to a speaker near you…… The official Podcast of The Classroom Splats…. ROOM NINE. Keep your eyes open and your ears ready.
Today before we began our Free Choice Writing session to get the students into the flow of being creative we began with a small class story game. To create this story the class sits in a circle and as we go around the circle each person adds a word and a story is created. Today my class created this story…
Once upon a time there was a big Minecraft sword with a pig who loved Powerangers. He was addicted to unicorns and dancing. So then he ate a chicken and a hamster . So he killed a creeper and a fat chicken. Saliva was dripping down all the way down his back and his backside, it was a terrible smell of the ugly, disgusting unicorn friends that he had eaten. However the smell was making a horrible noise as it ate his flesh.
The story may not make a lot of sense or even flow properly but the experience that the students gained from writing this as a class was fantastic and really rewarding.
Give it a shot in your class and see if the results surprise you, I know I will be doing this again!
This term we have started looking at the Inquiry topic ‘Beneath Our Feet”, exploring the way that natural disasters have occurred. To begin this unit we are currently in the immersion stage of the unit with each of the teachers taking a different lesson for the student to explore the concept further. My lesson is about erosion of soil. I wasn’t sure how the students would find this lesson, thinking that it may be a bit dry for grade 3 and 4 students. Wow was I wrong the students loved the lesson and really enjoyed shaking the water and soil solutions and seeing what happened. I was surprised at how they reacted to seeing how different soils changed when introduced into water. This also prompted some fantastic discussions. See a video below of what happened when we put sand balls into water. I am looking forward to seeing how the students react when we delve further into the unit!
Meditation, not always something most people think of doing in their classroom. A lot of people that I have met and discussed it with have replied with “When would we find time do that!” or “But I don’t know how to run it or have the music!” My response to that is….
In my classroom the meditation takes five minutes to do after lunch. We don’t use any music, we don’t lie down and I haven’t ever been taught how to take it before.
The way that I have run the meditation is pretty simple really, the children all get a chair and sit facing me somewhere in the room. We get them to close their eyes and focus on their breathing. Once they are settled you get them to try to focus in on each part of their body; feeling it’s weight and noticing that it is there. Once they have done this you ask them to try to focus their hearing inside and then outside the classroom.
For something that only takes 5 minutes to do after lunch when they usually come back rowdy it is produced amazing results in the afternoon sessions.
Give it a shot and let us know how it goes.
Away we go again starting Term 3, it is really good to be back, rather refreshed and ready to go. I am looking forward to this term we have many exciting units planned, the most exciting bit being the excursion to the Melbourne Museum. This term I am also fortunate enough to the coach for the School Sports Victoria Under 12 girls team and we are traveling to Canberra in week 6 to compete in the National Championships. We started training last weekend and I am looking forward to seeing these girls develop further.
Over the holidays I had a chance to delve more into Google Docs and how I might use them in the classroom. I was able to create an online Time test that tests the students ability in the area of Time from year 1 all the way through to year 7. The form will then mark the test and highlight the students abilities according to the AusVELS standards. I am really looking forward to using this in my area and hopefully it will save time for all the teachers. Check out my resources page for more information.
I will aim to keep updating the blog as regularly as time allows, until next time enjoy the start of the term and…..
Wow what a busy mid year school holidays I have had. It always surprises me at how fast the holidays go by before you even realise it you’re looking at heading back to school again. My holidays this time around were even more packed than usual. My holidays consisted of…
Junior State Championships
The Junior State Championships or JSC is aHockey Victoria tournament where representative teams from each region compete to become the state champion. I am fortunate enough to be the head coach of the Under 13 Southern Metro Region Girls team. After 8 weeks of training and practice matches we headed into the tournament as one of the favourites along with the Eastern and Northern zone teams. The big surprise of the tournament was the strength of the North Country team from Albury Wodonga who came out strong in the early rounds. Heading into the final day of the tournament it was a close battle for the top of the ladder with any team of these teams able to take first or second. Unfortunately for us in our first two games of the day we suffered some unfortunate injuries to two of our key players at bad times and went down in these games after dominating the majority of the time, knocking us out of contention. We finished of the day with a comprehensive win which made the girls feel good. On finals day we were disappointed in only playing off for fifth in the state and you could tell by how flat we played, we ended up losing the game and finished sixth. Congratulations must go out to the Northern Knights who went undefeated in the tournament and only conceded two goals. I was very proud of the girls in my team and was stoaked when four of them got selected for the Under 13 Hockey Victoria Team. I look forward to working with some of the girls again when I start coach the School Sports Victoria Under 12 team this weekend!
More to come soon!
As my class has been studying Margaret Wild texts we discovered a text interview with her on Kids Book Reviews (http://www.kids-bookreview.com/2011/04/interview-margaret-wild.html). The students then led a literacy circle discussing the interview and what they learnt about Maragret.
Here is the interview in PDF form for use in classrooms.
We have been studying Margaret Wild during our literacy groups pretty heavily this term and we found a lovely interview that she did in 2010 for the Premiers Reading Challenge.
Please find the links below.
Wow what an exciting semester this has been at my new school! I have had an amazing time so far learning a whole different way of looking at teaching. Going into an open planned school was a bit scary at first but I am now loving it, particulary working with the fantastic teacher Miss A in my area, she is a fantastic resource to have in the middle school area. The overall Middle School team is an amazing team which has been fantastic working with! I cannot wait for the next term to start and to start blogging with our lovely bunch of coconuts in Grade 3/4.