Interim reports

Education Learning Log

Cathkin Third year Biology

Cathkin High have a group of keen bloggers on Thursday lunch time. Last night their teacher Jaye Richards discovered my blog! I’ve been in my office here only a few days and as I’ve been involved in induction activities etc I hadn’t introduced myself properly to the school as I’m in the community wing. Now that I know my schools (one of which will be Cathkin High) I had planned to arrange a proper introductory visit. However after Jaye made contact I was able to go along to her class today and see her using glow with her third year biology class. If ever there was a reason for pushing blogging – there it is! Part of my role is to find examples of good practice and share it – its unlikely I would have got round to finding Jaye and her class for some time without a bit of blogging.

So into the computer base where the third years go every Thursday to use ICT within Biology. Some Australian visitors were also evident to look at what was happening and some of the ICT people from the EA. Jaye had already spent time over a few sessions as an early adopter, training the pupils in the use of their glow group etc.

So today taking the context of Australia the children were investigating population and how various organisms can affect it. They could read their news – which explained the learning intentions, then go to their glow group for biology where they could read documents explaining the tasks and activities. Pupils then used a variety of weblinks which had active tasks such as a food web activity, reading where some functional writing was produced, work on discussion points with the discussion group, developing graphs using excel. There was a lot going on.

Grant admitted he prefers the teacher telling him what to do first rather than it being on screen to read, but he said the activities were much better on glow as they were more active rather than a worksheet. Another pupil said that using glow freed up the teacher’s time to really help anyone who was struggling with an aspect of their learning.

What struck me was the enthusiasm of Jaye Richards and her commitment to use an available tool to improve her teaching. The using of that tool in itself was allowing her to really reflect on the outcomes of the lesson and how to meet the needs of the pupils. I was also really pleased to see how collaborative the work the pupils was doing became very quickly – they were helping each other, asking questions of each other, supporting etc.

This was not about J being a digital native or otherwise (maybe we can just stop using this nonsense term)- this was about good teaching – someone who was using the tools available to their best advantage.

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February 21, 2008 Posted by | glow, learning | , , , | 7 Comments

Catching the blogging bug!

Caroline the P7 teacher is a star! She’s curently setting up Glow and running a rich task amongst other things. Her recently started learning log is worth reading, it shows a reflective practitioner constantly developing how they do things! P7 were really excited that they got comments on their rch task blog and Southpark are also rip roaring away with their rich task blog too.

We were all back to school today and the heating was all sorted out. I’m feeling a bit busy just now as I only have two weeks left at Castlefield before I move on. Trying to catch up with lots of little jobs I haven’t completed is puffing me out!

At home I’m living in chaos – a new kitchen seemed like a good idea. However the building work prior to the kitchen going in has turned into an archaeological excavation…. First a big bed recess cupboard was dismantled, then a fireplace removed etc etc however the most fascinating bit was peeling back the layers of paper and paint to the original paint work from over a hundred years ago. Trends go in circles – it was chocollate brown and a sort of mushroomy, terracota colour with blank bits where it looked like ikea-esk chunky shelves had been. I could have wept however when I saw the size the original huge wooden fireplace had been – it must have been beautiful.

January 23, 2008 Posted by | Rich tasks, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

P7 Bloggers

P7 were having a good time today. I went in to help them get blogging. They’d love some comments if anyone has time to drop by their blog! They are looking at aspects of functional writing and non fiction reading at the moment with their Africa rich task and have been working hard already. Southpark are up and running with their blog too – it’s on the sidebar of this page – Mossneuk are also up and running -they’re looking for comments too! The children really start to understand the power of this as a learning tool when they get feedback so I know they’d appreciate it.

January 21, 2008 Posted by | Malawi, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment