Sunday, April 3, 2011

My Teacher Action Inquiry

So what am I looking at this year. It really is an extension of what I was doing last year. I want to work with the children on how I can share my learning - both the content and the process. I began last year with this and explored ways that we could share this so I knew, they knew and so their parents knew. So much of what we do is about thinking and how could we share this, so traditional methods and tests didn't always show this. I explored SOLO last year and need to keep exploring this. I also did a lot of work with recording voice, drawing our learning, using statements/comments about what I knew then and what I know now and how I got there. I guess my ultimate aim is heading towards a digital portfolio that meets the needs of what we want to share, but that is also realistic/manageable in a class of 26 children. Last year I had 18 students so things were a little easier. I guess my first question I am posing myself is "What is a digital portfolio?" What does it need to have in it to show and share our learning?

I'm Back

Well I am back into using my blog. I can't believe how long the absence has been. I've been off exploring other forms of recording my thoughts and reflections but am going to be using my blog again for my new Teacher Action Inquiry.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

So has it helped.....

So now I am trying to tie things together and see where my thinking is at and has my project done what I hoped it would. Are my children thinking more deeply in response to what others are saying? YES!! And then I guess I have to ask "How do I know?" and "Why?" and "Would it have happened anyway?"

With the e-fellows we have been constantly looking at and asking "How are the literacy skills, knowledge and dispositions needed for the 21st century supported through e-learning contexts?" The answer for me to this question and for how and why do I think my project has worked is because it involved - collaboration, ownership, interaction with a global community, authentic audiences, making connections and being able to review, adapt and modify thinking. You need to be able to communicate and process thinking clearly to succeed. The e-learning context is the world our children (and us) live in - it is the real world now. It provides so many more real and relevant experiences in my opinion that you just don't get using and doing things the way we used to.

I have really embraced we need to help children develop their thinking, process their thinking, show their thinking, transfer their thinking........ We need to give them the necessary tools. We need to find whatever way works for them..... We need to find what ever way will develop global learning communities......We need to......... I saw something that said we need to change everything!!! I disagree, we need to enhance what we are doing, look at the core curriculum, work with the tools that are out there....above all, be adapt and challenge ourselves. We can't just teach children one way is right, we have to give them the tools to challenge and find out for themselves.

Goodness, did I answer my question. Will reflect on it and hopefully someone out there will reflect with me and challenge my thinking.... :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

We're Expanding

I started expanding our Literacy Circles to my next reading group down and it is working out great. They are learning about the roles from the original group and I have 2 of them adding to the wiki after a week. It is great because they are reading a book the original group read and put on our wiki. They have been reading what they said about it and are getting ready to add comments and their own contributions. It will be good to see them challenge and ask questions of the original group (if they are brave enough).

Even have a mum who came along and learnt how to use it so she can be helping her child at home. Said it was great because she can come in to the wiki and see so much more of what he is doing each day and can talk about it with him and it will make the work they do at home so much more meaningful and relevant to what he is doing at school.

A funny, neat thing, I have one of my group who every week has been going back to our original book and is adding new things to an argument (discussion) she had right back in May. She is not convinced and wants to keep it going. If this had been just an oral discussion or in our reading book, she would not have been able to keep going back to it, rereading it, and adding to it. It is still live, still current in an on-line environment. Not 'done', put away and moved on from.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

We are in a global community!!!!

How great is this!!!!!! Way back in May when we were reading Tomorrow is a Great Word by Janeen Brian we found her website and guest book and a couple of us signed in and posted comments to her. Here we are in August and we got replies from her. This is very exciting. It showed the children they really are part of a global community and that the world is so small. To add to the mix, Janeen lives in Australia but in 2005/6 she lived across the lake from us in Rotorua!!!!! If only we had known.....but then we hadn't discovered how much we liked her books then. If we'd met her, she might have been just another person we met.....we now have a connection to her through her books. Making connections is taking on so much more meaning to often are we asking children to have a deep and meaningful relationship with books and words and speakers they feel no connection we push them to make those connections...just a thought. If you want to see our posts and replies (humble as they are) go to and go to Tomorrow is A Great Word and then you will find a link to our page of her comments.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I am excited by the success we are having with the children choosing their own books to read. I have had 2 parents comment about how their children are reading, reading and reading (boys!!!) and discussing the progress of their story. They have chosen lengthier books and we decided it would be easier to write a 1-2 sentence summary after each chapter. They race to tell me each day what has happened in the story. They are eager to read each others book next. I am seeing a growing love of books - what more can I ask for, a teacher's dream.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Children's Choice

Today the children decided whether they were ready to go it alone and choose their own book. 4 chose to and 4 decided they wanted to work with the new book I had. I have given them the choice of exploring new roles or if they wish to, keep working with the package of 4 roles we have been using. Interesting for me, when we have discussion groups and interviews with the group I had split them into 4 and 4 (profilic discussers and quieter contributors). This is how they have split today. Not sure what it means, but I guess confidence levels come into play with going it alone. It feels like we are moving to a new dimension now. Probably closer to the truer form of Literature Circles as Harvey Daniels sees it. 

Life will be interesting in our blog/discussions as the children will not have read the same books. The children commented today that they would have to do great summaries so the others would know what their story was about. They also commented that they would probably have more questions to ask each other as they would have to explain more things to each other. Again - the authentic audience and knowing others are interested in what you are writing has come into play and given meaning to the tasks. Quite an exciting direction for us.

Neat to have the children working out with me how me would put their choice of books on our wiki. We think we've got a workable plan - we'll have to see.