Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Room 9 - Rocket Launch

Miss McLeod took our SPACE topic to the extreme and constructed some rockets. The class took them out onto the school field to see how high they could launch them. The results were amazing. 

Well done Miss McLeod and Room 9, we can't wait to try out the rocket. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Planet Song

Songs are just so powerful for learning and for teaching the brain. Don't forget how happy seeing makes kids feel. 

Our topic is Space - Every kid in my room could tell you the 8 planets and the correct order because of this song. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Student Centred Learning - Minecraft

Putting students at the centre of the learning process and allowing them to learn through areas that they are passionate about is the most important thing.

Listening to the level of talk, discussion, conversation around Minecraft you would be silly not to allow students to explore their learning or have a chance to learn through this media. The skills that they use and explore are amazing from problem solving to collaboration, instinct to imagination.

Teach for tomorrow, learn for today. Lets the kids be the reason we get up and come to school each day.

This is a 45 min collaborative learning time on Minecraft, driven by the students. They are amazing.




Future Learning

This is a must watch for educators, parents and students alike. I would be hard pressed to disagree with anything in this video. We need to take a really long look at our education system, the way we teach and educate, what is best for our students.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Quotes to teach by...

"You cannot apply new technology to old pedagogy"

"Quotes" - I found this quote the other day as I was reading through an article about modern learning environments and flipped classrooms. I love it because it hits to the heart of what we are trying to create in Room 8 with our modern technology and learning space. I have not taken much notice of quotes before but this quote though just jumped out at me and made me not only rethink what I was doing as a teacher and leader but it also made me think about how others may have been holding me back with what we are trying to achieve. Through no fault of their own unless you have been in this environment, embrace the change that iPads in a classroom can bring or have the opportunity to teach in this way you may always be held back by old pedagogy and ways.

I have been worried lately about what an iPad classroom may or may not be doing for my class. Should they be hand writing ? Should they be draft writing in exercise books more ? I have had doubts about wether or not what they are doing is right. Facilitators have questioned what we are doing in particular the fact that at a year 3/4 level more handwriting needs to be done, typing is slower than writing and work output is less than if hand written. This again is the opinion of people who have not taught in this way or been immersed in this environment. The way maths can be 'DONE' with iPads has also been questioned again from people who have not taught in this environment.

Through this 1 to 1 journey I have built up a confidence as a teacher in the belief that I am part of a modern and futuristic way of thinking, learning and teaching. I believe the students have also gained a new confidence and they are learning within an environment that they are not only suited to but SHOULD be within.

So am I right !!! or are things moving too quickly ? Should we still be teaching handwriting and making sure book work is at the centre of everything we teach and do ?

Having professional discussions has led me to the conclusion that as a school what we are trying to achieve is amazing and not at all ahead of our time but actually right on time. Others in fact may just need to catch up. It amazes me that money is still being suck into the wrong areas. We are here for the kids after all and technology HAS to be at the fore front. So I am proud to believe that we are on the right track and I know that what I am doing is right and is potentially what OTHERS should be doing as well. It has been terrifying at times but also exhilarating and I strongly believe we as a school, class and myself as a teacher are helping to carve out the next pathways in learning for all NZ kids.

Being challenged is a good thing, it makes you think and gets your mind racing. But being challenged when others who have not been apart of what they are challenging is just FRUSTRATING.