Wednesday, January 30, 2008

literacy planning online

The net is a rich source of well designed lessons, units, ideas, etc.
Why reinvent the wheel?
These plans are all from "" - a great site for resources and ideas.

Action Is Character: Exploring Character Traits with Adjectives:

A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words: From Image to Detailed Narrative:

Audience, Purpose, and Language Use in Electronic Messages:

Audio Broadcasts and Podcasts: Oral Storytelling and Dramatization:

Become a Character: Adjectives, Character Traits, and Perspective:

Defining Literacy in a Digital World:

Designing Effective Poster Presentations:

Book Reviews, Annotation, and Web Technology:

Character Clash: A Mini-Lesson on Paragraphing and Dialogue:

Choose Your Own Adventure: A Hypertext Writing Experience:

Choosing, Chatting, and Collecting: Vocabulary Self-Collection Strategy:

Collaborating, Writing, Linking: Using Wikis to Tell Stories Online:

Empowered Fiction Writers: Generating and Organizing Ideas for Story Writing:

Exploring Plagiarism, Copyright, and Paraphrasing:

Guided Comprehension in Action: Teaching Summarizing With the Bio-Cube:

Literature Circle Roles Reframed: Reading as a Film Crew:

More than One Way to Create Vivid Verbs:

Peer Review: Narrative:

[For any educators out there, do you have ideas for online publishing of shared planning?]

question for educators [no doubt some of my students will read this and comment anyway]

do you believe the students should have access to the "real world" of the net, with guidance, advice, cyber safety education, monitoring by school IT administrator, etc, or should they be restricted from genuine net access and genuine collaborative social software and interaction because of the possibility of access to inappropriate content?
I ask because I am trying to achieve genuine interactive learning and there are pressures to restrict my class's access to the internet to avoid any possibility of "something going wrong".
essentially, my 10-12 year old GATE [gifted and talented education] students can learn online with greater richness and possibilities of interaction and feedback, or they can be restricted to a contained environment.
What do you think? In this case, a contract is signed by all students and if that is breached then they lose their rights to net access.
i sincerely hope some of our "readers" will begin to contribute to enable us to justify our current blogging format.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tips for Successful Blogging

In 2007 something wondeful happened - despite many doubters and those who would not participate for whatever reason, the Room5ians managed to take part in a highly successful educational activity - blogging.
Our finest bloggers will no doubt contribute here this year as well [in fact some have already], acting as role models for the new Room5ians who will need to follow their advice and examples to live up to the high standard of academic excellence. To be honest, some of the original Room5ians could even teach other teachers a thing or two about how to engage, extend and motivate 21st Century learners in an ICT integrated learning environment.

One of the key successes I believe is that a community of learning developed independently of school expectations where students could initiate topics, question logic, display research findings and generally have fun continuing their own learning outside of school.
A key factor for success was to treat each other and the blog as a learning tool - not a social one - and use it RESPECTFULLY. Failure to do so results in a loss of ICT privileges.

What else could former Room5ians say about the blog, why it is successful and how to keep it positive?

Digital Learning Objects

To all research partners, former Room5ians and immiment Room5ians - here is a list of the digital learning objects to be covered in Term One 2008: beach safety and instructional video creation basic video production [with other related DLOs to follow] bike design incorporating descriptive language, including metaphors learn about creating an online news page [maybe we could construct one for the Room5ians to have their say and inform parents, the Principal, etc about what we are doing in Room 5] editorial writing skills [to complement the online news] a very basic DLO to remind us how to use coordinates on a map

More DLOs [Digital Learning Objects] will be added to this list. Do your best with each one. If it seems easy, challenge yourself to try to get more out of it.
Always remember, You will achieve according to your effort.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

don't worry kids - i'm talking to myself...

fear not young'uns - im posting stuff of interest to myself regarding education. you need not be concerned...
i'm also putting stuff on here for planning purposes - ideas for units/projects, etc for term one 2008.
so pay no attention, unless you're interested.


TKI units of some interest for units of work or teacher professional development:

How might we learn more effectively?

I have been teaching GATE now for three years and have had many very EXCITING moments with MOTIVATED and CREATIVE students who have so much more to offer than what is often found in a 'normal' classroom. I believe students are often held back by teachers who are either ignorant of the possibilities available, too scared to try them, or simply to afraid to let go of all the POWER. In many cases teachers with perfect planning folders and pristine wall displays [often put together by the teachers themselves or their teacher aides and showing very little student work or depth of thinking] are lauded as the great success stories in a school when really what they are often doing is limiting their students. Students really begin to shine when they are given some guidance and inspiration mixed with creative freedom. OftenI find that the most impressive outcomes were never thought of before a project began. Students who are allowed to follow their own interests and design products that excite them will work feverishly and make sure they strive for quality.
Another factor than can help enhance the motivation of students, improve the quality of their outcomes and allow them the freedom to develop new ideas and skills is to digitally enhance the classroom. This means having a more than one or two computers, a robust network/server, good access to fast internet, access to a quality library, digital cameras, a digital video camera, headsets and recording equipment, a scanner and printer, teacher laptop and a data projector with a sound sytem. The computers could be mac or pc, but need to have a useful array of software including graphic organisers, word processing, spreadsheets, image editing, movie editing, sound recording and editing, and music composition. the children also benefit from access to an online forum and learning community like a class blog.
cooperative social learning in groups, independently, without restrictions of timetabling, access to equipment, etc, makes for very exciting learning. Before you know it, kids will be loving school, working together, designing books, comics, animations, composing scores, planning filming and editing movies, writing online for a world wide audience, giving and receiving feedback, blurring the boundaries of school, home and the 'real world', understanding complex ideas, sharing their understandings, acknowledging sources, learning from and becoming 'experts' - in short, surpassing what they can do in an isolated room with one supposedly all-powerful, all-knowing creature called a teacher.
some interesting links:

a NZ researcher on "digital classrooms"

The critical success factors involved in the implementation of a digital classroom in New Zealand
AUTHOR(S):Malcolm J. Roberts, Unitec New Zealand
DOCUMENT TYPE: Masters Dissertation

"The key to the success of a digital classroom is the teacher and the type of pedagogy that is used in the classroom. The teacher needs to take a facilitator role, implementing a constructivist learning environment where the student interacts seamlessly with the ICT in a rich multimedia learning environment. To be effective the ICT must be transparent. The inquiry process is an effective pedagogy to use with ICT. The study found that each classroom was at a different stage along the constructivist continuum. The most effective classroom had the teacher in a facilitator role and the students had freedom to learn using the digital tools. Digital classrooms have the potential to merge the new learning styles of today’s students with the power of the new emerging digital tools to produce a new generation of independent literate problem solving students."

Rotorua case study

An example of ICT integration