Saturday, August 19, 2006

Knowledge Bank-Our MiniBeast Unit

Impementing our MiniBeast Unit:

For the last 5 weeks Tanya and Deirdre, Grade 1/2/3 teachers have been working with their students on a MiniBeast unit that we have developed using the Intel Teach to the Future unit plan which integrates ICT and thinking into the curriculum.
Tanya and Deirdre were part of a Participant Teaching 40 hour workshop that we conducted at Wedderburn College last term. As part of the course they chose to create their unit around minibeasts. The unit that they created, based on Curriculum Framing Questions was designed using the Intel Unit plan structure. The two classrooms have taken a slightly different focus with Deirdre's class studying insects and Tanya's class studying frogs. On at least one day a week they have some specific time where they work together as a whole class and I try to work with the students on Tuesdays where we specifically focus on integrating ICT into the class program.
The two rooms are joined in the middle by an area where we have situated an interactive whiteboard, dvd and sound system. The rooms have another 8 networked desktop computers and we also make use of the 25 wireless laptops when we need to. The laptops can be booked ahead of time on an online calendar on mydesktop which is our online portal for all teacher information.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Blogger Tips and Tricks

Blogger Tips and Tricks
With all the issues around moving to the beta version of Blogger, I'm going to keep an eye on this blog to see if there is anything that will come up about the new version.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Asking a big question.

One of the powers of the web is the fact that we can combine and see visual, audio and text all at once.
Today I worked with a Gr 5/6 group in a literacy group. I wanted to give them an opportunity to read and think about an issue and then to show their thinking using the online learning tool Visual Ranking.
As it was a literacy class we first used the reciprocal teaching method to examine an online story created by UNICEF It asked the question: Can we develop without further damaging the environment? This linked in with the broad topic of environment that they are just beginning to study in class.

We had a spirited discussion where we gathered lots of ideas about how and why we might be affecting the environment of the world.
Then in small groups the students went to the computers and logged into the Visual Ranking tool where I had set up a list of things that I thought they could rank according to how seriously they thought it was affecting the world environment. I deliberately have not asked them to study the UNICEF site at this stage as I want them to consider their ideas before and after they have gathered more information and knowledge.
My plan is to have them investigate and read more about the situation and then decide whether their ideas have changed after reading and discussing.
More to come...

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Creating a Learning Space

This week we are starting to see real progress in our new learning space at Wedderburn. The frame is up and we can now see the size and structure for real.