Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Good stuff done well

So while whipping through a room the other day I came across what appeared to be the retyping of stories for publishing. I saw miss whatsername struggling with finding which key was what, and with a quick eye roll I thought hmmm. What then hit me was the reality of what was being taught. Kids were creating pictures that described their writing and then re editing their stories to make the two correlate. Add to that the thinking templates that helped step out the stories, these templates included scenes, pictures and descriptions. Great teamwork discussions between kids, the teacher had carefully manipulated who was in each group, the teacher facilitating cleverly with those needing help. They were into kid pix and were faced with a few options from there. They could either print their books off or flick them out as digital books to the junior class with whom they were going to read them with.
The story is that sometimes the simple things can be done really well and can make for great learning and teaching. I remember Mr Canterbury's boost reading project, which did a similar thing and benefitted all, or aunty Dots mileage, teamwork and comprehension jaffa on itunes. The thing is its easy to forget how much fun we can have while making learning real.


Glenys said...

Great learning! Well done.

Anonymous said...

My name is Gaia and I am considering teaching in New Zealand, and after reading your blog I was hoping to ask you a few questions about your experience.
If you are willing please email me at


Manaiakalani said...

Simple things well done is the key. We have moved a lot of our work space for kids to Google Apps and I struggle with the switch from multi-media rich Apps to an environment that is so heavy on word processing. But great teachers are getting their heads around it and not just having kids sit there and "type up a story". I saw a teacher last week with kids writing on Google Docs on 6 different computers, but she was harnesing their delight in multi-tasking. So they had 6 tabs open in their web browser (with each of the 6 stories open) and they were commenting and adding ideas to their mates' work at the same time as writing their own. Sure the writing process may have been slower (though I haven't asked about that yet) but it was very collaborative and interactive.
And yeah, the jaffa on iTunes is still a real basic concept - but it continues to work!!