Friday, February 29, 2008
There are often so few opportunities to get outside in the curriculum, that this initiative was about developing the curriculum around outdoor adventure at a very early age. I thought it gave children the experiences they wouldn't ordinarily receive at home, and for the older children, especially, give them real-life experience for writing reports, developing oral literacy too.
The main issues for enabling this to happen will be identifying a local woodland that can be used and how to transport the pupils to the site. The school who presented this session used parents to drive the pupils to the woodland which isn't necessarily possible for all schools. A colleague suggested borrowing a minibus from the local secondary school as an alternative solution.
The stimulus of this work was the Castle Condor set of resources, which has been developed by the Essex SAIS Team. Pupils wrote playscripts and made storyboards for their stories and then performed them using a Digiblue camera to record the footage. I enjoyed hearing how the detective work was wide-ranging, from deciphering clues to taking finger prints.
Was the connection between this activity and mathematics about developing children's awareness of problem solving and investigative skills? If you read this and know more than me, please do comment below as I'd love to be enlightened!
The teachers reported that pupils weren't at all familiar with hearing their own voices played back and quickly developed their ability to speak more concisely without the teacher giving input. Pupils also improved the quality of what was spoken after several practices and wanting their recording to be absolutely perfect without coughs, sneezes and whatever else!
A portable speaker system was also purchased to facilitate the playback of the iPod recordings.
It was suggested the whole kit cost around £200.
There were lots of opportunity to share the recordings with a wider audience using the Podcast function of sending it to iTunes and having the podcast feed available from there.
I really like the idea of using a portable device to record the sound rather than record straight into the computer. Portability is really important, especially when you consider learning taking place everywhere, including outdoors. I'd also like to find devices which are a bit cheaper than the iPod's and as in any school, accessibility to these devices is crucial for success if pupils make decisions about their usage rather than planned in the curriculum by the teacher.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
So why the shift? There could be a number of reasons,
1. I'm more prepared to take risks than ever before. Who says that when you teach you have to be right all of the time?
2. I didn't assume a leading role, instead sharing the lead with pupils who wanted to model some dance routines. I facilitated the session rather than controlled.
3. Having the benefit of watching model dance lessons and assimilating this understanding into a style or approach that sits comfortably with me and the children.
4. I used familiar songs:
- Macarena (Los Del Rio)
- Cha Cha Slide (Casper)
- Reach (for the stars) (S Club 7)
- Saturday Night (Whigfield)
- Candyman (Christina Aguilera)
Here are two groups of girls in my class who are performing their dance to the rest of the class.