Quadblogging -why Jen, why?

Well, it’s for our VIT registration! But really, it’s about more! Jen tells us it’s “good for you”!

Really?  What do we really think about Quadblogging? Are we game to write what we think? Afterall, Jen will be reading this…that I know for sure! Is it a pain in the butt, just something extra, or should we be embracing it?  C’mon my quadblogging team, tell me what you think!

We really do need to be engaged in our professional conversations about learning and teaching.  I know that’s where I get my best ideas!  Talking to my colleagues, asking them questions, celebrating the small things, what’s working well, what’s not working well.  My problem is, I’m no writer, who cares what I have to say, what if I sound like an idiot, what if there are spelling and grammar mistacks (can’t have that as a teacher) 😉

Looks like it’s here to stay, so I best get over myself and get blogging…with my team of quadbloggers. See you all in the bloggersphere 🙂

We’re Google Driven now!

I’ve really enjoyed term 1…it’s gone so fast but for once I haven’t been hard on myself to plan to perfection. Instead, I’ve worked on getting to know my kids, blogged, google docked (did I just make up a word?), played lots of social ‘getting to know you’ games and emailed my students back and forth. Our blogging has been quite superficial, as has our google docking- but the constant use has given the children confidence and understanding of the simple mechanics of how it all works. All my students have work in their drive, and it’s saved and they can find it, no matter what device they pick up- it’s been a revelation to some and finally adopted and accepted by all.
So, this should mean that next term we can get down to the nitty gritty, using higher order thinking and use our new skills with some substance….all going well. Wish us luck!

Sick Guilt!

So, I’m sick! Woe is me….and I feel worse not being at school! I have these visions of my students wasting their time doing colouring sheets and endless photocopied tasks when there is so much to do! It’s irrational and negative energy wasted on actually getting better, I know all of that. So my question; why do we care so much? Can’t we just be sick and not give them a second thought?
I know my students would be having a ball- swapping names, swapping seats, all the joys of your teacher being away!
Enjoy kids! Ms Fitz will be alive and kicking again, can’t wait- kind of miss my Class of MisFitz!

24 Hour Skype Around the World- 2014

Map- 24 Hour Skype Around the World

March 14th will see my grade (5/6F), Mrs A, my 8 year old son, my 6 year old daughter (they want in) and I awake and connecting for 24 hours!  We’ll be talking to kids from all over the world to see what their classes look like.  Some of the schools are Daily 5 schools too, so it will be interesting to see how our kids and kids from other parts of the world connect, with this being their common learning in literacy.

Hopefully the kids talk candidly, forgetting about the adults standing around listening to their every word.  This isn’t about us (the adults), it really is about the kids finding what they have in common with kids from other places.  Connecting, respecting and learning.  We have over 25 schools to chat to this year (sleeping will not be an option).

Some schools are chatting to us, purely to chat to English speaking children- they are learning English!  What better way to get kids communicating with each other. I know my students can’t wait- they can’t wait to stay up all night, it’s a social event for them more than anything…..oh, but it’s so much more! 🙂

 

Taking Note

 

During the past few weeks we have been introduced to a new way of thinking about Literacy in the classroom, The Daily 5.  We, as in the children, and us, the teachers.  We are lucky enough to have a wonderful educator at our beck and call, Sue, who is modelling, teaching, mentoring and encouraging all of us to change our thinking and do things differently.  We are experiencing success and lots of it, and it’s only week 3! Part of the change, for me anyway, is to take a step back from “teaching” and just watch.

While watching, I take notes, tally behaviours and get a feel for where my students need help. I don’t jump in, I try not to glare at disruptions and I try not to ‘fix’ their problems with suggestions of what they could read.  This is hard, I’m a teacher, I want to teach, it’s what I do!  At first, I felt like I was wasting time, I should be conferencing, guiding, teaching!  But, I persisted.  I watched.  I tallied.  I found patterns. I got to know my kids.

I have watched some of my students fall deeply into another world; Ancient China, Nazi Germany, a swamp, of all places and not want to come back to reality.  These are our bookworms, the kids we don’t worry about, they get it, they have it, that love of reading. I have watched some of my students flick pages, swap books, walk around, distract others, look out the windows with no engagement.  These kids will do anything to get out of reading, they just don’t enjoy it.  Talking to my colleagues, they can relate, they were these kids.  I was the bookworm.  They needed to be hooked.  Some of my kids, particularly my grade 6 boys need to find purpose and find something they really love, something they really WANT to read.  For my flickers and fakers, this is the problem.  They just can’t find that book that hooks!

I’m hooked!  On observation.  It will become part of my teaching and assessment.  Thanks Sue, for making me take note, so to speak.

Are we Asian Literate?

If not, we should be!  I believe we are getting there, but have a long way to go.  I went to a terrific PD yesterday with resources!  This was so important and something I realized we need to collect, put into a place for all to use and generate some ideas on how to use it in our everyday teaching and learning- not just a stand alone topic!

I think the big question at every department meeting should be “what are you doing in the next few weeks to include in your teaching that involves being Asian Literate across Literacy and Numeracy.

I believe in Picture books for all ages- they get kids in and the learning is endless.  We have some great resources at our school, but they’re not that easy to find if you don’t know what you’re looking for.  I’d love to find them and make an Asian Studies section at our school.  What do you think?

In the meantime, have a look at the link below- its all things Asian Literacy, in one place!  Check it out!

Asian Literacy-one stop shop!