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! 🙂
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.
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!