Thursday, 29 October 2015

The Flipped Classroom

Andrea, Katie and Kristen have been exploring how they can use videos to support learning and teaching. Above are some of the videos they have created to support writing. Check them out!

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Weekly Planning

Each week the children plan their week on a weekly planner (some do this digitally and some on paper).  At the start of the week, the teachers share their weekly planner with the children.  This allows the children to record their group sessions with the teacher, workshops, and other requirements. E.g. Writing support, sports coaching, music lessons. The children then plan when they will complete their learning tasks.  

It has been really exciting to see the children using their planners to arrange times when they are all available to work together on shared inquiries or to arrange a book club meeting when everyone can attend. The children are taking responsibility for managing their learning by selecting which learning task to complete, when, with who and where. They are responsible for prioritising their time on a daily basis so they can complete learning tasks before set deadlines.  

Conversations with individual children demonstrate that they have a clear understanding of how this system works and that they enjoy learning in this way because they like having the freedom to choose.  There are different support systems in place for children who need help with planning their day and prioritising their learning tasks.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Maths Learning

In the Senior Syndicate, we teach maths across seven cross-grouped classes from 9.00am - 10.00am each day.  We decided at the start of the year not to make any changes to our Maths programme in 2015 because we knew there would be lots of new learning involved in working in collaborative spaces for the first time.

As the year has progressed, some of the teachers have started to make changes to their maths programmes to reflect the learning and teaching approaches they are using in the areas of literacy and integration.

Andrea, Katie and Kristen give the children priorities they are required to complete throughout the week. These include: Basic facts practice, rich task problem solving, word problems, Mathletics, and strand related tasks. The children can complete the tasks in any order, on any day.

The teachers run different workshops throughout the week. Workshops may be focussed on number knowledge, number strategies, or strand based. The children worked alongside their teacher to develop an understanding of their individual strengths and next steps. This information has been tracked on personal goal cards for each child. The children use these goal cards to help identify which workshops they need to attend.

Andrea, Katie and Kristen have had to develop planning and tracking templates and systems to ensure that the children's learning needs are being met and challenged. They have adapted and developed these systems as the year has progressed.

Some comments from the children...

“I like it because we get to learn the strategies we don’t know very well instead of just learning a new one each week. Sometimes we needed more practise but the whole group had to move onto a new strategy.”

“If you forget how to do something you can go back to another workshop. If you go and then you realise you don’t need to stay because you know it, you can leave. It is wasting time if we already know it. We learn about things we don’t know.”

"Miss Gordon has workshops and we go to them if we need to and if we don’t go but Miss Gordon knows we need to go she comes and shoulder taps us."

Andrea shared the changes she has made to her maths programme with the Senior Syndicate teachers. Her presentation is below.