Thursday, March 27, 2008

On Being an Old New Learner

I have been working on a project with both the grade seven and eight students using the comiqs site. What a great site and for those students who completed the activity it was great.

1) I realised that I have a higher need to control the learning environment when I am unsure of my skills and understanding of the project. I don't find it easy just to roll with the situation. I want to type out the steps of the project rather than allowing students to "play" with the site. I also found that as my stress transfers to the students.

2) After several periods of working on the project I realised that there was something wrong with our school's ability to upload to the site. I had just assumed I was doing something wrong and had not instructed the students correctly. It find it frustrating to want to try new things with students and find that the system is not supportive of that learning.

3) It was easier for the second group of students who worked with the site. We worked in smaller groups, they seemed better able to work through the steps. And oh yes, Donna came out to help us!

4) Students need to have an email account for so many projects which can be done online.

5) Students whose parents have not said there pictures can be on the internet quickly phone home when they want to use photos of themselves and their friends.

So, as an older learner, I am going to need to be sure of the site I am using, ask questions of the tech department when I have questions, and trust that it will work.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

I'm Back!

I have been back for a while, but this is my first post. Well...

1) In January I introduced the students to the reading comprehension strategy, making connections, as outlined in Reading is our Business written by Sharon Grimes. The students loved using the sticky notes. And I enjoyed hearing their comments and connections. Some students made the most incredible and meaningful connections. I have to say I was most impressed with a grade three student who made the connection between the illustrations in Owl Moon with a local artist, Allen Sapp. The older students found it the most difficult to make connections, or enjoyed the process the least.

2) I worked on a small unit introducing students to author's purpose. Which has gone well. I used a much simpler format than the one on making connections, and I felt it was more successful. I am mulling this over and looking at how I plan my next units. I want students to enjoy their time in the library and I want it to be a meaningful learning experience.

3) Today is the birthday of Dr. Seuss and I am excited about the unit I am going to introduce to students on Tuesday. It is amazing how many ideas and web sites are on the net for teachers to use. My website is small, but I am pleased with the links I found.

4) I continue to work on helping students to find books they will enjoy reading. We are putting out more buckets of books and hope to rotate these so there is always an easy way to find a book. I am developing genre author lists which we will post. As much as I want students to use these they are useful for me as well. I don't know the collection as well as I would like to. I also want to have a web page on the library web page which always have a list of the new books with a bit of a summary.