Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Hook and its Flow On Effects.

A couple of weeks back, we had a week of making things as our Hook activities for inquiry learning.  Each staff member had an activity of making to give the students ideas and to "hook" them into our inquiry.  Todate I think this has been the most successful beginning to our inquiry learning project this year.  The students made pop up cards, lemonade, tablemats, theremotropes and boxes.  Our students were very excited each day.  I supervised the lemonade making and was pleased to heae some had gone home and made it for friends and family.  A pity we don't have the facilities to make and store lemonade for the fair which is in November.  I notice too, that as a syndicate team we are making mor of an effort to state which part of the linquiry earning journey we are on, and to keep reminding our students of our learning outcome of making a profit of $100 per class. I have also realised that as teachers we are talking about how students are getting a good understanding of the process of how to choose an item, and understanding how to make it for the target audience.

In my attempts to integrate across the curriculum, my students have been learning to write instructions.  This was a flow on from having to use instructions in our make week.  We also in most reading groups, read stories about making things, and then the students wrote our their instructions for these.  I found a lovely story in a school journal about making 3 differenct sets of puppets which went down well with the reading group I gave it to.  Last week for homework, they founds adverts and analysed them for target audience, persuasive language, impact colours etc.  They are then able to bring this information to their reading this week to create an advert for something from their guided story.  Again the school journals have been great with a story about 2 girls making candle holders for the Saturday market, and another about making mosaic tiles.  I even used a play about recyling junk.

Whilst the idea of making something for the fair is still somewhat daunting, it is good to see the students understanding our inquiry topic and being enthusiastic.

Making Surveys

Today I taught 2 classes how to make surveys in google docs.  I began last week with 2 other classes and then, with my class on Monday.  A week before that I taught my fellow syndicate teachers.  The good thing about practise is you get better and better and refine as you go.  Having the students see what I did via the data projector, and then go to computers and do themselves it great to see.  It also shows how easily they learn from viewing.  One student who I had taught last year, and who is generally classed as a slow learner, was able to tell the student who was controlling the computer what to click on next.  It was great to see this student demonstrate learning easily and quickly.  A moment to treasure. 

I have learnt much about making surveys in google docs but there is still more to learn.  I had only done it a couple of times before and had found how to change the background, though did not mention this to the students.  It is interesting to see one group did make a background change under their own initiiative.

Making surveys has been part of our inquiry learning process about making something for the school fair that will help raise money for our school.