Thursday, 6 December 2012

13th May 2012 Wendy's Teacher Log

From: Wendy French

Date: Sun, 13 May 2012 at 6:25pm
I am going to do my log on basecamp as I find it easier and then I won't feel restricted to the questions.  
This was a shorter week because of the Monday holiday.
Some of the things we have used the ipads for this week are:
Spelling - using the Flashcardlet app, spelling and the dictionary app
Language - writing a newspaper report about Usain Bolt's world breaking 100 metre run at the Beijing Olympics in Pages.  This built on work we had done last week where we looked at different techniques for a headline, the features of a newspaper article, using a variety of punctuation and where we watched video and took notes about the race.  
Maths - used some online games for adding and subtracting decimals and used a pages document with problem solving questions relating to 200 metre world records.
Health and wellbeing - finishing our puppet pals animations on Usain Bolt, his diet, training schedule and tips on techniques.  
- finding out about the modern Olympics, key ideas from a text and how to organise notes, in the app inspiration
Reading - working on our reading novel group tasks by creating pages in a book they are making in book creator.  This week we focussed on identifying vocabulary from clues in the text and finding the meanings of words.
One task that I would like to explain in more detail is the task about the Modern Olympics.  
We are working towards hosting an event for Primary 4, who are also studying the Olympics, where we will hold a mini Olympics for them to take part in.  A key aim will be for us to help them enjoy exercise and sport during a team event, understand some of the benefits of a team event and of exercise, to understand some of the values of the Olympics and for us to promote some ideas for how they could increase their own personal exercise.
This task is part of a sequence where they will present to the Primary 4's about the Olympics and it's values.
Our success criteria was to be able to identify key ideas from a text and to organise notes under subheadings.
I introduced the children to what we would be using the notes for (creating a presentation to tell primary 4 about the origins and values of the modern Olympics.    
The children read a text about the modern Olympics and a referenced article about the Olympics on Wikipedia (we discussed reliability of text on Wikipedia and ways to ascertain reliability).
They then had to work in pairs to identify key ideas and possible subheadings to organise our notes under.  We then used the app, Inspiration Lite (I'm all about the free these days).  One of the things that we did was stop a couple of times so that people could show features of the app that they had discovered.  The children enjoy the role of being experts.  
This made note-taking quite flexible as they were able to add in other sub topics if they thought of them and to paste in images.  At one point one of the children queried a fact in an article they had found in Wikipedia and after discussion we decided not to use it as we didn't think it was referenced, it also sounded unlikely.
Something that we couldn't have done before was the animation about Usain Bolt, his diet and his training regime.  The app made the animation easy and was motivating and fun.  It did make me think we need to spend some time assessing quality and next steps for our simple animations.  It was a bit of a chock a block week so we couldn't do it last week but I will get back to peer assessing, next steps and an opportunity to improve.  
A reflection that I have is that the possibilities are endless but time is limited.

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