|Our Beautiful Oak in Autumn|
Well term two has reared its head. It's a frustrating term filled with assessments and the like. I am very lucky to have a student on the journey with me this term and it is great to have someone to co-teach with, reflect with, and bounce ideas off.
Argument writing is the arbitrary genre that has popped up on the long term plan. I was going about it the 'normal' way and was feeling a little deflated by it all. I thought that if I read, Firstly, Secondly and Thirdly one more time I may be forced to slash my wrists.
Then from out of nowhere, Rick KT just happened to post a similar sentiment while at the same time reminiscing on one of his finer teaching moments - The Bellaire Times
My student and I took a look at their wiki and decided to give it a go. Oh how perfect this has been so far. The kids were interested! Thanks to tools such as Edmodo and Blogger a real relationship has been formed between these kids. It was also helpful that they could read examples written by the Bellaire children. The data gathering methods (ipods, mics etc) were particularly appealing as well as the authentic publishing to a wiki. Again the kids were learning from kids!
Within the first two days of the new regime, my students were literally falling over each other to get to their writing books so that they could write their research questions. Very interesting (well from a 10 year old point of view) questions have emerged and both myself and the kids look forward to 'writing time' everyday. Children are taking their writing home, interviewing their families and generally having a great time with this authentic task.
There are many great anecdotes thus far, but here are my favourites
Miss K - an alleged reluctant writer is canvassing school opinion as to whether or not children can start riding their bikes to school. She is developing arguments for this notion in relation to Health of Children, Conserving Petrol and Avoiding Lateness. She intends to interview the principal, the caretaker (parking considerations) and a selection of children about this very pressing issue.
Miss Z - is conducting research on the consequences of children fighting at school. I'm a little worried about this one. She intends to interview the Principal and DP and ask them what kind of action they take on fighting. She will then interview children who she knows have been caught fighting to see if the purported action took place. Far out, we've got a live wire there!
Again what Mitra refers to as the 'granny cloud' is an incredible motivator. We really do need to come up with a name for our adaptation of the 'granny cloud' The 'kiddy cloud' sounds wrong. Any suggestions are welcome :)