About Thinks

Sometimes good thinks happen and sometimes bad thinks happen. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish between the two.

Some thinks need immediate action and some thinks may remain as thinks forever. Thinks can be angry and heated. Thinks can be joyful. Thinks should never be cold.

These thinks are linked to many other wonderful thinks and I like to attribute these.

These thinks do not necessary reflect those thinks of my employer.

Think long, think on.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Why long term plans are bad - part 2


You can't dream-up and manufacture authentic contexts. They just show-up. One showed up the other day at school. A few parents had been in. A theme has emerged.

At our school it is time to look at the NZC 
Values - Dignity and Respect. It is time to focus on the Key Competency Relating to Others.
From this will come English, the social sciences, the health aspect of PE and our digital citizenship programme.
Let's do some Just In Time teaching!

Conversations will be had, digital citizenship films viewed, iMovies created around digital citizenship and kindness.  I dare say that that nemesis dolphin of mine may even make an appearance.

Reading books might go home with an anti-bullying, be nice to your friends tone.

Stories will be told and listened to. 

Strategies will be developed and put in place.

If we had long-term plans we might worry about this announcement.

 "But this is not on the plan, when will I get my out of context teach-to-the-national-standards work done?"

"We won't have time to do writing..."

"When will I get my teacher - manufactured 'topic' done?"

I do think that is is okay to have some of those out of context things up your sleeve for a slow authentic context day (that's like a slow news day. The days where the fire brigade are featured on the news for pulling a cat out of a tree, or a pub goes for cheap in Gore.) But can you imagine a news reporter sighing with disappointment because he put a lot of work into planning that cat story, but now he has to go interview Kate Windsor live, because she just ditched Will and has landed in NZ wanting an exclusive interview with him.

Long Term Plans are dangerous beasts in that they CANNOT predict when the right time is. Our teachers may well have taught dignity, respect and digital citizenship in week 2 of this term, but it would have been irrelevant at that time because everyone was being nice then. 

Week 6 was when we started to see behaviours, where pockets of 'trouble' tended to pop. But sometimes this can happen in week 4, or week 1 or not until term 2. You can't predict it. It is pointless teaching 'be nice' when everyone is being nice. It's not real.

Teaching 'be nice' will also deliver authentic teaching moments. 
Let the kids go. 
Your job is to analyse and gather learning evidence. 
You will get more data than a test and you will get more next steps that you could possibly teach in a year. 
How are the children displaying dignity and respect? 
How are they relating to others? 

The literacy progressions may well be your friend this week. This is a year 3 example, Can you see evidence of ...










Do remember that texts include written, spoken, visual, digital. Did they, for example, shoot a film and then make changes. Or did they film and forget? 
If they can, it's evidence, if they can't, it's a next step, it's something you could teach right away ... or tomorrow, or something you save for a 'Slow Authentic Context Day'.
Prioritise: Authentic Context stuff
Slow Authentic Context Day stuff comes second
Not the other way around.






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