This post was published by Anne-Marie Flanagan on 30 August 2011.
I started the Year with a group of students who relied heavily on me as the provider of all the answers and they were reluctant to take risks with their own learning. Until the introduction of CLLC I had not been big on change or risk taking however since the introduction of specific PLT’s my own practice within the classroom was placed under a microscope and I was able to see a change was necessary for me as well as the children in my class, in order to move forward. Last years class were very open to change and were willing to journey with me on a new way to explore the area of Inquiry learning through literacy. We had built up a level of trust and collaborative learning,we were all on the journey together as learners.
Through my inquiry unit I wanted to ensure the children became independent learners.I was transparent with the curriculum expectations ie VELs, this initiated discussion and collaboration on where their learning would go.Through personal reflection this required an equal voice and the ability for the children to take ownership of their own learning. This came about through the development of the learning pyramid,through professional learning I sourced an article based on Blooms taxonomy (Self directed learning: A pathway to creativity in Learning Matters Vol 15 No 1 2010). As a level we decided to trial this within our classrooms and report back to the PLT at the end of term. The PLT discussions challenged our thinking and challenged our practices within our classrooms as well our personal learning and teaching. My class and I underwent a significant shift in thinking. Whilst I was aware of the children’s individual styles of learning I was not aware of how to apply this to classroom practice.
Through on going negotiation with my students they are now at a point where they take ownership for developing effective and varied tasks around Blooms taxonomy, in order to develop a deeper understanding and knowledge within their Inquiry Unit.
The following example from our Inquiry Unit on Endangered Species is a pyramid created by one student on Pandas. At the evaluating level this student chose to create a text where he would recommend 5 ways we can save Pandas (as shown in the 2nd work sample).
Here are some of my students WOW moments:
“Get more done this way -steps-planner” Hayley
“Funner – get to pick what we learn” Melanie
“Get to learn from other people” Monika
“I like the fact we have a say” Kelsey
“I learn things better because it is explained better” Izabel
As a Collaborative Literacy Learning Community how can we continue the conversation around student voice and choice. This wordle represents some of our thoughts & questions around student voice. I encourage you to add a post to this blog about the opportunities you create that involve students.
If you click on the image it will bring up a larger image for you to read.
The following Wordle was used on May 16, 2011 as a prompt to initiate discussion amongst the group of teachers exploring Contemporary Literacies as part of the research. In our discussion we also referred to the Contemporary Learning Schema and discussed Contemporary Literacies that involve:
Developing culturally relevant and valued literate practices
Creating and interacting with print, non-print and multimodal texts
Engaging critically and effectively in a multimodal world
Communicating appropriately in a range of social contexts
As we shared and challenged our understandings we reflected on some examples of contemporary literacies in actions. These included a teacher blog where student learning at her school is published. In this blog we see examples of students developing deeper understandings about self, others and the world. These students explore multiple perspectives and influences as they engage in group conversations using voicethread.
Take a look at this Glogster produced by St Michael’s Ashburton. Some of the teachers exploring Contemporary Literacies on May 16, 2011 were talking about Glogsters. Frank from St Michael’s shared how he uses glogsters with his students and has created this one for us to look at and get an overview of how it all works. Glogsters are an easy and fun way for our students to create multimodal texts on any topic. Please add some comments or write your own post letting us know what you think about the use of Glogsters with your students. Sara
This post was first publised on May 18, 2011
On this team day a small group of teachers worked together exploring their understandings around contemporary literacies. It was great to see teachers collaborating across schools and sharing their own stories. I encourage you to continue the conversations started on this day and hope that this blog can offer you all a space for this ongoing collaboration. You can create your own new post to share your ongoing thinking and learning about contemporary literacies or add comments to this one. Sara
On 16 feb, 2011 we met with the literacy leaders and revisited our understandings about CLLC and engaging in Participatory Action Research. We had a strong focus on reflection. We explored the Reflective Thinking Pyramid, what makes effective Professional Learning and options for keeping a reflective journal. We also discussed the use of evidence, how we reflect on this evidence and keeping the focus on student learning.
A key part of CLLC is that we build this learning community and engage in reflective thinking. As part of this we will:
question our practices based on increased pedagogical knowledge and skills
reflect on our context so that this reflection leads to better teaching
through our reflection we are able to defend our practices and articulate their relevance to improved student learning
I look forward to continuing this journey with you.