Day 43 – Expert Learners?

Day 43 – Expert Learners?

When do skills become knowledge and when does knowledge transfer to mastery of a skill?

This dilemma is one faced by teachers day in day out. The spiral curriculum and rate of children’s development affect the mastery of skills. At least that’s what i say to reassure myself when year 4 can’t easily recall fractions! When can you truly say that a child has mastered a skill…as a believer in life long learning, I would say you never truly master any skill, you refine and build on your experiences to make what ever you are doing the best it can be at that moment in time. Or else how would I have been able to begin to ‘master’ integration of the iPad into the curriculum? It’s a journey of discovery that leads ultimately to a stage where you can satisfactorily contribute. I digress…

What have I used in the classroom today apart from Showbie to share and mark resources?

1) Book Creator: particularly for ease of the voice capture feature. 

Today in the classroom, I have worked with Y1 through to Y4 students. The lower KS2 students were focusing on comprehension skills. Not surprisingly, back in September, they were lacking the skills to complete a text based comprehension. Since then, I have feed them a varied diet of comprehension skills. Identification of key words, being able to sequence a series of pictures after reading a text, finding the odd one out, recording the work as a mind map and today recording their answers in an interview scenario. The key here is to identify the skills like pieces of a  jigsaw. Eventually,  the students piece together each skill and see the whole picture. Mastery is close by… marking the work produced today, it was evident that the students had progressed.

2) Adobe Voice – Capturing the knowledge of individuals understanding of a class project.

Year 1 made a group animation on their current ‘Wheels’ project. We gathered the vocabulary even coping with an amphibious vehicle! This was animated with the students independently working on choosing the appropriate icon from the wordbook. I then modelled how to use the Adobe voice app and they were off…25 minutes later they had a animation that they shared with reception. Bursting with pride!

Year 1 & 2 collaborated on a similar project but this was based on George Stephenson. The animation was arranged choosing icons and text to show their understanding. Demonstrating that the students had really taken on board the finer details of their project.

Year 1 & 2 Students working together to build their own animation on George Stephenson.

The lesson for me was that in order for the students to become informed digital citizens, those who possess the skills to communicate, collaborate and confidently show their understanding. Skills need to be presented to them almost like pieces of a dismantled jigsaw puzzle, so that when the individual has matured, practised the skills, seen the relevance of using the skill and been given plenty of opportunities of experiencing the skill. It will, one day, perfectly slot together and reveal a complete picture.

That is the day that makes teachers continue in the profession, as it makes everything worth while…

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