Day 50 – Learning Walk

Day 50 – Learning walk

The days spent teaching are amongst the most incredibly satisfying and rewarding times of my life. I am constantly amazed and humbled by the students ability to be enthusiastic and my colleagues to be ready to go the extra mile to ensure the children in their class are cared for. Teaching is a vocation and you have to give yourself completely to ensuring the students have the pastoral, social and intellectual fuel that they need to participate positively within the learning community. After listening to a senior teacher dealing with a disciplinary issue, I was impressed with the sensitivity that the issue was dealt with. This particular teacher knew the children and empathised with their plight but also managed to tread the line between being a disciplinarian and mentor.

This got me thinking, when do we get feedback as learners? When is this feedback relevant and when is the feedback the catalyst for refining practice? On my fiftieth day at school, it is interesting to take the time to see how much change has happened in the pedagogical practices and whether there is any evidence to support a shift towards a transformed way of learning using iPad.
What did I use in the classroom today? 
1) Showbie – remains my number one app for sharing, collecting and assessing the whole range of resources and types of work.
2) Top Trumpit – usually I shun these specific and limiting apps, as I believe that creativity is stifled by the restrictive way some apps are set up However, in this case the app was perfect as it was the very narrow way that volcano data was handled. It also enabled the less able readers to access the facts without being held back by the language. Each card was saved into the photos which was accessed in…
3) Pages – The trump cards were added to a single document that could then be collated  and air printed direct from iPad to the photocopier so that the sets could be played between friends, this feedback made the difference as the individual task became a shared experience.
4) Numbers – the volcano facts were a rich source of numbers to crunch using the data handling capacity of numbers. The students were asked to convert the various heights, eruption rates and dates into graphs. Making interpretation easier and the quality of the talk surrounding the graphs raised to a different level.
5) Green Screen  – a group of students who for various reasons found communicating using text difficult, this restriction is removed when they are able to express their understanding using visual techniques. The volcanic facts were spoken in front of the green screen which changed to the specific volcano being explained. The teamwork to film, set up the film and be the talking head took real understanding and the comprehension levels from this group was as high as the rest of the written text based assignments. Finally the four clips were edited together in iMovie.  After subtitles and editing the sound levels the finished video was shared on the classroom screen via airplay and simultaneously uploaded to Trilby Tv to share with the whole community in the library.
Year 1 have been working independently in their classroom with their teacher to show their understanding by using words, pictures and sounds. Its the way they decide to put their knowledge forward that counts. The decision making process of what to include and what to leave out gives endless possibilities as a confident communicator. So, to continue this theme of arranging text and images, we used an app that allowed the images in their photos to be reworked and made into a short recap of their learning process. Revisiting learning opportunities and consolidating understanding through recounting an experience.
 6) Replay – five photos selected and annotated to give a snapshot of the ‘best bits’ of the term so far!

Learning walks ( literally walking through the classrooms to see what’s actually going on at a specific time)  are effective ways to get a snap shot of whats happening in the classroom. A quick thermometer of how the learning is progressing. I took my own learning walk down the corridor and found every classroom was utilising their iPads to enhance and support learning. An incredible way to celebrate fifty days of teaching at the school… all being instigated by the class teachers independently. Progress indeed. This art task was being photographed as a record for the children to see how they can improve their work, the slideshow made in Photos  ready to be played on the class screen using airplay and the Apple TV.  

Year 3 and 4 Geography task

Year 5 Five Kingdoms Task.

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