Returning to school after a holiday is always demanding. Even with all the planning in the world, one never seems to be 100% ready, whether it’s the forgotten log in details for the language program or the label for the spelling book of the late registered student..it’s enough to send you dotty!
It’s demanding on the students too with a new teacher, classroom, classmates and routines every second of the first weeks require full focus. Making new friends and bonding with a new circle of friends is hard. But is exactly this environment that is ripe for encouraging and reinforcing good habits. Taking a step back to reflect on why getting along with a variety of people is a useful (life) skill.
At school this week, there has been some space made to do extended projects. The teachers have planned an immersive, artistic & creative curriculum based on The Dot a book by Peter Reynolds. The activities encourage purposeful social talk, unlimited creativity without being constrained to red group, top group, starfish or whatever derivation of hierarchy is common place in differentiating work. Tasks are collaborative and this shared experience strengthens identity within a new class.
What have I used in the classroom today?
I chose a mathematical slant, focusing on the formation of a circle whilst encouraging the pupils to use the properties of circles. Having seen a great pin on pin interest using a paintbrush in a pair of compasses – a collaborative artwork was created.
The series of skills practised the manipulation of the compasses resulting in an instructional video demo using the built in camera on video mode. The video was airplayed to the class screen and repeated from photos so the support could continue as many times as was necessary.
Resulting a whole class large version using chalk and string on the classroom floor.
2) The class were re-introduced to iPad and so the refresh of using app went hand in hand with the refresh of share aware (NSPCC online safety iniitative) and SMART thinking (CEOP – wwwthinkuknow.com) both these sites are excellent for ideas in class to support discussions and reinforce the responsible use of technology in and outside the classroom.
I used Showbie to distribute resources and set up challenges and switched between AirPlay and using this feature in Classroom, Apple’s newly released classroom management app. The students responded well to the initial locking of the iPad, they were quite excited by it but in fact as the lesson progressed they were equally eager to see the next resource that they had been directed to.
The finished animations were quickly uploaded to Trilby Tv and shared across the school to give further reinforcement to good practice when communicating online. A full day collaborating and exploring the possibilities. The difference today was that the value of the technology in the classroom facilitated the students to work with the resources in their own way without preconceived end points. Refreshing.