Sunday, June 26, 2011

50 ways to tell a story

Awesome movie by Alan Levine (@cogdog) 50 ways to tell a story...
Can't way for storytelling fun next term....

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sharing the love of blogging again...

I am in the middle of writing an article for a magazine and I am writing about sharing and connecting. Yesterday I had some great news to share and I shared it with a friend who was on facebook at that very moment. A comversation developed and I went on to share how I loved following Tweets from a very newborn baby and following the blog of a very young child. The person to whom I was talking is 38 weeks pregnant. What eventuated was a session today with me helping her set up a blog to share the pregnancy journey and spend the waiting time of the next few weeks, writing about and to their unborn babe. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking of the magic journey that has begun. It also made me feel incredibly sad that blogs weren't around when my babes were born... But I got to thinking... it is never to late to start. I now have a new goal for the second half of this year. Not only am I aiming to finish their scrapbooks, but I also aim to create a blog to share with them about their life journey to date....
Sharing and connecting... there really is no other way!

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Thanks @Barbs for sharing a great Matariki link!!!

New challenge!!!

Very exciting happening tonight!!! Thanks to a conversation with Deidre, I have now created a blog for posting a favourite site of the day! I have chosen wordpress so I can experiment with a new host - so far so good!!!! I am really excited about this challenge. Initially I set it up for the start of 2012, but after my narrowness was shaken, I am starting it right now - for Maori New Year, Matariki...

Ewan McIntosh's thoughts on the seven learning spaces!!!

The Seven Spaces of Technology in School Environments from Ewan McIntosh on Vimeo.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Exciting new learning..... oh the power of connections!!!

Tonight Allanah Skyped me and we had an amazing catch-up.  We chatted and shared and I learnt sooooo much.  The highlight of my new learning is the ability to create and share a Google map of my twitter tour - how cool is that!!!  Thanks Allanah

View Twitter Tour 2011 in a larger map

Workshop – building a writing programme - with Murray Gadd

We started with Colin Thompson's "The Big Little Book of Happy Sadness" 
We talked about writing for a purpose.   We need to have a minimum of 20minutes independent writing per day. 
Get writer to read their work aloud, read their work aloud, and model to assist sentence formation. 
Read the spelling section of the ELP – written by Joy Alcock.  Spelling should be taught during the modelling process. 
Assessment is based on a piece of writing ready for the reader – not on the first draft!  Get to what you need to teach from the first draft, then model and support to get the piece ready for the reader. 
Give the writer prompts as opposed to directions – get the writing ready for the reader of the audience. 
We shared another great picture book - My teacher’s secret life - author Stephen Krensky
Term plan – writing around the topic
Generally – there is a literacy demand in the AOs in the curriculum
See Writing Monitoring sheet – identify those with a need for a mini workshop – also identify those who need an extension.  Mini lesson – model and scaffold on a blown up piece of one of the learner’s writing… 5-10 minute lesson.  Scan the work into the smartboard. 
We shared "How to be an explorer of the world" by Keri Smith.
We need to provide a real range of independent writing tasks.
See suggested process for developing a cross-curricular unit with literacy demands.  A great workshop which really lit my passion for the writing programme. 

Murray Gadd workshop - Building students' vocabulary

Workshop building students’ vocabulary through instructional reading and writing:
It is important to teach students more words.  We must choose and adapt vocabulary-related activities for our learners. 
Alison Davis Teaching Reading comprehension
Sheena Cameron – Vocabulary Section
Learning through talk – p72-75
During the planning phase of reading or writing consider the vocabulary we need to explore initially – and discuss.  We need to take the learner into the process of the vocabulary. Aim should be to introduce learners to at least 25 new words per week, 6-7 per reading or writing session.   Incidental word learning – stop during reading and allow learners to discuss their ideas of the words and their meanings.    We must challenge our writers to use new vocabulary. 
A word tree is a great resource in a class for words, maybe with a branch for topic words; a branch for emotive words, an area for prefix and suffix etc. 
Specific vocab learning through graphic organisers: Venn diagram; T-charts; semantic words; Clines; semantic feature analysis;   (scan in examples)
Or through games: word associations; finish sentences meaningfully; categorisation words that go together; clustering words according to meaning; telephone whispers; barrier games; call my bluff;
Model more; specific task;  motivate and engage; use written language to motivate writing;
Model editing on board, allow learners to discuss and come up with ideas and model – use of different colours is powerful. 

Murray Gadd modeling persuasive writing

I had the great fortune to be at Oamaru Intermediate school while Murray Gadd was in town running literacy workshops. I was able to attend two modeling sessions.
Murray talked us through his lesson plan for the day then modelled a persuasive letter writing session.
He clearly defined the writing task and allowed the learners time to clarify their understanding of and to use the vocabulary of persuasive text. The learning task was very clearly recorded on the board then the learners were engaged and motivated with the sharing of “Click, clack, moo, cows that type” by Doreen Cronin.
The humour and persuasion of the text were discussed and planning was modelled as one possible way to start.
Plan – think about character – think about demand - often planning can happen in your head or allow flexibility with planning.
E.g. Chicken Incubator for eggs, a day off from laying eggs,
Pig warm mud, day spa,
Murray chose one of these to model further..
Reason for a day off laying eggs – fresh out of eggs, routine, boredom, sick of crouching,

Character      Demand       Reason       Consequence
Chicken day off laying Sick of routine Rampage, broken eggs, leave,
Everyday off,

Murray modelled an opening sentence.
Dear Farmer Brown,
We’re sick of laying eggs so give us a day off. – discuss, take suggestions, model additions to sentence…
Dear Farmer Brown,
You are our favourite farmer, but we are getting a little tired of (the routine of) laying eggs, so please give us a day off.
The task was again clarified and as learners were able to verbalise their character and reason they were sent off to write.
The learners went straight to the task, motivated and engaged in their persuasion.
I need to model more!!!!!!! I also need to use reading as a writing motivation. Planning can be optional. If the learners are scaffolded to the starting point planning may be unnecessary. Scaffold and support for most of the learners to head off to task and support those who remain.

Oamaru Intermediate School - reading blogs

I had the privilege this morning of visiting the bloggers at OIS. The students are working in pairs, a Year 8 with a Year 7 to record their book review on the blog. They add an image of the book, a review then add an audio clip. This can either be talking about the book or reading a section of the book. This added audio is a very powerful way to share on the reading blog. The bloggers are from every class in the school and they return to their classes and support others to blog. I also received a memento of the day – a bloggers pencil!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Oamaru - having fun teaching my friend all about photopeach, twitter, vln and more...

We have been working all morning on our laptops.... So much fun. We just took time out for lunch at Fat Sally's and a walk in the gardens....