Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Lack of immunity...

Today is only day 11 back in class with my wonderful learners and here I am home in bed.  I have a very sore throat, a bark of a cough, can't decide if I am freezing or burning up and I ache all over.  I am really surprised that I feel so unwell, so soon in the year.  Has the year off softened me?  Have I not been exposed to enough germs to have developed immunity?  Is it the sheer shock of being back at the coalface?  I am absolutely loving every moment working with my class.  We are really setting up for an AMAZING year of learning.  I am absolutely NOT ENJOYING the sheer volume of meetings and paperwork, that I am really struggling to see making a direct impact on the child's learning.  Have I become cynical?  I am really concerned that I do not have the balance right... Maybe I am being too hard on myself, because it is only week three.  My focus is firmly set on an AMAZING experience for my learners.  Am I being unrealistic?  My head is a jumble of thoughts as I try to get it all in perspective...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Daily 5 in action...

Last year I visited Amanda at Summerland Primary School in Auckland.  I was fascinated with the literacy programme she was running and have spent considerable time becoming familiar with Daily5 and CAFE.  I am soooooo convinced that the programme will help learners with all aspects of literacy and will make it possible to teach to the learners need.  A key component of the programme is reading mileage - reading more everyday.  To make this possible all learners today were given their literacy kit, or learning lunchbox as one excited learner called them.  With this kit, learners are prepared for reading to self, reading to someone (reading buddy or teacher), listening to reading (reading buddy or online), writing, or vocabulary/sounds alive work.  The readers have a range of reading material and 'work in progress' in their kits.  A really exciting moment was when we set up our individual learning zones so we are now ready for the movement of some desks to bring in collaborative tables and learning spaces.
As I was working with a group I glanced up to see the class in action.  I had tears of joy as I saw motivated, engaged, focused learners working in and around the class.  I sent a couple of learners of with cameras to record what they saw. These photos give an idea of the exciting learning in action.

There are so many places around the class where we can read with our buddy.  The important part is EEKK, we are reading elbow to elbow, knee to knee, so we can really focus and share our reading.

There are many learning spaces for working on our writing or sounds alive.  It is soooo exciting to see our learners trying many different learning spaces and working out which ones work well for each learning session.   I even saw learners listening to a CD in the cave and writers writing at the 'writing desk'.  I will try to get someone to take photos of these tomorrow.

I think the most exciting of all was to see how easy it will be for us to spend our time on learning, not searching, organising or being distracted!  We have now set up our learning space to have our individual workzone - with our bags now stored in the back room.  EXCITING!  I can't wait for the sessions tomorrow to tell and show you more about it!

A message to all the learners in Room 6!  I am sooooo excited about the development of our learning spaces.  And I am so in awe of your enthusiasm and excitement for our learning.  YAY!

I reflection for me: take my time; reflect on the successes of today with the learners; discuss challenges; work slowly towards the development of the next phase of learning spaces!

CELEBRATE the success!!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Meeting the families

Tonight was AMAZING!  My scheduled time to meet with the families was 7.15 to 7.30 but of course it went for a lot longer. I was delighted to see such a huge turnout!  I was even more delighted to share my presentation then let the discussion evolve.  What wonderful challenges, questions, discussion, ideas!  I think it is invaluable to keep everyone as informed as possible and this is even more crucial during times of change.  Our learning space journey and our BYOD option is really creating discussion, question and enthusiasm.  We don't have all the answers yet.  We are very excited to be trialing lots of innovative, collaborative learning opportunities.  Our next move is to get our student wireless network up and running.  We are discussing a school wide meeting with families to look at our technological short and long term plan.  The next steps for me are to move towards a blended learning environment on the wiki and blog.  Our wiki is now our communication point to parents through our 'notices' page.  I have already had very favourable feedback from families with this ease of information sourcing.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Blur the line between work and play...

I just had to post this quote...

The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play. --
Arnold Toynbee 

I will reflect on it after a day out at the beach....