Monday, 21 August 2017

Exploring New Ways for Publishing

This term, we have been exploring how to write information reports that links in our learning about the forest.  Most of the writers I work with have not had much exposure to report writing so I thought if we started with looking at the structure of a paragraph would be a great start.

An opportunity that I wanted to explore with the group was thinking about both the purpose of their writing as well as their audience.  We decided that we wanted to create information for visitors to our school and this got me thinking, how would we be able to share these with others as well as demonstrate our skill in writing paragraphs.

Looking at some of the senior hubs blogs, I noticed that they had been using an app called Thinglink that allows you to turn images into interactive graphics.  With this in mind, I chose to model an example first to see what the response from the kids were:


There was a buzz of excitement when I showed the kids this and lots of questions about where I had
chosen to place my paragraphs and then I noticed, that they were reading the paragraphs and giving me feedback.  With this goal in mind, everyone set off to create a Thinglink of their own.

When it came time to take their photos, I saw a great deal of care from the kids to make sure that the image not only suited their writing but also demonstrated empathy for their audience by considering what message they wanted to portray.  These are kids who normally can't wait to be finished with a piece of writing however they were analysing their photos and retaking after having conversations with one another.

Check out their finished pieces on our hub blog:

Thursday, 10 August 2017

The Power of Padlet!

I have used Padlet as an information collection tool in my practice - mainly for me to capture voice from the learners and use it as a visual brainstorm.

This week I went and observed one of my colleagues, Mel, who teaches in one of our Year 4/5/6 hubs. My observation focus was how she teaches Year 4 literacy as I now have learners who are accessing this area of the curriculum.  One thing I noticed and liked was how Mel used her modelling books as an interactive tool with her learners, enabling two way communication between herself and her learners.

Reflecting on this, I really wanted to see how I could try something similar with my literacy groups so I thought about how Padlet may allow now only me to see how the kids are engaging with their learning but also with each other.

This week, I reintroduced the idea of quad blogging to my reading groups as they seem now more interested in engaging with other blogs.  We discussed why we had a hub blog and I let the kids write their thoughts down on this padlet.

Made with Padlet

There was an instant buzz in the air as everyone started to write their ideas down however the really cool thing was when they noticed that they could read each others ideas.  Questions sprung up straight away to one another about why they would write that or noticed similarities or differences in their comments.

With this initial excitement, I have decided to incorporate Padlet into the Build Knowledge element of my reading programme where learners can write their predictions down in a Padlet and we will use this as the springboard into our guided reading sessions.  I was conscious that I may need to give the groups time to experiment more with Padlet so was glad to read this blog post from Troy on allowing sandpit time with new apps, with a focus on Padlet.

Looking forward to seeing how this encourages collaboration between learners!