Friday, December 6, 2013

Our progress made throughout the year

All students can log into their blogs. In Term 3 one of the traget students left the school and now there are only nine students in the target group.

This has remained consistent across the year. All students can log into their Google Accounts without the support from other students. In term one, students were able to pick up the skill of logging into their Google Accounts independently with confidence and speed.

All students are able to open their Google Documents. Since term 1, gains have been made. 

Gains have been made since term 1. 

Students have developed confidence in sharing their work with others. The greatest shift was made in term 2. This has been consistent throughout the year, as opening of a Google Document has been a daily occurrence throughout the year.

Students have had greater opportunities to use Spreadsheets later in the year. On Thursdays when I was on Facilitator release, Bronwyn my release teacher did a Current events quiz with them. Every week the students had to graph their result using Google Spreadsheets. In term 4, I got my students to do a Statistical investigation on a topic of their choice. They had to collect, collate and present data digitally. They used Google Spreadsheets to carry out their investigations.

There was greater use with Google Draw in term 2 and throughout the year. Google Draw was used in creating concept posters in Maths, making brochures for our production in term 3 and creating water cycle diagrams in term 4. The students have had opportunities to use Google Draw throughout the year.

There was greater familiarity in using Google Presentations from term 2 onwards. Google Presentations was used at the creating stage of the PBS Inquiry model, in homework presentations and was used for presenting new understandings in Maths (Maths Dictionary).

Over time, students have become confident with embedding applications onto their blogs. In term 4, all of the target students could embed applications into their blogs. One of the barriers for these students was that the embedding process varied from different applications.

 Students grasped logging into their blogs from term 2. They became very confident in meeting this need earlier on in the year, as they realized that their blogs was the area for displaying their learning onto. The more posts they made the greater the views from audiences around the world.

Term 2 the blogs became much more transparent to the students. They could see where their learning was going to and it was a viewing platform for all people involved: students, parents, teachers. They learnt earlier on in the year, that the more they posted the more hits they would get from around the world. The global audience was a great motivator for my students.

In term 2 there was an increase with the number of students who were able to create new blog posts independently. This was consistent through out the year.

In term 2 all students were able to upload a photograph onto their blogs. There was growth in term 2, as students had opportunities to upload individual, group and class photographs onto their blogs.

In term 4 three students were able to insert movies onto their blogs. This area has not been a major priority this year. If there was a unit on movie making then all students would be able to upload movies of themselves onto their blogs. Also the creating of movies has a lot more steps such as: making the actual movie, editing the clips, uploading them onto Vimeo and copying and pasting the embed code onto the blog.

 Over time students have been able to insert photographs from Picasa onto their blogs independently. This is due to that all photographs from classroom activities and outings were uploaded onto Picasa, so that the students were able to view them and choose the photographs they liked and matched their learning onto their blogs. 

Inserting movies has not been a priority this year

There has been shift with the students being able to upload a picture from the internet onto their blogs. Students use Google Images for learning and to enhance their content that they have researched. Adding an image makes the learning real for them especially if it was a historical / past event or focus.

 Term 4 students have discovered the webcam. We have not had specific lessons in using the webcam, as we have had technical issues with the webcam. The older devices have different settings and may not always work. Java, Flash and Adobe are the issues when we try and use the webcam. We have abandoned the idea in using the webcam for the time being. Also with a class of 30 students it was much easier if we did not use it, because of limited space within the school. 

In term 2 students could see the purpose in taking a screen shot of their learning. This has been consistent throughout the year. In Maths Whizz and Xtra Maths students would regularly take screen shots of their progress and write reflections on their blogs. Taking screenshots of learning was a regular occurrence in the classroom .

In term 1, some of the students were familiar in commenting to others as they did this the previous year.  At the beginning of the year all of the class were taught about what a comment is and making constructive comments. Making comments to each other, classes at Panmure Bridge School and to schools within the cluster.

There has been an increase since the beginning of term 2 of students being able to write reflections on their own learning. Reflecting has been a critical part to the learning programme in Room 5. On the wall their are plenary questions to assist students with self evaluating their own progress. Writing reflections is often modeled by the teacher, so that reflections are in depth and can address the next learning steps.

Students have made a great effort with clicking onto hyper linked book marked websites. This has been evident with the Inquiry / Topic work that the students do in class. The class site has bookmarked websites that the students can access under the Topic tab. This makes it easier for the students, as they can click onto a picture which is hyperlinked to a child friendly website that is at the child's level of understanding.

Throughout the year have gained knowledge and experience with using Wall wisher, Popplet and Lucid Charts. This has happened more in Inquiry Learning, where students can brainstorm information, compare and contrast information and present information. Students can choose an application that they wish to brainstorm information onto. Popplet seems to be a favourite within the target group as they can create mindmaps, insert images, colour code and upload You Tube clips onto their work.

Term 2, was the time in which students were able to access the class site independently without the support from others. The Year 6 students whom I taught as Year 5's had the greatest familiarity with the class site from the year before, so their learning was transparent and their knowledge could be passed onto the Year 5 students in term 1.   

This has been an ongoing process for the students. Those who are confident readers and writers seemed to take risks with using Google search engines. There is so much information out there that for students who struggle with reading and comprehension, it can be overwhelming and off putting.

Putting content from the internet has been an ongoing goal. It is hard for a lot of students as the information on the internet is pitched at a much higher reading level than what these students are working. We have had lessons on reading articles from a number of sources and then putting the information into our own words. It has been a challenge but valuable learning. 

There were shifts from term 1 through to term 2 on students who were able to visit the class blog independently. In term 1, the students were finding their own way around with their device. They were taught how to access their individual blog from the class blog and were shown where to view other students blogs from the class blog. Over time the class blog was viewed more by the students as they were keen to see whose work has gone onto the blog, whose up to date with their learning and who needed to spend their time wisely to get work finished.

Students can now check emails independently. Through using Picasa album invites were sent to the students via email. This gave students the incentive to check their emails regularly. Also every week I would screen shot each child's weekly Maths Whizz results to them and so this gave the students opportunity to check their emails.

Students can access You Tube clips independently within reason

Searching for images became much more frequent throughout the year. In the first term, only one student knew how to do this. Over time progress had increased with students being able to search and save Google images independently. Students tended to search for images during Inquiry / Topic lessons than in any other subject area.

Over time students have developed knowledge around being Cyber Smart Learners. This is still work in progress. Students understand the legalities of setting up accounts and the legal ages in doing this. They have gained an understanding of the term plagiarism and the importance of putting information into their own words. They have also learnt about being safe around advertising and not to believe in everything they see or read on the internet.  

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A student's perpective on the class site

Check out how Yvette (a Year 6 student in my class) has used the class site to access her learning in Art. In Term 3, the class were learning about the famous German artist Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart. The class designed and painted their art works in the style of Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart. The unit of learning had a strong Maths and Language focus. This screen cast highlights the process Yvette went through in creating her art work and how she has used the class site to support her learning.

Screen Recording 7 from Joy Paton on Vimeo.