Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Topic Planning - Day 4 of #28Daysofwriting

Starting a new school it is obvious that you need to learn about your students. There are relationships to be formed with students, their whanau, their roles within the classroom, playground and with their peers. Developing an understanding of your students and their needs is an important feature of every teachers planning as the year begins. That's why so many schools have topics based around "Getting to know you". At HNS we always started our year in my time with Keeping Ourselves Safe. This would include an introduction to the PB4L programme, Quality Schools and free swimming lessons that were offered to the school.

By the end of the term I could always sense the frustration of my students as some of these concepts had been done to death, no matter how much you tried to innovate ultimately the learner was hearing some of the same messages. For the record, once we got past the trust building, ice breaker games my class would always spend a lot of time investigating digital citizenship.

As we planned for 2015, I was looking forward to a different approach. HPPS bases their "topic" around three key areas Inventive Thinking, Effective Communication and Digital Age Literacy. Within these areas, we haven't yet planned our immersion tasks for Inventive Thinking as all staff have been busy getting to know our students, as learners and as people. As we approach the conclusion of week 1 of the term my appreciation of this grown. Amy has blogged about how the learners have built their space, but there have been others times we have observed them:

  • Playing the diversity game
  • Co-constructing rules for their classroom
  • Providing a range of board games for early finishers, free time and before class
  • Two low risk low effort writing activities
  • No formal assessment has taken place
We've been encouraged by management to spend time learning about our learner, setting the expectations and getting the foundations right. This should make our move into Inventive Thinking easier but there is no time constraint for the unit either. Inventive Thinking doesn't have to end with the completion of term 1.  

What is the thrust of my post?
I feel I'm starting to truly understand how ubiquitous student voice can be in our role.


No comments:

Post a Comment