On the couch with Professor John Hattie:
I found this article very interesting, however one statement John Hattie made was quite interesting:
“Great schools are where each student is owned by all the teachers, and there are shared understandings about what progress and challenge is across the school.”
I believe this is something our school prides on as we are a school who work in communities. We work strongly with our teams, particularly alongside our community partners. Within our levels we definitely take responsibility for all our students in regards to their progress and future needs, and always work collaboratively to provide only the best for our students. However, I believe this is something that needs to be improved. Not only do we need to take ownership of students who we teach everyday, but throughout the whole school.
There needs to be a consistent understanding and expectations of our students which needs to be followed through the school so all teachers, not just the child’s community teachers, have an understanding of how to develop our students further. I believe it would be effective if all programs and other teaching ideas/skills/expectations where consistent within the school so not only will the staff be aware of what the students have learnt or need to learn, but so students are prepared for to move onto their next primary level.
PARTS QUESTION: Will web 2.0 tools help improve students writing.’
What I found:
I have found this PARTS journey to be quite a successful one this year – particularly with getting students onto the blog. As last year was the first year using the blog, I came across a few barriers in regards to organising the blog, which had a lot of the actual learning time wasted on actually getting it set up. This year being more confident in the blog, I was able to set the students up quite easily, giving me more time on actually working with the students on improving their writing.
At the beginning of this journey our students did not take much pride in their writing and it was quite difficult encouraging them to consistently edit through their work before handing anything in – they all seemed to have the mentality of ‘well the teacher will correct it anyways so it doesn’t matter’. Even when using Author Think (Authors Circle) students would still rush this process because they knew I would correct their work during ‘outside edit’.
Once students began blogging I showed them many examples of other blogs and made it quite clear of how well these students were writing on their class blogs because the whole world is seeing their comments. When I had students actually write comments and together we looked over them and discussed what needed improvements, this was quite an eye opener as they were able to give one another feedback and definitely took that on because the next time they posted, their comments were very detailed and very few mistakes were found.
As a level we gave the students the same writing survey from the beginning of our journey. One of the questions asked was ‘Who do you write for now?’ and many students still wrote ‘Mrs Ladson’ and when asked how important is editing over your writing the responses had changed from ‘not very important’ to ‘very important so people can understand what I am saying because it can be seen around the world’
The Next Step:
Overall when using the blog the students are well aware of being cautious with their writing and editing over any errors, however when students are writing within the classroom in their own writing books some are still lacking the skills of editing – This may be because they feel I am the only one who is reading their writing within the classroom, therefore the way they write on the blog is different to when they are writing in their literacy books for example. I think the next big step is for them to possibly present their writing more within class time to their peers and for me to continue to model authors circle so students can continue practicing edit and providing feedback to one another (I felt when students were receiving feedback from the whole class they took on the ideas more than if it was just me or a few of their peers – this could be something done using Google Docs where students could work in groups and edit a piece of work together using the program – I think this would also keep them engaged rather than just writing on a piece of paper).
To revise over our PARTS question ‘How will web 2.0 tools impact on students writing’ – I believe the students have improved a lot in their writing since the beginning of this journey.
The success of blogging and how students are now editing their work thoroughly, and the knowledge and skills they have developed over time with their writing has encouraged me to now introduce more 2.0 tools for the students to use. I have been thinking about more ways I will be able to use google drive, as this is something students are becoming more confident in. We are currently using immersion centres (Lane Clark) to introduce our topic of ‘Victoria Through Time’ so I could possibly incorporate google drive into one of these immersion activities.
One of our final tasks will be to have students complete the survey we originally gave them on the blog at the beginning of Term 2 where students shared their views on how important writing was to them and who they believe they write to etc. and see whether this journey has made an impact on those results.
Seeing as students improved on their posting skills last week I decided to encourage them to post on other blogs around the world.
We had a look at two blogs – one grade 3/4 blog in Australia and one grade 3/4 in Canada. I reminded students on the 5 finger process and how important it was to follow this process as they are now introducing themselves to other schools so they need to write these posts in a respectful and detailed manner.
Before allowing the students to publish their comments I checked over them and provided students with feedback on their comment before allowing them to post.
In regards to our PARTS question and whether the use of these tools have been improving their writing – I believe their skills in editing over their work is becoming more successful – particularly this week during our letter writing. Students were once again using the process of Authorthink and I found once it came to outside edit, I wasn’t correcting as many ‘silly errors’ and students had taken the time in both author circle and self edit to really edit over their writing well, making sure what they were saying made sense, punctuation had been added etc – where as before this process students would rarely edit over work and just hand it in. In saying this, I still believe we have a far way to go with this journey – particularly with the students who are quite academically able and believe that their work is already perfect and miss those silly errors – I have had to consistently remind them to go back and check over – but I’m sure in time this will get better.
I had a very interesting blogging session with my students this week. This week I pulled up this comment (name hidden) from a previous post I put on the blog about our Cross Arts performance and looked at it with my class:
Dear Mrs Ladson,
I love the cross arts jyou picked.
My job worker.
I feel very brave,
I discussed with the students the importance of writing a good comment on the blog and to follow the five finger blogging sheet I gave them which shows them what exactly needs to be in a blog, which is as follows:
3. Answer Questions
4. Ask Question
We looked at the above comment and discussed what needed improving then as a class we worked together to make it better. I thought this was a great process for them to go through, to actually see what some students were writing and how much effort it took to write a good blog comment. One student even put his hand up and explained that the whole world is seeing our blog and we might be ’embarassed’ if we don’t write a comment properly. So this showed me they were slowly understanding how important it was to follow my 5 finger process I gave them.
Once we finished the task of editing as a class, I had posted a new post on our blog in regards to report writing and students were asked to write a comment making sure they were following the process. I also used the authorthink process, minus the outside edit as I wanted them to post it without me contributing, only their peers.
Below is the same students blog comment I posted above and the result was fantastic! Such a difference! (name taken out)
Hi Mrs Ladson
Thank you so much for posting this post.
The animal I chose is a Flamingo because it is a very interesting animal.
Some interesting facts are that a Flamingo gets it’s orange colour from carotenoid like carrots.
Another interesting fact is that a Flamingos scientific name is Phoenicopterus.
A Flamingo is one of the longest living birds.
I would like to know if a Flamingo can fly.
I hope you like my presentation.
Do you think Flamingos are pretty?
Students response had much more detail and very few had errors. In my next lesson I will show these to my students and will celebrate this with them.After this lesson i had another look at our 3/4 blog and there were actually students posting on other students comments telling them errors which they have made. I believe this lesson really made students aware of the importance of editing over pieces of writing, particularly when the whole world is reading! My next step is to have students actually posting on our blog. I believe I might do this within our next Inquiry topic of Victoria.
From my past post in regards to Google drive I attempted to use it with just a small group of students as I am not very confident with the program myself.
I had a small group of 10-15 students planning our radio assembly. I gave them each a section of the radio assembly and I had students log onto Google drive which they did very well thanks to Kris’ hard work in media. After that, students began working on our radio assembly and then once they had all written their contribution, we all then came together and I did a quick model on how to edit one another work and then the students had a go independently.
In regards to our PARTS question on whether technology improves their writing- this tool definitely impressed me as I was able to see not only students correcting and editing each others sentences, but it was a way for me to see who was actually contributing and using their learning time effectively.
Google drive is something i believe is a really beneficial tool for the classroom and am now trying to think what task I will set next for the students and how to include Google drive. For our next topic ‘Victoria through time’, our ‘So What?’ is to create a book for the Matutinao students to learn all about Victoria and where we come from. I think Google drive will be a great tool to use during this time as students will be collaborating consistently during the process of creating a book for our sister school.
With the blog we are still going well. We are currently in the middle of completing report writing where students are researching and writing a report on a chosen animal. Once students have gone through the authors think process we will then choose some students to actually post their information of their animal on the blog.
Overall students are slowly coming to the realization on how important is to edit over their work – and i continue to encourage them as much as possible.
Our next thought for our PARTS project is to possibly begin using other areas of technology into writing. Personally i would like to begin to use Google drive more often as this is something our students are becoming more confident in due to their media lessons. After reading some of the posts from the 5/6 who are using this tool – it seems like a very efficient way for students to be not only editing their own work when working in teams – but to provide feedback in a more simple manner.
Our next topic ‘Victoria through time’ students will be creating an information book for our sister school in the Philippines. This is where we will begin to use Google drive as students will be working in groups to create different parts of the book. This will be a great way for them to edit their work and organise their ideas as a whole group.
Overall our blogging is going well – students are still commenting however we have not had students actually posting as yet.
As it has been the beginning of Term 3 and we have been very pre-occupied with our Cross Arts, blogging has taken a back seat the first few days back. However the next step for our PARTS project is to show the students the comments they posted at the end of last term and discuss how when they blog it is not only seen by their peers and teachers, but the whole world -this is something i still believe students do not understand. Although we gave them the ‘comment hand’ which states the correct structure of a blog comment, this is something that still needs practice. In regards to their writing skills they have not improved as yet as we are still at the beginning of the journey but it is clear they need a lot of focus on checking over their work- looking at their comments there were many spelling mistakes and many made no sense which shows some did not read over their work before sending their comment through.
I will show them a few of the comments and we will discuss what is positive and what needs improving (not including names). Once this has been complete I will have students write a comment where they will share a piece of their creation religion project on the blog, and continue to encourage them to follow the comment structure.
Overall the students really enjoy their blogging time and its great to see how motivated they are to use our 3/4 blog.
This week I have finally finished getting all of my students onto the blog which was quite a tedious task! This week I discussed with my class the importance of how to comment on a post. I used an idea from last years blogging where we used 5 fingers to explain what needs to do into a blog.
the 5 things are as follows:
1) Greeting – saying Hello to the person who has written the post
2) Compliment – may be as simple as ‘Thank you for putting up this post, its great to see you…’
3) Respond – Students answer any questions given within the post
4) Question -Students are required to ask the person who posted the blog a questions
As a class we discussed why these elements need to be included and I modeled how to write an appropriate comment which is detailed and included all 5 items above. After this students went and commented on a post about our current topic of Science – ‘Solids, Liquids & Gas’. Once looking through some of their comments it was interesting to see how they had responded. Some students were very competent and used all 5 elements where some only wrote around 1 or 2 sentences and missed quite a few elements.
This was great data as my next lesson I will put up the blogs (minus the name) and show students some comments and discuss what makes it a good comment and what comments need improvement. Hopefully with this idea students will be able to begin to understand how important it is to write a comment and that it is seen by more than just their fellow classmates.
This week we had students complete the writing survey which was posted on our Blog. On some computers the Survey post did not show which was unfortunate but luckily we had hard copies on hand.
The results were quite interesting as I had never really asked my students whether they enjoy a subject or not and why. Usually I can tell by their actions if something seems to hard or not but what I found really interesting is that some students who write really well were some of the students who did not like writing. However out of 29 of my students only 4 said they did not enjoy writing due to reasons such as ‘hurts my hand’, ‘get tired’, ‘it stresses me out’ which was quite interesting to read.
Majority of the students were aware that at this moment they only write for their teacher- every now and then some students explained they wrote stories for their families.
When it came to the question of what would they like to improve on – majority of students discussed the importance of punctuation/editing/neatness. After introducing 2.0 tools to these students hopefully they will improve on these areas.
It was great to read these surveys – we will now collate them as a level and create some sort of table which will have students results so then we can look back on them during this process. Hopefully by the end of this project we can have students take the same survey but include a question asking if and how web tools has assisted them with their writing.