Monday, 2 May 2011

Starting an e-Learning classroom

This week I am working with another teacher in a Year 4 classroom. We have the beginnings of setting up an e-Learning classroom. This teacher has had to make quite a few dramatic changes in teaching practice to operate fully in an e-Learning environment.
The class has 4 computers and 5 laptops. I have taken in 3 iPads and today I even let the students use my iPhone.

Gareth and I met for one day to plan last term.  I talked to him about what an e-Learning classroom can look like. I created a cutdown version of the action plan that my teachers in the e-Learning classroom are using (theirs goes for the year).

I created the wiki for the class and we are treating it as the portal for the students to their learning.
 We introduced the children to it first thing in the morning. Before school started I taught 3 students how to make a weemee and they continued through the day when there was a spare moment to teach someone else.
We talked about rules.

 The emphasis was on being co-operative, collaborative and self-managing.

We introduced the Measurement task sheet

and then the Measurement Workshop

and finally the Measurement Website. The students were then given the choice of what activities they had to do, we only had time for a short trial so they were allowed to go to one task and try it out. Some students worked in pairs, some worked alone, some worked on the Workshop with Gareth. The children grasped the concept of working like that incredibly fast and there was a wonderful working hum in the classroom. It will be interesting to see how they go tomorrow self managing themselves.

Gareth has created interactive worksheets around the student readers for the week. I will post examples of these on the website and in a blog post tomorrow. Students read with the teacher, then worked on their interactive worksheet and then their third task was to choose from the options. More about this tomorrow.

I created this teaching PowerPoint on Argument writing and Gareth introduced it today.
Students were shown the Word Graphic Organiser template.
Nine students worked on computers drafting straight onto the Graphic Organiser. Two worked on the iPads and one on the iPhone. The rest worked on the print outs of the Graphic Organisers.

As it was not the full amount time allowed for writing today, they will continue with this tomorrow.

Keyboarding was introduced briefly and all students pasted in a photocopied version of a keyboard, and coloured in the home keys. As I wandered around the students while they were typing today I was constantly saying "Two hands on the keyboard, thumbs only on the space bar!"

It was a great start to the week. These 7 and 8 year old students adapted so easily and quickly to the new ways of doing things in their class. On my advice the teacher got rid of some desks and replaced them with tables. The students were very surprised to start off with but very quickly got used to their tote trays and sitting wherever they wanted around the tables. We will be having quite a few teachers observing over the week so it will be interesting to see how the students cope with that as well, judging by today they will be all little champions.

No comments: