Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Using film to guide a writing lesson - an example!

This year I have started using the Literacy Shed to guide some of the writing lessons in class. This week we began writing narrative stories. In order to get the students thinking about narratives and to generate some vocabulary and ideas, we started by watching the video The Clocktower.

The video is about a little girl who works in a clocktower where she has the job of dancing around and around to turn the clock. One day she ventures outside and everything stops as she is no longer dancing and keeping time moving.

At first I wasn't sure whether the students would engage with the many ideas that needed to be interpreted by thinking carefully about what was happening in the movie, but they loved it! We started each lesson by discussing what was happening and how the girl felt and then also would sing and act our sentences with descriptive vocabulary which could then be used in the story.
The students came up with some amazing stories so I thought I would share an example here:

The Clocktower - By Gabriella

Once upon a time there was a little girl that lived in a clocktower and the clocktower looked like a tornado. The little girl's name was Rozy and the little girl had a cog on the little girl's dress. The little girl had a shiny crown on her head and earrings on her ears. When she turned the world turned and the little girl was time. The little girl had to dance because it was her job and the little girl went outside because she wanted a balloon. She wanted to have a friend and I know she wanted her mum and dad.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Inquiry - How to teach and learn basic facts!

My inquiry has gone off on a slightly different part in that I am now focusing on the basic facts within the friends to 5 and 10 and family of facts. By using the family of facts students are starting to see the connection between addition and subtraction. Over the holidays, I am going to look into a way that I can establish a classroom routine where there are basic fact iPad activities that the students complete each day as a follow up or warm up activity. These activities will be designed at specific levels through which the students can progress through as they begin to retain the facts as knowledge. Watch this space!

Friday, 3 March 2017

Engaging kids in writing through film!

Last weekend, I was trying to think of ways to teach writing in a more engaging way that would motivate the whole class and different ability levels. I thought back to my placements and remembered how I was once shown The Literacy Shed (an online bank of short films). I had used this on a Year 4/5 placement, however I thought why not have a go with my Year 2' was a huge hit!

I started the lesson by showing the class the first part of the movie (I used the movie Taking Flight) three times. We then talked about what had happened and made a class storyboard with specific words beside each picture. Once we had a clear idea of the sequence of events and some good words we could use, the kids set off to retell the first part of the video. I worked with my beginning writers on the mat, constructing simple sentences and finding words on the butterfly cards while the more confident writers took off to have a go on their own. Walking around the class while the kids were busy writing, I was amazed at what they were coming up with! Once we had written the first part we then came back to discuss what we thought was going to happen next and then watched the last part of the movie.

It was amazing to see how the class were motivated by not knowing what would happen at the end and by the animation which included little speech. Collaborating as a class gave us the opportunity to explore how we had all interpreted the movie and seen things others may have missed. It created a bank of resources and ideas from which students could pick and choose what they would write about. I would definitely recommend The Literacy Shed to teachers of any year level. Each video includes so many great ideas on how they could be used in a writing session!