2011 Conferences

February 2011

Learning@School Conference



Silvia Martinez Keynote Collaborative Google Doc notes: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mnntcJv-WfdWyZVCM8TETgsnlbONy2p-mU7XFqkuvmU/edit?hl=en&authkey=CObwy9sJ#


1. Making What Can't be Counted Count - Dr Julia Atkin - Breakout 1
Dr Julia Atkin said that we learn best when the whole body if involved: Emotion, imagination, critical thinking, sensory, creativity. Human learning is deepened and amplified by integrating our multiple ways of learning and ways of ‘knowing’. We will have one preferred way of learning whether it be, A: defines, proposes, clarifies, classifies. B : Names, gives examples, describes how, C: Felt meaning, value, expresses from personal experiences D: Abstracts essence, concept, expresses as image analogy. To design good learning experiences you need to work out your topic in ALL ways of learning first. You can’t teach it well unless you do it well yourself. Ask yourself , what does it mean to know it in that way? How does it feel to know it in that way. Do this before delivering to children. Let the children work in their chosen way of learning first ie: act out, draw, musically, numerically because that is the way they are most comfortable with but then ask them to work it out in another way because it is important that we learn multiple ways of knowing and switch between these different ways. This will be very intersting to do as a personal exercise to stretch the brain to look at thinks in way I may not have for a long time.

2. “Writing for Success ” was facilitated by some teachers from Kawaha Point School in Rotorua. It was about using ICT to motivate children’s writing. For the examples they gave they used SOLO rubrics http://hooked-on-thinking.com/solo-taxonomy/ to enhance writing outcomes. I was sold and about ready to throw the standard boring old writing programme out the window in the name of this creative, motivational, fun form of writing but upon further discussion I found they only do this about once a week and they actually only use SOLO at this time, for the rest of the week it is back to the same old same old. So… the bling was using 1. Google image search to find exciting pictures that capture the children’s imagination and engage them in the writing process. They draw out their ideas using SEE, THINK, WONDER. 2. www.buildyourwildself.com build your wild image and then write about yourself. Fantastic way for visual learners to structure their ideas. Language used for solo rubric was I need help to describe my wild self (presturctural), I can describe one feature of my wild self (unistructural), I can describe two or more features of my wild self (multistructural), I can describe many features of my wild self and explain why I have these features (relational), I can describe many features of my wild self, explain why I have these features and reflect on what it is like to be like that (extended abstract). I found it really useful to see this rubric exemplar. They display a lot of the children’s work and the SOLO symbol is stuck on the bottom of the work to show what stage they are at. 3. Crazytalk www.reallusion.com/crazytalk/ enables pictures etc to become animated so you can take the creation and writing one step further by getting the image to speak cost $49.95 basic version. 4. Green screening and then writing and link to inquiry study eg studying insects – put the children on the back of a beetle and get them to write from that perspective. 5. www.photofunia.com - great motivation – like green screening but puts them in a new role to make them think outside the square. There are lots of different photo options (put their faces onto a pirate etc ) does require the teacher to do a lot of the image making as the website has some inappropriate images (lingerei models). 6. http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/storystarters/storystarter1.htm Its an online one armed bandit. Spin it and it will come up with a fun randome thing to write about eg write a grocery list for a skinny pig who plays the bongo drums. Lots of fun. 7. www.wordle.net Make a wordle with random ver, adjective, object character, animal, setting and get the children to write a creative story that incorporates some/all of these things. Paste a child’s story in there to monitor overused words. All in all I found this workshop very useful as I feel chilren need some bling and fun to make them want to write. I have already used storystarter and wildself in my class and the children were definitly motivated and they enjoyed being introduced to the SOLO rubric.

3 Sylvia Martinez ‘The 92% Solution’ www.genyes.org http://blog.genyes.org
Sylvia suggested students become the teachers providing technology support and training for all round benefit. It’s great for the children’s self-esteem and they appreciate what it is like to be a teacher and the teacher’s stop trying to keep up with the students who are generally way ahead and have the skills to pass on. She states that while adults have wisdom, knowledge and craft children have time and energy to use knew things. So work collaboratively in the class with the children. They set up a club and meet for one day a week before school starts to learn about apps etc. Then they staff a genius bar in the library throughout the year and answer tech questions. Also senior students who kept up their grades were able to get passes out of their classroom to go to the junior classes and help out either the teachers or students. She suggested looking past the usual type children who would volunteer for jobs. Rather, look to the non-conformists as they are often the ones with influence and leadership. They know what kids want and they have the language to sell it. In one set of schools the students even organised and ran a mini ICT conference taking workshops etc. I found it to be a really interesting concept but then I have always like peer tutoring and older children working with younger ones – this just takes it one step further and is a more structured and organised way of doing it.


Spotlight session ‘Learning by Design’ with Australian speaker Julia Aitken.
This was a good introduction to the Integral Learning Model and using this to transform learning.
Julia packs a lot into a session with thought provoking ideas on brain research and implications for us as educators. I came away with ideas on ways I can enhance teaching / learning and make it more meaningful.
She talked about 4 ways of knowing / thinking using Ned Hermann’s Whole Brain Processing Model. There are 2 styles on the intuitive side in this model - 1) The Visionary - futures thinker 2) The Feeling thinker – goes with their gut; and 2 styles on the Logical side 3) Safekeeping - Form is important, likes details all in sequence and 4) Rational thinker – likes Facts.
For powerful learning to take place we need to first recognise these different ways of learning, then find ways of teaching to cater for all these as you learn best when you use them all.
One quote she shared was: ‘The map is not the territory” ie: Information in itself is not enough - we need meaning in our information. This has big implications for us as teachers – thinking about how we have to transform our own teaching to give meaning to the learning, as information on its own is meaningless. The challenge is learning to ask what it means to know something from each of the 4 ways of knowing and then plan ways to integrate these for deeper learning.
Another quote from Julia that resonates – “What students like isn’t necessarily what they need”. They will learn in their preferred style in spite of the teacher. We need to help them learn/experience modes other than their preferred style for deeper, more effective learning to take place.


10+ Ways To Raise Student Achievement In Literacy - Jill Hammonds - Breakout 3
What a fantastic breakout. Ietherpad (http://ietherpad.com ) is a wonderful way to get students writing as it allows them to have a prompt, share with others as well as work collaboratively. This is a programme that could easily be used with a buddy class. To begin, set the scene. Where is the story going to take place? Use a lot of descriptive language to allow the next person to carry on easily, and give them prompts as to where the story takes place. Next, add what could be heard. What sounds are happening in the story? Introduce characters. Who are they? Describe them in detail. Add an action. What is the character doing? This is a fantastic way for less confident writers to begin writing as it allows them to get prompts to develop the story further.
Jill examined the different ways for students to edit their work. Using visual clues such as track changes on a document, allows the students, through the use of balloons, to visually see what they are moving/deleting/adding, and where it came from. Another great editing tool is Wordle (http://www.wordle.net/ ). If you uncheck ‘take out common words’, children will be able to see how many times and or the has been used, therefore prompting them to think of different sentence starters.
Jill suggests using Comic Life and PowerPoint within literacy to allow students to create stories. Instead of just adding speech bubbles though, students need to actually indulge further information to let readers know what is happening within the story. PowerPoint allows students to create pick-a-path stories through the use of action buttons or hyperlinks. When blogging, ensure that it is part of your reading and writing tumble. Get students to read other schools’ blogs, leave a comment that relates to the post that they have read, and ensure that they leave a link to your classroom blog. During writing time, get them to post so that way the blog is not teacher driven. Finally, to help those lower level readers who are wanting to search the internet for information but are having difficulty reading it as they can’t decode the words, using Natural Reader (http://www.naturalreaders.com/index.htm ) is a great way for them to know what is being said on the site. All students need to do is highlight the text that they are wanting to read, and the natural reader will read it aloud to the student. Some fantastic ideas here that have a very wide range of possibilities in the class.

iMovie-uMovie-weMovie – Dave Young, Karla Sanders – Breakout 4
Great hands-on workshop for beginners like me to get started on imovie. Greenscreening became less daunting therefore easier for me to use in a classroom setting. Many uses in the classroom, including creating movie trailers for books to encourage other children to read them. All children need to do is to write the script and shoot the images, without having to worry about ‘mushing’ it all together. One handy tip though was to ensure that students shoot the video images as they wish to see them. This means that if they wish to have a close up, or a panning shot, to film it that way, as it cuts out the fiddling around of editing through computer programmes. Stykz is a stickman programme that allows students frame by frame to move a stick figure, which you can then import into imovie. Great way to create own stories, with children using an easispeak to narrate what is happening. Great activity for reading groups.

Weave The Magic Of Story-Telling – Explore, Discover, Create! – Lorraine Watchorn, Gail Cochrane – Breakout 6 (http://rellco.wikispaces.com/ )
Had some really good ideas for how to make reading and storytelling more interesting for children. Things such as green screening children reading their own stories with either their own graphics or downloaded pictures behind them could boost their confidence, especially if adding to the class blog or wiki. This is an easy way for parents to see what their children can do in storywriting. Can use either imovie or chromokey in MovieMaker. Another great idea for sharing students writing, especially for junior classes, is to take photos of it, and put together a slideshow which can again be posted on the blog (http://www.slide.com or http://photopeach.com ). An interesting way to showcase students writing is to create a 3D online popup book using Zooburst (http://www.zooburst.com/ ). Very easy site to use, and can add any pictures or use their examples to help. 50+ ways to tell a story (http://cogdogroo.wikispaces.com/StoryTools )offers some fantastic Web 2.0 tools for you to use in your class.
A very hands-on workshop that has offered some great ideas and resources for all to use in the class to rebuild an interest in writing.