There’s been a change to my Thursday helping-at-school routine which I am very disappointed about because it cuts my time with the kids in half. I was told that “Thursday wasn’t working because of all the chopping and changing”. Thursday is a bit of a difficult day because of music practice and sports. And on Friday morning there’s a school-wide project on writing so all I could be offered was Friday afternoon. I’m left wondering if my presence in others’ classes is unhelpful … or disruptive.
Still, I’d managed to discuss with the Head about kids’ blogging and had been given the green light to try something.
My schedule is 1 – 1:30pm, read with a lad who is struggling.
1:30 – 2:15pm, blog class with six children from Yrs 5 & 6
2:15 – 3pm, blog class with six children from Yr 4.
Today was the first day of this new regime. It went OK. The reading practice was surprisingly good, in fact. I’d found a couple of books which I thought would interest the lad – football skills and space – and it worked a treat! I didn’t want to read one of the standard Reader stories with him, I wanted something which really captured his imagination. Talking of the Big Bang, the passage of hundreds of millions of years, the speed of light, alien life … it worked well and actually got him quite animated. This, after a week of bad behaviour. I know some of his story – life is tough. I gave him the option of taking the books home, which he wanted to do, and I don’t mind if he doesn’t return them!
The blogging sessions started late because the kids couldn’t get away on time but I’d already prepared the computers and we got down to work quickly. We discussed their existing understanding of blogging (very little) and then visited @Gret‘s student blogs http://kidblog.org/OurAdventures. I wanted confirmation of their understanding so used a “I see, I think, I wonder” routine using linoit.com for visual feedback. Finally we had a discussion of it all which fortunately confirmed their new understanding and improved vocab. It was a bit of a rush but the second group simply didn’t appear (was I expected to collect them? I didn’t even know which year they were in at that stage!) so I just kept going and discussed what we might do in the future. We need to make avatars of the kids and teachers so they selected who they wanted to cartoon-ise. They also chose a name for the group blog. The boys each wanted their own choice but the girls chose one amongst them so, when it came to the vote, the girls got their way. Not sure I’d do it like this again – the boys were somewhat miffed! Overall I was very happy with what we managed to achieve. Roll on next Friday!