24 Learning: February 2007

24 Learning

Saturday, February 24, 2007


This is a seriously cool collaborative web2.0 application. It allows you to collaboratively build a mind map online. The tools and fonts are a little limited but the ability to work online with someone else on a brain storm and see their changes as they make them is just brilliant. I've just tried it out and it works brilliantly.

At the moment it is in private Beta testing only but if you want an invitation (and are willing to collaborate with me on something) then send me an email and I'll invite you.

Now to find some people for my class to interact with online. If you have an idea let me know.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Team Teaching Part 2

I realised after yesterday's post that I should explain more fully how we operate the Team teaching in Learning Team 4 at Freeville. In some circles "Team Teaching" means two or more teachers sharing a class but only one of them is actually in the class at a time. I understand this as job sharing but it isn't what we are doing. This year we have 64 children in the class. There are two of us responsible for the learning of these children. We treat them as one class and they break up into different groups for different parts of the day. Sometimes it might be mixed groups of year seven and eights. Other times it might be reading or spelling groups based on their current level. On occasions there could be an all girls group or an all year 8 group etc etc. The flexibility this gives means we can meet the children's needs with two of us contributing to planning, assessing and coaching the learning. The children carry with them a weekly planner which they refer to throughout the day to help them be in the right place at the right time. It is only week two but I have been really impressed that most of them have been able to get themselves organised and in the right place for each lesson.
Today I took a session with half the class (while the others were at art) on Thinking Maps. These are a really powerful learning tool to add to the tool box.
It has also been really cool to be able to use some of the ICT tools I have been showing to teachers in the last few years with a group of children. In the first week of school we have
  • graphed on excel our spelling test results and our beep test scores,
  • taken photos during maths,
  • contributed to Photo365 an internet project,
  • researched greetings on the internet,
  • played maths games online,
  • made powerpoint presentations on "What Change Means"
  • created pivot animations showing "Change"
  • downloaded music from freeplaymusic
The thing that really excites me about this is that the focus for these activities was the learning not the technology. Fun fun fun!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Wow! School is exciting

Well! I've been at school for one week now and I have to say it is going to be a great year. Working in a team teaching environment seems to me to have a huge number of benefits for the children. Freeville School is such a friendly place with a really great atmosphere. I am thoroughly enjoying learning with the pupils in learning team 4. We have joined the Photo365 for schools project on flickr. There are some great photos starting to be discovered. It is early days yet and I am finding my way with all the things one has to learn at a new school. I'm excited by the focus on learning that I see happening everywhere.

I'm also into study for the Masters of Teaching and Learning paper I have enrolled in and have to say I am finding it hard to get back to reading academic waffle again. I do enjoy the study normally so I'm sure I'll be ok once I get into it. The last few years have been really focussed on ICT and I am quite looking forward to thinking about some other things for awhile. I have to write a reflection about the place of research in daily classroom practice and I'm starting to think I might look into team teaching as a research focus. If anyone has any good links for team teaching research I'd love to know.