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Huntly Primary – Yr0 – 3 (Samantha, Margaret, Sarah, Rina)


Our focus has been the sensible integration of ICT tools into our teaching practice to enhance student achievement (its easier than you think !). Just like our students, we realise we’re all at different stages of understanding, with varying depths of skills knowledge and confidence. That’s why it’s so important to support each other as we take a few well considered risks and explore different strategies and tools . At the moment we are all experimenting with increased use of ICTs - looking carefully at our learning intentions and learning outcomes, to see, to what degree, effective teaching, using appropriate ICT tools and resources, helps achieve learning outcomes for our students.

This is a very reflective process and we are keeping personal learning journals to help us share and reflect on our teaching. Initially this was difficult, but these are becoming a more integrated part of our practice and they are a useful tool for reflective practitioners – which is what we all aim to be. We’re beginning to regard teaching as an ongoing Inquiry, where we’re constantly assessing our input and information, to feedforward effectively through the necessary processes and outcomes with students.

Here (Powerpoint in Slideshare )are some examples of classroom practice ideas that we’ve used successfully (these are first steps for most of us !!!). We've specified our learning intentions and outcomes to explain what we were about . Each of our syndicates used these to report back to our staff on progress, and we also enjoyed sharing our progress at our Junior Cluster Sharing session. It's very satisfying to look back and see the shifts we've made over such a short time. Early days yet - but we feel we're on track.

Orini - New Entrants - Lorraine

As a result of attending Cross Cluster Sharing sessions about Thinking Skills (and ongoing Literacy development ) I've had a large focus on improving the quality of questioning in my classroom practice. As a result students are paying more attention to the cues, phrasing and types of their questions (and paying more attention to the answers) in all areas. This is becoming embedded in classroom practice. The students have also begun using MS Paint to illustrate ideas and explain their thinking with the initial support of Buddy helpers from senior classes.
Web Cams
I'm also very excited about using web cameras to record student's reading. I was recently working with a small group focussed on reading with expression (noticing natural pauses for later punctuation etc). Donna showed me the web cam and students practiced reading their story and recording themselves. The results were instantaneous ... the children said things like "Awww - I need to slow down... I need to say that one louder etc". Instant quality feedback - with a bit of support from me. They recognised what they needed to do and self corrected. Then re - videoed themselves and continued critiquing their work. I'll be using this from now on with students and as a way to snapshot stages to show parents.



Tahuna - Bev (Year 2 & 3)

We love exploring. Recently I was working with shapes exploring 3 dimensions with my students, struggling to help them grasp the idea of depth as well as lenghth and width. Google Sketch Up was recommended to me as a useful drawing tool for students, so we got the free download and explored what it would allow us to do. My students loved it. I thought it was quite a complicated programme but the students thrive on problem solving and helped each other determine what they could do. After some "playing around" time I set my learning task which was to design a building they could move around and see the 3 dimensions of the shapes they used. I encouraged them to discover how they could do this themselves, which they did.
The students have only had limited time using the programme but quickly managed to master the tool and used it initially to draw simple shapes and then worked out how to make them 3 dimensional.
I'm thrilled with this -in a very short time they were discussing complicated ideas involving perspective and had built on their understanding of 3 dimensions by drawing various sized shapes etc. I can't think of a quicker and more effective way for students to develop this understanding.. I can see many more uses for this resource and so can the students !!! We took some screen shots of some work, reflected on the process and their learning and threw it into a short powerpoint to explain our learning at assembly.. Here it is.

Orini - Shannan (Year 1 & 2)

As I am in my first year teaching there has been a number of new learning journeys this year to master. So far we have been using Photostories to support our writing programme, such as Prepositions (see example below), and as a medium to display our MS Paint pictures. I have accessed a number of on-line resources for my students which are used to provoke whole class discussions and for consolidation activities. Having sites saved on the links bar has made access very easy for my junior students as they are able to independently use these during reading/maths rotations or before school.

My class compared various versions of "When goldilocks went to the house of the bears" using a small animated movie and our shared books. This was a way of focusing on visual literacy variations of the depiction of Goldilocks. As my class has only got two very old PCs we are fortunate to be able to use the senior class some Friday mornings while they are away at Technology. During this time we are able to use the Interactive Whiteboard and related software, as well as the 8 PCs they have in the classroom. The children love these sessions and can achieve so much in such a short space of time with the available equipment. As a school we are in the process of introducing the KnowledgeNet and I am really enjoying putting together a class page to showcase my students work and to give/receive valuable feedback in an online learning environment.

Tauhei Yr 0 - 4 - Anne -Louise

goatimages.jpgThe beginning of this year has had it's share of frustrations. Initially our server wouldn't co-operate, and we had no internet access or places to save our student's work - schoolwide. ... we were all fired up and keen to be exploring ICT opportunities, BUT had no access to reliable tools. At last it's all working and we've got stuck in ! Our students returned from a Cluster Photo Workshop with cameras and Photostory 3 skills and taught the others. So quickly, most of our students becames keen and capable camera users. We tapped into these skills in our planning and started using Photostory3 as a handy presentation tool. As an example, as part of our descriptive language programme , we visited a Goat Farm down the road (Three Billy Goats Gruff etc) to immerse the student's 5 senses and encourage more oral and written language using adjectives and similes.

The students took heaps of photos as a visual record, and we used these to motivate descriptive writing pieces and create photostories. The students worked in groups to develop their own visual stories using the work we'd done with descriptive language. There's nothing like hands on experiences to motivate learners, and we found the students quickly became involved in discussing the best types of descriptions to give to accompany the visual image. In this way we noticed more enriched language, and more participation from ALL students in the group. We're in the process of purchasing a Data Projector so we can share more of the students work with the whole school and parents at Assemblies. Our next step is to start sharing student work with a wider audience on a digital wall - like a WIKI or BLOG. We plan to look at these next year.

Whitikahu - Yr 2-3 Trish

Vegetable Stories
We have explored using photostory 3. This was the first time these students had taken photographs and put them into a slideshow. We were lucky to use one laptop per group of 3 or 4 students so that everyone was hands on most of the time (important from a practical point of view). The enthusiasm for the project grew as they added their own voices and added music with the aid of senior students. They have been very keen to share these and enjoy seeing and hearing themselves on the screen. Some groups have investigated the effects for altering the photos especially after they saw the older students finished slideshows. The learning intentions focused around the Key competencies as they worked as a team and everyone had an equal share in the production of the project. The skills in using the IT equipment were immense for some, luckily we had the children who had attended Donna's workshop to share their knowledge with us and the senior students to take us on to the next level by addig voice overs and background sound.

St Joseph's - Julie (Yr 1)

Personally the ICT learning journey to this point has been one full of mixed emotions from fun, to fear, to frustration at times but above all it has been very exciting. What I am most enthusiastic about is the affect that it has on student’s capabilities to learn through ICT. It appears to have heightened their motivation while enhancing their capacity to explore, create, understand and encourage them to think critically. The uses of computers in our classroom are utilized to extend the children's understanding of various experiences, as well as provide enjoyment in itself. The students are exposed to a range of software programmes, including educational, informational, open-scale programmes, and game programmes. We use games as teaching programmes, as they foster many skills, including hand-eye coordination, decision-making, reading, writing, comprehensio009.JPGn, and discerning differences and similarities. Computers and ICT equipment are used throughout the day as a multifunctional tool which is integrated with other activities and themes.

Our classroom has five desk top computers, a laptop and an interactive whiteboard which we use in many ways and for different purposes. I think what has surprised me the most is how these tools have influenced many aspects of student learning including how they relate to each other such as helping each other, negotiating, and planning together. It is wonderful to see the children at this young age displaying those life skills that makes learning more relaxed as the cooperate, collaborate, and tutor each other while using the computer. I believe using computers in the class has promoted communication skills, the student’s ability to discuss strategies, solve problems, and have fun together, while they use both games and educational programmes. The children consistently display positive behaviour when working on the computers which appears to indicate that they are focussed and engaged in meaningful activities. Many of the children ask if they can ‘play’ on the computer when in reality they are engaged in purposeful learning. What is significant and interesting is that they talk about the content as if it were games.

Our learning has been focused round integrating the Key Competencies into all Curriculum areas. Thinking has been an area that our class I feel has made great gains. We introduced the Hat’s in our literacy area to help with developing comprehension understanding but as a result has filtered through to other areas of the curriculum. DeBono’s strategy to think in different ways has influenced the way students analyse not only text but everyday situations. Such as expressing how they feel to problem solving to more in-depth discussions. The Hat’s have been a huge success and so now we are looking at incorporating Tony Ryan’s Key’s.

DeBono's hats based on Joy Cowley's, Greedy Cat stories

Kimihia Primary- Nicole (Year 1/2)

This year has opened up many new and exciting opportunities for my classroom and myself. I was very lucky to recieve in term 3 an interactive whiteboard. This has opened up many unexpected outcomes, the first was meeting parents who before had never stepped into my classroom. They would come in following their children to see this awesome piece of technology that their children had been raving about. The second was that the interactive whiteboard has provided those children who struggle to stay tuned into the lessons to stay focused and they are more willing to participate and add their own ideas. I hav incorporated it into my reading, writing, maths, handwriting, concept and storywriting with lots of success.
Reading and maths are where the children have almost full control of the interactive whiteboard and it has become a really important part of recording their work. They can flick backwards and forwards and see their learning in an instant and see how they made the steps in the journey.
The children get very excited about using it and seem to learn more and more about it everyday. I myself am still learning but its nice for them to show me things that they have learnt about it.

I have learnt that the technology is just a "tool" to help us work towards deeper learning- learning that goes beyond the surface. Just because you have the newest or greatest technology doesn't mean that you are using it in the right way, so I myself have had to use it in ways that benefit the kids not just "cool tricks". This has been a major focus for me. DEEPER LEARNING!

Room 5 has developed a few things so far this year and hopefully a few more before the year ends, as it is approaching fast. Photostory3 has become a fantastic tool that shows the childrens work in a fun and interesting way, instead of just boring old posters. We first just had 4 sample pictures to play with and learn about it, then moved on to painting our self portraits in paint and making a class photostory, and using photo's from a trip about our concept and assessing the children on their knowledge.

Room 5 has started a class wiki. WOW what an eye opener it was for me!
The kids haven't had much input into it and I haven't spent enought time on it which is a massive goal for next year. But I have looked at other wiki's and seen how they can be used I think this years one was my guniea pig :)

Once I have a bit more time I will put up some photos of our interactive whiteboard and some of our photostories.

If anyone has any fantastic ideas for using any of these things post it up and share it around :)

Kimihia Room 4 Year 1/2/3
Room 4 children used Photostory to share the photos we took of our visit to the wetland by Countdown in Huntly. We were learning about flooding, the use of stopbanks and how the river affects us in Huntly in wet weather. The children worked in pairs to choose and insert their photos. They added their own text that was relative to flooding in Huntly. At the end each pair shared the photostory with the class and this was shown at the School assembly on a large screen. There was great excitement to see their own work.
This term we have used Paint for art work to draw a picture about Fire works. Our Concept for this term is Respectful and Proud so in class we were talking about Fireworks safety, about being respectful of the rules of handling fireworks. At the end of each ICT session the children's work is put into one folder, which means we can show their drawings as a slideshow. This gives each child immediate feedback with what their work looks like and what their class mates think about it. Lyn .. Room 4