Thursday, 29 May 2014

History final assessment task

I have recently completed a unit of work on 19th Century Australian History with a focus of the impacts that events and people had on colonies during that time. I decided to move away from a written task this time to provide opportunities for kids that don't necessarily work to their potential when having to write. All students learn differently and therefore all assessments should vary to support that fact. The assessment task allowed for a high level of engagement by students and also allowed students to really demonstrate their full understanding of the topic. 

The task I set involved using a brown paper bag. Students needed to choose five items to represent people or events that had a significant impact on colonies in Australia during the 19th Century. The selected items were then placed in the bag. Items were made during class time
and also brought in from home. Once the items had been selected students could decorate the outside of the bag. When they had completed this they had to prepare a speech. The speech involved students pulling out an item one at a time and informing an audience about what the item represented and what impact that item had on colonies of Australia using factual information to support their claims. 

Students all got up in front of their peers without any hesitation to deliver their speeches. Sharing of knowledge broadened students understanding further. Beyond the five items they selected they learnt from their peers on other items. 

Both Grade 5 classes completed this task. Upon reflection my colleague teacher and I both felt this task allowed students to really demonstrate their understandings. I will certainly be using this again in my future practice. 

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Brown bear, Brown bear, what do you see? Read by a two year old with exp...

I like to show my Grade 5 class this video of my daughter when she was 2 reading Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see. I always get my students to focus on expression, fluency, speed and tone of voice. The kids love watching it. If a two year old can read with fluency and expression there is no reason why ten and eleven year olds can't. It also helps develop that relationship with students by sharing a part of you and your family.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

I'm back!

So I have finally taken the time to write a blog. I have had a massive five months which I have survived and made it out the other end. I had back surgery three months ago as I was laid up in bed for five weeks straight with a massive prolapsed disc. Couldn't walk, stand, sit or do pretty much anything. I was bed ridden and in so much pain. I had surgery which involved a lumbar microdiscectomy and rhizolysis. I have recovered really well and have made it back to teaching for the last two weeks full time. I certainly missed my work while I was incapacitated and know that I have chosen the right profession. I am looking forward to blogging some more this year with hopefully some insightful thoughts and practices about the world of teaching.