Saturday, 3 December 2011

JIS Inquiry Matrix

On Thursday and Friday last week, a group of twenty or so teachers from Pattimura and Pondok Indah Campuses met at our house to work on our new matrix of units of inquiry. The day started with an overview of the task followed by a review of the UbD slideshow of stage one, specifically so that we would all be on the same page regarding identifying Big Ideas and crafting Enduring Understandings.

The process involved looking at the newly adopted standards in groups of four and deciding on Big Ideas in each of the four strands, just for grade 5. After reviewing what we'd all come up with, the next step was to work out the big ideas for the rest of the grades.

Once all groups had posted their Big Ideas, everyone individually put tally marks against the Big Ideas they felt were best. Then people took a Big Idea from anywhere on the matrix, and crafted an Enduring Understanding that would suit, constantly referring back to the standards.

And that's where we got to at the end of day 2.
My thoughts:
  • It was wonderful to have discussions about inquiry learning with colleagues who had experienced it in a variety of schools prior to coming to JIS.
  • There need to be a clarification of terminology because of that variety of staff.
  • In some cases it might be better to have two (or more) Enduring Understandings rather than try to "force" standards into one EU.
  • If we are using the new UbD template, we need to be able to download a usable version.
  • If we are using Kath Murdoch's model, then the planner may need to be a hybrid. This needs to happen fairly soon.
  • Maybe we should have had a grade 6 teacher there.
  • Before we can go much further training in UbD needs to be planned.
  • The health standards are not written in such a way as they can be added.
  • Looking at some created EUs and thinking past them to how the teaching might happen I wonder if we have resources to support them.
I hope the momentum doesn't slow down...

Friday, 2 December 2011

First Post and Chorus...

I have finally got started on a blog, that is to say, a proper blog not counting the 2 blogs I have had as Mrs Buckley which are geared only to my grade 5 classes, where I give them advice on how to follow their peers, comment on peers' posts, reflect on their learning and other things I feel are useful.

Many of the tweets I receive in my twitter feed say teachers need to be blogging. Saying you are no good at writing isn't an excuse, though I don't think that's me. I can write letters to parents using reasonable turns of phrase and am practised at word-smithing Enduring Understandings and the like. Having no time is not an excuse either! If I am honest I'd have to say I don't particularly like writing. But of course that won't work either. If I expect my students to do it I should too!

This will be a very basic, no frills blog! All those gidgets and fancy stuff I see on other people's blogs will only appear here if my class's excellent tech teacher shows them and me how to do it. Of course if I want fluffy bunnies, swimming fish, cute puppies, horse of the day, etc., etc. all I need to do is ask one of my students!

So there we go. First post done!