Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Philosophy in English

A stand out workshop for me at the NZATE English teacher's conference in Rotorua was one on using philosophy in English by Yvette. This is what I am doing with my Year 10s after attending the workshop

So, my Year 10 who are very able are working on an inquiry unit with the broad heading of 'Reality' we have started by having a small investigation
Task 1: Brainstorm on Padlet  - Reality
Task 2: Have a look through the Padlet and see what grabs your interest. For hw do some searching on Google.
Task 3: Find at least 1 article of interest from a 'credible' source. Copy and Paste it into OneNote
  • What is the article about?
  • Who wrote it
  • Facts
  • Your opinion, thought about it, do you agree or disagree? why?
  • Your opinion on that area now
I booked them into the library to have a walk through 'Epic' and listening to a presentation on credible sources and using databases over Google and Wikipedia.
We ended up have a couple of unexpected lessons around credible sources and using databases. Students have been engaged with reading from journal rather than websites knowing they are more 'right'!

Students are now working in Knowledge Forum as they develop their ideas and work as a community to build knowledge. If you want more information on Knowledge Building visit the NZ site here.

A student told me today that she saw some graffiti on a bus stop that was relevant to her inquiry and took a photo of it. I was impressed by this thinking out of the classroom.

The next step is we will be looking at Plato's Cave and creating more in-depth  questions, discussion in relation to Reality.

I am quite excited about collaborating with David Shaumann from John McGlashin school in Dunedin. His Year 10 class and mine are going to work together on a film study. Whilst 'The Truman Show' would work well with this overarching theme of Reality, we will be using 'V for Vendetta'.

I am also creating a formal writing task using Knowledge Forum where students can contribute and evaluate ideas discussed and then create either a portfolio or formal essay.

By the end of the term students will have completed at least: A film study, formal writing, research inquiry, problem creation and solving, presenting, and much more.

Will post again at the end of the term and let you know how it has gone.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

NZATE Workshops - Iain McGilchrist

Sometimes, I think the best workshops are the ones where you sit, listen and do; rather than write notes. This was my experience, this year at NZATE Myth and Magic Conference. This was helped by all resources and notes being shared using google docs. A flipped conference!

To me my take home learning was the following:

Iain McGilchrist - Chicken Club

We were all captivated by a Ted Talk, from a young lad called Logan LaPlante on 'Hackschooling'. It is well worth taking the 11 minutes to watch. What strikes you about this video?

I won't be asking any student what they want to be in the future! He is quite right, happiness and what we do to be happy. 

It was interesting to learn that Paul McCartney failed his audition for the Liverpool Cathedral choir
Iain spent time sharing what he had learned from the professional readings on positive psychology. I really liked the idea of 'nudge' in the positive direction in order to get a desired result. 

This is the link to his powerpoint which contains a lot more information than I have written about. It really was a great workshop full of lots of ideas.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

NZATE Myth and Magic Conference (English teachers)

Last week I attended the NZATE English teachers conference. Giving up precious holiday time for a conference sometimes can be a risk; especially when it comes to selecting workshops! However, this conference was run incredibly well by Trident High School and hosted at John Paul College in Rotorua. Every keynote speaker had the audience spellbound and each workshop I attended was valuable.

Joe Bennett - told captivating stories from his time as teacher and about teaching in general
Michael Pryor - Inspiring us with Steampunk and fantasy writing. I would not be surprised if there was a sudden burst of creativity from the teachers listening. As he talked to us about creating a fantasy world and the pitfalls that can occur. "The Laws of Magic" and "The Extraordinairies" are two series well worth a look/read.
Ted Dawes - An amazing speaker who shared his journey from writing to publications and navigating the censors. I think everyone there will be reading "Into the River"
Dame Fiona Kidman - sharing how we she became a writer and stories from her life.

Below is the Twitter feed from Storify with links to resources. Blog post on workshops to come!