Monday, 7 May 2012

Plan it's mindmapping, videos & letter writing!

Last Thursday and Friday were inset days at school so I was able to spend some time with Bev, my Head Teacher talking through my Action Plan (a big thank you to Jo Badge & Mark Allen for reviewing!).  We shared lots of ideas for the project as well as thoughts about how the project might roll out and ways of using Google technology.  On my part, I shared a few nerves too!  These come with the territory of project based learning - the 'unknown' is built into this approach, it's a given.  If every aspect was nailed down at this point, there'd be zero scope for pupil choice and zero scope for a real context.  It'd way less fun too!

Fruits of the Rainforest by Year 4
Project Action Plans and Videos
So, this week teams are going to be working on their project action plans and videos.  I've created a document to share with teams highlighting what I'd like plans and videos to include.  Before you think it, I'll have to say it - the format is a bit - not child friendly at all!  So, having discovered iMindMap all of half an hour ago and being a fan already of Tony Buzan, I'm going to ask children to create a mindmap using our class iPod Touches.  I think the Buzan mindmaps look like pieces of art so, if we've time, I may ask children to draw their mindmaps too & then we can use Picasa to put the final touches.  In the meantime, if anyone can suggest another alternative let me know!

Letter writing
 Later on this week, I'd like teams to consider letter writing.  Persuasive writing and letters are part of the Year 4 curriculum so our projects will provide the all important real purpose!  As good writing is always boosted along by some good reading, we'll be starting by looking at some of the letters last year's pupils wrote concerning palm oil from sustainable sources.  Here's one example with some of the teaching points given in red.
Rainforest Enquiry
Our rainforest stakeholders' enquiry went well last Wednesday.  An hour in & with break time fast approaching, I reluctantly wound things down but pupils were really fired up for the discussion and every single person took part!  Quite a few children came along in rainforest inspired outfits which gave the whole thing a sense of occasion.  Becky, our visitor and a Reception teacher from a local school was enthusiastic too & hopes to start philosophy for children soon.  (I recommended Sara Stanley's excellent books especially for philosophy with very young children).

I'm hoping that somewhere along the way we'll be able to link with a school in a rainforest region of the world.  The children and I would love it!  There's a possibility of a link with a school in Taiwan.  If we are lucky enough to be able to do this, I'm sure it'll deepen the understanding of everyone involved in the project!  

Spot the difference?17 April & 30th April

Spot the difference...with a difference!
Lastly, a quick mention for Earthwatch. Over the last two weeks or so, children have been looking at a plot of land in Indonesia which is under threat from illegal logging.  We've signed up to watch and flag this area of rainforest if we spot any changes.  Local authorities are alerted if any plot of land is flagged and have pledged to investigate promptly.  A great use of satellite technology and a great way of pupils being involved in a vital rainforest saving effort! 

No comments:

Post a Comment