Monday, 23 July 2018

Innovate and Try #3

One of the sessions I attended at ISTE explored different ways of encouraging creativity in writing. The link to my previous post is here. With my inquiry focus of exploring ways I can build student self efficacy in mind I decided to start the term off creatively using the 'pechaflickr' idea. 

I knew most of my reluctant writers would not have done much written work over the term break so finding a fun way to get them to use the skills we have been developing over the year would be the hook I needed. As this was a completely new activity for us I wanted to maintain a level of control over which images were being used so I created my own versions using a google slide template sourced from here. You can make a copy of this template by clicking here. It's fantastic as all the settings have been done for you.

I thought carefully about the topics I chose as I knew my learners all needed to be able to make a connection to the images they were seeing. For our introductory session I used the subjects of 'dogs' and 'friends'.

The initial plan was that my students would work in pairs using the 'pechaflickr' slides on their Chromebooks to co-construct their narratives, however this wasn't to be. Just as we were about to begin we lost the internet so I had to use my phone to display the slides on the tv. This worked a treat and all I could hear around the room was the buzz of talk as stories were being created!

I noticed the usual ever present initial shyness but this was soon overcome as confidence levels grew and the risks being taken were paying off. Today was very much an oral language activity so my next step is to introduce the recording aspect to allow my learners to apply the skills they have been practising in context.

Afterwards I asked my learners for feedback and found that this task was well received by all my learners. One student said, 'l Ioved hearing people giggling about their stories to each other because it meant they were practising their learning.' One of my target students said he thought, 'Our lesson was really good today and everyone was focused because they were all communicating with their partners.' Another said, 'It was fun to take turns to come up with ideas and try and turn the ideas into a story that made sense'. 

On the flip side another targeted learner said, 'It was fun Miss, but it was a bit hard to make up a story that made sense when we both had different ideas. I had to listen really hard to my partner's idea then add something that made sense with that.' I see this feedback as positive and I am excited to see where our next writing lesson takes us as everyone found success in our learning today.

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