Its been a hectic start to the term, but very exciting too. Have spent most of the last 8 days trying to get back into the swing of what it means to be a full time class teacher again, but it has been great to be able to start putting into practice and to begin establishing the routines and small changes that I have wanted to engage colleagues with over the past 12 months.
The impact of a years specialist teaching is also beginning to show through student's holding of basic skills within this years, year 2 to year 6. Evidenced in the excitement to share today the work which some year 4 students had been doing using 2 create while beginning to make Victorian Websites. After a week back at school the basic hyperlink structures were in place on three slides, and some simple content had been included on the site that was shared. The work that year 6 have been doing this week using Fronter was also a talking point, as they are beginning to recognise and transfer skills acquired through making navigable slideshows in PowerPoint, and their engagement with think.com to develp and share new content. Our year 3 classes were also quickly into the groove, when the use of Espresso and the internet, was included in a class based carousel task, independently logging on, locating and working with the material they were asked to explore and use, the only problem they encountered being a network set up issue, that currently disables activex components, but this was quickly over come. In the online classroom too consolidated routines from last year made the session run smoothly, students navigating the local network, locating template files, saving them as and beginning to edit and reformat the text presented. Last year at this time the same activity took two weeks to develop, and reflects the significant progress that has been made in the last 12 months the ICT capability of our students.
Moving beyond the classroom, I have begun to establish content on our year group community pages, and to set up frames for future work. I spent an evening with two colleagues exploring Podium on Monday, and this has lead us to initially set up an account for Y3 with podomatic, until we can resolve firewall issues and ftp, and the potential in through one of our amazing LSAs to develop small projects with Y5. Our students are also set up to write entries to the year group blog every Friday afternoon initially, and were very excited at having recieved comments about their work over last weekend. Thanks to Anthony, for his inspirations around geotagging earlier in the year, as I was further inspired to include a quikmap as a talking point, to begin tagging comments on a world map, so the students could get some kind of idea about where our visitors were coming from. It might be interesting to work with them in small groups to help me update this map. I have also begun to include material about our classroom routines and the topics and themes we will be working on. I know last year as Y2s several parents began visiting their community pages, and I hope that as the year goes on our parent partners will take an even greater interest as the children add content via their blog for themselves.