Improving A Piece Of Descriptive Writing – #Literacy

Improving a piece of descriptive writing – #Literacy

5913123665_d4ba71d870_zIn Literacy we have been working on our descriptive writing and the children have been doing an amazing job! Looking at how to enhance engagement in some of my more reluctant writers and push some of the more advanced I came up with this idea for a few lessons:

Students love teaching each other. I try and give opportunities in my lessons for students to ‘teach’ each other concepts and show understanding, I find this is a useful strategy. I planned a lesson where students had to evaluate a piece of descriptive writing and then improve it.

As a whole class we discussed the success criteria for descriptive writing and what we would expect from a good piece of descriptive writing. Children then went away and in their groups discussed their paragraphs and used a similar marking code to the one we use in school. They used highlighters and different colour pens to identify good writing and then added and improved parts of it.

I asked all children to take a picture with their iPads of both the original and their improved piece. At the moment we don’t have access to paid Apps so using the very popular ‘Explain Everything’ App was not possible but I found a free alternative called IPEVO Whiteboard App, which allows you to record and save to the camera roll.

Very happy with the outcomes!

Examples from lesson

VERY GOOD SPEAKING OPPORTUNITIES

ANOTHER EXAMPLE

Setting Up A Class Blog

Setting up a class blog

There seems to be a lot of contrasting opinions on whether blogs have any use in the classroom. I must say that I find them a useful and powerful tool, if by having a class blog you can engage your students and encourage them to take an active role in running it then you are encouraging reflective learners. I looked into the 100WC where children are encouraged to write as a challenge…and think that by having a class blog ideas like this could better be started up in class.

I have decided to setup a class blog for my class and the children are extremely excited, I already have about 8 volunteers to help run the blog.

Keeping a journal of all the work we do in class is just one of the reasons to have a class blog, it also helps the children reflect on their learning and take an active role by posting what they have been doing in class and commenting on each others work, which is something they always enjoy.

I am looking forward to launching it and slowly letting the students run it for themselves!

Here is an excellent infographic: 10 REASONS TO BLOG!

Why Blog?

Why Blog?

I have decided to start my own blog. When I was fresh out of university I had a website which I ran for a few years where I showcased some of the multimedia work I was doing and I really enjoyed documenting all my work.

I then changed careers and went from working back to studying and then starting my new career in teaching. It has been a great experience so far, with its ups and downs but definitely worth it. Now that I work with children I can’t think of a better job, although it is highly demanding and extremely exhausting and a continuos uphill battle…I still love it!

I started at an International school in Spain, where I had my first experience and taught KS3 ICT and Design Technology. From there I got a teaching post in a unique place in the world, the Seychelles. I moved with my then girlfriend and we both worked in the only International school on the Island. I was working across Key Stages teaching ICT/Computing from year 3 all the way to the Cambridge IGCSE ICT course in years 10 and 11. Working with students from different ages and levels has given me invaluable experience as a teacher. My girlfriend who that summer became my wife was working as an Early Childhood teacher and we both had an amazing 2 years in a small school but with excellent students.

After two years in the Seychelles we were ready to move on and were looking to grow professionally. This lead us to move all the way to Malaysia to work in an international school in Kuala Lumpur. I am now working as a primary school classroom teacher in KS2 and my wife is a classroom teacher in KS1, it has been hard work adapting to our new surroundings but it has been a rewarding experience so far.

The differences between the two schools is huge. We now work in an apple school with a 1-1 iPad program from Year 3 and a dedicated EdTech department that looks after technology in school. I have always loved technology, studying a degree in Digital Media Development from Brighton University, and the opportunity to work in a school where technology is so important makes me excited for the future!

So, back to the main question – Why Blog? Well I have been a part of the ‘online’ educators community for a while now….reading amazing posts from amazing teachers all over the world. Following people who share ideas and create discussions online and now that I work in a school that supports its teachers and where opportunities exist to develop, I would also like to document and share my work with others.