Freedom to come and go

http://www.upworthy.com/a-new-kind-of-kindergarten-design-encourages-kids-to-be-their-silly-selves

classrooms open to the outdoors, some students in boxes (classrooms) can become nervous, scared and try to hide.  Let them go and they will come back.  Need an element of danger, risk, teaches them to assess risk and to help each other, create society.  Less individual, egocentric behaviour, more teamwork through necessity.  Noise is normal and appropriate.

Extended classroom structure

http://fillingmymap.com/2015/04/15/11-ways-finlands-education-system-shows-us-that-less-is-more/

Having students for a second year in a row this year I see the benefit of one teacher for more than a year, you get to know them, how they learn, what they need and actually fill gaps, there are no wasted terms while you ‘get to know each other’.

Trust – huge part of this reading.

Collaborative journals.

When searching ideas around writing and improving both engagement and motivation for writing in my classroom I found this article which I could relate to.  Having used whole class journals in the past it was interesting to revisit the idea and apply it to my new class and the change in age group.

http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/class-journals

I have used whole class journals in the past and the students have enjoyed them.  I really agree with the author’s statement that at times you just need to take a break from your set piece and write on a different topic to give you renewed motivation.  In my past class students were very proud of their journals and it was a great way for students to share their writing with others.  They were well read during silent reading time too.

I would like to have the journals be ‘whole class’ journals, ie: written in by all students on a set topic chosen by the class at the beginning of the year.  The aim is fluency and adding detail freely when writing about shared experiences, and increasing opportunities to write.

My concern at this age level is that there is a large spread of abilities within the class, I want motivation and confidence to increase and wonder whether the class dynamic may mean that these journals are used as a tool against other students?

I have purchased 4 journals to use in class and intend to have students choose their own topic for writing in them.  Having a smaller number of students I can see that we could use these journals repeatedly, improving our writing each time and they could become a record of whole class goals being applied during all writing opportunities.

Child’s views on learning

Some holiday reading that is written in kids speak, using child’s language and giving their views on classrooms, teaching and learning.

Holmes, J (1999) Learn, Think, Live – Mike Scadden’s amazing new method of learning.

I’m wondering whether I know this about the students I teach? Have I ever asked them what they think of our classroom environment, how they like to learn or how they’d like to be taught?

In most cases I make a judgement about their style of learning as I get to know them, I observe them in different situations and adjust my program and classroom in response.

What sticks out for me is the highlights for students, the things that I didn’t expect and the things that I would only know about my day, lesson, classroom etc. by asking.

I would like to read this with my class to prompt discussion and to them confidence in their responses.