34HPM are continuing to complete their drafts on their school holidays. Once drafts have been completed students will complete the process of ‘authorthink’, where students will edit each others writing. Once this stage has been completed some students will be chosen to be posted on the blog. This will show the students the importance of editing as their work will be seen world wide.
Our class is beginning to write a recount about their holidays on the class blog. They are becoming more aware of their wider audience and are taking more care in their writing and editing following their feedback to each other last term after their first attempts blogging. The process has been a little slower because of Cross arts preparations and practise.
Today Maria P. and I discussed how the students have been writing on the class Blog. I was interested in finding out if there had been any improvement in their writing since the introduction of blogging. Initially the students were responding to posts on the Blog and their comments had many errors. Our next step is to ask the students look at their audience on the Blog as compared to only their teacher and peers seeing their work. They will then discus what they will need to do differently when writing on the Blog.
Today we created a post on student’s blog for students to respond to.
We decided to focus on the science SOLID, LIQUID, GAS experiments they have been enjoying.
Looking forward to see the types of responses the children provide for the fist time.
We hope that the students respond to each others comments as well.
Today we are looking at the results of the surveys the students completed on paper. It will take a while to sift through it.
Do you like writing? Why?
Most liked writing because they liked it, and it was fun to write stories.
What sort of things do you write about?
stories, narratives for everyone to read, procedure, notes , my family, sports, handwriting, about myself, about my day
The students provided a variety of things they liked to write about but mostly they listed narratives.
Who do you write for?
Most students said that they wrote for their teachers because the asked them to.
When you have written something, how important is it to you to improve or edit your writing?
Most put down that it was important to edit their work and even gave reasons, such as checking spelling and punctuation but unfortunately I did not see any evidence of improvement or editing on the survey answers.
What part of writing would you like to improve on?
Narratives, expositions, stories, spelling, handwriting, detail and describing words,
Our second step will be looking at the student’s survey results from google form.
As part of collecting data as evidence for our Parts project, we have created a survey. The survey is intended to collect evidence about how the students feel about their writing. We will complete the survey on paper and on a google form to see if we get any differing results. The survey will be completed at the start of our project and at the end.
1. Do you like writing? Why?
2. what sort of things do you like to write about?
3. Who do you write for now?
4. When you have written something, how important is it to you to improve or edit your writing?
5. What part of writing would you like to improve on? (E.g. handwriting, more detail etc.)
6. What do you use writing for now?
I intend to give this survey to the students on Friday on paper.
My next step to create this survey as a google form. I need to find an expert to show me.
Will web 2.0 tools help improve student’s writing?
- This project question will be investigated with the Year 3/4 community.
- The first web 2.0 tool we will use is blogging.
The first thing to do is to collect base line data of the student’s writing. We can collect this in a variety of ways. Written samples and the student’s first comments on the community blog.
We are hoping to find that if the writing is authentic and purposeful it will improve the student’s writing.
1. What was the main focus and purpose of this action research project?
Our question for PARTS was:
‘What effect does the use of online collaborative tools have on student learning?’
Our main focus for this action research project was to create online collaborative tools ( a level 3 blog) where the students could display and comment on their classroom learning and activities such as excursions and incursions. The purpose of setting up the blog was to see what effect using an online collaborative tool had on student engagement, interaction and learning during this action research project.
2. Did you achieve the intended purpose and how do you know? If not, why not?
We did achieve our intended purpose. From the very beginning the students were very excited and eagerly listened to the lessons instructing them on why we were creating a level 3 blog and the expectations we had for what they posted. We were swamped with hundreds of questions which was a true indication of their enthusiasm. Once the blog was created the students began posting and interacting with each other about different areas of their learning.
3. What were the most important things you learnt about:
a) The focus of your action research
I gained a deeper understanding of the importance of online tools as being part of our student’s everyday learning. Through creating the blog I observed the positive effect the online tool had on students interacting with each other and on their enthusiasm to learn. Creating the level3 blog gave the students the opportunity to become more skilled in interacting online in a safe environment. They will need to build on these skills as they are a part of this global revolution in technology where developing skills and cyber safety are most important.
b) Your own professional learning needs (what did you need to know for this action research)
I needed to learn everything about blogging, as I had no skills in setting up a blog and had only been a participant on a social blog for a short time. I needed to understand why we were creating the blog and how to do this as part of the level 3 team. I relied on the technical skills of the level 3 team in creating the blog. I needed to be aware of the measures we needed to take to ensure our students were safe online and that their full identities were not published. I needed to share in the student’s enthusiasm and encourage them to go onto the blog and comment on the posts.
c) How will your findings influence your own and others future classroom practice?
My findings will influence my teaching practice. I can see the value that online tools have in engaging and motivating students and I am keen to become more proficient with blogging. As well as the students interacting online, I can see the value in staff collaborating online and sharing their teaching and learning. I will try to develop my online skills and work with colleagues in understanding other online tools and their uses.
4. Which if any parts of the action research posed problems?
As I was unfamiliar with blogs I was personally quite bewildered by the task. Initially we had difficulty in understanding the steps to take in setting up the blog and then we had some difficulty with adding the students and having a way of identifying students sharing the same Christian name. Having Rebecca’s support available during our planning time was crucial to our learning.
5. How often did you read blogs of other members of your team?
Each Wednesday we discussed our learning journey as a team and then wrote our own post, so we were familiar with each other’s thinking.
6. How did you find the process of documenting your actions , learning and reflections on the blog
I found the process of documenting what I had done, my learning and my reflections on the blog regularly a good Idea as everything was fresh in my mind and as a level we discussed everything and had a really accurate understanding of where everyone was.
7. What new professional learning needs emerged for you from the experience of this action research? How will you meet these learning needs?
From my experience of this action project I know that I must continue on my learning journey in technology and gain a better understanding of some of the different tools students can use to enhance their learning. I will meet these learning needs by being open to learn and try new tools, hopefully in a team environment, where my learning is linked to the student’s learning.
8. Reflect on the changes we have made to PARTS;
a) Use of the blog
The blog gave me the chance to reflect on my learning regularly each week. It gave me the opportunity to share my learning and to receive positive feedback on my journey. It also gave me the opportunity to read how other staff members were going and to gain some understanding of what was happening in their level.
b) Removing the considering evidence protocol
This was a far more effective method as the reflections recorded weekly, very clearly showed my learning. The focus seemed to be more about what I learnt and how I was feeling rather than producing an ‘eye catching’ presentation.
9. How would you improve our PARTS process?
I am happy with the changes made this year. I think it is really important to have a project that is level team based, having a focus that is directly linked to us developing our teaching skills to support our students learning needs. Having different projects in the different levels is really putting the student’s needs first.
I am still persisting on this learning journey and am feeling more confident in using the blogg.
Now that our blog is up and going I can see how valuable this technology is in engaging and exciting the students to coomunicate on points of interest in our level. We gave them a session on our expectations for comments regarding what they say, how they say it and they need to use correct punctuation and grammar or they will not be approved.