Today is the last week of
the current timetable. Next week we go into next years timetable for the last
four weeks of term. If you have never taught in Scotland and you think this is a
little strange – your right, I have never really understood the logic behind it
and still struggle to see any real obvious benefit.
However, because today was the last day of the current timetable it was also my last day with my current S1 Social Education class. Over the last year I’ve not really covered the course in the same way as many of the other social education teachers. Instead we have spent a lot of year chatting, discussing, telling stories, surfing the web and blogging. I really enjoy teaching this class and they are a fantastic bunch with a great sense of humour.
Today we made our last blog entries of S1, which was a quick refection on the last year and a mention of what we were looking forward to over the next 12 months. I briefed the group in the library and then set them loose. As they enthusiastically turned on their computers I was actually quite taken back – they all new what they were doing. They were all happy, collaborating, writing, multi-tasking and publishing to a global audience.
Working with this class has really been a bit of an experiment. We still have problems with the bandwidth, sometimes there are not enough computers for everyone and not everyone has a computer at home. But the class has worked with me to overcome these barriers and have been patient when the network has been slow, when they have lost work and when they ran out of time (I only see them for 35 minutes a week). I have learnt a lot in the last year and am ready to roll out the project on a wider scale for next session. I’ll talk more about this in a separate post.
I have also learnt a lot for my student blogs over the year. This evening I was flicking through my aggregator to remind myself of my favourite posts and web 2.0 moments with the class. Let’s start with a great post from Zoe today, she is obviously proud of what she has achieved this year and I’m really proud of her. She is the fastest typeset in the class and produced some great blog entries during the last session. It’s interesting how she compares primary to secondary school,
‘I think first year has been my favourite year out of all the years I have had at school. You don’t do as much work in primary but I prefer the grammar.’
I wonder how many other S1 pupils don’t feel as stretched in S1 compared to P7?
During the year we have tried lots of different ways to use our blogs. These have included posting video from Google Video as home work exercises. Catherine’s anti smoking video was one of my favourites. As well as finding what other people think we have also used our learning logs to express our own views. In this example Natalie talks about what she thinks about smoking when we were working on our healthy lifestyles unit in Social Education.
We have experimented with posting images, some people have been more successful with this than others and Chris finally got the hang of this today! Well done Chris! We have even posted pictures of some of our own work. Take a look at Fiona’s Jelly Bean Boat for a great example. The really great thing about it is that three teachers have commented on her efforts.
A number of departments have been keen to get on board with the Learning logs. I have already mentioned CDT and math also tried out a couple of successful approaches. Catriona’s homework on rotational symmetry was excellent and I even found out from her blog that she had won a Silver Maths Challenge Prize, before it was published in the daily bulletin. The English department have also got involved with a great example here on Colins Blog when he shares with us his basketball poem.
There have been a number of other highlights Hazel has covered all the events that go on inside the school well she has talked about activity days, diversity days and even my role in the Christmas Panto. Finally, Jades even commented that she has started to think about her exams in S4!
I’ve really enjoyed working with this class this year – lets hope some of them keep working on their learning logs in S2.