Engaged Learning – a busy but productive classroom!

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I have been so busy lately that I have neglected my blog! This does not mean to say that I have not been working on my metacognition work with my students. Very quickly – here is a very brief overview of what I have been up to:

ENGLISH: All Year 8s at my school participate in a piece of extended narrative writing, with the end product being a “book” that we teachers spend time binding etc. Anyway, as you might know, one of the things I have been working on with my munchkins is their ability to understand tasks and the varying requirements. This task has many sub-pieces of work that must be completed and can appear a bit overwhelming. Well – the class (with me purely as facilitator) discussed what tasks needed to be completed in which order and why. What I fouond incredibly rewarding,was the manner in which this was very easily achieved and the articulate discussions that were held across the classroom and πŸ™‚ the way in which consensus was agreed. The students have come such a long way from asking me should they “rule up my page Mrs Pill” to being able to unpack a task’s requirements so that they feel able to make decisions re time management. (one of those moments:) πŸ™‚ ) The upshot is that the students are switched on with what they have to do and are just getting on with it. They are sharing with each other – seriously cool!!!

Studies of Society: Global Citizenship task: We are looking at the idea that we are all global citizens. I will unpack this in more detail because there have been a few hurdles but, I just wanted to share something with you (whomever “you” is!!). My students have just started tweeting their thoughts on this topic, including facts and figures and last week, after a few unexpected ICT glitches, all students are now blogging!!! WooHoo! But … what I wanted to share was this:

We were in the computer room.
It was busy
I was moving around supporting and “troubleshooting” where necessary
It was chatty
Students had some controls re the blog structure but also had a lot of freedom within this- the blog was “theirs’
Students were supporting and “troubleshooting” each other
The talk was ONLY about the topic!! (What? I hear you ask? – YES – ONLY ABOUT THE TOPIC!!)
The only images etc on the screens were topic related.

It is just really rewarding when what I read about engaging students I am able to observe happening in my classroom. I dont mean this from a self-congratulatory perspective but that I simply felt thrilled that I could actively observe a moment of “theory put into practice” and working just as I have read (and intrinsically felt) it would.

I hope that was not too rambling – I am a bit tired. Lots of unwell people in my house equals not much sleep for me πŸ™‚

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About Kate Pill

I am a Secondary School teacher who is passionate about developing students' ability to answer the "who, what, when, why, how, what if and what next" questions over the course of their learning. A "mature starter" (read as - late!) to the teaching game, I am still developing my IT street smarts. This blog will chart my own journey through the metacognition landscape as I facilitate my students' understanding of not only WHAT they are learning but HOW they are learning it. Wish me luck!

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