Friday, September 29, 2006

Just back from the Ulearn conference. What a lot of thought provoking ideas and new challenges for us all. Gay & I will be focussing on getting schools in our area (who are not on ICT contracts), to make even greater use of technology during Discovery Time. We've come back really fired up so watch this space...we'll report back on how we're getting on (or ask for your help when we run into problems!)

Thank you to all those who came to our workshop - your enthusiastic response was fantastic. We hope there are lots of DT sessions starting up next term. We'd love to hear about them so leave a comment on the site.

I'm trying to remember the things we said we would put on the blog....

Firstly - Information on key competencies. I recommended a background paper by Rosemary Hipkins. This is a lengthy document (85 pages) but worth reading if you are leading your school in professional development on key competencies.

Secondly - We remembered after the workshop that we hadn't mentioned linking the session to your writing programme. We get some wonderful writing from children following the Discovery Time sessions. They always have plenty to write about and make some really insightful and reflective comments about their learning.

Thirdly - We also thought we should say that if your whole syndicate is going to do DT avoid the temptation to have the students move between rooms (unless you spend most of your time in a true team teaching situation). Feedback from teachers and our own experience lead us to believe that this time is invaluable for observing and interacting with your students. This is a time to strengthen your relationship with, and increase your understanding of every child in your class. For this to happen you need to have them with you.

I'll post again in the next few days
Have a relaxing holiday

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Ulearn06 conference starts next week in Christchurch

For those of you attending our workshop here are some useful references.

Are We Fixing the Wrong Things?
Yong Zhao, (2006). Educational Leadership. vol 63. no 8. p28-31.

Children are less able than they used to be.
The Guardian Jan 24, 2006

Moving up the Grades: Relationship between Preschool Model and Later School Success
Marcon, R.A. (2002) Early Childhood Research & Practice. spring 2002. vol 4, no.1

Three Rs to make room for life skills
The Age. March 30, 2004

Hurry! Hurried! Hurrumph!
NSW Dept. of Education
Education Horizons Vol 8. no 5, 2005.

If you have trouble locating any of these, contact me and I'll be happy to send them.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

An Evaluation of the Discovery Time Programme
Last year Rebecca Fisher, an Educational Psychologist with Group Special Education in Porirua, completed a research project on Discovery Time in one of the Porirua East School.
An article on this project has just been published in Kairaranga - volume 7, issue 2: 2006

The article describes the Discovery Time programme, a largely child-directed developmental programme, and discusses it in relation to the sociocultural approach to learning. It considers the effects of the programme on the development of children's oral language learning and cooperative social skills in a year 1 classroom.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Masks and puppet shows are always popular and a great way to stimulate oral language.

Big Billy Goat Gruff

The fox - in a new version of the Gingerbread Man!