Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Marble Track
More great ideas from Lucknow - showing how one activity can be used in many different ways to extend student thinking.

In one class the students had been constructing a marble track using meter rules (with the 1cm groove down the middle), cardboard tubes and anything else they could lay their hands on! There had been lots of activity getting the pieces lined up and finding ways to get the marble to go round corners. Then they'd used the stopwatch to see how long the marble would take to travel from start to finish. The week we were visiting students were still experimenting with different set ups in the classroom but the concept had also moved out doors.

In the sandpit students were digging tracks in the sand for golf balls - adjusting the levels when the gradient was insufficient to get them to roll.

In another area students were using pieces of pvc pipe and long cardboard tubes to make a super sized marble track.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ulearn 08 Conference

As always, Gay & I came away with renewed enthusiasm after the conference. It's great to gather new ideas and to hear of peoples success with Discovery Time. We get very excited when teachers tell us that "Yes, this is what our kids need."

We have had many enquiries about our book so here are a few more details.
This is the blurb on the back cover:

Discovery Time provides an exciting environment in which to strengthen the key competencies and bring fun into children's learning.
Discovery Time is an activity-based programme, held once a week. It's a fantastic opportunity for kids to explore and create.
Students say:
It's the best part of the whole week.
You learn to challenge yourself.
You get to do stuff that yo've never done before and you think you can't do it but you can.
Teachers say:
It puts balance back into the curriculum.
It puts kids in charge of their own learning.
It's a chance to stand back and really observe your students.
The possibilities are endless...

Read the book and you'll know:
  • Why Discovery Time is important for todays kids
  • How to plan, structure and organise the session
  • How to use Discovery Time to strengthen key competencies
  • How to use the reflection time at the end to maximise learning

There are also lots of ideas for activities, plus examples of completed planning sheets to get you started.

Don't forget to check out the CD Rom that goes with the book. This contains all the colour pictures that we couldn't put into the book, recipes and quotes from the research (A4 posters for displays).

email discoveryt@gmail.com and we can put a copy in the post and send an invoice $48 NZ (including postage & GST).

Lucknow School

What a treat to visit Havelock North and see what the junior and middle syndicates at Lucknow school are doing.

Here are a couple of their great ideas for activities (will post more later).

My favourite was this water wheel - a slice of potato with pieces of plastic slotted in around the edges. The kebab stick through the middle allows the whole thing to turn.

When one wheel failed the 'tap test' the teacher said she caught herself just in time. "It's very easy to leap in and provide a solution, rather than ask a question that gets students thinking and problem solving for themselves." Standing back and asking the right question is one of the greatest challenges for teachers during Discovery Time.

Also loved the group who were finding ways to siphon water from one container to another. Great teamwork and cooperation going on plus lots of excitement!