Classroom management oh my …

Classroom management is always interesting especially if you have kids doing lots of different things at the same time. Added to the complication of marking is the problem of how do you assess when the work is being done in groups or online? And when do you do this assessment?

This week my class is writing a “Recipe for an Island Holiday”. I’m documenting the work done on my own wiki – not just for my reference but also for evidence of work for assessment. The class is working in a variety of ways: publishing to wiki; brainstorming on wiki; publishing/writing to voicethread; writing on the whiteboard using the magnetic words and whole class writing to a wordle (with me as the scribe for that task). There’s a lot of management making sure the kids are on task while I work with small groups on editing their work in their draft writing books. Phew!

Wordle: island holiday

Maths is another case. We’re just beginning division work and doing it in groups and hands on. Each group had a whiteboard and pen and blocks and as they worked their way through the work I took photos of their work.

Some are struggling with cooperative work!

At the end of the day I can look back and say we worked hard – there’s not a lot of book work as evidence BUT there is online evidence of it.

5 thoughts on “Classroom management oh my …

  • September 8, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    Hi Jo
    this is the issue that I’m having too. Like you I take photos & I make use of video too. Some of the photos I display around the room – often with finished work examples, others I compile into PhotoStory or similar & have the kids add commentary & others I print & put in their books as it gives parents & others of importance concrete evidence of work done. Mind you – this has issues of it’s own, including the use of printer, ink, etc.

    I have also found that some use the opportunity to slip under the radar. I was thinking some for of check -listy thing for the children to record when a task is finished. With physical work (ie non-digital) I can grab books, charts, etc & have a look. This I not as easy to do with the digital things. One thing I’ve tried with the mimio tasks is for the children to writ their name beside what they’ve done. I either have the recorder going while they work so I can see what happened or I take a screen shot ( they’re not quite there yet for saving as a whole new thing). Like I said, I’m still playing around with it a bit. I’ll keep you posted.

  • September 8, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    Hi Jo
    I am really only focussed on writing using digital tools right now and that is where wikispaces is really useful. I have organised settings so that I can see every post, edit and discussion from each of the children. Equates to a lot in the inbox but a fantastic picture of who is publishing, responding to feedback, editing and giving feed back/forward. Still equates to the proverbial checklist but this is in the form of copy and paste. Best thing is that the kids get that twinkle when I give them oral feedback the next day about what I saw them up to from home the evening before…

    I also like the idea of screen shots… Would there be a place for these in digital learning journals?


  • September 8, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Thanks Claire and Kirstin … this is good to discuss. We don’t have digital learning journals at school – but in a way I could use the kids wiki pages as a type of digital journal (really, after all that’s what a wiki is … sort of … ).

    Our school isn’t there yet – maybe one or two of us would be able to run with some kind of eportfolio or digital learning journal but that’s about it.

    Are you using digital learning journals in your class? (My kids are 7-9 – year 3&4)

  • September 9, 2009 at 12:07 am

    Great discussion on documenting the learning digitally! Thanks for starting it Jo! Last year I played around with using VoiceThread as a digital portfolio – placing those photos taken of students working, and screenshots of their work on our class flickr account for each student to peruse and use for their portfolios. They then had to write a script about what was the learning, how did they go about learning it, what was easy, what was hard (etc) and then record onto their VoiceThread. The result was a digital portfolio to play to their parents at the start of their Student-Led Conference which prompted the conversation between the students and their parents. Parents, and other family members could watch the VoiceThread at home again later, and leave comments for their kids. It was a huge success, and really beneficial for all concerned. I am certainly doing it again this year.
    That reflection time, the time to process to understand the learning and the documentation that we as teachers record digitally is really worth sharing. Digital portfolios lend themselves so well to this.
    Jo, I salute you – your classroom sounds like a buzzing, busy, exciting, fun place to be! I’m looking forward to seeing more of it!

  • May 1, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Hi I’m a student at South Alabama. I am reading your blogs as part of an assignment in my EDM 310 class. So many people look at book work being done, and forget about using technology in their classrooms. It’s nice to see teachers use it!

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