Still feeling snowed under but having fun just the same. I began a unit on Animal Farm with my year 11 Advanced course class this week. I had forgotten how good it could be in a classroom as I haven’t taught it for about 15 years. I started with some work on fables and fairytales and the kids responded well to the challenge of going beyond the simple and obvious and delving deeper into the nature of these tales and how they reflect values and ideas about human society.
If you haven’t had a look at Teachers Love Smartboards I have to recommend it as a source of terrific sites, especially if you are starting out with an IWB – so many great resources. In the last post there was a link to FlashcardDB – an interactive site where you can create sets of flashcards that work well on the IWB. I started with a small set on some technical terms for year 11 and plan to create their revision quiz on their research homework with it. It is very easy to use and kids should have a lot of fun with it.
I’ve also been poking around Australian Screen. This is the Australian National Film and Sound Archive site and it is truly tremendous. So many resources for Australian teachers and many of the clips have teachers notes as well. I was looking for something to inspire Year 10 who are creating their own presentations on ‘Voices of a generation’ and found a 3 minute clip on Oogeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker), a short clip from Forever Hold your Peace showing a High school student delivering a speech at an Anti-Vietnam war rally and another on Helen Lothan Robertson (1848–1937), a pioneer of female trade unionism in Australia. That should shake them up!
Another high note this week was seeing one of my colleagues using the IWB with a year 8 class. One of our regular relief teachers, Anna, found herself last period with Year 8 in the Connected Classroom. She had done a quick search at lunchtime and found an interactive site, Myths and Legends from E2BN. With only a quick look at what the site could do Anna and Annie, a beginning teacher on her first day in our faculty, were able to engage the class in working together to create a story using the IWB. The kids ‘held the pen’ and demonstrated the golden rule of IWB – the kids must have the power to engage with the technology.
I also managed to set up Google Reader, sign up to Delicious to manage my increasing bookmarks and set up a Contact email list for my Year 11 class. Darcy would be proud of me!