Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Digging into learning ~

This term we have been researching dinosaurs and fossils as part of our explorations on our changing world. I found this great fossil kit (Dig it out) at the Taronga Zoo. The children had great fun taking turns to unearth the fossil buried inside. I also hid some small plastic dinosaurs in the school yard sandpit for students to discover, so much fun! They were delighted to find the dinosaurs buried all over the place as they experimented with being an archaeologist, setting students off on their own path of discovery. 

This certainly encouraged students to go further and dig deeper with their learning. Everybody was very keen to share their findings with a buddy or the whole class. Which proved helped when it was time to do our individual speeches on our favourite dinosaur. Instead of being hesitant to stand up in front of their peers, students were eager to share their knowledge with the class.

As part of this unit of study we implemented higher order thinking skills into a blooms and multiple intelligence matrix to offer opportunity to extend thinking and learning for all students. Children needed to accrue a certain number of points (for each activity) over a seven week period before completing a culminating task. The more complex tasks were allocated higher points, taking longer to complete and included a number of steps that students needed to carefully work through. This allowed for autonomy and independence to bloom and grow - great skills for Grade Ones to develop early in their learning journey.

Students loved worked with a buddy as they researched and gathered information from a variety of sources. The iPads were a great learning tool, which were made a whole lot easier for the children to use (and access information) with suitable websites being pre saved to the home screen prior to use. 

A fossil is a creature that died a long time ago. It's body turned into rock.

There is nothing better as a teacher than seeing students fully engaged and excited about learning. I found myself expectant and eager for 'Project Hour' each week as I watched students immersed in 'hands on' learning opportunities. Watching the excitement light up their faces as they called me to check out 'this and that' was so very satisfying. We ALL learnt a lot!

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