Friday, 30 April 2010

Cornerstone assessments - Jaye McTighe

This link takes you to a pdf of a set of resources called cornerstone assessments. I had heard of Jaye McTighe and Grant Wiggins and Curriculum by design a while back but recently saw a tweet by D krea_frobro747 .

Content, process, quality and result are the 4 types of performance criteria he uses.

There are some great indicator words they use; for example if you are assessing the process skills then the following adjectives help you to identify how the task has been completed.
followed process
mechanically correct

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Writing for an audience - project based learning

When student work culminates in a genuine product for an authentic audience, it makes a world of difference.

Look here of the article from ASCD about projects and the  Expeditionary Learning Schools.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Project Based learning

This video is a great example of PBL. It comes from the Buck Institute.
It includes segments showing the planning stages and exemplifies how PBL should have a real purpose.
Here, the curriculum does not seem to be a rigid force which has to be manipulated, rather the project presents reasons for the skills and knowledge to be learnt.

Do the teachers keep track of what has been learned?
Do teachers make notes of who contributed, who succeeded and who worked the hardest?
Does this school ONLY use PBL?

The real life context of the learning provides the motivation...decisions which the children take will have a real effect on their surroundings and way of life:

The influence of contextual factors on cognition has also engendered a good deal of
research and has, according to the citations in PBL research, had an important influence on the
authenticity and autonomy elements of Project-Based Learning. According to research on
"situated cognition," learning is maximized if the context for learning resembles the real-life
context in which the to-be-learned material will be used; learning is minimized if the context in
which learning occurs is dissimilar to the context in which the learning will be used (Brown,Collins & Duguid, 1989).

March, 2000, )

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Flat Classroom projects

See the Coolcatteacher blog for details of the flatclassroom project videos. Here's one which takes snapshots of communication technology development:

Find more videos

like this on Flat Classroom Project

Here's another on a similar subject:

Find more videos like this on Flat Classroom Project

Great tech skills...Were these skills taught in school?
If they were, what does the curriculum look like?

Saturday, 3 April 2010


I thought it was time to think more about how I blog in class and how children should learn to use guidelines to write blogs posts and comment academically rather than socially.  We have talked about being careful when posting comments and e-safety but I have only just started to formalise these into written rules.

The langwitches blog was a great starting point, having this document which is aimed directly at elementary school.

Here are the blogging guidelines from that document, which I have now incorporated into my classroom blog:
• Never publish online the following information:
o Address
o Last Name
o Password
o Phone Number
o E-mail address
o Detailed physical description
o Detailed location where you can be found on a given day and time
o Photos of yourself
• Never share your user name or password with anyone besides your teachers and parents.
Never log in as someone else.
• Think before you post: Make sure what you write is appropriate to put online.
• Always tell the truth on your posts and comments.
• Be cautious about email messages from anyone, asking you for detailed personal
information or attempting to arrange secret meetings. Talk with your teacher and parents
immediately if this kind of situation arises.
• Online work is NOT private. Never say anything via email, chat, blogs, or on wikis that
you wouldn’t mind seeing on the school bulletin board, or in the local newspaper. Make
sure you can be proud of your online work and it would not embarrass you if your
grandmother or teachers read it.
• Capital letters are regarded as “SHOUTING.” Don’t be offensive, and don’t ever use bad
• Never use a computer to harm other people. Never snoop around in other people’s files.
Never use a computer to steal.

Here is Silvia's slideshare of a Blogging in the Classroom from 2010:

Blogging in the classroom
View more presentations from Silvia Tolisano.

I wonder when these skills will explicity be taught in ICT in my school?
I wonder when children in my school will start to make their own blogs during school time? (I know 8 and 9 year olds who are doing this at home)

Vocab Grabber

This site allows you to paste in text and gives you a wordle like cloud of word frequencies.

You can also click on the words from the cloud and this puts them in the centre of a word web of various definitions.

I like the look of it and would like it as a widget on the class blog.

Have a look here.