Archive for November 8th, 2016

Richmond Hill Primary, Leeds ~ Day 2

| November 8, 2016 | 4 Comments 

richmond-hill-primary

A second day in Leeds and doing some analog wandering in digital landscapes, with the children of Richmond Hill Primary.

We explored everything from persuasive language and balanced arguments, through to taking off and flying with descriptive imaginations of what might lay beyond where we stood, in a mysterious, fantasy landscape.

Today, we took a group of more than Key Stage Two children for a journey in the morning, and an afternoon with thirty Year Two voyagers, exploring some virtual worlds, as an inspiration for talk, drama, and SO much more.

When we’re travelling (or rather, standing still) in the virtual worlds we always hope that it looks like we’re making it up, & that there have been unexpected turns, not only in the way we travel, but also in the route that the lesson itself goes.

In reality, you couldn’t do lesson sessions, like the ones we did today, without knowing EXACTLY what you want to achieve. The aim is to make it look, and feel, and genuinely BE a shared learning journey. Instead of showing that you knew you were going to ask the children to do, it can be a simple, yet incredibly effective step, to pretend you have just made the challenge up yourself.

We explored everything from persuasive language and balanced arguments, through to taking off and flying with descriptive imaginations of what might lay beyond where we stood, in a mysterious, fantasy landscape.

And, it is not about the technology. The fact that the technology enables us to experience moving, living, breathing landscapes is the thing.

It is always interesting, to mix writing, thinking, speaking, and listening, with movement. The use of physical actions to reinforce new concepts and terms can ensure that pupils retain knowledge for use in further activities at later dates. In fact, somebody once said they were quite surprised, when teaching a class about simile and metaphor after being involved in one of these sessions, that their class all started to strike poses and pull funny faces when reciting the terminology!

The strategies adhered to a social constructivist method of learning (I know! oooh er eh?!); we encouraged children to share as a class, in groups and with partners, channeling  their excitement and energy into expressive and focussed activities. Some improvised drama, where children took on spontaneous roles, immersing them in the world on “the screen” ~ although the screen is never referred to, ~ it becomes REAL. These on-the-spot performances were impressive to observe, unleashing come creative power without children being prepared by being given specific lines of dialogue.

After a good deal of discussion, the children wrote spontaneously, producing work of a high quality full of vivid imagery. They were also encouraged to refine their spoken language & clarify their ideas. Despite the length of the session, they remained on task and enthusiastic throughout.

Some superb writing, dramatic involvement and effort all round. Well done ALL!