Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Reading Extension

A group of year 3 learners in Joys room are 'reading to learn' rather than 'learning to read.' So this term they have the opportunity to carry out their own inquiries; using a variety of texts and online sources to gather, organise, and create from new information. One of our key goals is to develop self management skills including time and productivity. Each week we have a skills workshop and progress checks. The first step was learning how and why we take notes - this was pretty tricky initially because everyone just was hungry to read, read, read! But once we got a bit more strategic in reading for new facts we have amassed lots of exciting facts that we have enthusiastically shared with each other. We have used a SOLO Thinking tool Hexagon's to organise and make connections with the new knowledge we have gained. Each fact, on a new hexagon, has been thoughtfully placed next to another hexagon(s) on a large sheet of paper to show a connection between the two facts. Tabitha explained that this has helped her "to think about the facts, rather than just collect a whole lot"and Katy agreed that it is making her think in different ways about the new knowledge she is gaining. Tane and I noticed that organising facts in this way showed us gaps in facts that he still needs to find out and Devin said it helped her to work out the order of things. Below is a short clip of Devin and Tane discussing their connections, as very quickly they worked out their inquiries overlapped - and they needed to share with one another!. The sound quality is not great but you can get a great idea of how this went from their their body language.

Everyone has presented their learning with the class and they discovered that there was something that particularly captured their attention. This is how Scientists learn and work. One question leads to another, which leads to another and so on. The Super's have refined their new question and are now busy exploring how to answer it. The focus this time is on using our new knowledge and skills to make connections and think about things from a different perspective. After sharing his new learning and discovering connections above. Tane and Devin shared these with the class:

Devin is now investigating what we can learn from fossils and how the past might tell us about the present. Tane is concerned about how quickly the population of the world is growing and is making connections about the effects this might have on our Earth as he grows up.We look forward to seeing what they all discover!

Great Thinkers

Working with a group of great thinkers in year 3 we asked ourselves 'What is a great thinker?' The ideas flowed freely as you can see from our brainstorm below, and we noticed that the more we thought about it, the more thoughtful and perceptive our ideas became - we wondered if this was another indication of  a great thinker?

We discussed how great thinkers think - does it just happen, or do they have some secret that helps them think? Builders use a plan, tools, and help from others to build faster and better - we wondered if thinkers do something similar?  We then remembered the 6 Thinker's Key's that we use in class - they are like a tool. They help us think in different ways. As Fletcher said "they tell us what to do, remind you how you should deal with that." Sam added that they help "build your brain better.' So we are creating our own thinker's toolbox. Each week we will explore another thinking tool that will help us to think faster and better so that we can think in different ways.