Wednesday 27 August 2014

SOLO, Learning, Games & Connected Fun!

Tomorrow my class will participate in and contribute to a #KidsEdChatNZ Twitter discussion with other students around NZ. It is our first time. We will be discussing how games (traditional and e-based) can contribute to our learning. We are Prestructural about joining twitter chats as a class, so we needed to start by finding out one thing about it..."Ms Casse, how are we going to talk to all the kids at the same time?" 

This afternoon we looked through the questions that will guide the discussion - these are provided in advance on - Do have a look at this awesome blog that is managed by the innovative, passionate group of NZ educators who began #kidsedchatNZ 
In response, we though we needed to explore so we could contribute our ideas. We gathered a range of games to see if we could identify what we could learn through playing them.

I asked them to self-organise groups of learners who would use each game depending on their SOLO assessed understanding of it. Learners who assessed themselves as Extended Abstract at playing a particular game buddied up to teach learners who assessed themselves as Prestructural/Unistructural players.

So, what did they notice?
Snakes & ladders - they noticed it helped them practise counting & 'finding the numbers', 
Guess Who - playing this helped them ask 'good questions', 
Hungry Fish on the iPad helped them match numbers that added together to feed the fish. 
Charades - they noticed they had to use reading skills, think quickly, act ideas out (also oral language skills!). The learners playing this game needed more support from me as the 'Extended Abstract players' reassessed their level of understanding. But is was the most popular game!

We were all learning how to work together and we were all noticing how we were learning. 
We were learning with and without technology, but tomorrow we will use technology to connect with other awesome learners we have never met. We will break through the walls of our MLE, bring the outside world in, and put our ideas out there. We will be mindful of how & what we share. I have set up a class account and only non-identifiable learner information will be shared. It's our first step into the world of connecting Room 21 learners with other NZ learners in real time and we are excited! 
By 3pm tomorrow, I predict my learners will assess themselves as at least Multistructural at connecting with others online! 

Oh, and I received a next step from a couple of my learners. "We use Minecraft, it's great!" To which I declared "I am Unistructural at using Minecraft", I know many outstanding educators use it with success, but I haven't tried. I'm open to learning though, so.... I asked my learners to explain to me how they think it will help them learn in class? If it will help them learn, we should be open to doing it! A Y1 small group Inquiry project perhaps?! Watch this space... I will be listening to my 'student voice'. 

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