My week started with the teacher who has my most of my students from last year asking me to help her add her latest assessment data to the Google Docs spreadsheet I left her. I was excited that she is seeing the benefit of using and sharing student information on Google Apps, using it as a Learning Management System (LMS) which is one of it's many benefits. As I have had to hunt 'High and Low' for last years assessment data on my students, I can appreciate how good it would be to receive it all presented in a spreadsheet. My favourite function is being able to sort columns sequentially, which allows differentiated grouping with a click. I hope she passes her spreadsheet onto the next teacher and my Student Data System will spread like a virus (he cackles madly, rubbing his hands in glee).
This week we had our first e-learning PD with David and we all came out of our sessions enthused with ideas and more aware of the need to adapt our teaching to meet the needs of 21st Century learners.
With the cold weather of Autumn settling in, I discovered only 3 students had brought togs for swimming, instead we played softball. I split them into teams and appointed a referee because I don't know much about sport but also I wanted to see how they collaborated outside the classroom. I sat under a tree and watched, what I saw was all students taking part in the team work, students giving each other strategy advise. Rules that managed the game play were accepted by all and followed by all students. I saw empathy when a student encouraged another back into the game after she had walked off upset. I was proud of my students, they were self managing and showing all the key competencies without me doing a thing, well except observing.
This week I tested my mixed ability groups doing a quick inquiry to help them work cooperatively as a team and to use the inquiry process. They only had two days to inquire and create a presentation together. Four out of the five groups worked fantastically as a team, however one had leadership issues, however in the end they produced a good product. I will mix up the ability groups next week to see how the leaders cope with a new mix of peers.