Welcome to my blog! I'm Karen Belt, a teacher and leader of digital learning, working at Lynmore Primary School in Rotorua, New Zealand. I'm teaching in a Year 2 class using iPads to engage and motivate learners and improve student achievement. This blog documents my teaching journey and my learning processes with iPads in the classroom. I've proud of having been a member of the inaugural Manaiakalani Digital Teaching Academy(MDTA) program and last year a Spark Manaiakalani Innovative Teacher (MIT) and Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir teacher.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Detouring my Inquiry

Today we have the opportunity to share where we were at with our personal teaching inquiry and what goals and intentions we had for the term.  It was a great opportunity to refocus our objectives and plan where we are heading as well as hear the ideas of others.

I feel the need for a detour in my inquiry.  I still am really happy with the progress I made with regards to scaffolding reading follow up activities and trying to encourage higher order thinking in my learners, particularly with using the Wanted Poster.  However, I now feel I have two distinct groups in my classroom when considering my inquiry:

  • learners who had started school and completed several weeks of scaffolding and using the Wanted poster and additional Explain Everything templates
  • learners who are new to my classroom or through being absent missed many of the scaffolding and independent sessions using the templates
As I was waiting for my turn to share this afternoon I considered the "where to now" question and how I could make this work with the two distinct groups.  I still think my inquiry focus is applicable to both groups, however, I think that they will need to take two different roads of discovery - divergent roads that may meet again at some time in the future?

So how is this going to look?  I think the pathway for my new learners is obvious - I need to fully scaffold these learners using the same path that my more experienced group has already taken - the road that has already been travelled!  So with this group of travellers, we'll begin the journey of using the Wanted Poster in a highly scaffolded way and work with this for the remainder of the term.

The pathway for the more experienced travellers is still a work in progress.  However, I want to use the learning they have already done using the Wanted Poster so am intending to add this project on to their Explain Everything activities at least twice a week - they will be able to complete this poster independently based on the books they have read during the guided reading session, while still completing word work and comprehension activities.  This also adds a creative element to each follow up activity and allows me to see their progress when compared to their early independent attempts.  

Additionally, I'm currently working on a new template to scaffold with this group of travellers (in much the same way I did with the Wanted Poster) for the remainder of the term to further extend and capture their ideas.

I'm enthusiastic about this slight detour in my inquiry - I believe teaching involves constant changing to meet the needs of learners - and I'm excited to see where these two different travelling paths will end.

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