Monday, 26 August 2013

The Sacrament Of Confirmation-Implications and Applications For Everyday Life.

The Sacrament Of Confirmation-Implications and Applications For Everyday Life.


The Year 6 students are spending term three preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation, and developing projects within their Confirmation unit. This unit of work has been designed to give the students a strong understanding of what the Sacrament of Confirmation is really all about, and how this knowledge and understanding can be applied to everyday life.
The students needed to answer this essential question:

How can individuals develop the inner strength needed to always make the right choices, and to do good things, in order to contribute to the creation of a harmonious society?

The first project involved an examination of what the human soul is, and how it gives strength. After discussion and examples, the students were asked to create a short presentation expressing their own personal interpretations of the meaning of ‘soul’, using iMovie and GarageBand.

The story of Pentecost was then presented to the students, using scripture, and YouTube. As a second project, the students were then asked to create a movie trailer of this story, incorporating the main points, and the message within.

The students are now working on the third project, using BookCreator, to create an eBook which a) incorporates a biography of their chosen Saint or Blessed, b)information about present day people, famous or otherwise, who reflect similar values demonstrated by this Saint or Blessed, and c) a video of the student engaging in verbal self -reflection and explanation of what they have learned.

The three projects are designed to help the children answer the essential question.

With this knowledge and understanding, the students will then move into the fourth project. Using EdCanvas, the students will plan, design and prepare for development a fundraising event which will raise awareness of the needs of others and assist our Partnership School, Saint Marys Shanti Sadan School in Central India.

This section of this Project Based Learning will involve following the model of Fluency 21's Solution Frequency. We will work through the six D’s, Define, Discover, Dream, Design, Deliver and Debrief. I was introduced to this model  back in March at a Professional Development day with Lee Crockett.

This style of Project Based Learning is just fantastic. In this unit, many learning areas-Religious Education, English, The Arts and S&E, are integrated.  It is truly an engaging , inspiring and energising method for teaching and learning.

Anna Sheehy

Year Six Teacher
Sacred Heart, Highgate

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Preparing Kids for Learning through Flipped Learning

Flipped learning approaches are the buzz at the moment, especially in classes and schools using 21st Century approaches. As with all educational strategies and approaches, ensuring they are meaningful and clearly assist in student progress and learning is key.

After viewing an inspiring TED video by James Nottingham, I decided to direct my use of flipped learning into preparing students for the next day's learning.
Our Year 4 class focus is Narrative writing. Over the last few weeks I have been trialling the success rate of creating instructional videos on my You Tube channel and adding them to my class Edmodo page.

As Nottingham suggests in his TED talk, Prep-Work as opposed to Homework can be very effective.
As part of their "Prep-work" I asked my students each evening to view (with an adult) the relevant video that explained the next day's learning. The idea was not to complete the task but to develop ideas and understandings through a short discussion with their parents or another adult.

The "visible learning" and progress in writing skills and strategies has been tremendous. The students have commented that they feel "ready" for the activity after having more time to think about and prepare some ideas and gain understanding for the task. It has been clear to them that having the time to prepare gave them a chance to enhance and progress the writing skill at hand.

James Nottingham's suggests that in preparing students for learning we can develop their sense of making progress in their learning. This approach has certainly given more students in my class an opportunity to succeed and to clearly see the progress they are making on a daily basis.
This approach is now being incorporated in our Year 5 classroom with early indications showing similar success. The teacher's blog is linked here for more reading.

Thank you James Nottingham!
Watch the TED talk below.

Adrian Torrese
Year 4 Teacher
Assistant Principal 2014