Having returned from a weekend in Campbeltown thought I had better update my own blog. Spent Friday at Marlyn's school Castlehill Primary where I was made to feel most welcome by all the staff and pupils. Spencer, of course having enjoyed his journey on the ferry, was made even more welcome. The talking teds topic is just beginning but already we have seen tremendous motivation and enthusiasm from the children. Their desire to look after the bear, read and contribute to the blog as they wait patiently for iGear and slow bandwidth, is amazing.
On Monday morning all of my class wrote from Campbell's perspective about his experiences thus far. In pairs the children then supported one another as they typed their entries onto the blog.
Of course it is time consuming, but an aspect of education that will make a welcome return with the Curriculum For Excellence is that of the need for depth. For years now we have been pressurised into covering so much with subjects being compartmentalised into blocks of time, following prescriptive planners with seemingly no way to deviate that we have often remarked in our staff room of feeling as though we are only skimming the surface.
Our school is involved in an initiative called Smooth Transitions. With funding from Fusions providing a classroom assistant in the afternoon I plan and deliver cross-curricular topics, using Structured Play activities and planning similar to Pre-5 methodology. I had always used Structured Play but felt that it was increasingly marginalised and seen as an add on, end of the day time when other "work" was completed. I have an outline plan but take into account ideas and suggestions made by the children as the topic unfolds. Talking Teds is an ideal way to work creatively to motivate and sustain learning which has ICT at its heart and the children's enthusiasm as its driving force.