Describe what you have done within your class to work towards meeting the success indicator.
As a new entrance – year 2 class with have a range of abilities within ICT and general reading, writing abilities. Having been to the Kath Murdoch day I decided to trial introducing triangulation of information through using a mini inquiry each week.
During the week, any wondering questions (generally of a scientific nature) were recorded onto one of our windows using Crayola Window Markers, students love the fact that we can write on the windows. Then we would have a sharing session about what we think the answer may be? We record our hypothesis along with our names on the window.
Later in the week, after I have sourced some suitable books the class is separated into 3 groups. One group used the books I have provided; one group either discusses amongst themselves or goes to talk to an expert and one group work with the me to search for answers on the internet.
We then come back together and talk about how findings. Generally we are then able to come to an informed answer and discard any misinformation. We write this into our “inquiry book”.
The group that works with me is generally done using the projector and my computer as the students are still learning how to search safely and effectively. This is my time to model to them about how to search using key words, checking the readability of the information and the mechanics of the Internet and how to use a search engine. I do a lot of thinking aloud through to process and constantly check with the students is what I’m doing right. I try to be the vehicle rather than the driver. The students are mixed groups at this point and it allows me to work with a smaller group.
How does this activity/strategy empower your students as learners?
The students are very empowered of finding out themselves, particularly when the teacher doesn’t know the answer. They own these theories. They know that they have a variety of sources to get information. They discuss their theories and often have to agree to disagree until their theory is proved true or false. They understand that their opinions count and that their understanding of the world can be different from another persons. They particularly like collating their information to prove their findings.
How could you take this further?
As a teacher I should give this learning more priority. It tends to be the first thing we drop in a week to fit in the other stuff. We are now at the point where it would be good to have the internet group searching alongside me step by step as most of my students are unable to do this yet. We now have the hardware capabilities to do this.
We could also take this further my using it as a report writing activity. Currently we do a whole class report at the end.
What evidence did you use to decide if this learning activity was successful/effective?
My students now question information much more readily and don’t just always accept what they have been told. They know to get more than one source of information, which transfers through to far more than ICT. They know they can’t just make a statement/hypothesis, we will need to be able to back it up with reliable information.
Another thing I have seen is that the students now think of books as a source of information too, not just as stories.
They think about who would be good to ask. And they have to approach other adults to ask for their help.
They accept that other have good theories and are more prepared to listen to others ideas.