Changing Rights and Freedoms
So the first topic we are studying is one of the ‘New Curriculum’ topics, Rights and Freedoms (1945-present). This topic is similar to the previous curriculum topic ‘Changing rights and freedoms’; although it now includes a greater focus on The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UHDR) and the movements creating change in Indigenous Australian rights and civil rights movements in the United States of America. http://syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au/hsie/history-k10/ These changes suit me perfectly. My experience teaching Society and Culture and more recently Legal Studies mean I am already knowledgeable in UDHR and protest movements… YAY. Towards the end of term 4, members of my faculty had TPL time to put together a program and resources for the topic. They did a wonderful job so we are ready to go this term. My head teacher prepared a scope and sequence which put some structure around it all. I began to get the project ready…then the holidays came….
Beating procrastination with a little help from a bug
The beach, bush, and geocaching with my family consumed the first four weeks of the break. Then I got bitten by a bug. A long story short, I ended up in emergency surgery and spent the last week at home in bed with a hole in my back. (I’m fine now cheers). This little setback in my holiday fun meant I had the time to get back into the PBL project, amongst other prep.
I began by developing a driving question that would be broad enough to allow students to explore but also simple enough for their first experience of self directed learning. I found this part quite easy and had a question in 15 mins. The first stumbling block was trying to put my ideas of how to ‘teach’ this project into words. After several stop starts and deleted documents I settled on a simple word document with supporting powerpoints. About an hour after developing the driving question I had a document I was mostly happy with. The next stumbling block was how to break down the document for students to be interested and engage in. We had already agreed to give edmodo a go so I decided to create some powerpoints to help scaffold the projects and give students some ideas and support.
I developed two powerpoints. The first is a basic summary of the UHDR including links to websites and references such as the Australian Human Rights Commission and the UN. The powerpoint includes some basic tasks that relate to the multimodal texts included. I very much have to be aware that we are teaching a diverse range of ability and interest in this project. I am also part of my schools FoR (Focus on Reading) literacy team which is emphasising the importance of cross curricular comprehension.
The second is more a project support powerpoint. It sets out more clearly what the students are required to do and also gives them some project ideas and suggestions.
My experience with the majority of students at my school, particularly yrs 9-10, is that they like to be given the information, preferably in a handout and like to be told exactly what is required to complete a task.
Previously our faculty has run Bloom’s style assessment tasks where students were given several presentation options reflecting different learning domains but students would regularly ask teachers to choose which tasks they should complete. Hopefully through this project we will develop strategies to assist building confidence in students and increasing their ownership of their learning.
I also put a shout out on twitter for a PBL mentor… Got a couple of retweets but that was it… I assume that the week before the return of school for the year was probably not the best time…
Day 1 Tuesday was a TPL day. It was one of the better ones I’ve been to although I might be slightly biased, having co-presented one of the sessions.
Day 2 was yrs 7,11 &12
Day 3 saw us start the day with year 10. As per usual, it consisted of year meetings to set up expectations, reminder of relevant people and the handout of timetables. We had about 20 mins with our class. We spent the time introducing them to the project, explaining the positives of this great opportunity and explaining the team approach we will be taking with them. Most students responded positively. Unfortunately due to state wide issues with technology we were unable to log into/set up edmodo accounts…. That will be for Monday
On Saturday morning I opened twitter and was reminded about one of my favourite educhats #satchatoc The topic was PBL and student voice… BOOYAH… So I took the opportunity to share some of the work I’ve prepared. I got some great feed back, wonderful support and a whole lot of great resources to read and look at and PBL legends to follow…
For those educators reading this who don’t do twitter…. START DOING TWITTER. I mostly follow educators and the Professional learning and support is outstanding.