Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Busy Hands

We had another great day working with the kids! The kids made a variety of products and I did hear that many of them knew that dreamcatchers were not really Navajo and they knew the reason for some of the games they made - which specific skills they trained. I was really impressed with the boys who made the game where they rolled the big dreamcatchers and tried to catch them with the stick. Great idea!

Students: Our students are super - I would be very proud if they were to teach my children! They are honest, communicative, trustworthy and pleasant. Don't be afraid to ask for a job recommendation.

Assessment rubrics: Due to the mass of planning and organization of having all these kids at the PH, we have not been able to get the depth that would have been nice. Of course that was to be expected. And at the same time, I believe by simply having developed an observation rubric, having had to take notes and think about what they WOULD write, they have learned a lot about how to think like a teacher.

Positive effects of this project

  • Kids - they are so very happy to be at the PH, in a new setting. The whole trip together, the being in mixed groups is great.  This fit in nicely with Zukunftstag.
  • Parents - actually know what we do at the PH, have some insight into teacher training.
  • Teachers - get to see their kids in action in a different setting
  • Students - Get to take notes in a systematic way and think about how it would be when they are teaching; get to make an impression on kids - who knows, a few years down the road a few of them will be teachers.
Things to improve
  • Spend more time in the module actually planning the project. This project probably belongs more to didactics than Lernfelder.
  • Spend more time planning the project so that the assessment forms are at the forefront and not a side-thought after all the planning.
  • Communicate about parents and teachers dropping in and out better - that said, provide clearer rules and imply prepare students better for this.
  • ...
There are more things to improve, I know, but it's time for bed....zzzzzzzzzz

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

AFL projects with students

Today we had our first day of the project "Navajos don't live in tipis" at the PH! Kudos to you, students, for doing such an excellent job!!! Here are my initial thoughts:

AFL: Well, you will get to try out a few things, but the entire process cannot be observed in 2-4 days at the PH. I am fully aware of the fact, but still, I think you perhaps learn how to take notes about children and what systems/strategies you need, especially with a larger group! And here you get practice in observation - the whole situation of having a new teacher for a while is a chance and a challenge on both sides, and how you document what you observed can be very important in forming an opinion and also not losing thoughts that you have at the time. I saw some good techniques that can fit into formative attitude towards teaching and these little experiences you have not will perhaps be remembered and used later.

The topic: Well, I am not sure if we are breaking down cliches, but at least everyone is in the process of learning! So at times I think the topic was poorly chosen, on the other hand I think that it's a topic we see in Swiss schools, so here is a chance to deepen knowledge.
Zoe Buechel (she's mine, so I can publish her:))

The kids or the students? I had this discussion with Kathleen and I have to hope that what we are doing is beneficial to both!! I know for the kids it is exciting to be somewhere else, with new people, new places, new ideas, new chances and friends, but I am not sure that I have met the balance for the students. We will see in a few weeks!

So thank you for the work well done!!