dissabte, 5 de maig de 2018

Synonyms flowers

This week in English, the children have been writing their non-fiction reports about electricity. They have been writing them in neat with pictures, captions and labels and will be thinking about the layout of their reports before it goes up on display. 
We have begun learning about Van Gogh this week. Did you know that he painted around 2000 paintings but only sold one whilst he was alive? We looked at and discussed his most popular pictures and talked about which one we liked the most. Vincent Van Gogh used to paint pictures of things he saw in his dreams so we had a go at doing some pictures of our dreams too! Next week we will continue with this theme and eventually paint our own ‘Starry Night’ pictures!
The older children consolidated their knowledge of decimals and column subtraction through mathematical problems involving money. We studied word problems and learned the invaluable lesson of looking closely at what the question asks us. 
This proved useful for our Cambridge exams which all the older children took part in this week. Well done to everyone for completing all six tests, it's not an easy thing to do! 
In English, we learnt about synonyms, these are groups of words that all have the same meanings as each other. We made synonym flowers for one of our classroom displays and played synonym card games with Markus. 
Finally, we were introduced to our new topic: The Romans. All the children are really excited to begin several new and interactive projects to work on for this exciting theme.














dijous, 29 de març de 2018

Working in pairs in a multi-level class

In a traditional classroom the teacher controls the class and there isn't a very active role for the students. 
Working in pairs makes students autonomous learners, they work collaboratively for their own learning. The classroom is transformed to a place where learners come together for interaction and can learn in a more natural way. According to recent research carried out by Domingo (2014) it has been shown that multi-level class and working in pairs its successful and beneficial for pupils. The older students have to prepare either an activity, workshop or topic, they have to design, prepare and find the resources and they have to manage the small group learning process. The teacher becomes an observer and helper of all the different groups running table to table. 
The older students are fully motivated to prepare their group, they are learning while they are planning the activity and doing research. During the class all of the students have an active role, the younger students are amazed by their also young teachers, they keep a high concentration during the activity. Once the workshop is done the learning group moves to another table to start a new activity, making the class very exciting and keeping motivation for the full session. In these classrooms we have been working as scientists with microscopes, electric circuits, we have been learning songs, drama, maths, solving problems, phonics, arts and crafts activities and we done experiments like the ants restaurant. 
These classes give a good opportunity for reinforcing learning and strengthening knowledge with all the class-mates improving their social skills. 










dilluns, 5 de març de 2018

Pedagogical contributions of Homeschooling

It is a big challenge to create a new school, especially when I have been so critical of other schools, curriculums and the acquisition of knowledge in traditional learning. A few years ago I had to homeschool my children because I didn’t agree with any of the schools and methods I had around. Most of them treat children like empty glasses that they have to fill up with concepts and information day after day for the full academic year. That’s how I became interested in the homeschooling movement. I have analysed in depth the benefits of homeschooling to transfer them into the classroom: this kind of education shows us a new approach to teaching and learning that can benefit the education system. The pedagogical qualities of this phenomenon are of great interest for educational research due to innovative solutions with attention to diversity, the participation of families in the school and the educational quality. ICT tools are also helping in this new movement too: ICT are new tools and especially a new field of learning. In EEUU some schools are offering their lessons online, so to attend the school in person is not compulsory anymore, you can learn by joining online or in virtual schools. It’s a new dimension called Flexischooling. ICT help us to personalise education thanks to several educational applications, programs and the constant communication between teachers, students and family. Families have strong responsibilities within their children's academic and personal achievements, the families are learning together, learning is a matter of life and they don’t separate living of learning. Education is a matter of love too, as family bonds are strength. School should promote these family bonds in the class too, parents are an essential part of the school life. In the school we are trying to implement this new approach and benefits from homeschooling encouraging the participation of the familiesin the school life, , presentation of projects, school trips, small class sizes and the use of ICT tools to personalise education.










diumenge, 18 de febrer de 2018

Working experience

Our rural school is a small scale school in a rural environment. Its main wealth is the active social function that develops within the life of the village. Being in a more familiar and quiet environment, the school opens up to the town and the town welcomes the school. This way, the market, trades, shops, and craftsmen are part of the team that teaches and educates the children. This is the natural continuity of academic to professional education, the school does not separate children from society and adult life, but prepares them from very young age to direct immersion into real life. Because what else are they studying and preparing for? This month at school we have put into practice this immersion with the experience of work practices. The students have chosen which profession they wanted to know in depth and thanks to the companies and small business collaborators of the town, it has been made possible. All children liked the work experiences so much that next month they want to repeat the activity again ! Who knows, maybe in future we can transform the classroom into workshops, instead of pencils and rubbers we can use tools, pneumatics, pipes, wires, saucepans, casseroles, hairdryers, sewing machines, and so on…! 
















diumenge, 21 de gener de 2018

Decimals and percentages

This week in English, we have been discussing story structures (beginning, middle and end) and planning our own stories in preparation for St George's Day where we will make a school book of stories. So far, we have drawn and described a good character, a bad character and the setting. We will look in more detail at how our stories will be structured next week. 
In Maths, we have been consolidating our knowledge of place value, using dienes to represent numbers, writing numbers in numerals and words and counting forwards from any given number. We are getting much better at counting in tens. 
We have been learning about the medieval times ready for our trip to the History Museum next Tuesday. We have looked at pictures of castles, identified appropriate vocabulary and built our own castles in teams. We have used symbolism to design our own coat of arms for a shield based on our families.
We began our Drama lessons this week with our Drama teacher Albert. He helped us practise how to sing songs from the musical Annie. 
In English, the older children finished off our unit on instruction writing by incorporating the features we learnt into our own written instructions for things we can do ourselves, such as recipes or how to make paper airplanes. 
In Maths, we studied the relationship between decimals and percentages and looked at how to find percentages of different amounts. 
We had lots of fun maintaining different, more challenging types of balances in Gymnastics.
And in preparation for our trip to the History Museum next week we researched aspects of the Middle Ages, which included using our laptops to take virtual 3D tours of castles in Turkey and Germany. We also learnt about how the farmers and peasants lived, usually in very sparse, cold huts with no doors or windows.