Saturday, April 21, 2012

It was a short week but a busy week with a Professional Day on Friday.   I always hope that my students will always have weeks that have "highlights"!  It's been a tricky year, first our job action involved not collecting money so that in my school this made field trips very difficult.   Now we are moving into job action where we will withdraw extra-curricular activities.  For instance, our Me to We Club's activities are now on hold, but my colleagues and myself still try to give my students the "extra's" in one way or another!

My class had only gone on one real field trip to the Vancouver International Writers' Festival on Granville Island as they were able to pay individually and by taking public transit, pay fares individually.  I did arrange  a second field trip to the Reel to Reel Film Festival as I was able to make a similar arrangement and now we were able to collect money as we were forced out of that job action by the government.  I think all teachers feel badly that we know many organizations have taken double hits, less government funding and then far fewer teachers taking students on field trips (see we do help the economy Ms. Clark).

I really believe in field trips to bring the wider world to my students but over the years they have become more and more expensive and again, there is less and less help with funding.

Anyway we had a great day this week.  I think it was the first feel festival my students had attended for one thing.  It was in Yaletown, an are not really familiar to most of my students, and we were able to meet film makers and do a workshop with a professional animator.  Plus you get to experience all this with your friends and classmates.  How exciting can it get!?

Back at school, I tried to think of ways to link the field trip to other learning.  I gave each group the study guide for the film festival plus the link to the website so that they would have information when they wrote their reports on the day.  As I am sure I have mentioned many times, the best writing often comes from these "experiences"  I had other lose ends to tie up and wanted to make use of the ipads too.  I also wanted to use what the students had learned about planning etc. in their storyboarding workshop with Deb Dawson.

Wednesday I worked with a station approach.  Students were all given assignment of doing write ups of the film festival, telling what happened, their favorite films, what they enjoyed and learned etc.  Then I basically divided the class into three groups.  I split the sixth graders into two groups and I have a few more students  (partly because they also had to go to the library to do Social Studies) and the seventh graders were one group.

The first group was given research topics from our crazy story that we are working on for Elemental .  This is a story the class created of a bear and a scorpion who live in India but having difficulty getting along, travel to Egypt, Austria, and the Jersey Shore and return home where they finally learn to live in peace... They added a few of their own and then using the ipads did research into three topics of their choice posting five notes on our moodle web site where I post assignments.

The second group did a mini workshop on dialogue writing.  This is a workshop I created long ago but went perfectly with what Deb showed them you need to create a storyboard (a visual and written plan for an animated film-well any video production really).
I gave them a short example of how dialogue is written like a script
A: I want to get out of here
B: Why?
A: I am bored
Then they had to use two or more characters from our story and show location, a problem and moving to a solution just mainly through dialogue.

The third group was working on their stories.  Then groups were rotated.  I also pulled math groups along the way.  Kids love station approaches but requires organization on the teachers' part!

Anyway stay tuned for examples of what we created in the end!  The pictures are from our field trip!

No comments: