DEC Scan Journal : February 2013
Volume 32, February 2013 18 Contents Editorial Currents Teaching & learning Research Curriculum support Share this Resource reviews Work samples GI at Waniora PS Teacher librarian, Jane Pretty, classroom teacher, Michael Darmody and his Stage 3 class studied Rainforests. Their research included an excursion to Minamurra Rainforest, which had a twofold benefit — providing engagement plus authentic learning in being able to witness a rainforest first hand. Positives: 4 The class teacher recognised the relevance of GI to other subjects. 4 Students liked using some of the skinny toolkit sheets as they were relevant and easy to complete. 4 Students were engaged in the research task. Negatives: 4 The workbook was too long. 4 Not enough time was allocated each week. 4 Some of the more capable students did not dive deeper. However, it is interesting to note nthat these students did dive more deeply into the research when completing another GI science project in Term 2. This may have been topic related or they may be getting better at GI. Future plans: 4 Prepare shorter work booklets. 4 Plan longer weekly sessions. 4 Include a session on formulating questions. Work sample Student feedback These four graphics summarise feedback from the students in all classes participating in the Seacliff COS GI project. The survey data has been collated from student responses to four questions. 1. What did you find the most difficult 2. What did you find the easiest? 3. What skills did you learn? 4. What did you enjoy most? Students were encouraged to include their weekly reflections in their learning journal. This often required much prompting as students were focused on their research and lack of time appeared to be an issue with most of the participating schools. Future plans: Select a topic area which can set the primary students up for success. Researching some issues relating to China was difficult due to a lack of information online, at their level. For example, some students were comparing China 100 years ago with the present – while it is easy to state the changes, the students were looking at why and how things changed. Some economic and ideological philosophies behind these changes were too sophisticated for primary students to understand. From their reflection sheets, it is clear that students exhibited the behaviours described in the original river of research including: 4 being excited at the beginning, as they felt they were embarking on something new 4 being overwhelmed by too much information, and the task of sorting through that information 4 feeling frustrated and indecisive when choosing their task 4 feeling more settled and focused when they had decided on contributing and focus questions 4 feeling largely satisfied with what they had accomplished. Students were encouraged to include their weekly reflections in their learning journal.