2011
03/19

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Teaching

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Cross-curricular developments

Just a quick putting down of ideas…

As a primary teacher, we were always being encouraged to think "cross-curricular" with our planning. So we did, and the children (mostly) seemed to enjoy it – literacy tied in with science for explanations or non-chronological reports. Science tied in with history, when we studied rocks as part of a topic on castles. The possibilities are endless, when you're in charge of a single class all day , every day.

In secondary, the position changes ever so slightly, of course. I only see each child for 1 hour a week and, most often, other subjects already have their units planned. We're lucky in our school (I don't have much other secondary experience to compare with) in that we have a number of "ILID" days where teachers are being encouraged to head down that cross-curricular route and to plan a day when pupils get to explore much more in the way of "joined-up" subjects (bleurgh… I hate that phrase!). I've already put down thoughts about how that can work out here.

But… I wanted (and hoped for) more. So I've been talking to the English and also the Design and Technology departments and trying to think of ways to build this sort of thing into our normal, everyday, teaching. First stop is English, where I've pitched the idea of using our (newly created) year blogs to publish their writing for feedback (not just from within, hopefully) alongside my own wanting to get them describing their thinking (selfish, I know, but it seems the natural way to be able to assess them at level 6 and upwards if they've already gone through the process of justifying their decisions in a blog post) in ICT. Next, also in English, I've mooted the idea of trying to develop a full unit of work using Inform 7 (like we did in the ILID day) where English take care of the creative writing and possible story outcomes and I take care of the interactive fiction development. And finally, in Technology, we've been thinking about the skills and experience the children would need for certain projects and how I could be demonstrating/using those skills in ICT before they'll need them elsewhere, so as to be able to make better use of their workshop lesson times.

Plus I've been managing to keep an eye on various sites being promoted on my Twitter feeds and passing the more interesting applications on to the relevant departments – I'm meeting with the head of MFL on Tuesday afternoon to have a play with tools like Voki and VoiceThread (have I missed any?) and see what she, a self-proclaimed-technophobe thinks.

The responses all seem to be positive – it's going to be an exciting finish to an already exhilarating year 🙂

Bring it!

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