Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Impossibly Collaborative

Did I laugh this morning!!!

My maths class (we cross group between 2 classes) were working on their online maths activities. I had really made it easy this morning by ensuring that every child had a device to themselves and was working on the assumption that this would allow them really focused, quiet time on their activities and challenges.

We have 6 new iPods floating about the room, 2 iPads and the 17 laptops and 2 desktops along with the IWB meant that there was certainly plenty going on! Little did I know what was about to come...

My lovely learners actually discovered new and wonderful ways to collaborate! Several of the children formed 'learning circles' and started loudly debating the activities that each were doing on their device - in some cases, they were even reaching across to each other's devices to lend assistance while doing their own activities!

Another group 'paired off' and headed to the class library area ('The Collapse Inn') where they set themselves up in a wee fest of pillows and cuddly toys. One of the pairs began giving 'lessons' to the toys and partner alike! One on the iPod and the other on her iPad...

Over in the writing corner (known as 'The Writers' Cramp'!) were several other children who were working high and low, always in pairs or groups. As I moved around initially, I discovered some of the most hilarious 'secret spaces' - one the photos here shows the child who tucked herself UNDER a table which was holding another child directly above her working!

At times, I was giggling aloud at the class's ability to discuss, debate, support and collaborate so brilliantly that they are self-managing and yet they are co-operating brilliantly and busily interacting with others as they work. Sometimes, they astound me with how well they manage the new, absorb the necessary bits and work out their next learning. Some days I asked myself 'why am I still surprised by how incredible children are as learners?' and yet, every day I am. May the surprises never end I say!

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