Tuesday, May 3, 2011

It might actually be easier to create a website than a poster, these days...

Term two, back to school...and despite the impending doom I always feel those few days before, I must say that I LOVE MY CLASSES!! They are such a delight to teach. I don't know if this is just beginner's luck in my first year at this school in not getting any super-ropey students (I do have two bottom-stream/band classes though..), or if students at my new school are just particularly fantastic...but whatever it is, it just makes me LOVE TEACHING SO MUCH!!! :D

Okay, enough capitalisation for effect. My reflection this week is on the new Achievement Standard 1.7 - Create a visual text. 

There is so much potential for awesomeness with new new Standard (despite it being an assessment and assessment generally being not-so-awesome). Traditionally, students have created posters, i.e. 'Static Images', for this Standard. But the Standard has changed and now we have the potential to create lots of crazy and cool new things - websites, graphic novels (well, a chapter of one), dramatic presentations...having said that, this year the students at my school will create a Static Image. And this is where things get more difficult. The Standard has become harder to Achieve, now that it has become aligned with the Curriculum. (Why on earth didn't you align them in the first place, NZQA?! Why?!? Why?!?) In order to Achieve this year, students need to show 'developed ideas', as opposed to just 'straightfoward ideas' as in previous years in their Static Image. In order to Achieve, they have to do what Year 11 students had to do last year for Merit. And this means that there's a heck of a lot of teaching and learning and 'pushing up' of students that needs to be done for those kids who would usually simply Achieve the Standard (many of whom, incidentally, are not working at curriculum level 6...).

So, the way I'm planning this is that...First: I need to define what developed ideas are for the themes we looked at in our studied texts in my year 11 class, in relation to the Explanatory Notes in the Achievement Standard. This is the easiest place for me to start. (Why am I writing in future and/or present tense? I've done this already...)

Next: I will discuss with my co-Assitant HOD about how we go about scaffolding this task for the students. My suggestion will be...well, I'm thinking some sort of awesome template for the planning process that is easy to use for students. This template will start with the students identifying a straighforward idea in their chosen text. The template will then support the students in developing this idea. And then, finally, the template will help students translate this developed idea into a coherent visual image that utilises verbal and visual language features. This template is what I'm working on now (well, when I have time).

Yeah, so, that's all I have to say right now. Progress to be updated, I guess. It's really good to be able to write about actual teaching (albeit assessment) other than some stupid land tremor that almost destroyed me... :-)

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