Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Issues With Blog Access

It has come to my attention that some parents who access our blog on iOS cannot see the pages. This is because of Internet censorship in Vietnam. For this reason, I have copied the blog over to Wordpress. You can find it here: snippetsfrom6th.wordpress.com.

If you can - and prefer to - access the blog at snippetsfrom6th.blogger.com, that's not a problem. It does not matter whether you visit Blogger or Wordpress - you will see the same posts.

I hope this makes access easier for everyone. Don't forget to follow our blog by entering your email into the 'Follow by Email' box to the right.

Happy learning!

Monday, 29 August 2016

EFFECTIVE Strategies for Learning Vocabulary

Last week, we explored methods of learning vocabulary in conjunction with the launch of our Word Wall, which is always on display in our classroom.

Students talked about what it means to really know a word and came up with the following list of things we would need to understand:
  • Spelling
  • Pronunciation - how we say the word
  • Part of speech - whether it is a verb, noun, adjective etc.
  • Synonyms - similar words
  • Antonyms - words with the opposite meaning
  • Register - level of formality
  • Appropriate context - when to use it, and when not to use it
  • Being able to explain the definition to others
  • Be able to use it in a sentence
Students shared strategies they've used for learning new words. Among the useful strategies were:
  • creating flashcards on scrap paper with definitions, examples and terms
  • creating quiz cards for family members to 'test' students' memories
  • using Quizlet and Kahoot
  • spaced repetition
We also talked about strategies to avoid, such as:
  • re-reading definitions repeatedly with no other interaction with the target language
  • trying to 'cram' the night before a test
  • looking at the definitions once only

All students signed up to our class list on Quizlet, which provides a range of activities for students to interact with our chosen vocabulary items. The first set is up and ready for learning!

It is my intention to have regular low-stakes assessments for pairs, groups and individuals to monitor how well the key terms are being remembered.

If you want to share in our success stories, why not ask your son or daughter to explain how they are being successful in this learning?

Remember, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them below. You can ‘Subscribe’ to this blog by clicking on the button top right, which will enable you to receive notifications for new posts. Whatever you do – happy learning!

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Curriculum Night

Despite the torrential rain, it was great to see parents and students at the curriculum night. After a full day of work whether at home or in employment, we are all ready for a rest at the end of the day. Therefore, it was particularly heartening to see the number of people who attended, showing just how interested our parents are in their children's education. I hope you found the experience worthwhile.
For those that could not make it, I've embedded the presentation below. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
(Please direct queries for Week Without Walls to the school office, who will channel your question to the correct person.)


Remember, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them below. You can ‘Subscribe’ to this blog by clicking on the button top right, which will enable you to receive notifications for new posts. Whatever you do – happy learning!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Our Learning Space - Shaping Up

Respect for All
So, into our second week and the students have been doing a great job of learning to support one another and see lessons as cooperative rather than competitive. Very few are challenged to remember how to demonstrate our Core Value of Respect for All, and thankfully their peers can remind and support them with this.

Flexible Learning Spaces
This week students have been exploring different ways of working around the room. We've already spent quite a bit of time thinking about our bodies and how we position them when using our laptops. It is obvious that bad posture habits now can have consequences in the future, so using an app like Move It! ensures students do not sit in one position for too long.

Another feature of our classroom is students being able to move to different positions around the room, from floor cushions, to tables, to sitting cross-legged behind our new storage units. So far, it's been great to see students working out ways to make themselves more comfortable; the more comfortable they are physically, the more likely they are to be able to focus on their learning or task at hand.

'Typing Cloth'
In Digital Literacy (DigiLit), we've been working on touch typing. Some students found it too tempting to look at their fingers while typing, so one bright spark came up with the idea of using a cloth to cover hands while practising on typing.com. Here's a student showing us how it's done. Typing.com trains the brain to type without looking at our hands, as well as improving our speed and accuracy. Feel free to give it a go!

Mindset
Our first unit in ELA this year focuses on developing a growth mindset, as well as all the other foundational skills (such as teamwork, reading, writing & discussion) that will lead to greater chances of learning success.

You may already have experienced students coming home this week and asking you to complete a mindset survey. Mindset reveals our attitudes and beliefs about learning, and you can read more about it here. We want our students to believe in themselves, even when faced with tough academic or personal challenges, so it is helpful for parents and teachers to be aware of how we can foster this.

Remember, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them below. You can 'Subscribe' to this blog by clicking on the button top right, which will enable you to receive notifications for new posts. Whatever you do - happy learning!

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Welcome!

Welcome to 6th Grade 2016!

I can honestly say I am delighted to meet this year's 6th graders, and am so excited about getting to know them better as individuals. We welcome and celebrate everyone from the loudest to the quietest voice, and are learning how to show respect, caring and courtesy to each other. I've made my promises for this year, and the students are all doing the same so we can look forward to a classroom where everyone feels safe and valued.

In our first week, we had a great start as we all got to know each other and spent time understanding expectations of ourselves as students, friends, teacher and a team. We practiced the start and end of lesson routines to ensure we lose no time for our learning.

Remembering names has been a challenge but we are getting there day-by-day. Thankfully, everyone is patient and helpful at reminding each other.

Although most subjects are using Moodle, students in my classes will be piloting Google Classroom this year. This means all assignments and course information can be found by using the student login and going to classroom.google.com. If you need any help with this, please let me know. Google have promised separate parent access in the next few weeks, so I'll be sure to let you know as soon as this feature is released. (Grades will be reported as usual in PowerSchool.)

In terms of supplies, students have been asked to bring 1 A4 hardback notebook for use in ELA. Some have already done this, but if everyone could have one as soon as possible - and no later than Tuesday - that would be great for helping us stay organised.

Coming up this week, we have our library orientation, and will be setting up our reading for this first session. We will also be using some tried-and-tested methods for building our community and team. You might also be interested to know we will continue to practice our reading, writing, speaking & listening skills through the lens of metacognition, or 'learning to learn'. This will help students understand the most effective ways to work with their brains, and set a strong foundation for all the great learning I know we'll see this year.

To the left of this post, you will see a list called 'Quick Links'. At the moment, we have 2 links but the list will grow as the year goes on.

Use the 'Follow by Email' button to the right to receive occasional updates on our lessons and achievements from this blog. We'd love for you to be part of our community, and comment on our posts!

Please remember you are welcome to contact me any time via email abailey@ssis.edu.vn

More updates soon!
Mrs Abena