dilluns, 5 de març de 2018

Pedagogical contributions of Homeschooling

It is a big challenge to create a new school, especially when I have been so critical of other schools, curriculums and the acquisition of knowledge in traditional learning. A few years ago I had to homeschool my children because I didn’t agree with any of the schools and methods I had around. Most of them treat children like empty glasses that they have to fill up with concepts and information day after day for the full academic year. That’s how I became interested in the homeschooling movement. I have analysed in depth the benefits of homeschooling to transfer them into the classroom: this kind of education shows us a new approach to teaching and learning that can benefit the education system. The pedagogical qualities of this phenomenon are of great interest for educational research due to innovative solutions with attention to diversity, the participation of families in the school and the educational quality. ICT tools are also helping in this new movement too: ICT are new tools and especially a new field of learning. In EEUU some schools are offering their lessons online, so to attend the school in person is not compulsory anymore, you can learn by joining online or in virtual schools. It’s a new dimension called Flexischooling. ICT help us to personalise education thanks to several educational applications, programs and the constant communication between teachers, students and family. Families have strong responsibilities within their children's academic and personal achievements, the families are learning together, learning is a matter of life and they don’t separate living of learning. Education is a matter of love too, as family bonds are strength. School should promote these family bonds in the class too, parents are an essential part of the school life. In the school we are trying to implement this new approach and benefits from homeschooling encouraging the participation of the familiesin the school life, , presentation of projects, school trips, small class sizes and the use of ICT tools to personalise education.

diumenge, 18 de febrer de 2018

Working experience

Our rural school is a small scale school in a rural environment. Its main wealth is the active social function that develops within the life of the village. Being in a more familiar and quiet environment, the school opens up to the town and the town welcomes the school. This way, the market, trades, shops, and craftsmen are part of the team that teaches and educates the children. This is the natural continuity of academic to professional education, the school does not separate children from society and adult life, but prepares them from very young age to direct immersion into real life. Because what else are they studying and preparing for? This month at school we have put into practice this immersion with the experience of work practices. The students have chosen which profession they wanted to know in depth and thanks to the companies and small business collaborators of the town, it has been made possible. All children liked the work experiences so much that next month they want to repeat the activity again ! Who knows, maybe in future we can transform the classroom into workshops, instead of pencils and rubbers we can use tools, pneumatics, pipes, wires, saucepans, casseroles, hairdryers, sewing machines, and so on…! 

diumenge, 21 de gener de 2018

Decimals and percentages

This week in English, we have been discussing story structures (beginning, middle and end) and planning our own stories in preparation for St George's Day where we will make a school book of stories. So far, we have drawn and described a good character, a bad character and the setting. We will look in more detail at how our stories will be structured next week. 
In Maths, we have been consolidating our knowledge of place value, using dienes to represent numbers, writing numbers in numerals and words and counting forwards from any given number. We are getting much better at counting in tens. 
We have been learning about the medieval times ready for our trip to the History Museum next Tuesday. We have looked at pictures of castles, identified appropriate vocabulary and built our own castles in teams. We have used symbolism to design our own coat of arms for a shield based on our families.
We began our Drama lessons this week with our Drama teacher Albert. He helped us practise how to sing songs from the musical Annie. 
In English, the older children finished off our unit on instruction writing by incorporating the features we learnt into our own written instructions for things we can do ourselves, such as recipes or how to make paper airplanes. 
In Maths, we studied the relationship between decimals and percentages and looked at how to find percentages of different amounts. 
We had lots of fun maintaining different, more challenging types of balances in Gymnastics.
And in preparation for our trip to the History Museum next week we researched aspects of the Middle Ages, which included using our laptops to take virtual 3D tours of castles in Turkey and Germany. We also learnt about how the farmers and peasants lived, usually in very sparse, cold huts with no doors or windows.


diumenge, 14 de gener de 2018

Water purification center

The first week back at school after Christmas has meant lots of new changes! The biggest change of all being that the Year 1/2s (and sometimes the reception children) have been making the most out of our upstairs classrooms, learning Phonics, Maths and English in a more focused way. 
The Year 1/2s have been consolidating their learning of digraphs by learning an action to go with each, practising writing tricky words and also using capital letters for names and to begin sentences. They have been learning the difference between a sound, word and sentence. They have also been using all of these skills to write about their Christmas holidays using adjectives to describe. In Maths, they have been consolidating their knowledge of addition and subtraction using a variety of different methods. They will use these skills to solve problems next week. 
In EYFS, the children have been practising writing and recognising numbers up to 10. They have been finding numbers hidden in rice, counting using blocks and counters, painting familiar numbers and writing numbers in playdough. They have been learning some simple sounds and using them to identify initial sounds in words.
The older children began the week learning about Instructions in Literacy, focusing on features like precise language, imperative verbs and sequencing commands. 
In Maths we revised Decimals, including how to round numbers to the nearest thousandth, hundredth and tenth. 
We practiced how to perform Gymnastics routines through a range of different balances in PE. 
During the week, our school visited the Water Purification Centre in Granollers and learnt all about how the water from our toilets and sinks is purified and cleaned through various filters, ready to go to the river. It was very informative and educational. 
Finally, in Art, we studied the life and work of Catalonian Artist Salvador Dali, who specialised in Surrealist Art. Surrealism is the portrayal of images through dream-like perspectives. We attempted to replicate some of Dali's most famous pieces, and produced our own Surrealist art pictures.