Roadschooling

We’ve come back to Bundaberg for a week with Nanna, and this is a chance to get stuck into our roadschooling adventure. The enormous challenge at the moment is the absence of wifi. Mum doesn’t have it, and Telstra being the monopolied rip-off merchants they are don’t offer a prepaid service that meets our needs. They also have very interesting methods of calculating data use. How the heck they think I used up 6GB in 1 week checking email, social media and using Google Maps, The End, is beyond me?

Anyway, we’ve made use of the Bundaberg Library, which is a lovely space (today they randomly had a highschool brass band playing) and I’ve finally been able to subscribe to Mathletics. On the road I have also purchased a bunch of workbooks which, given the state of flux we are in puts my mind at rest for the time being. My biggest challenge at the moment is finding a free online curriculum organiser that will help me keep track of things.

Our rough curriculum at the moment is focussed on getting into a routine.

Maths

I’m being very boring with an hour of Maths each day, starting with revision: New Wave Mental Maths (who have helped us uncover some main problem issues), followed by a unit in Nelson Maths. Now we have Mathletics we might focus on that as I think she’ll be more motivated there. I’m still stuck in teacher-mode, worrying about which grade she should be doing, but trying all the time to shift my thinking to the level where she is being challenged, but not being completely overwhelmed.

Language

An hour if we can, letting Matilda choose the language: English, Spanish, Chinese. I added about half an hour of grammar to this today with a Grammar Rules workbook I picked up in the local newsagents (much to her disgust). Once we get to Spain she will focus on Spanish and I will need to keep an eye on English. Chinese is a little more problematic. I think we are going to have to rely on a serendipitous encounter for this.

Units of Inquiry

We’re not doing so well on this as we haven’t had time. We’re focussing on Australia, makes sense as we are here, but although she is discovering a lot of new things (museums, art galleries, rainforest walks), we have not had time to follow it up. She has collected about 3000 brochures and the plan is to put them together into a sort of journal/record of the trip, but this is a bit low on Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Science, Society & Environment, Geography etc

This is a bit annoying as I have to do more work before she can. I’ve decided to check out the ACARA (Australian Curriculum) and Scottish curriculum topics and see what she should cover as these are the most likely curriculums she will end up in for Secondary. I want to try to incorporate these into the UOI as much as possible.

Music

Gah, don’t even speak to me. Only plus is that she is missing it and keen to start learning again when we get to Spain.

All in all, it feels like it’s more work for 1 student than for a class HAHAHA

Small Ideas for Better Readers Workshop

Handy tips for promoting reading culture in your school – thinking I might use comicbook app to create one-pager of tips for teachers

image from icanread

I have been discussing reading and writing almost every day these past few weeks preparing for my new job as a 7th grade English teacher.  I haven’t minded one bit either.  It seems if I am not discussing it, I am thinking about it, and that tends to lead to a blog post or five to get my own thoughts straight.  I started to realize that there are little tweaks that I have been using the past few years to make our conversations deeper and to make it run a bit smoother, couple that with new ideas thanks to my amazing PLN, and I am feeling pretty good about the start of school September 2nd.

So if you want students to actually read…

  • Give them reading time in class, even in middle and high school.  We cannot control what students do outside of our rooms but we…

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Three Cups of Tea

Three Cups of Tea - Youth Edition
Three Cups of Tea – Youth Edition

Randomly came across this book whilst shopping the other day. 

It’s the story of Greg Mortensen, an American dude who was attempting K2, the 2nd tallest mountain in the world.  He didn’t make it, but it lead to something even more exciting…schools for girls in Pakistan, and now in Afghanistan.

As he was descending from K2 he lost his guide and was in a bit of a bad way and ended up in a small hill village where the villagers looked after him.  You should definitely read the book, but basically he founded the Central Asia Institute, building schools in that region, and particularly focussing on educating girls.

from http://www.threecupsoftea.com/greg-mortenson-bio-and-professional-photo/

 Pakistan and Afghanistan are most likely not the locations for me, but building schools where there are none?  Educating girls?  It has been on my mind since I was a teenager…

It reminds me of a similar story I read last year…about a school in Tanzania.  Will dig that out later.

This book is on the required reading list for Intelligence officers in the States, so go buy it.  Inspirational (and I was only reading the Youth version!  I’m going to buy the adult one to get the juicy bits lol)