Saturday 5 November 2016

week 7 - Final session 16th September 2011


Friday, 16 September 2011

Week seven - presenting to the client and closing the book

Our final session was electric. The children had worked extremely hard on their birds eye view plans of the playarea - and had rehearsed the details of how their work was to be presented to the 'clients'.

Tim and Gerry from the council had received their invitations (created electronically) and arrived right on time. As we arrived in the "board room / classroom" we were welcomed with a waiata sung by a student. The classroom was organised with a stage area at one end. The bat research boards were on display. The finished birds eye plans were also on the walls - grouped according to the zone. People had prompt cards and had rehearsed all morning (and through morning tea) to get their moves right.

We were greeted in Maori and taken through a series of experiences to show the process the children had been through. Metaxis was strong here, as children were clearly in a familiar "show and tell" classroom mode and only residualy aware of their identity as a company. At the same time they were very clear about what they had been doing, who for, and the purposes and challenges they had experienced.

The presentation lasted for an hour and was co-ordinated by the children. We saw a slide show of pictures from the field trip, we watched the enthusiastic "bat moves" generated in the movement work. we heard one of the letters that had been written to the concerned resident, Gwenyth. We were also invited to tour around the bat research boards and ask questions and then finally the finished designs were shared.

Perhaps my favourite moment in all of this involved the children's inclusion of "Gwyneth". At the start of the session I had signalled that Gwyneth was present, by asking them to agree to representing her by the black hat i had worn when I went into role. The hat was placed in a front row seat and one of the girls welcomed Gwyneth and thanked her for coming. Later, when everyone was walking around looking at the bat boards, one of the boys approached Lynette and I to say, "I don't think Gwyneth is too impressed - she's just sitting there". Sure enough, the hat was still just sitting there on the chair. I wondered if I should offer to go into role as Gwyneth. But the boy in question solved things by saying "I think I should show her around". He picked up the hat, looked over at me and held the hat above his head "I think she's about this tall?" - then, still holding the hat high, he walked over to the first group. The children in that group responded by saying "hi Gwyneth" and proceeded to share their research information. The boy was careful to make sure that Gwyneth visited all the bat research boards and saw all the concept designs.

At the end of the sharing, Drama for learning was used again. Gerry and Tim stood in front of the class and I asked the children to imagine the two of them driving back to their office at the council. "I wonder what they are saying to each other?" The children were asked to be the voices of the two men, giving their responses to what they had seen. Children showed how proud they were of their work, by responding with lots of congratulatory messages "They must have worked so hard - That Wild at Heart is an awesome company". Other comments made it clear how aware children were of the values and principles underlying their work "They stayed true to their mission statement" "I liked how they used all recycled material". Other children enjoyed the opportunity to extemporise in role and took a lighthearted direction "Do you fancy a coffee? Yes, let's stop at Starbucks"Then I challenged the children to take a different perspective. "Clearly the clients are very satisfied with the work the company has done. At the same time, as professionals, they will of course be weighing up all possible issues. There will be questions remaining, things they are still wondering... I wonder what they are still wondering, or worrying about?"

Again children provided the "voices in the head" and they had many responses "I wonder where they are going to get all the water from - they can't use the river water because it's dirty" "I wonder if it's really the right place for a play area?" "What about the bats - it won't harm them, but will it help them?" "Have they communicated properly with the neighours?" "Do this company really mean what they say?" It would be interesting to know how many of these were re-expressions of the concerns I brought in as Gwyneth, and how many were new ideas conjured by the children themselves. Either way, they demonstrated an awareness of the complexity of the issue.

Once we had said goodbye to Tim and Gerry in their role as clients, we had a further discussion about the questions Tim and Gerry had raised. I did some musing out loud about whether they were questions with an easy answer... and whether some of the most important questions perhaps did NOT have answers....

This led to an even deeper discussion about why we continue with things when they get hard.... As I said to the company members / children "This playground design business is HARD every time we do something there's another problem to think about - every day there's something tricky. You've been doing this for a long time - why do you stick at it, if it is so hard?" Each child was invited to think of their answer to this - and to stand up and make a statement.

The statements sounded to me alot like statements about classroom learning. Children may not "really be" expert playground designers, but they know about sticking to things that are tricky and they know about coming day after day to work (in school). Each person said something different - including things like "It's in our mission statement that we are for the people" "We never give up we just try harder" "The hard stuff is the fun stuff" "It's the challenges that we enjoy the most" "My team mates rely on me" "It's worth it for the smiles on the customer's faces"

I love how drama / MOTE allows participants to be the best person they can be: without the constraints of reality they can play out the highest ethical stance and feel what that (really) feels like. It felt like goosebumps to me...

Children were tired by this time. I felt we needed to hear from Gwyneth since she had played such a key role in the whole process. A sort of 'conscience alley" was attempted in which the hat was passed along a line of children for them to speak in role as Gwyneth, but I don't think I facilitated it terrifically well. Children did their best but it wasn't as rich as what had occurred earlier - or what came next.

The final reflection involved looking back on the seven weeks we had spent together. I introduced the metaphor of a large book telling the story of Wild at Heart - we all used our 'drama eyes' and agreed we were holding our own book of memories. One child struggled a bit because apparently his book was only the size of an atom - though he agreed to hold my book for me, especially when I showed him my favourite page, which had a picture of him in it.

Children were invited to look through the book and talk about their favourite page. Different ones were chosen - one boy said "I can't chose because they are all my favourites" a girl said "I'm looking at page 752, where we were working so hard on those designs". A number of children mentioned the value they placed on the relationships with student teachers and myself. Others talked about how they had enjoyed the exactitude of working on the birds eye view plans.

It was time to finish. We took a moment to write a private (imaginary) message inside the last cover of the book, and then we put it on an (imaginary) shelf just over our shoulder, so we could open and read it anytime. The bell had gone so this bit was rushed but still felt like a useful closure ritual - one I learned about from Julia Walshaw at the conference and have used a few times... thanks Julia!

There was quite a bit of emotion all round as we said our goodbyes. Just as well we have those books to remember each other by! I think I agree with the little girl who claimed "we will remember doing this for always" and was very touched when one child said a little sadly - "I don't want it to stop - I just wish we could do this all the time". Me too.

Week 6 - September 2011


Week six - finalising the commission

By the time week six rolled around, students had done quite a lot of work on their concept designs for the playground. With Lynette's support they had worked in small groups, each responsible for a designated 'zone' within the whole park. Lynette encouraged them to work collectively, but also individually - thanks to the fact that this was a fictional context there was plenty of room for each child to make their own individual decisions and pursue their design ideas (the client would take these away and consider all of them carefully). The designs took on board the movement qualities they had explored together, and the features of bats they had researched. Account was also taken of the features of each zone, as discovered on the field trip (e.g. whether this was a sunny or shady corner, whether tall trees could be incorporated and so on).

In terms of ensuring real learning about design principles, Lynette worked with the children on the concept of "flow" - making sure that one design zone flowed well into the next. Thus, children had to communicate with people from other groups and maintain an awareness of how the overall playground was shaping up.

And the ideas were terrific - they included flying fox type zip slides, a steep slide that drops the user into darkness, flips them upside down and wraps them in winglike covers (giving the experience of being a bat) - a water slide for summer, which over winter could be pumped dry and used as a skate park - the list was long and exciting. Children had also taken into consideration the neighbours' concerns and included a dog walking area (even an adventure area for the dogs and owners to share), soundproofing walls, height limitations (to allow the roosting bats to continue their flightpaths - as well as protecting the neighour's views). There was also a Tai chi garden in zone one (taking into account the fact that someone had been in that part of the park doing Tai chi when we visited). The educational possibilities of the play area had not been forgotten either with information boards about the bats included at strategic points around the pathways.

The intention for this session was to deepen the learning in the technical aspects of design.

Our objective was to teach the principle of "Birds eye view" drawing. We could have done this by having a teacher 'up the front' of the class. We considered framing this as "professional development" for the company.... a mode which has worked well in the past. But by putting the student teachers into role as 'trainees" without a clue about the plan, we found a way to bring the new learning to the children without breaking their status as experts....

So Children were invited to watch as the student teachers went into role as company 'trainees' gathered around a playground design plan. This was a 'proper' professional lanscape plan that had been drawn up for a school playground and garden (Heathcote always stresses the use of "real" "adult" resources and this one was provided by Anna, one of the student teachers, who had done a course in landscape design... she made a few amendments to make it look like the plan had come from the "wild at Heart" archives.)
Children gathered round and listened in whilst the trainees looked confused about the plan "I found this in the archives - and I was wondering what it was? It says that bit's a building - but where are the doors and the windows?" etc etc. Periodically, the scene was 'paused' and children were asked "what do you see here?". They successfully arrived at the idea that the plan was a bird's eye view - and clearly the trainees didn't understand this. I finished by saying "Would we have the time, do you think, to offer some professional development to the trainees in how to understand and draw from a bird's eye view?"

In pairs, children took charge of a trainee and explained birds eye view to them. In preparing for the lesson, the student teachers had brought a range of small objects with them (cylinders, boxes etc) and the children "helped" them work out how to draw these from directly above. The value here, of course, was the ways that children found to explain and describe bird's eye view... "Oh dear, you are doing a good job but it's a bit wrong... If I could just explain it to you one more time ... yes, that's looking better ...."
When everyone had had a chance to try the exercise, I travelled around and placed a hand on the shoulder of the "trainee" / student teacher. Children / company members were invited to speak the thoughts of the trainee and express what they had learned.

Statements included "I think I get it now" and "I see - You don't draw the bit that's underneath unless it's BIGGER than the top and sticks out". Of course this was really a way of getting the children to speak up about their own learning and understandings of the birds eye view drawing process.

After practising on the small objects, the groups moved out to the playarea (the ACTUAL playarea) outside the classroom and had a go at the much trickier job of creating a birds eye view of the large pieces of play equipment. Again, some rich discussion was had here as the children / company members mentored the trainees / student teachers. "You can't actually get up above it, so you have to imagine you are flying over it". One child paused to ask me "How HIGH is the bird flying that's got the bird's eye view - because that would make all the difference to what we draw". What a super question! Where children were still a little stuck on the principles of bird's eye view, there was an opportunity for the student teacher to take a more 'instructional' stance and some did this.

Back to the "board room" to close the session and make a list of what still required doing before the presentation to clients next week. There was quite a long list created by the class - from invitations to the client (and the neighbours), to completion of plans, internal communication to the construction team, rehearsal of the presentation, provision of refreshments and so on.

With only one week to go until the presentation of ideas to the client, we made a list of what we felt needed to be achieved. Children

Week 5 extra session 11th September 2011


Sunday, 11 September 2011
Week 5 extra session

Lynette was absent when I called in for the extra session with the class but she gave us the OK to go ahead. What a trusting sort she must be! Gay introduced the reliever teacher who, as it happened, has a wealth of experience in local theatre so was open to us having a session in drama.

As described in the previous blog, the purpose of the visit was to try to build on the key tension and see whether we could explore a more 'serious' response to the issues at hand.

Overnight I had put quite a bit of thinking in to the issue of HOW to go about this. I was reminded of Heathcote's words - can't recall where she wrote them - something about "every convention I have ever invented is so I can avoid having to tell children off". In this case the children had not done anything wrong (I certainly didn't want to come across as "telling them off") but I did want suggest a shift towards a more ethical and serious minded response to the issues at hand. So the question was how to build on the drama work of the previous session and suggest reworking it without seeming too critical?

Eventually I decided to combine straight honesty with a dramatic convention.
I had promised the children they would receive a strongly worded letter of complaint from the local residents. My intention had been to write this based on the dramatised conversations the children themselves had shown (there is something rich about giving the children back their own words in another form)... However, what I did was as follows.
I arrived in the classroom with a letter (stamped and addressed to the company) but containing a blank piece of paper. I told the children that I (Viva the teacher) had a problem... I reminded them that I had gone away to write a letter in role as one of the people from the neighbourhood, but said that I had found it difficult to do so convincingly. We discussed why this might be - and the conversation turned to how 'cartoonlike' some of the scenes had been. We talked about how enjoyable it had been to generate the rumours - but I asked them whether the conversations we had heard seemed like the

kind of things neighbours would actually bring up? I wondered if they could see my problem in trying to write the letter as a strongly worded, realistic objection....
I guess what I was doing here was trying to be really authentic with them about the real issue of how to make the drama take on a more serious edge. I guess I was also adopting a dramatic stance as "she who needs help" (the difference on this occasion was that I was in quasi role as the TEACHER needing help, rather than teacher in role as someone within the drama).

My sense was that this worked OK. The letter served as a symbol of the drama we were co-constructing together, whilst also distancing them from any sense of critique. I think so anyway. The blank letter became a mini tension for us to solve together.
I was in two minds about the next bit of the lesson... but decided to go with a bit of teacher 'modelling.' I asked the class to imagine they were peeping through the windows of a local cafe and invited them to watch another conversation between two locals (Gay and I in role). Children chose names for us - Gwyneth and Betty - and we improvised a conversation showing our concern about not being able to walk our dogs in the park during the construction process.

When we came out of role, Children were invited to talk about what happened in this scene... not just what the two women said to each other, but also the things that made it seem life like.... I'm still not sure whether I did the 'right' thing here - the last thing I want to do is say to children "No - do it like me" but it seemed useful to engage with this group on a wee conversation ABOUT drama and acting.

It's not an area I have entered into before. In fact, I would have tended to say "don't talk about it- just get on with it and trust drama to do its thing...." However, on this occasion it felt 'right'.

The conversation brought up the difference between "acting a part" and "being" in role. The children said things like "It seemed realer and more believable" and "the things you are talking about are more everyday stuff" and "the faces are kind of serious" - even "you didn't make jokes or try to make us laugh". From this point, the children revisited the roles they had taken on the day before but with an effort to "be" the role more than "act" it. (I know these distinctions are crude but they were the terms that were used by the children).

This time the conversations between neighbours were far richer, more spontaneous and less mannered. I remember that the atmosphere in the class seemed much more focussed. The children were really tired (it had been school cross country in the morning) but they seemed to really get somewhere. We finished the session by reflecting back on the experience - I told them that it now seemed possible to write the letter (we had solved our mini tension, if you like). And I promised to write it and get it to them right away.
So that was the extra session! As a drama teacher, it was an interesting one. If you think about it, there were SO MANY layers of metaxis going on! Children were retaining a sense of their identity as a class - PLUS as a company - PLUS revisiting their roles as neighbours - AND watching their teachers take on parallel roles - AND they were standing back from those and thinking about the tone and believability of them. Funny, come to think of it, we have not needed to talk to the children about "being" rather than "acting" when they are in role in the company. No one has a problem with that - it's only the drama for learning fragments within the mantle that can get a little overblown. Hhmmm, need to keep mulling this issue over!

Why would children be more like to "act" up the drama for learning bits. I guess it's to do with not having built belief in those roles. Yes, of course....! Without built belief, children are likely to play stereotypes and character parts.

Another issue playing into this is that the class was fresh out of a highly successful school production in which many of them had enjoyed playing 'over the top' comic roles. This might help to explain why they tended towards this kind of role play in the classroom.
Perhaps, too, as Gay suggests, children sometimes need the first go at comedic stuff before going deeper.

I'm also wondering whether all the extra pairs of eyes in the classroom might tend to encourage showmanship (yesterday there were not only 13 student teachers, three teachers and the video camera - there was also the university photographer to perform to). The children appear to have assimilated the student teachers into the culture of their classroom but it is almost inevitable that lots of extra folk in the room would add to the

sense of being on show. This was one reason why I felt it was good to go in for a more private session today.

Anyway - lots to think about. Meantime, the ever obliging children in the class did a great job and, I thought, demonstrated empathy with the problems faced by neighbours.
Immediately after the class I retired to Gay's office and wrote the letter from Gwyneth. On Lynette's return to the class this letter was used to provoke persuasive writing in the form of letters in role from the company to Gwyneth and her resident's society. Lovely stuff. I have asked her for some samples so I can share them here.

Week 5 - 28th August 2011


Sunday, 28 August 2011
Week 5 - The tension!

Just planning for our next session (tomorrow).
Originally we had planned to spend this week focussed on design skills - specifically, birds eye planning and simple front on elevations. One of the student teachers has a background in design and is all poised to go into role as a 'trainee' "checking her understanding" with the experts.
However, I'm now having a rethink.... Having been so very 'hands on' and in the field last week, I think it might be good to have a different kind of session. The design lesson is another skill based hands on session. It would be good to encourage some critical thinking about what was learned last week.
More importantly, my instinct tells me the children have had a long stint at looking at this issue from one perspective only (that of the company). So, I feel it may be time to bring in some drama for learning to help them look at another point of view.
Also, we have not encountered many 'tensions' in this mantle - we've been happily humming along achieving all our goals - tensions have been to do with time constraints, constraints of the task, difficult or incomplete text and so on. SO I think it may be time to introduce some more ethical difficulty / obstacles. We discovered in last year's MOTE that if we left the key tension TOO late, the company did not really have time to adapt to what it brought in...
But if we introduce the tension of neighbour's opposition to the development at this stage, their concerns can be factored in to the design process...

SO, here is my suggested sequence for tomorrow.
1: The usual company meeting to recap on the field trip, find out what the company members have written in their reports etc - revisit the terms of the commission - a shared vision for our play area. Any housekeeping points (e.g. design groups for each zone), communications with Tim and Gerry, timeline for completion, photograph sharing.
2: Invitation to 'trainees' to look at the research boards on bats and see the work that has been done on bat movements.
3: Using DFL (drama for learning) conventions, revisit the statues of park users that were created last week. Develop an alternative point of view on the development - oppositional.... Possible conventions "Gossip Mill" "overheard conversation" "Flash forward" and 'freeze frame"
4. Regather as company to discuss implications for the commission.
Possible next steps for Lynette during the week might include: writing in role as park users - letters of complaint to the paper? - could be followed by telephone or written responses from the company addressing the concerns raised...? A Company letter to Tim and Gerry to say thanks for their help - plus as clients inviting them to the presentation (2 weeks time)
With only a couple of weeks to go, the groups will need to get stuck into their concept design work - bearing in mind the issues raised by the 'neighbours', the need to 'flow' from one zone to another and the original commission brief.
All this will lead them up very nicely to the lesson on birds-eye-view planning and elevations NEXT Tuesday. 

Week 5 - 30th August 2011


Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Week 5 - The key tension

This week’s Tuesday session led to a great deal of reflective conversation and thinking between Gay and I about the overall tone and direction of the mantle.
Today (Weds) I made a second, unscheduled, visit to the classroom without the student teachers. The reason for this was that I wanted to revisit the key tension we brought in yesterday.

So what happened yesterday?
The planned drama for learning strategies worked fine – the children seemed to really enjoy the opportunity to play the roles. And there were many positive things about the scenes they created. It was pleasing to see the level of engagement and the fact that several previously unwilling children were comfortable to participate and share. It was a romp!
However, in discussion after the session with Gay, we pondered how much the drama had moved the mantle along.... We acknowledged that the tone of the children’s work had remained somewhat light hearted and comedic. We also asked ourselves some tough questions about the quality and authenticity of their role work....

On reflection I can see that my choice of conventions led the students in a particular direction. By inviting the children to take on roles as park users and gossip together in a sort of ‘rumour mill’ the excitement levels got cranked up – and by emphasising the way rumours grow and change out of all proportion, the children went rather ‘extreme’ in their ideas.
“OMG - They are going to cut down every single tree” “I’ve heard they are banning all dogs forever” even “The world is going to end”.
The other thing I did was limit the use of dialogue which I can now see encouraged them to go ‘visual’ and ‘over the top’ with the result that the tone of the sharing was rather ‘cartoonesque’ with gasps, and extreme facial expressions and even (gulp) phoney American accents.
The really GOOD learning for me in this is to be aware of the convention that is right for the job (how many times have I said that to student teachers ?!)
So, the repeat visit today was born out of a wish to challenge the children to go deeper – undertake a different kind of risk taking. I had met briefly with Lynette at the end of school yesterday and she was happy with the idea of me returning next day...

Next post will tell the story of today’s class.

The field trip - how it went


The field trip - how it went

Below is the plan that was written up for the field trip. It describes step by step the way we organised things. Amazingly, we managed to stick to the timeframes proposed pretty well.

Time Activity frame
10am ‘Company’ has early morning tea Student Teachers arrive at HNS
Collect and box up equipment for field
10.30 Meet in L ynette’ s room

Introduction to format for trip Groupings formed - self-selected by interest
Move to front of school
student teachers as ‘taxi drivers’ 10.45 Gather at Balfour end of Hammond
Meet with Tim and Gerry

DLF: Stepping out of the company, imagine and place yourself as an existing user of the site. Spoken thoughts of what they think seeing company arrive...
11.00 Nominate safety warders - choose quiet children - give them flouro vests
Set time & place to reconvene (11.50) 11.10 Groups move off to their ‘test zone’ and
carry out tests / experiments 11.50 Reconvene.
Each group briefly summarize findings
between selves.
12.00 Create new groups – mixing up the

numbers. Give 15 minutes to revisit the ‘test zones’ – each person shares back the findings from earlier group work.
12.15 Reconvene.
Reform into research groups.

Hand out maps – Give 15 minutes. Each research group familiarizes themselves with their ‘design zone’ –
  • ·  Take photos
  • ·  Note rise and fall of ground
  • ·  Sun and shade
  • ·  Possible constraints
  • ·  Initial concepts for design.
12.30 Return to school
Key moments in my view were as follows:
(Resources req)
Park in staff area
see equip lists
Remind – Tim and Gerry will be present.
Pack real and imagined equipment
Early arrivers – DFL: Frozen image of an imagined problem overcome by the company on the journey Silent. Individual (Purpose - settle students, invite reflection on multiple perspectives)
Flouro vests X6
Supervision and tasks as per attached
maps for zones X 6 . Cameras x 6 min

Back at the classroom, where I watched the 'company members' silently moving themselves into self selected groups for the testing. The list of task areas was shared with them and they were invited to select based on what sounded most interesting, but the problem of "what to do if groups get too big or too small" was left to them to solve.

This was done with absolutely no fuss, or even words. Impressive.
When we arrived at the site, many of the children introduced themselves and shook hands with the (real) council staff members who were going to work with us. Gerry and Tim were really great at offering real world experiences in soil testing and tree measuring. Perhaps even more importantly, they were capable of positioning the children as experienced experts... I heard them both using adult vocabulary and terminology. It makes the world of difference, I believe, for a child to be told "now this laser measure has a fairly complex operating system and to understand that I would need to forward you a copy of the manual, so for now perhaps I will set the co-ordinates for you" than to hear "this machine is too tricky for you kids, let me do it". Ka pai Tim and Gerry!

The groups elected a 'safety rep' (one of the children) who was given responsibility for briefing the team on safety implications to bear in mind. The safety rep was identified by a flouro jacket. Children appeared to take this task very seriously and the language register that was used was clearly elevated. I enjoyed the sense of trust and respect implied in this. I guess by leaving it to children to judge what was safe behaviour and manage themselves, we were telling them we thought they were capable of it. Management of the children was not an issue as there was a high level of engagement in the tasks. This is partly because the children had self selected their tasks, partly because they all had a wider purpose for undertaking the tasks. This was not a case of hearing teachers say 'We are learning to measure this site because it's useful to know about measurement and how to use click wheels' but rather, hearing the CHILDREN say 'we should probably measure the whole perimeter and then think about bits which are most suitable for the actual play area to go and focus on those'. The student teachers had planned tasks, but I also believe the children had a clear sense of what they wanted to know and why these activities were important to their wider objective of adventure playground design.

The drama for learning (DFL) in this example was minimal but quite important. Just briefly, on their way into the park, students carried out a conversation imagining an 'incident' they had overcome on the journey to the site - this was done to maintain awareness of the fictional expert frame they were operating in. Another DFL moment occurred when children were asked to put themselves in role as someone who uses the park every day. They took up a frozen shape showing what that person does to enjoy the site already (there were dog-walkers, frizbee players, tree climbers, river swimmers and so on). This task sowed the seed for a future tension.

For me, the highlight of the session was towards the end when the children feeding back to their peers as a representative of their research group. As every teacher knows, having to explain or teach another person is itself a really good way to consolidate the learning in one's own head. As Phil Race reminds us, it's also an excellent way to assess the learning that has happened. Assessment for learning within an authentic context using real world examples. Sounds good - no wonder it felt like a highlight!

Week 4 - 25th August 2011


Thursday, 25 August 2011
Week 4 - The big field trip
This week saw our field trip to the site of our proposed adventure play area. We decided this year to incorporate a 'real' trip to a 'real' local site, as a way of connecting the Mantle experience to the local community and environment. There was a little confusion when the permission slips were handed out to the children in the class .... By this time they are comfortable with the fact that this is an imagined commission. However, with the permission slips, some just needed to check "Do we actually take these home to our actual parents or...."
For the teachers and student teachers, the field trip took quite a bit of organising, particularly in terms of ensuring that the activities that occurred in the space were of high quality and involved learning of an appropriate level. The student teachers took the challenge of being responsible for planning a task within a particular "testing zone" as shown below. They did really well at ensuring that the tasks were both professional tasks appropriate to the commission AND learning tasks appropriate to learning levels and curriculum requirements. In my next post I will talk about how it actually went!

Professional task Some suggested activities