Thursday, April 25, 2013

Encouraging Girls to appreciate Creepy Crawlies...

I always remember when I first started teaching, we got our hands on some swan plants and really enjoyed watching the little caterpillars turn into big fat caterpillars.  We were lucky enough to even watch a butterfly come out of it's chrysalis during class time!  My class (and I!) really got into it, so much so that one particular day after the bell had gone for home.  I found a group of boys hanging around the swan plant looking at it curiously.  Now, I was teaching at a Decile 2 school.  The group of boys were not your "switched onto learning" "science crazy" type kids.  They were more like rough and tumble, rugby-or-nothing type kids.  So, as you can imagine, I was pretty stoked to have engaged these kids in such a way.

We watched, mesmerized as the last two butterflies opened and closed their wings in preparation for their first flying lesson.  It was a horribly windy day out side so there was a bit of tension about how they were going to get on.  Again, it was amazing watching these boys, who cared about nothing but sport, to act so empathetically towards these butterflies!

Off the butterflies flew clumsily into wind and were whipped away with a gust.  The boys followed in a bluster like puppies clambering over each other to retrieve a toy.  They were worried.  But one opened it's wings and took flight into the sky and was on it's way!  The other, however, didn't get high enough and flew directly into the torso of a Year 8 girl walking towards us. We all looked in horror as the girl screamed,  flicked the butterfly onto the ground with her hand, and stomped on it.

7 years later, I have an almost 6 year old daughter.  I have learnt from this experience and have tried to encourage my daughter in experiencing the wonder of creepy crawlies. They do help us in many ways!  Without spiders there would be too many mosquitos!  And worms help us with compost!  By developing these positive "attitudes" towards bugs will help girls appreciate them alive and not squashed.

So make sure you model fascination (and remind the females in your family to do this also).  Get out into the garden and scratch around.  Let worms squiggle in their hands and snails slither up their arms.  Watch slaters turn into balls and roll around on the palms of their hands.  Watch with curiosity as  a spider spins a web, eats a fly or protects it's nest.  Watch a praying mantis devour another so that you encourage girls to appreciate creepy crawlies.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Tune in Activity

Russell Bishop (ed talk) - check out vid.

These were my top 3 statements that guide my practise. This was a tricky Tune in activity because we had to scrutinise many statements. I chose these because this is what I strive to do on a day to day basis.

Whakatauki to start us off

Ka hikitia - making meaning for Maori students.