Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Field Trip!

Today after school the class went on a field trip to the Irish Times printing press. The Irish Times is the longest running newspaper here in Ireland. It is a non-profit newspaper and is ran by a Trust group, not a corporate company (so no shareholders). It is not that often that they give tours through the place so it was a great opportunity for the kids.  They took us throughout the printing facility and we got to get up really close to everything (which health and safety would probably have had an issue with, but what they don't know won't hurt). Personally, my favorite part was the paper storage area with the robots... so incredibly cool. No school transport was used for the trip so parents were vital to making this work. We had 4 parent volunteers drive the kids over to the press and join in the tour.Upon arriving we broke the kids up into 2 groups to make it more manageable to do our tour in. The whole printing and distributing process was explained to us along our tour. The students asked a lot of great questions in regards to supply and demand, cost, employment, and technology. I was especially proud when they asked how Eco-friendly the company was.
I was also impressed by the fact that in planning this trip the students were given the permission slips just yesterday for the trip and all of them remembered their forms today to go.
Even if there was not a specific connection to our units of study the field trip was worthwhile in that it exposed the students to another career path and how the use of technology has increased production and cut cost.

- I also taught a comprehension lesson today with the focus on Salvador Dali... used the smart board (which I have fallen in LOVE with... I want one in my future classroom.!!!). Went well except all the students got really into looking at the pieces and making comments to each other so it got a little out of hand and I had to really pull to get them back on track.  Will be finishing the lesson up tomorrow with them writing responses to a specific piece.
- Correcting their English: I was so frustrated in seeing their  half completed (which should have been completely done) corrections with so many mistakes.. even when I wrote in the correction they needed (all they had to do was re-write the sentence with the corrections, easy peasy). I think a lot of them rush through their work and don't really take the time to do it correctly. I would think they would know when to capitalize letters in a sentence at this point in school but I am just not seeing it from them in their individual work consistantly. I need to construct some more lessons for this upcoming week to work on core grammar to get this cleared up. They are such great creative writers.... if only the mechanics were perfect as well!

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