Thursday, 28 June 2012


On Tuesday we had an incredibly intense, purposeful and highly productive critique session.

The quality of the burning questions asked by presenters was excellent and the feedback given was precise, honest and we really got the sense that for the first time the students really had a sense of shared ownership of each others' work across the whole porject.

We are still working on Step Up Step Back.

Mr Mead pointed out that it felt like being in Margaret Noble's classroom. Both Mr Dead and I were privileged to observe an incredible critique in her class in High Tech High last year. The students in that class were 17 and 18 years old.

Examples of Burning Questions:

My notes, these really show the depth and quality of feedback that was offered.

Monday, 25 June 2012

The Power of drafting

At the end of the day, after the debrief when the students had left, we found something that made us happy. A great example of resilience, determination and success.

The picture of on the left handside is a draft number 3, and subsequent ones struggled to make a great deal of improvement.However somewhere between draft 10 and 13 something changed. It is fantastic.

Student led conversation Draft 2

We are clearly a little way off having a room where everyone feels able to contribute without concern. We are still relying on a core of students to lead.

This conversation happened at 9am this morning and we worked hard as a whole class to deal with and change some habitual behaviours from some of the class in terms of sharing the load. We intend for this blog to be a record of the learning to which students can refer when making their final presentations, so this is very much a warts and all post. We will get there.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Rubric for the music

Here is the rubric for the music compositions, built entirely from the students' comments when critiquing the teacher model.

Friday, 22 June 2012

An entirely student led conversation about the week

Our students finished the week with a conversation about how they felt it had gone. We asked them to step up and step back, and for the most part they did so, at least to begin with. 

Here is the conversation:

We will be asking them to do something similar on Monday and expect the conversation to be of even better quality than this one.

Analysing the birdsong

This afternoon we took the audio samples of the birdsong recorded in the field. We slowed them down and dropped the pitch using Audacity and then the student worked out the contour and rhythm of the melodies by ear.

Theses melodic fragments (in blue) will form the main motif for their ambient music.

Students' compositions will be in Ternary Form ABA1 and so the students developed imitative variations on the theme (green) to be used as a contrast in the Asection.