How we communicate is rapidly changing. Our goal is for English Class pupils to develop strong literacy skills for the 21st century. This requires that pupils and their families integrate technology-enhanced educational tools fluidly into their lives, while also learning to incorporate critical framing. We call this multi-literacy.
On Tuesday of this week English Class families were invited to a Multi-literacy Family Evening where there were activities for all ages and tastes, including a scavenger hunt and five workshops. Each family and/or participant was given a passport for the evening’s activities. Every workshop or activity provided a stamp or sticker for the passport.
The evening started with a 15 minute long scavenger hunt. Participants needed to find certain items in the titles of books on the bookshelves of classrooms. The libraries in all six English Class classrooms were within the area of the search. Some of the items on the list included, for example, a one word book title, a book title with a girl’s name in it, a book title with a number in it, etc.
One workshop gave families a chance to “photoshop” animals by creating new combinations. ‘Everything is not as we see it’ was the message. Using the app, Switch Zoo, children and adults alike created outlandish creatures. Fourth grade teacher,Ms. Leena, plans to have pupils use some of the imaginary creatures as a basis for writing short stories as a follow-up activity.
Families were encouraged to bring books to the evening event and exchange them for books of similar value at the book swap tables. At another workshop Ms. Anu and Ms. Katri headed up a series of discussions about children and social media. On the door of the classroom they had posted certain social media age limits. To find out more about the use of media and social media by both parents and pupils of the English Classes, go to the Parents’ page where results of the anonymous surveys for parents and children are posted.
A workshop that sparked a lot of interest. particularly with adults, was the Reading without Books workshop run by Ms. Sylvia and Mr. James, our practicing school aide. The crux of the workshop was information about reading e-books with tablets and handheld devices. Kindle, in particular, was the subject of a lot of discussion. Information about audiobooks as well as free online books was also offered.
The bookmark making workshop was a big hit with young and old. Adorable Minions and whimsical creatures took shape in Mr. Juho’s classroom.
Although the turn out was not as good as we would have hoped, due primarily to a raging flu epidemic, everyone who attended the evening left with the feeling that it was time well spent. Lots of interesting new ideas were offered that will lead to new possibilities for all.