This week I was thankful that another teacher at our site was given some extra time to do some planning with me for our Innovative Japanese Program.
We set aside a couple of hours to work out what she is doing with her class in the next few weeks and how we can link that to our Japanese Broadcast. We decided on the topic of seasons as it opened up opportunities for discussion around weather also.
(One of our prompts)
It didn’t take long to get an idea from that theme, we decided that by starting with photos of the seasons, we would be able to get a variety of responses and reactions. We looked up photos from Japan and tried to incorporate photos from our sister schools village where possible. (Note: next year I will try and take lots of photos and videos that we can use for future broadcasts)
I had a chat with her at the end of our session around what she hoped to get from this experience both for herself and the students in her class and how she felt about the whole process. It was very valuable for me and I hope valuable insight also for our research team.
Prompts for the broadcast
These are the season specific prompts we came up with:
We decided a collage of images for each season, and just the name of the season in romaji(Roman alphabet), Hiragana and kanji would be enough for discussion and inspiration for responses.
Training and development
After our planning meeting I decided it would be perfect to use these prompts as an example at a staff meeting PD I was facilitating about Seesaw. One part of the training was going to focus on an activities feature anyway so I thought, why not make it link to the Japanese Broadcast.
We are still nutting out how the broadcast will work and the general practicality, but through using an app that our community is already using and that allows us to post a range of media and then have comments available it is a good fit for us as we trial and navigate our way through this program.
The activity I got the teachers to do was look at the picture of the four seasons and respond with a digital brainstorm of how they think their students could respond to this prompt. They had a range of ideas which was great to see. Hopefully that helps them feel more comfortable and confident to use the broadcast with their class.
(I’ll add the pictures of their brainstorms here later)
The teacher I worked with to make the prompt has already had her class try and discuss one of the prompts we made and I have included their comment on the broadcast (Seesaw app):
Banksia discussed these images. At first we thought it could be in China or Japan. Student E pointed out the arch and we talked about how we have one here at school too. We then decided that this must be pictures from Japan. We discussed what the word ‘fuyu’ might mean – maybe snow? We talked about how we don’t have snow here in Sandy Creek during winter, but some parts of Australia do..
Hopefully each class can start bringing the broadcast into their weekly routines this term. We set a goal for at least one interaction a week and I highlighted that interacting in some way with the material is the main goal. Whether it is a discussion as a class, commenting on the post, creating a question to comment on the post (thus creating a new opportunity for interaction for others or themselves to respond to in future sessions), drawing a picture inspired by the original post, writing a description of what they see in English and maybe even Japanese or both!
I would like to check in with staff at a staff meeting at the end of the term to see how they have gone and collect some of their evidence (recordings of discussions, work samples etc) to see what results there are. I reassured them that not everything has to be in Japanese. The goal is that by the end of next year everyone will be interacting with it and use more Japanese but as we start out, just making connections and giving ownership and voice to students through creation and interaction with the broadcasts is more then enough.