Author: Ayrton Curmi, Primary Class Teacher
School/Organization: San Gorg Preca Paola Primary School, Malta
I chose this ‘Places in Stamps’ learning scenario by Kristina Mijandrušić Ladavac because it presents a unique and engaging way to teach the concept of sending postcards from one country to another. Through the use of stamps, students can learn about different countries, cultures, and landmarks, while also developing their English writing skills. The cross-curricular approach of this learning scenario allows for integration with ICT and other subjects, making it a comprehensive and well-rounded learning experience for students. Additionally, the present continuous topic that was covered earlier in the school year can be linked to this learning scenario, creating a more cohesive and interconnected learning experience for students. Overall, the ‘Places in stamps’ learning scenario provides an exciting and innovative way to teach a variety of concepts while keeping students engaged and motivated.
Classroom Overview and Student Characteristics.
As a primary school teacher, I currently teach 15 students who are aged between 9-10 years old and are in year 5. My students are a diverse group, each with their unique personalities, interests, and abilities. They come from different backgrounds and have different learning styles, which makes teaching them both challenging and rewarding. What I love most about my students is their enthusiasm for learning. They are curious, engaged, and eager to explore new ideas and concepts. They are not afraid to ask questions and challenge their own thinking, which creates a vibrant and dynamic learning environment in our classroom.
Students’ prior knowledge.
Prior to the lesson, the students had a basic understanding of how to write letters but had limited exposure to the concept of postcards. While they were aware of the format and structure of a letter, they had never seen a physical postcard before. This lack of exposure to postcards was likely due to the declining popularity of this form of communication in modern times. However, I was able to engage the students by introducing them to a set of physical stamps and postcards. This hands-on experience helped to bring the lesson to life and gave the students a tangible understanding of the postcard concept. Overall, the students’ prior knowledge about letter writing was a good starting point for the lesson, but the introduction of physical stamps and postcards helped to deepen their understanding and engagement with the topic.
Adapting and Personalizing the Learning Scenario.
As a teacher, I implemented and adapted the ‘Places in stamps’ learning scenario to make it more engaging and relevant for my students. Before searching on the Europeana platform, I divided the students into groups and gave them physical stamps and postcards to examine and discuss. This hands-on approach helped the students to better understand the different features of stamps and postcards and allowed them to engage more fully with the topic. To make the learning scenario more relevant to their everyday lives, we also created physical postcards and mailed them to their parents or guardians. This allowed the students to see the practical application of what they were learning and helped to reinforce the importance of written communication. Overall, by adapting the learning scenario and making it more hands-on and relevant, I was able to increase the students’ engagement and understanding of the topic.
Exploring the World Through Stamps and Postcards: Students working collaboratively in groups, using physical stamps and postcards while exploring the Europeana platform for their chosen destination.
Integrating Technology for Enhanced Learning
Technology played a vital role in achieving the learning outcomes of the ‘Places in Stamps’ scenario. We utilized various technological tools to enhance the learning experience. For instance, we used Mentimeter to gather the students’ prior knowledge on postcards, which provided me with valuable insights into their understanding of the topic. The Europeana platform was also used to search for photos and stamps of their chosen destination. This online tool allowed the students to access a vast collection of digital resources related to stamps and postcards. PicCollage was also used to design and edit the postcards, which the students enjoyed using as it provided them with a creative outlet for their ideas. Finally, the students used Classcloud to send their postcards, allowing them to share their work with their peers. Overall, the integration of technology helped to enhance the learning experience, providing the students with a more engaging and interactive approach to learning about stamps and postcards.
Empowering Students through Digital Tools: Students using various technological tools such as Mentimeter, PicCollage, and Classcloud to enhance their learning experience and create their own unique postcards.
Creative and Personalized Postcards: Students showcase their creativity and writing skills by designing their own postcards, complete with personalized messages and unique images.
Assessment for Learning
Assessment for learning played an integral role in this learning scenario. I employed several strategies to ensure that the students were making progress and achieving the learning objectives. One of the assessment strategies I used was peer assessment. Before finalizing their postcards, the students wrote a draft of their postcards and then peer-assessed each other’s work. This allowed the students to give each other constructive feedback on their writing, helping to improve the quality of their work. Another strategy I used was ‘Two stars and a wish’, where I provided the students with feedback on their work, highlighting two things they did well and one area where they could improve. This helped to reinforce the positive aspects of their work while also highlighting areas that needed improvement. Overall, these assessment for learning strategies were effective in helping the students to make progress and achieve the learning objectives.
Collaborative Learning and Peer Assessment: Students actively engage in the learning process by providing feedback and constructive criticism to their peers, enhancing their critical thinking skills and fostering a supportive learning environment
Fostering Collaborative Learning and Digital Literacy.
The ‘Places in Stamps’ learning scenario successfully achieved several learning outcomes. These outcomes ranged from developing digital literacy skills to improving peer assessment and feedback skills. The students also gained a better understanding of the concept of sending postcards and its significance as a form of written communication. The learning outcomes are:
- Understanding the concept of sending postcards and its significance as a form of written communication.
- Developing digital literacy skills by using online platforms to access information and resources related to stamps and postcards.
- Enhancing written communication skills by drafting and finalizing a postcard to send to a chosen destination.
- Developing critical thinking and analysis skills by examining the features of different stamps and postcards and discussing their significance.
- Improving peer assessment and feedback skills by giving constructive feedback to classmates on their draft postcards.
- Developing creativity skills by using digital tools to design and edit postcards with appropriate images and text.
- Improving collaboration skills by working in groups to discuss and examine different features of stamps and postcards.
Opportunities for Enhancement.
The ‘Places in Stamps’ learning scenario is a great way to teach students about the concept of sending postcards and its significance as a form of written communication. However, one way to improve this scenario is to use it as a part of an Erasmus or E-twinning project. By partnering with schools from different countries, students can exchange postcards featuring their particular countries, helping them to gain a deeper understanding of other cultures and ways of life. This will not only enhance their learning experience but will also help them to develop a greater appreciation for diversity and inclusivity. Incorporating this learning scenario into an Erasmus or E-twinning project will make it more real and meaningful for students. By sending and receiving postcards from partner schools, students will have a tangible connection to other cultures. This will also provide them with a more authentic learning experience, as they will be able to see the real-life application of the skills they have learned.
Self-reflection. As a teacher, I found this learning scenario to be an engaging and effective way to teach students about the concept of sending postcards and its significance as a form of written communication. I was able to incorporate a variety of digital tools and assessment for learning strategies to enhance their learning experience. In future iterations of this learning scenario, I plan to incorporate more opportunities for student choice and exploration, which I believe will enhance their engagement and motivation to learn. Additionally, I plan to continue to seek out ways to make the learning experience more real and meaningful, such as through the incorporation of an Erasmus or E-twinning project.
Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario? ‘Places in Stamps’ created by Kristina Mijandrušić Ladavac
Did you find this story of implementation interesting? You might also like:
- ‘Letters and Postcards From War Times’ (LS-MT-03) by Heathcliff Schembri.
- “For and From the Homeland”: World War I Poetry and Postcards (LS-ES-739) by April Capili
- ‘Exploring a Postage Stamp Collection’ (LS-MT-337) by Christabelle Scerri.
Do you want to discover more stories of implementation? Click here.