Thursday, 14 February 2019


Blogging I back in full force. This year we have the Manaiakalani blogging app up and running and it is so exciting to see the learners blogging eagerly. I started off introducing the blogging process to a small group of learners in the class in order give them the skills and empower them to become blogging experts who other could go to for questions. 

Then I worked with kids 1-1 with the support of my expert bloggers to help them understand the process.

We are now moving into the phase in which each learner is ready to blog at different moments in time and I decided the best way to support them in this was to make the process rewindable and visible through the Cybersmart page on our class site. Salem helped me with this creating with me videos of how he blogged so that learners can follow them.

I think I my next step will be to create a photo process and QR code for the classroom wall that students can see and refer to and that links them straight to videos. This will empower them to be their own problems solve as they continue to gain confidence as bloggers.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Research presentation

Manaiakalani sense-making session with student achievement data.

It’s been a great start to the year but it wouldn’t be a new academic year without looking back at our student data from 2018 and using this to celebrate, set goals, define our inquiries and understand which areas we can do more in.

Patrick Snedden
Reminded us of our journey. He share with us about the role we had played and the people who came before us played in creating Manaiakalani as it is today. We are about big change, creating transformative practice. Having data form this practice collected and analysed mean we can be critical of were we are at and see that we have achieved so much. Manaiakalani started here with 12 school and brave teachers and now the pedagogy has spread with over 100 school engaging in learn, create, share pedagogy.

Next the Woolf Fisher team shared with us the student achievement data for 2018.

Rebecca said “we are going to start today a long conversation which will continue this year.”

It was interesting listening to the data from the junior school. There biggest thing I noticed was the entry level word writing. The norm was that students could write fewer than 5 words when arriving at school. There was good progress during the year however they are skill quite far off the norm for New Zealand.

Maths in the junior school was interesting it looks as though many students get stuck in the counting (stage four) however at year three there were more students pushing into stages 5 and 6.

Reading had a big spread however looking at the years 3 data there was a large group reading above gold. The group at purple interested me. I wondered how can we make a bigger impact on these kids to push them into the gold barrack. Reading in a higher years is interesting as students progress less than the norm. We need to continue to give reading a push as

Friday, 8 February 2019

Making positive behaviour visible

How learners interact, manage themselves and engage with their independent and guide learning is so important. However I as a teacher often focus most of my time and energy into the academic learning and making that visible, rewindable and engaging for the learners.

This year my co-teacher and I wanted to make the of learning behaviour and positive behaviour a visible rewindable part of our classroom.  This is a process that will take time and with each day we add and adjust the way in which we do this.

One way we have begun to explore this is through the classroom walls and in particular our inquiry walls. We have an inquiry focus in term 1 around the school values and health. This has leant itself to our aims of making the "way we are at school" known here as the Pt England Way central to everything we do in our classroom.

What have we done so far:
We are in week 1 for the year and we have been capturing the positive and making in part of our classroom environment. First we looked at our inquiry question: How can I be the best kid on the Point?

We broke this down into other questions which sit on our walls next to our inquiry question these are:
What does sharing look like?
What is Cybersmart?
Is it Kind?

Once a week we take one of these questions and ask the kids what it means to them. Providing examples, linking it to acts we have seen in the classroom. We then give the kids a chance to practice what these important values look like after all we practice reading, writing, maths, science. Practicing the way we learn is important too.

We are so excited to for 2019 and making the way we learn and act visible, rewindable and engaging for our learners. 

Thursday, 7 February 2019

DMIC 2019

The focus of our Discussion around DMiC today is looking at how we plan maths. We are using the Curriculum Elaborations and as a team create learning outcomes from theses larger ideas. Today we focused on statistics with the aim of creating pathway of learning outcomes coming from each team in the school. 

We focused on statistical investigation and worked to create learning outcomes that are measurable and doable. We need to be able to see these learning outcomes in what the students do, not what they are thinking. 

Level 2
Statistical investigation
S2-1: Conduct investigations using the statistical enquiry cycle:

posing and answering questions
gathering, sorting, and displaying category and whole-number data
communicating findings based on the data.

We want to have a continuum of types of graph. For example at level 1 pictographs, level 2 building of pictographs with picture represents multiple objects, add bars graphs. By building up the knowledge of different graphs so that when the reach level 4 and even level 5 they have meaning knowledge of all graphs so they able to conduct robust statistical investigations.

Why? and So what?

By having this understanding of where kids start and where we need them to get to we can make sure each year builds on what they have already done so what each year is a stepping stone to new learning and they have all the knowledge they need by year 8 and we can send them off to high school with a sound knowledge that will set them up for life. 

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

End of year reflections

This year has been huge for me. I have learnt a lot about myself as a teacher and a co-teacher. I have found that working together being on the same page and investigating the same issues in teaching and learning. I have found that especially in reading we have made a lot of shift even though this is not the area of our focussing inquiry. 


This year has been a huge year of learning for me in terms of DMiC maths and reflecting back the critical successes we have had in this area are. Children all have strong shared values around what maths looks like in our classroom. This is due to the early implementation of our class maths norms and the constant talk about them. The kids are excited to do maths, they want to talk to their friends about what they are learning and they want the problems to be hard. They don’t get upset when they do get the whole thing first time they listen and then try again. I skill have much to learn in DMiC but I feel one success is how well Chrissy and I have worked together to build our knowledge and help each other in this area well skill maintaining our own teacher voice and style. 



We are really proud of the reading shift we have seen this year. We have had most of our learners make over a years shift with half of our learners making 1.5 years or over. We feel this is due in part to our routines that encourage millage, we get kids to read every morning and take books home every night. We also believe that the discussions and creative tasks have had an impact here. Our class love reading and that love of reading is evident in their shift. 



This week we have been doing practice test condition writing for our test on Thursday. We have been talking to each child about their goals. It is so wonderful to look back at their writing at the beginning of the year and now and see so much more writing, more structure and more description, My biggest success her though are two boys, At the beginning of the year writing time would come and they would chuck their pencils and find a corner to hide or cry. Now they sit for 40 mins with everyone else and write. They write 4 sentences with no tears they just try and that is the kind of shift your feel as a teacher a shift from fear to happiness and pride. 

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Reflectioning on my inquiry

2018 has been a huge year of learning for me and my inquiry focus has been language acquisition in mathematics. I have learnt so much about shifting the balance of talk and providing support for learners to engage in talk.

This is my presentation about my inquiry and my findings. I have also share some insights into my tool and how it has worked for me and my class. I hope that you will find this presentation interesting and perhaps it will have an impact on your practice as my inquiry has in mine this year.

Friday, 2 November 2018

My Inquiry Presentation Manaiakalani & Outreach Principals Wananga 2018

This year I had the privilege of being part of the MIT program and as part of this we shared our inquiry impact story with the Principles and School leader from the Manaiakalani and Outreach Cluster at the 2018 Wananga on the 1st of November. 

What happened for the learners

As a result of my inquiry was that learners became more confident in their use of mathematical language and this meant they were able to model, explain and use this language when solving problems and discussing mathematical ideas.

For one of my target learners this supported great shift in her mathematical ability and with her making two years progress in one year. Another learner in my inquiry group made 1.5 years progress. However this was not the case for all learners and as such I wondered if students interaction in the intervention played a larger role than I had anticipated.

What evidence do I have for this
A clear picture of the language development was painted by the vocabulary survey which was taken in terms 1 and 4 this showed that students understanding and ability to use this small range of vocabulary had greatly improved.

I also used Gloss Data to look at mathematical strategies and explanation. This as we have discussed a lot this year may not be the ideal for of assessment for the DMiC method however it did how that students how activity engaged in the intervention could understand the language and this supported them to solve the problems.

What did I do to make this happen?
This inquiry has been a huge area of growth for me as a teacher. I have step out of my comfort zone and tried many new things. This started with a focus on coding which quickly shifted toi using a range of approaches to support language development and discussion in mathematics.
-Developing a shared language and classroom culture.
-Write Questions rich in language and open for discussion
-Integrating language into coding tasks
-Providing language and discussion prompts

Wonderings about what next
As we move toward to end of 2018 and into 2019 I want to continue this approach and see if with learners becoming more familiar with DMiC in can have a bigger impact. I also wonder if the key principles of this approach the rewindable videos, prompts for discussion can be adjusted and applied to literacy as an aid to goal setting and discussion of goals in reading and writing. I am interested in this because of the work that Danni Stone has been doing this year with her year 7 and 8 students in the connection between reading and writing and the language that we can draw from reading to writing. It also came up at MIT that the prompts and videos could be integrated across the curriculum building more familiarity and cross curriculum integration.