Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Class Onair - Maths During Lockdown

I hope you will check out my latest Manaiakalani Class Onair episode. In this lesson you will see how we are planning for and providing support and feedback in maths during the lockdown. The learning focus on understanding place value addition. This episode is very special because it was filmed with one of my co-teachers Sharisse Scanlan. I want to thank her for joining me in this episode and for openly sharing the content she created.

Friday, 24 April 2020

Class Onair - Reading During Lockdown

I encourage you to check out my Manaiakalani Class Onair lesson. In this lesson you will see how I am planning for and providing support and feedback in reading during the lockdown. The learning focus is on careful reading and creation based on the texts that they have read. Texts were carefully selected so that all learning levels were focused on the same topic. 

Learning from others

Practical advice for approaching online learning in primary schools Webinar hosted by The Education Hub featuring Kerry Oldman, Head of the Junior School and Victoria Mauala a Year 3 teacher from St Cuthbert’s College in Auckland. 
ideas | ideas | Sean MacEntee | Flickr

What has your over arching approach been during this time? 
Well-Being, this is a new time and we need to look after each other. Making sure everyone is working together and we have consistent messages. Only do what you can. 

Teacher have work in year group teams. They have turned into a year group of teachers working together not just a class. 

Team Work
How do you work as a team?
With the co-teacher the teacher Zoom together at 8am just the teachers checking in together and setting out the day. Being supportive by checking in. School team have been meeting at the end of every day or at least twice a week. Planning done well in advance so that things run as smoothly as possible. In a way it is like going back to being a beginning teacher, being over planned helps you to make things run smoothly. 

They blocked their day into four shorter blocks which they work to as a system. They then changed that for the younger children to just a morning and afternoon block. They tried to keep the normal school day.

This has been an opportunity to learn new things and think about what different thing you will bring back from this experience. 

After listening to these teachers share it was interesting to notice that a number of the key ideas such as choice. Providing tasks that can be independent and teachers still being part of the teaching and learning process were all similar to what we were doing. 

I will add the link to the video recording once it is up so you can see what this school is doing for yourself. 

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Sharing Ideas: Holiday Blogging Programs

Yesterday we had another wonderful Tuhi Mai Tuhi Atu teacher Meet. At this Meet we discussed the power of blogging our learners. We focused on how a strong classroom blogging program can support holiday blogging which as we have learned from the Summer Learning Journey can help stop the learning drops we often see in the holidays.

Click on the image below to see our slides and watch a recording of the meeting.

Screen Shot 2020-04-23 at 7.47.55 AM.png

Get involved

This term has started off very different from every other term I have ever taught. I started the term not cleaning my classroom, not organising reading book, not getting art supplies ready but at home creating fully digital content to engage learners in both digital and hands on learning.

During this lockdown one of the thing we have talk about a lot is staying active. We know that being active is important not just for our physical health but for our mental health also.

To help support us as teachers to keep our classes active our wonderful sports co-ordinator Sally Va'afusuaga put together a challenge for kids which they would get house points for completing.

This week the challenge was to spell our name doing exercises. Here is my example for the children.

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Amazing Teachers

There are so many amazing teacher out there, doing amazing thing online. Yesterday I had the privilege of joining the Google Meet of Miss Ashley and her class of year 7/8 students.

They have been learning about different pandemics over time and were beginning to make comparisons between them.

If you click on the image below it will take you to Miss Ashley's class learning site and the section she has adapted for distance learning.

The lesson had 5 parts as can be seen on this document (click to see the full version)

Before jumping in they started with a revision. I really liked the way this was done. Miss Ashley had posted yesterdays learning on the class blog and the children then added comments of something they enjoyed learning from the day before.

I thought this was a great idea. It links together the Cybersmart learning with the recap of the learning from the day before.

After this they children read the story themselves and notes words that were new to them on their own vocabulary list. After this they read together stopping at words they might need support with and discussing these together. They talked about the double negative of 'it wasn't uncommon for children to help' They discussed the words, clergyman, mourners, constantly and burial, thinking about the root of each word and similar word they new and noted these down.

After this each children wrote their own short summary on the same document, during this time Miss Ashley provided writing feedback and comments on the document.

After this they moved onto creating a Venn Diagram about all the different pandemics they had learned about this far.

This was a very exciting lesson the children were engaged the whole time and excited to share. It was clear that Miss Ashley had long strong relationships with the children.

To see all the learning check out this post on Miss Ashley's Class Blog.

Thank You to Miss Ashley and Room 8. It was so cool to see how you have been learning during this lockdown.

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Supporting the wellbeing of teachers, students and parents

This Webinar by Clinical Psychologist Dr Natalie Flynn focused on the Wellbeing of all during this Covid19 lockdown. 

Royalty-free mind photos free download | Pxfuel

She said that the stresses are different for every bubble. It seems that one big stress is the juggle between home-work balance. From a practical perspective teacher always making lists and look at the reality of these lists.

We must accept that we can only do what we can do. We have to look after our mental, physical and emotional health for both ourselves and our learners. We have to notice and accept when we are doubting ourselves and putting pressure on ourselves.

You have to be your own self advocate, if you can't, say you can't. Be honest with yourself and others.

We also have the responsibility in this time for supporting parents. Every parents is in a different place and parenting at the best of time is not easy. We as teachers have to be empathetic and understand that communicating during this time can be challenging.

What about student well being
Children are in a place of a lot of anxiety, the world is not normal for them. A large part of our role right now is supporting students emotionally and socially, checking in on children. We need to validate children feeling, "yes it is hard." Before trying to solve the problems.

Young children often talk about being scared or not being scared we need to support them with the emotional language to explain their feelings. (Worried, anxious, confused etc)

Children are struggling with the lack of social contact and social learning
The social aspect is very hard for everyone. For many children it is hard socially and we are lucky to have the the digital connection. It may be a time to relax the rules around social media and digital connection.

Treat yourself and all around you with kindness
We all need to start from the stand point that teachers love children and want to help children. Remember that parents love their children too. We all need to be compassionate with each other and ourselves. 

Knowing that this is time of struggled and time of difference we can't push ourselves to meet all our goals during this time. We need to be kind to ourselves and know that it is okay. 

We are create new norms for this time. We need to explain the reason why we need to keep apart. Talk about it as a mission. We are all safe but we need to protect others like our grandparents. 

We as schools, teachers and communities, need to talk about what is important right now. A place of safety, calm, keep everyones mental health in a good space. We should be looking first at mood before academic achievement. 

A focus on self-compassion an understand that we are not going to meet all our goals, no one is perfect and that is okay. 

We need to check in on learners. Can you reach out and ask, How are you feeling? How is the work, is it interesting for you? 

This talk made me think about some recent interaction I have had. Did I show self-compassion and how can I make sure I do this in the future. 

I will add the link to the video for this talk once it become available. Thank you to The Education Hub for providing this Webinar.