Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Northland Digital Fluency Intensive

Today I was privileged to spend the day with the wonderful people at the Northland Digital fluency Intensive. We talked about the importance of CONNECT and how we can gain so much by connecting with others and build on and learning from each other.

If we are all paddling the Waka the same way we can achieve great things.

I really enjoyed sharing this will these wonderful teachers who I hope to stay connected with for a long time.


Throughout the day we worked on sites and I shared this presentation with them.



It was so wonderful seeing them take all we had talked about and achieve their goals on their class sites. I am starting to see some wonderful visible learning and great thinking about why they are using their sites and what they want to do next.

I feel so humbled having watched and helped these teachers tackle their site problems and find creative and clever solutions that make their site easier to use for their students.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Manaiakalani Staff Meeting- Creativity Empowers Learning

Creativity is one of the key values that underpins all we do as teachers. We want our learners to be doing with their hands but in the end we want to scaffold and support creative thinking.

As part of our meeting we looked at this add and the fact that it took the key message of the company and make it modern.

Here is a link to the article that describes what they did.

We talked a lot about how the history of New Zealand school is creativity. We often see our learners in the early years of their educations being very creative and often they are expected to grow out of this by WHY? This article talks more are this idea.

Create is a Doing word. We should be thinking about how we can help children create with their bodies.

This year Manaiakalani explored the ideas of what teacher believe create looks it in their classrooms. This lead to the document that explored all the ways teachers create with kids. You have seen this image before but it seemed important to share again the image created to show this idea behind create.

Choice is always a key elements. How to we provide choice in creativity? 

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

High Expectation Teaching Chistine Rubie-Davies


Why should we worry about expectation? 
It all boils down to self belief. If we believe we can do it then we try and try again. But if we don't believe we can do it then we are more likely to give up.

As Educators the expectation we hold of students is are shown to them in everything we do. They things we say and that we don't say. The things we do and don't do.

The way we teach and the activities we give student show our expectations.

If we think about this in terms of our teaching, having high expectation of all learners builds students self-efficacy and belief in themselves. High expectation teacher hold the whole class accountable, they do not just hold extension students accountable. By having high expectation teachers push students to make significant gains and students self belief also grows when they are with a high expectation teacher.

So what do high expectation teachers do?
-They spend a lot of time teaching
-Ask lots of questions, high level questions of all learners.
-They support students to get the the answer by rephrasing or scaffolding. 
-They give specific goal based feedback
-Behaviour management, they used setting up statements. "I am looking for the group who are working quietly"


  • One thing that stands out of me was that high expectation teachers did not use ability groups they used flexible groups or mixed ability grouping. 


  • These teachers used data to support students to formulate goals. That are specific to students needs. 


  • They have a warm classroom culture where students and teachers have positive relationships. They also have positive relationships between students. 


  • Learners had a lot of choose within their learning pathways and they taught using a range of books on a topic and allow students to choose. 
Rubie-Davies top three things that high expectation teachers have were flexible groupings, establishing a positive classroom culture and goal setting. 

My takeaways: 
  • Can I use more flexible groups specifically in literacy to support student growth. 
  • How can I use more goal setting based on testing and allow for checking and changing of goals. 
  • I have noticed that students in my classes are becoming more aware of their evaluating themselves. 
  • Can I send more positive notes home. 


Monday, 21 May 2018

MIT Day

Today we once again met at the wonderful offices of KPMG who so kindly host us for our MIT days. The day started out with reflection. This is nothing new for most teacher we reflect all the time, but this reflection was a little bit different. Today we talked about reflecting on our beliefs about teaching and what they mean in for our learners and ourselves.


This has been something I have ponded a lot recently as I have thought about what has made the change it attitude for my learners from being unmotivated to upset when they don't feel they have met their personal best.

This reflection was very positive for me as it made me think about how my expectations have help my learners to have higher expectations of themselves.

As the day went on we talked more about our inquiries and questioned ourselves and our current think. I have been thinking a lot about how my integration is going and I believe I need to step up the level of challenge in the coding and be more specific with language teaching.


I awesome need to make more connections and reconsider who can really help me make the difference for my learners.


Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Creativity Empowers Learning


This term our Manaiakalani focus across the cluster is on create and more specifically how creativity empowers learning.

To start off term to with a bang Ms Eadie and I applied these principles to our first week of term. We wanted learners to create to see the different simple machines and focus at play. We thought carefully about each tasking making sure we were using the senses to engage the learners brains.

Throughout this immersion which took place over a number of day with students working in small groups. Learners created physically and digital. Here are some examples of the activities they engaged in.

Art
We had three activities that I could call art activities however I they were also about thinking, folding and testing ideas.

1. Paper plane, a tried and true way of examining focuses and motion.

2. Marble run piece, Each student design their own piece which would later become a large marble run on our classroom wall.

3. Simple machines, learners thought carefully about what pathways in their brains might look like if depicted by a range of interacting simple machines.


Building
We had three activities I would call building. These were all very different from each other.

1. Creating ramps for car. This was a very open task and different group made very different things. They explored how different slopes could change the speed of the car.

2. iPad building task. These were Apps design to provide simple machines that student could put in different orders to explore how movement occurred.

3. Marble run, students used the pieces to construct their own towers and test them to see how the marble moved.

Movement, well there was movement in all our activities. In the art activities through learners hand and arms. In the building tasks moving around to find the material and creating with them. The last task was design to be a movement task.

1. Ten Pin bowling, students engaged in ten pin bowling aiming to use their bodies to throw the ball and hit the pins. It was great to see lots of creative thinking about the best way to bowl the ball.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Coding Fun and Frustration

This year I wanted to take on coding as one of the tool and a lenses that I used to address the issue of Mathematical reasoning and language that my learners were facing. In term one I looked at coding 'theory' with my kids. I did this through using the CS unplugged tasks and adapting them for Explain Everything on students iPads.

This term we have begun using scratch and first thing I noticed was the problem solving. Student in my class knew what they wanted to happen but they found that when they pressed run what they had coded was not what they expected. This lead to a lot of great questions and talk in my classroom as learner drew on the skills of others or tackled the problem on their own.

Well there was a lot of talk reflecting back I am skill concerned about the quality of the talk. I think for my next lesson on coding I want to draw on some of the ideas Dr Jannie van Hees shared with us and scaffold specific vocabulary which we will continue to build in our cries for help and frustration as we solve our coding challenges.

Assessment of and for learning

Thank you very much to the wonderful Angela Moala who shared with me her response to what Dr Aaron Wilsons shared with us last week. This is my response and I am very grateful for Angela's suggestion and structure which has really helped me to clarify my ideas in response to the importance of assessment in inquiry.