Thursday, 17 October 2019

It's time to evaluate, What do I do?

Today we are talking about the evaluation process of our inquiry and the intervention we have put in place. Thanks to Woolf Fisher for sharing these key ideas with us and I hope they will help you also.
                                        
In order to do this we need to look back at the data we collected before the invention. Having robust data before implementing and intervention.

By looking at this data you can identify change or shift of the learners. Then make a link to the changes you made in your teaching. This however is not enough, we need to make comparisons with the norm or other data sets (this could be another class, last years year 3, children not in the inquiry group). Children get better under normal teaching conditions so comparing to other data sets can show significant shift.


This table shows a way of showing pre and post data. This could be done for both data sets and allow for great comparison. 

When looking at number you can easily compare these however not all evidence is data. 

When looking at qualitative data you still need to provide rich data with lots of detail. 

talk about the what in detail, how do you know they were disengaged, struggled to spell etc. Why is it the biggest success. 


What has shifted and why.


I have been asking myself a lot this term what has been the impact of my teaching? Have I really made a difference for these learners and how do I know?

This lead me to think back about the shifts I have been monitoring this year and the interventions I have put in place for my learners. 

Below is a presentation that shows writing samples from one learner over 3 time points. It looks at what shift was made in terms of number of words, working out unknown words, content and punctuation. If you look through the presentation you will see that this learner has made a great deal of shift in these areas. 


I included this example as the main way I monitor writing shift is through conferencing with the learners and looking closely at their writing looks. 

Below is the reading shift for my class from term 4 2018 to term 3. The blue shows the starting point by number of students at each PM reading level and the red the number of students at each level in term 3.  You can see we have had a large number of students shift however shifts have not been as significant as I would have liked. 



This data shows level and age shift of my target learners. Many of whom have moved a number of levels but this has not meant a large shift in reading age. 



During this reflection I have found that the interventions I have put in place have been beneficial for the learners however they have not been constant enough. This is due to time spent out of class with my CoL Across School Role and the changes that have happened in my space with year with changing co-teachers. 

Monday, 23 September 2019

Inquiry update term 3

This term I have continue with write the little words this term a long with a focus on writing together. Trying to balance the I write, we write, you write in my classroom. I do not believe I have this balance right yet and hope that I will be the end of next term.

During this,  I have noticed that modelling the experiences before the children do it helps to build the vocabulary for them. I did this in my chocolate fish writing and the quality of language used by the learners increased considerably. 

I have also noticed an increase across the class of excitement about writing and want to write. With learner say “when can we do writing”, “Can I finish my writing now instead of playing a game” and “I love writing.” 

I have also noticed the connections with reading. The learners who are excited about writing are also making good progress in reading. One learner has moved from level 12 to level 19 this year and her engagement in reading and writing has increased also. 


Thursday, 22 August 2019

Across schools Col teacher Role

What do people want?
Supporting with Cybersmart Kawa of care 
I have worked with a number of teachers and classes using iPads for the first time. This has involved modelling lesson or supporting lesson around the the skills they will use everyday in explain everything. 

In one lesson we used the skills of taking a photo, cropping, duplicating, moving and locking to to build a Castle. 

 

See this blog post for more.  

Support with creation of class sites
I am privileged to work with Dorothy Burt, Fiona Grant and many others over my time teaching. Due to this I have a good understanding of the elements of class sites and how to make them appealing for learners. I have worked with a number of teachers to help them develop their class site and discuss the content they create for their learners. 

Creating with iPads
Getting started with animating 
This animation was created by a child in my class. I have used examples from the children in my class and modelled in classroom and supported teachers in 1-1 iPad classrooms. I this has helped to to enhance their use of iPads for creation.

Getting started with coding
I have also worked with teachers to impanelment the digital technologies curriculum. This has focused on using Scratch junior and the directions used.
I also have this Manaiakalani Google Class Onair lesson to support others wanting to use scratch junior. 


Blogging App
Many people have come together to create the Manaiakalani Blogging App. This App makes sharing simple and straight forward for our year 1-3 learners working on iPads. See this blog post for how to use the App. See Fiona's Blog for the journey of the blogger app. 

Inquiry Conversations
I have worked with a number of the CoL within school teachers and other teachers having discussions about their inquiries. I have also visited classes to see their inquiries in actions and provide questions, ideas and support wherever I can to help them.

Opening up my classroom to others
I have also welcomed many people into my classroom both physically and digital through (Manaiakalani Google Class Onair) to share my practice and discuss what I do in my classroom.


I'm here to help please book me using this form, leave a comment or email: ccarruthers@ptengland.school.nz


What works? (for me in my context)

We have been thinking a lot about what works and how we can make accelerated shift the way we do in writing in all three subjects.

Reading 
Over past two years teaching I have seen some good shift in reading. 

What have I done to make this shift:
Milage: Children had 3+ book a week which they were expected to reread multiple times to get millage. 
Fluency: Children were prompted and provided time while working on millage to build fluency. During guided reading fluency was an expectation. See 2016-2017 inquiry for why this help and was important. 
Carefully planned follow up: Children engaged in level and interest specific follow up activities. Activities prompt rereading, personal reflection, finding of specific information from the text. Here are a few examples:

This activity focused on finding key ideas in the text. Students had to make choices about sports that they wanted to learn more about: Level 26           

Focus on prepositions and using them in sentences. This was a huge part of the text and then students had to apply their knowledge: Level 17          

Focus on retelling, finding answers in the text: Level 10        

Maths 
What has worked for me in Maths:

Purposeful use of mathematical vocabulary, in the writing of problems, in the discussion with children, in the activities and around the classroom. See 2018 inquiry. 

Monday, 19 August 2019

Inquiry Update term 3

10: Describe how you will collect information about the implementation of your changed practices/intervention (so it is clear what you doing differently)

11: Describe how you will keep a record of each of the above in a manageable way

When I started my inquiry my question was will the use of more rewindable teacher and learning in literacy lift student achievement and support improved teacher practice? What I have come to realise is that this question is huge and that perhaps rewindable is not the biggest change I need to make in my teaching. I realised this as the students became reliant on the rewindable resources. As such I have adjusted my inquiry question will gifting language and targeting specific area lift achievement student achievement in literacy.


What am I doing differently in my classroom?
-I have had focus blocks on setting and characters
-Used gifting EE to support writing


What new changes I am going to start
-Building sight word automaticity through writing warm up
-A focus on modelling, guided and shared writing.





How will I measure and monitored changes in my teaching?
I have begun pull a group of learner to do a writing sample, dictation and automaticity test. I will do this very 5 weeks and monitor changes. I will also ask learners about their feelings towards writing and monitor changes in this.


Saturday, 29 June 2019

Term 2 Inquiry Update

In Term 1 I collected and collated the achievement data for reading at writing for a sample of learners working at 1B and reading below green (reading age 6). I wanted to look at how the connection between reading and writing teaching could impact on progress for these learners. See this blog post for more details.

At the end of term 2 I tested the learners using PM running records and compared this to the data collected in term 1. What I found was that the data was very mixed however the girls have made more progress than the boys. However only 3 learners had made expected to significant shift 0.5-1 year.


You can see the raw data here.

What I also found was the learners may have not shifted in age level but had made shifts in their reading level. Two learners sadly went down in their levels and I have not yet been able to account for this.



I have also been looking at their writing and seen from written samples both in their writing books and created digitally that the volume of writing has increased.

In teachers reflective notes from myself and my co-teacher there are a number of notes that relate to learners increased focus and willingness to attempt new unknown words.

As a result of these findings it is clear that more changes need to be made. I am wondering if increased content gifting and reading to write might be the next steps in my inquiry.

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Downloading work from the class site

We have been working so hard this year and the children in rooms 19 and 20 have become experts at downloading their work from the class site.

Taisha wanted to share how we download our work so other children can do it as well.


Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Most Important hypothesis and evidence I will collect.

8. and 9. Explain the hypotheses about teaching that you decided were MOST worth testing, and why and explain how you will test it and what evidence would support (or refute) that hypothesis.
Related image
Scaffolding and Gifting
I choose this hypotheses because I felt it has the most value in terms of developing students writing and reading ability. We often talk about the power of teacher supports for students learning and I believe a close look at and changes to the way I scaffold could have a big impact on students learning. I know this because of the conversation we have had with Rebecca Jesson and Dr Jannie van Hees. By looking closely at my scaffolding I will become more critical of what I am scaffolding, why I am scaffolding and how children feel about these scaffolds.

How will I test this:
First I want to make a list of all the types of scaffolds I use, what they aim to scaffold and identify exactly what I am doing. I will also get some to come in and develop and observation tool for looking at how children are engaging with the scaffolds. I will also use a survey to ask children how they feel.

Connections between reading and writing and sight words. 
I have wanted to make connections between my reading and writing program particularly in terms of developing vocabulary. I believe this will be a good hypotheses to test because I have noticed that students engagement and excitement reading in much higher than in writing time.

How will I test this:
I will use my reflections in reading and writing to see if the ideas and links are being made. I will also video both reading and writing lesson, looking at engagement and vocabulary connections. I will also look at samples of writing and look at what sight words they are using that they learnt in reading time. I will do a sight word test on target group, reading and writing sight words.


Friday, 24 May 2019

What can I change my practice?

6. Develop a set of hypotheses about patterns in your teaching that could be changed to more effectively address the student learning focus.

Reflecting back on my teaching practice I have asked myself many questions. In this post I have been quite critical of myself. I believe that this will help me develop.

Hypothese:

Scaffolding: 
Am I under scaffolding, how much scaffolding is right? I have read a lot and had a lot of professional conversations about scaffolding. I have also been thinking a lot about this and I often think I limit scaffolding sometime because I value independence particularly in writing. So How much scaffolding is right?


Gifting: 
Am I gifting the right amount and how much should I be gifting? This links to my pervious idea and this blog post. I currently do quite a lot of gifting. I do it in dictation, word walls, examples and shared writing. I do wonder though how much is too much and what should I gift. I have some writers for whom even simple words are challenging how much do I gift and how much do I expect them to try on their own?


Connections between reading and Writing: 
Am I helping students to see the connections between reading and writing? I have seen more shift in reading than in writing, at this early stage in the year. It leads me to wonder am I making enough of a connection between reading and writing.

Sight words: 
Am I supporting sight word development in my classroom in both reading and writingCurrently sight word practice happens mostly in reading and focuses on the reading of sight words. Would linking this more to writing, through speed sight word writing games, dictation and word work support writing speed and increasing independent writing ability? How would I make this fun and different?

Rewindable:
Am I providing enough opportunities for children to rewind and revisit their learning? 
Well we capture a lot of the learning and ideas we share. I have noticed that I am not providing the time I think learner need to revisit this themselves. We often revisit as a group but how to I empower students to take responsibility for finding what they need when they need it.

Feedback: 
Can I development better feedback loops, teacher to student and student to student? 
We have a system of feedback that is very teacher to student. This limits the amount of feedback they get. How can I expand this feedback?

Student choice:
How can I cater for student choice and student voice when children need a lot of scaffolding and gifting to write? The thing I have really noticed is that many of the children in my class who struggle to write have great ideas they can share orally and even record but when they come to write them they freeze because they can't spell it, or they struggle to get the words onto the paper. I have found gifting and dictations work well for them but this limits their creative voice. So how do I cater for their individual stories and gift for their individual stories when they are all different and there are over 30 of them?

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Process of developing hypotheses

7. Describe your process for developing hypotheses (what you read, who you talked with).
Image result for developing ideas

Professional conversations:
Rebecca Jesson, Looked at writing samples with me and we discussed what data I could collect next and how to look at the closer break down of writing sample data.
Russell Burt, Discuss how ideas could develop and what value they might have for others.
Christine Eadie, Constantly discussing the children's writing and reading data and observations that we make.
Team conversations: In our team we have noticed treads and have been talking about these and what we can do.


Blogs I have connected with:
CoL within school teachers,
Naomi, has a similar inquiry focus to me and looking at her ideas has helped me form questions and develop my thinking.
Angela, Her 2018 inquiry looked at vocabulary and using Dr Jannie Van Hees strategies and this has helped me thinking.
Helen, Is doing a lot with sound and word knowledge to fill gaps.

Research
Jannie's Book: What every primary school teacher should know about vocabulary
Effective literacy Practices years 1-4
Colleen Hayes: The Effects of Sight Word Instruction on Students'Reading Abilities

Friday, 3 May 2019

Preliminary Findings

4. Describe the tools/measures/approaches you plan to use to get a more detailed and accurate profile of students’ learning in relation to that challenge. Justify why you chose these approaches and tools.

Data collection process:
I want to focus this year to be on the academic has much as possible for this reason the main for this is that in the past I have used more anecdotal evidence than academic and standardised data. I wanted to pull out and go deep into the data and really be aware of the areas in which, I need to change my practice. 

I also want to conduct a student voice survey to collect how the students feel about their own reading and writing and look at how this matches with the academic data. I will also be using video and observation evidence to support my understanding of my own practice. I want to do this before the end of term 2. I understand that this is later than ideal however with my schedule being in the class 3 days a week. 


5. Begin to collect evidence and data  and come to the next session ready to share your preliminary findings about the nature and extent of the student challenge i.e. using your baseline student data and evidence. (WFRC #4)

I have been thinking a lot about what the data tells me about the learners and writing in my classroom. I looked closely at the asTTle writing breaking it down by each area and the learners in Dec 2018 and Feb 2019. What I found interesting in that within my target group many had made small improvements from Dec to Feb. I also found averages to identify areas what might make the most change. I also wanted to identify areas of strength and find areas we can build from. 

What I noticed was the areas of most need are ideas, organisation and spelling. I believed based on looking closely at the pieces of writing that part of this is due to length of their writing. 





I also looked at the students reading levels and how this connected and reflects their writing. I looked at the data from the end of 2018. Their levels have changed since then and I will publish this after testing this term. What I found interesting is the difference between Star Data and reading ages. What does this suggest? I also found that these students all read at a similar level.



I still have a lot of data to look closely at and collect. I will be adding to this post with observation data and student voice data that I am still working on presenting and collecting. 

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Sticky learning with Hyperdocs Lisa Highfill


Often as teachers we see a resource, for example a HyperDocs and see it is invaluable. We must remember every resource is design for a purpose in a place and we must be reflective on how it can be valuable to our context and learners and be designer who draw on others practice. 

First we looked at three example HyerDoc lessons and I found that these are very similar to what I already do in the classroom just adjusted for my level. She said what makes a good HyperDoc is the for c, connect, collaboration, critical thinking and create.  She talked about getting children to explore before they explain. 


We want to bring about emotion and empathy. "Can you make a difference in someones life?" How will you go out in the world and make a difference. 

When you are leaping into something new. Don't do it too often or children get bored. She suggested that you do one Hyperdoc a term. It is about what is the thing that makes learning stick. 

A Hyperdoc is not a teacher! The teachers is moving, engaging students and providing scaffolding. 
This is a maths lesson gave me ideas for how to get the children doing DMIC and Evaluating each others ideas. 

It is about building in the support from the teachers in the design of the lesson plan. We can constantly be think about how we support the children we teach in our lesson design and digital scaffolding. 

We must always be a reflective teacher, keep what you love and adjust the rest to be what your children need. 

Lisa, talked to us about her youtube. She shares lots of video that provide opportunities to explore big ideas with children. 

Auckland Summit-playground

It is day two of the Auckland Summit and we are kicking it off with a playground session in this session we get to go to 3 different 15min mini workshops to learn about all kinds of things.

The first session I went to was called supersize your literacy with Google by Toni Westcott. She talked about how getting children working on together on a shared slideshows in which they all wrote on. This meant they could be more collaborative and kids could draw on each other ideas. She shared a lot of examples using this link.

She describe how the children worked in peers to create word walls. She talked about examples of pick a paths. Mixed groups for reading to foster engagement with the students letting them choose the text they are interested in and the skills they felt they wanted to learn. 

Session 2, the amazing earth race, this session talked about an integrated unit in which the student rolled a dice 4 times and had to use these dice rolls to locate the places they went to. For each location they had to find the place to sleep that was safe, visit a major attraction, and learn about the place and the language. They had to locate travel times, keep a budget, write a postcard back home. They had to plan their own time to make sure they achieved their trip. 


She also showed us the Hemingway app. This is a good editing tool that highlights parts of the text to think of. 


Finally I built a tower with LEGO. It was a trying experience and reminding me how often things fall apart and you have to fix them over and over and over :( but it is an important skill and something I very well might do with my kids early next term. 

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Auckland Summit Ignite Closing Session

Day one of the summit is coming to a close and we are all excited for the Ignite talk.


Dreams Hopes Beliefs Wishes


Suan talked about life lessons from breaking his arm, playing netball. He talked about how his related to these ideas and how this led him to set goals. Some things take time to recover from and he talked about being the best version of himself.

Image result for time the the person of the year is you


Teaching computational thinking & Coding with scratch Anthony Speranza

Anthony Speranza, talked about the value of scratch for teaching children to code. It allows children to create code and not be caught out by HTML which will not work with one tiny error. 

We want to engage learners is productive learning that they love. 

Can we design learning that links to the key ideas Projects, with their peers, the inspire passion and play. 


This video is so powerful. It gets you thinking about how children use technology are they being consumers of content or creator to content.

When we think about our own digital technologies curriculum it talks about getting children to think computationally and really getting kids to understand how games work.

Scratch 3.0 no longer requires flash plug in so it can be used on iPad. Yay I have been waiting so long for this. This version has been update with a slightly different look it has tutorial that you can use.

By giving children an open ended problem and asking them to design and think more about it. What does my program need to be effective.

It was nice playing with scratch and seeing how much more the children can do now the scratch 3.0 is out!! Yay! Perfect timing for our inquiry topic next term.

If you have not explored CSFirst now might be the time. CSFirst is designed so that you as a teacher have a full lesson plan with videos so you can learn about teaching scratch while the learners jump straight in.


Scratch can also be integrated with Makey Makey, they plug into a usb and it think it is a key board. This can be used to create paper circuits to play music.  




Presenting Sites 101

Danni and I had our first presentation of the summit today. We had a very small group and the conversation and discussion about Google sites, blogging and pedagogy were fantastic. Thank you to all the people who were involved in this session. 

Digital Storytelling with Fiona Thomas

I choose this session today because my focus of my inquiry this year is writing and engaging children in writing. 

I am excited to get going and try some new ways of engaging with story tell that may motivate my wonderful learner to push them more. We want our children to be creators not just consumers of  content. We want to encourage learners to use their skills to create and be a positive member of a group. 

Writing can be one of the most challenge task for students to undertake and we want to push students to the point that they have the skills to write for a lot of different purposes. We want children to have multiple options for expressing ideas and learning the structure and idea creation of story writing.


We want children to have access, the ability to express themselves and engage with the learning. This is where students feel empowered. 

Who do I want to focus on:

We want children to start their stories by grabbing their readers attention. She talked about this as being a sizzling start. This came from a writing process model they used. 

We looked at this picture then had to write our own start. 

Disasters has struck! I was all ready running late for work when I released that my hair drier was broken. Not broken in the normal way where it wouldn't work but in the way where it created a wind storm. 

"Sitting in my field all day is boring," Said Poppy. She was the only daisy in the field who had any clue about the world. Yes she knew that the daisy being called Poppy was silly but that just shows how clueless her parents were. 

"What are you?" asked the little girl as she pulled me from my home. I felt violated so my reply was short, "A fuzzle!" I yelled.  

After a hard day in the classroom what else am I meant to do. I had been working so hard on my diet but all the running, jumping and crawling of our maze had made me do it. 

Technology should add value to learning. 

This tool was not at all my favourite. It closes if you stop writing. 


This is a fun looking tool in which you can create fake text message conversations to show conversations between characters or to and author. Best for higher up the primary and secondary. 
This is a tool that gives you picture to match your picture. 

You can create a class with a topic pack for everyone to have a go with. You can create your own cartoon you and create a class photo. 

I have seen some amazing ThingLink. This is a great tool for creating amazing picture that share information. You can create links to more content from one image. 


This is a comic creator that allows you to create comic of all kinds. 

EdTech Auckland: Keynote Time to Wonder

Today is the first day of the Edtechteam Create summit in Auckland. We all packed into the hall at Aorere College.
Image result for edtechteam created summit auckland

First up in the Keynote presentation Time to Wonder from Lisa Highfill, is the co-author of the hyper-docs handbook.

Lisa is a year 5 teachers and educational coach. She is wanted to talk to us about learning. She said she has been watching kids with the eyes of a scientist learning what made the kids tick. Her science ideas came from her dad who was an inventor.

She talked about all the things her dad 'invented' and how all the things he came up with someone else had already invented. It was because this that she started collecting all her good ideas in note book then in a Google sheet that populated by texting them to herself.

There is a fear of putting good ideas out there. There may be no new ideas but the value of an idea is putting it out there and sharing it.

We watched this video and discussed what learning we saw....


Here is what we thought: 

We want all the children in our classroom to be rubber band babies and we want to be rubber band babies also. Learners who are excited, curious and explore new content and most of all create new content. 

Is the question we need to ask about content is "What do you wonder?" How do you get to the point when kids can wonder. We have to help children build knowledge that helps them to ask questions. 
For example provide a rich multimodal that makes kids dive into ideas and learn. This is the site Lisa share when she was learning about Avalanche.  

She talked about gifting children multimodal text sets to get children asking questions, wondering and move away from all asking for answers, because learning is so much more than that. 

A Question can take you anywhere:


All she has said links back to what we have been talking about for sometime in Maniakalani the idea of multimodal learning and getting kids thinking about content.

Often our kids ask closed questions where the answers don't build new knowledge, so it was important to get kids asking open questions that will get kids learning new things. We want learning to be dynamic and to empower children be learners and be excited. She explained the hyperdocs are live documents that are always changing.

We want children to have option when they create. I liked the way she had videos of how to use the different creative tools that encourage children to make choices and try knew things. She encouraged us to share all we create.

Let's get learners being, creative, excited, engaged, curious, passionate people!