Monday, 29 February 2016

Collaborative teaching - What it means to me.

Collaborative teaching for me is like an orchestra.

Instruments on their own are fine but put together they can make something amazing.

Over the last four weeks co-teach Helen and Zac I have learnt so much. I have learnt that some times we get out of tune or loose our place when reading the music of the the classroom. But other times we are in perfect harmony. If one of us is struggle to read the music of the classroom the others will help them.

Collaborative teaching is not one piece of music played over and over. It is ever changing. Our relationships with each other are changing as is the way we teach. In one moment we may be teaching as three teachers co-teaching a lesson. In other moments we may each be taking a workshops with different groups. Sometime we may even play a supporting role as one person leads the teaching.

We are still a new orchestra, still working out the timing and the tune but we are working together to do this. We have been working together for four weeks now which isn't a very long time when you really think about it. But we are  learning  together from each other as well as along side each other.

Just as an orchestra give you access to more music the just one instrument, Teaching collaboratively gives the children More experiences, More Knowledge, More opportunity, More teacher time (which causes more accelerations) and Most importantly More Love. 

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Google Certified Educator Level 1 Exam

On Friday the MDTA BTs sat the Google Certified Educator Level 1 Exam. Well this was a test I felt that I learnt a lot from the experience. I gave me a lot of ideas about the skills I still need to work on. BUT I PASSED....

Friday, 26 February 2016

Reading Follow up

One of the big questions I started the year with was How do I engage the top readers in my class in meaningful follow up activities?

Having this in mind I started these groups with a learning focus of linking books to personal experiences. Last week these groups read the article Just one wheel, this article is all about children unicycling. After the children had read this article and answered some questions about the text I challenged them to have a go. So during one of our reading sessions we went outside and used what we had learnt from the text and videos we had watch to give unicycling a go.

It was awesome watching the children enjoying unicycling. It was Interesting watching them make connections to the text as they attempted unicycling. One thing I noticed was that none of the children attempted to let go of the fence. I wonder if this was because the article said well you are learning hold the fence.

I also gave unicycling a go check out my video. As you can see I let go of the fence.....

And fell off the unicycle.

Once they had given unicycling a go I asked them to video a reflection of the experience. They were given specific questions to answer. This proved to be more of a challenge for some students then others.

Have a look at the awesome video reflections from these amazing learners.


Great work amazing learners.

Critical Thinking

This week at our MDTA digital immersion we discussed critical thinking. It is important that we as teachers push our learners to think critically and examine what is not yet possible. We worked in groups to come up with ideas for using critical literacy with our learners.

Here are the ideas my group came up with....

Monday, 22 February 2016

Supporting Creativity

PENN Video

It is amazing what children can create when they are inspired and supported. Last week some of the children from my class were involved in creating our first PENN (Pt England News Network) movie. To scaffold the creation of the movie I showed the children the Easy Love video and then instructed them that they were to work in groups to create a short dance.

I wanted the children to have ownership over what they created so I did not give them moves but simply instructed them to take what they saw in the video and their own knowledge of dance and work together to create their own dance. I checked in with them regularly, helping to set goals for the creation of their dance, encouraging them and giving them a few pointers. By doing this it allowed the children to have ownership what they created and create something they were proud of.

It is amazing what children can do with positive support, encouragement and opportunities to create. I am so proud. Well done Easy Love Stars.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Digital Immersion- Day 2

To begin our second digital immersion day Dorothy Burt explain the history of Manaiakalani. It was inspiring to hear how people had come together over many year with a goal of raising achieved of children. 

This week during our MDTA digital immersion day we looked at Google Sheets and Google form. We discussed the uses of these Google tools for us as teacher as well as for our learners.

Below are some useful link for learning about using Google Sheets.

Thank you to all the amazing people who created these site and video and made them visible so that we can learn from them. 
Google sheets are a great tool analysing data, creating timetables and planning. 

Google forms are also an extremely useful and fun way to engage student and collect information. 
Google forms can be used for Tests, collecting information and much more. 
Here is a video that explains how to use the newest version of Google form

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Using Google Docs

Today in our MDTA digital immersion session we learnt about Google Docs. While we all had a good understanding of Google Docs already the reminders and new skills helped us to thinking about what our learners need to know when using Docs.

Using Google Docs is an important part of working in a 1:1 digital environment in a GAFE (Google Apps for Education) school but it is important to teacher children good practices when they use Google Docs  and Drive as their school books.

When using Google Docs for learning it is important that students can easily access their learning. One way this can be done by adding a link to your class website. We do this by adding a link to the drive icon on slide on our group pages.

Note this side does not have links to view slide with link go to our class website.

Once the learners have opened the link they will need to go to File at the top of the page and made a copy. Then they will need to rename the copy by taking away the words 'copy of' and replace with their own name or initials (as decided by their teacher).

Once learners have made a copy they should file it in there drive by selecting the grey file at the top of the Doc and choosing the correct file. Learners may have subject files or another filing system but it is good make it a habit to file work before you start writing on it.

More of my learning about Google Docs can be fold by opening my Doc that is a record of the skills I have learnt. Click here to view my Google Doc

If Google Docs does not have the function you need there might be an add-on you can use. For a few awesome add-ons check out this slide presentation created by the MDTA BTs. Add-Ons

Friday, 12 February 2016

Digital Immersion- Day 1 Refection

This image represents some of my learning from the amazing MDTA (Manaiakalani Digital Teacher Academy) Day today.

Today I have learnt more about the school community and the digital environment in which our children learn.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

My First Week

Over the three years I spent training to be a teacher, during many lectures and on every practicum I imagined what my first week in my own class would be like. I imagined the classroom displays I would make, the children sitting on the mat and I planned in my head how a reading rotation might look. My first week was so much better than I had hoped. I could never have imagined working along side such amazing teachers. I could never have imagined the smiles on the faces on the over fifty children. My first week was wonderful, I had great support and a class full of Superheroes. I can't wait for the rest of the year.