Friday, 26 August 2016

Manaiakalani Outreach

Manaiakalani is more than just us!

There are many outreach clusters that follow the Manaiakalani pedagogy throughout New Zealand.

The outreach cluster provide us the a wider network of people facing the same challenges, ideas and pedagogy. There are 5 outreach clusters with the outreach there are 50+ school 10,000+ learners and a huge community of whaunu.

These clusters knew they wanted to be involved they just wanted A Recipe to do this....
They see these as the Outreach actions outlined at joining Manaiakalani outreach. The Manaiakalani outreach PLD the support people and the resource they provide to the schools and clusters over there three year PLD. They also look to the Manaiakalani website and the Manaiakalani schools what are the schools and the teachers doing, exploring the learners blogs and professional blogs.

In the outreach the first year is about having pilot teacher who are excited volunteers who want to try new things. In year two all teachers move into a 1:1 environment and learn from the things learnt in the pilot. Year 3 is a time to continue growing and help new teachers to gain the skills they need.

There is also a blog that is used to collect examples of effective teaching that outreach clusters can explore. Check it out Sharing the Hook.

It is exciting that these communities are out there and I look forward to connecting more with them more.

Have a core purpose that is shared draws us together.

The Holiday Blogging Program

Rachel Williamson is a researcher with the Wolf Fisher research centre, she leads the summer learning journey to engage learners in continuing learning over the holiday period.

The Summer learning journey runs over two year. At this stage two pilots have been run, the summer and winter learning journey programs.

A key part of these programs was that learners received comments from Rachel as well as in the summer learning journey they also received comments from learners in the countries they were studying.  At the end of January there were over 600 post and comments. Learner who engaged in the program saw a much smaller drop in writing scores compared to the a match sample who did not take part.

The Winter learning journey saw more learners from more schools engaging over the holiday period. In this journey the total activity blog posts and comments of 2651.

Rachel shared her excitement and enjoyment in engaging with this program. Learners who join in were celebrated received certificates, badges on their blogs and the top bloggers from each school received prizes.

What next:
Rachel wants to get into every school and class to build relationships with the children.
Giving learners choose in the programs, they have shown that they enjoy rating thing and sharing their option.
Who to we engage more people in commenting and engaging with learners.
How can we make sure there is access and learners who don't have devices at home they can use the library.

Next summer holiday, Summer learning Journey 2.0 is coming. It will have a similar topic of travel and culture. Learners will again be connected with Rachel this time over 4 weeks. Rachel, to University students as well as past summer learning blogs will engage in commenting.

Innovative Teacher at the Manaiakalani Hui

The Spark Manaiakalani Innovative Teachers are teachers who are focusing on in-depth innovative inquiries  aiming to engage learners and community in learning.

They are using one idea to spark more and more ideas that lead to change. 

Meet the Teacher and explore their inquiry focuses...


Is a Pt England Teacher who teachers ICT to learners of all ages. Her inquiry is focused on Extension Learners who are learners identified as achieving above that of their peers. She identified that these learners were not achieve as well as they could in writing. She is using film with these learners to gain more depth in their writing. She used short films to support learners to develop knowledge of Character setting and plot. One of the things she noticed was that learners struggled with the structure of a narrative.

Here is a link to Sandy's blog so you can see more about her innovative inquiry.


Is a Biology teacher at Tamaki College. She is noticing that year 13 learners are not achieving the grades needed to get into university.
She found last year that when she provided all resources learners found this overwhelming.
Nicola's inquiry is focusing on making her planning visible to the learners. She uses Solo taxonomy in her planning which allows her to plan to extend learners thinking. She want all learners to have the ability and desire to catch up using planning and blog posts for other learners.

To see what else Nicola is doing check out her blog.


Found that the learners in her class felt that they couldn't write and had no reason to do so. Her aim was to help learners to gain an audience that mattered to the learners, their family.
She started by giving learner family access to the blog by sending home a bookmark. Some family did comment but this stopped quickly and didn't motivate learner to write more.
She then provided the learners family with a more detailed poster about how to comment and a link again. Then she implemented a challenge for learners to get the most comments making them encouraged the their family to comment. This has changed the attitude of the learner who now want to write and enjoy.

Check out Karen's blog and you may want to provide some comments for her learners.


This inquiry is around the boys not achieving in writing. When Matt asked the boys what they needed they said peace and quiet he provided headphones which learners use when they need them. He also used timers to break the writing in to parts and put on the pressure a bit. He also thought about the SHARE part of our pedagogy, stating that the way we share writing can be boring so he found way to share that are different.

To see what else Matt is doing check out his blog.


Is focusing on partnering with learners and their family to strength the CyberSmart curriculum. She found the learners in year 8 had forgotten most of the key points in CyberSmart. So learners needed ownership so they felt connected to these ideas. When learners had an understand they had created they decided to share this through movies so their families and community could connect with these ideas as well. This class decided what was important to share from the CyberSmart curriculum, these videos also help new learner to catch up on the skills they need.

To see what else Maryanne is doing check out her blog.


This focusing on rising read achievement using the digital affordances. She is engaging family through a family blog that supports family to understand the benefits using their chromebooks at home. They also had a Hui for learners to share more with their family. Student ownership has increased when learners can take up their devices, sharing for home and engaging with reading.

To see what else Jackie is doing check out her blog.

Cognitive and social skills

Wolf Fisher are not only looking at solely the academic needs of the learners to considering the develop of learners cognitive and social skills.

Consider if you will how we develop these skills?
The cognitive skills of critical literacy, argumentation and so on.
The social skills, such as self control, consider other perspective, communication and so on.

It was suggest that these skills can and have been mapped to achievement.

These skills can be taught in a specific outside of context program or within an authentic task, this may look like reflective prompts and school values that learners are taught to use and value.

These prompts might be:
Why do you think your friend thinks that way?
How can you judge the best evidence?
What can you do to make sure you don't get distracted?

There is evidence that these skill develop over time and online communication can support this.

Argumentation and taking a point of view is one key way to develop learners critical thinking and empathy.

A recent piece of research asked learners to take a position an article about the Taylor Swift coming to NZ and what effect that this might have had on the native birds.

Here are some examples of there answers:

What was learnt is that learners arguments are more emotive than anything else. There is skill a long way to go but we can develop these skills within our classroom program.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Building a Professional Learning Network

Today at our digital immersion day we discussed how we can extend our professional learning network beyond the people we see everyday.

Why have a PLN?
Today the world is extremely connected through the internet. As educators we have the ability to connect with educations all a round the world to build knowledge and share ideas. By connecting with ours you make your own learning visible and you have people to ask when you are unsure.

The Power of Social Media
We were extremely lucky to hear from James Hopkins.

He explained his learning journey, the idea that at the start he was planning alone and as he started his journey on Twitter he gained more learning through exploring blogs and engaging in Twitter Chats. He explained that when you are tweeting you can explore who you are by finding like minded people and be challenges by those with different opinions. He also suggested that your PLN gives you critical friends, people who don't know you, your context, your kids who can be much more critical and provide the ideas you are yet to think about.

Building a PLN online gives you the opportunity to really grow through sharing!

Twitter is about sharing your pedagogy and wider thinking rather than sharing resources.

Well good professional development costs a lot of money making online connection to other educators in FREE!!

What is a Hashtag? 
A hashtag is like a label on a blog it allows you to find the Tweets about an idea. The biggest difference is that it is not just post by on one persons blog but all the Tweets from everyone who has used that Hashtag. You can try it, have a look at #EdchatNZ

Education Chats
These chats are a great way to share you ideas, refine your ideas and gain an external view on the things you keep saying. There are are lots of good people out there that you just haven't met yet.

You don't know what you don't know and if you share a spark of an idea it can build through the ideas of your PLN.

I am excited to keep Tweeting and be the best Tweetcher I can be! @MissDavisNZ

Today as part of becoming better Tweetchers the MDTA teachers took part in the MDTA Chat. This was a provocative chat considering New Pedagogies.

Taking part in this chat was a really great way to think about and express my ideas in short soundbites. It was also really interesting engaging with other peoples Tweets.

Here is a link to our Twitter discussion #MDTAchat:

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Getting creative with maths

This week I wanted to do something different for maths. Something that would really excite my learners and encourage them so share their mathematical thinking. While talking to my friend Miss Stone I decided to do an open-end problem to get my learner applying the strategies we had learnt. Miss Stone said she had just the problem so she allowed me to take her problem and adapt it for my learner.

This is the problem:
Because the problem is so open children came up with different answers and the lessons focus sifted from working out and answer to what am I doing when I am working out this answer. Learners also worked in small groups and were encouraged to discuss their thinking throughout the process and make decision together. It was interest that at first learners struggled to follow each others thinking but as they discussed more with each other and me talk their thinking became visible. For me as a teacher the excite and engagement of all learner made this a really successful lesson.

From there working I asked each learner to create a sketch its of their thinking so that their process is not just visible to them but to others on their blogs. I introduced this by showing them an example I had created and together we talk through my process.

I also outlined the requirement of a sketchnote that:
- it uses to containers to spectate information
-it uses arrows to link ideas ( show the process)
- it uses words, numbers and picture to show the thinking.
The. I provided learners with a google draw template that had containers and arrows around the outsides for them to copy and use.

It is interesting that one teacher commented to me that the learner were so excited and engaged they didn't even think it was math. I think this is because they were making their thinking visible. They weren't just sharing maths they were sharing their though process.

Please check out their blogs and leave a comment on their finished work.

More blogs links will be added as they are complete.

Inquiry: What am I doing differently

My Inquiry has really made me think about my actions as a teacher.
What I have been doing for my struggling readers:
-We have been discussing what a good reader does. Moving  into term 3 I don't need to remind my learners of these ideas every time.
- I have been modelling fluency, I have moved to doing this in the group rather that in the follow up as learners were not using this.
-I continue to write up words on the board and have in-depth discussion around these words to develop a deeper understanding.

As I continue to think about my group, their needs and my actions, I have developed my next steps for my teaching and my learner.
So what next:
- I will  support the  learners to develop a deeper understand word ending, what they mean and the importance of reading the whole word. I will do this through  writing up words, playing word games and adding word ending to the follow up.
- I will give learners high frequency words to practice and use to to support their reading.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Using GarageBand

Today we were extremely lucky to have Rob come and support us in learning how to use GarageBand effectively to create voice clips and Music. This is an important skill especially as the Manaiakalani Film Festival coming up next term and this is the term for filming.

GarageBand can be used for something as simple as recording yourself reading a book or as complexed as making a movie or music track.

The Basics

When you open GarageBand you version 10 you will come to this page. There are a lot of options. We choose Empty Script, by choosing this option you can create different type of audio files depending on your needs.

Selecting the type of project.
Today we choose audio for recording and this worked for both recording simple audio and making movie tracks.

Once you have selected audio click create.

Getting the audio right:
When recording in GarageBand it is important to use an external microphone if at all possible. Different microphones have different levels of sensitivity.

You will need to go into preferences and choose that microphone that you are using then test it. If it is not working close the project by selecting the project then pressing delete. Then the microphone should show up.

When recording you want the sound bar to be in the the yellow or green, not the red.

For recording simple audio like reading a book or instruction for learners. Simply press the record button and read or talk. If you make a mistake it is not the end of the world as you can edit it out.

Editing audio:
To cut bit out of your audio move the playhead (the arrow with a line) to where you want to cut. Then Press command T or go to edit and click spilt regions at playhead. Do this at both sides of the mistake then delete this select. You will then have a gap you can drag your audio over the fill the gap. You can zoom in and out to see your audio better by using two fingers to pinch on the Macs trackpad.
Editing the sound
You can get to this by pressing B. Here you can add reverb and ambience to add some brightness or depth you can adjust the low, mid and high to level out the voice. 

You can also add automatic effects by going to voice on the side and select the type of voice you want:

Different voice effects change the whole voice track and could be used for different reasons. There are some very funny voices in there including a Robot under experimental.

Creating a music track:
In GarageBand you can import your movie so that you can watch it and match your backing music to your movie.
You do this by going to track and show movie track.

Then click on movie, open movie and selecting a movie that is on your Mac.

Create a sound Track for your movie:

Press the loop button in the top right corner. You can then choose instruments and select from the many pre-made tracks. You can layer these tracks to create your own sound and the best part is you don't have to be an amazing musician to create a your own sound track.

Mix down Process
This is went you mix the different musical tracks down to create on song. It is about changing the level of the different sound to make different parts the main focus.

Connecting Movie and Audio

File movie,  Export audio to movie.

Film Festival Tips:
When choosing the volume for your music in your movie think about what audio is most important. Is it the Music or the Talking. Then make sure that audio is match support the most important part. Make your music volume is low enough that you can clearly hear the voices.

When you are creating voice overs for your movie set the mic up and then move the children not the mic. Make sure little hands are not touching the mic during recording as this will effect sound quality.

Check your Camera setting, record audio in mono.

Being well prepared for filming and recording will make your movie the very best it can be!!!

Enjoy using GarageBand to create your sound.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Sharing learning and creating infographics

Today we had the opportunity to meet up with other teacher from around the cluster and think, talk and share the importance of sharing in our school, classes and professional development. We explored the importance of blogging to our learner. Below is an infographic that I created to show the data from my blog. 

I created this infographic in Canva which is a web based program that provides templates and examples. For my in my own classroom I would probably use google draw as the learner are familiar with it and it would be an easier starting place for them. Using Canva was a create experience I can see how infographics can make learning visible and ideas easy to explore in seconds. 

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Toolkit Digital Modelling books

Manaiakalani runs toolkits to support teachers to gain digital skill from other teachers with the cluster. After all our wonderful learning at MDTA it was time for me and Hannah to share with other teachers. We ran our toolkit of Digital modelling books and it went really well.