Thursday, 28 December 2017

Writing really matters to me!

When I was at school I remember writing things and wondering why am I doing this. I would think no one wants to read my retelling off the New Zealand land wars when they can read a book written by a professional author, so what is the point.

Now that I am a teacher moments like these pop back into my mind from time to time and they made me do things differently. I am lucky and as is my class that our writing goes up in places like this. On a blog, a site or in a video that the world can see but is that purpose enough? This year I really wanted that kids to make meaningful connections with their writing.

So what was I to do. These kids had been blogging for year and well this was great they didn't see it as as meaningful as it was to those who read it. So I capitalized on what was most important to 8 year olds and we made new friends. We decided to write letters to a class in Rotorua about 3 hours drive South of us. I organised with a friend who teaches down there to buddy our kids so they could write to the same person many times.

A video we made:

Example Letter:

Dear Kate,
Kharizma left this school so I am going to write  a letter to you. My name is Kiarah, this term we have been learning about music. We have been making instruments and making music. We found out what sounds the musical notes make. Our class have been  playing recorder’s and it has been so much fun. We played these notes with the recorder's, a, b, d, c and g.

Sorry that she left. I hope you enjoyed my letter.

From Kiarah.

This was so much fun, we wrote letters, drew picture, did painting, made videos and even wrote a christmas song for our new friends and the excitement on the children's faces when they received those letters let me know that they felt this writing was purposeful and that it mattered to them!

Here is our Christmas song we wrote for our friends.
This year we have been so privileged to have had to opportunity to write to a class in Rotorua. We have really enjoyed reading their letters and writing to them about our lives. I have been wonderful seeing how different people spend their time and learning about what Room 30 are learning.

Here is a little video we made for Room 30 to thank them and wish them a Merry Christmas. 


We hope you like it Room 30!

Monday, 4 December 2017

What have I learnt-Inquiry Term 4

This year the has been a whirlwind especially term 4. Thinking about what to share this term was more challenging than most. As a result of my inquiry this year I have learnt about the importance of reading as much as possible in as many ways as possible. For next year I will be trying my best to apply what I have learnt to my new class. I believe that videoing is more effective than just voice recording.  

Friday, 1 December 2017

2 Amazing Years-MDTA Graduation

Last night was the Manakalani digital teacher academy graduation. We were lucky enough to have this wonderful event at the google offices in central Auckland. Standing there looking out over the city and reflecting back in this amazing journey I felt many things.
Firstly I felt a great sense acknowledgement, the past two years have been anything but easy. They have been fun, emotional, challenging and filled with new learning and experiences With many momentments pushing my thinking and helping me to grow. I remember walking around the cluster with the other MDTA BTs, Anne, Dorothy and Fiona and this beginning of this journey and seeing many school. Looking back I was seeing the network of people, learners and structures that would support me and that I would support as I began my teaching career.

Secondly I felt a great sense of gratitude. There is a great saying in New Zealand and it goes ‘He Tangata, He Tangata, He Tangata’ and it means it is people, it is people, it is people. While it is easy to focus on the one or two people you see at the front and centre of a program like MDTA there are so many people who make it possible and to everyone no matter their role I am so grateful that you made this program happen for me as I am the teacher I am today because of you!

Being at the graduation I felt a great sense of enjoy meeting some of the people in the background who had made this possible for me through donating time, money and knowledge to the program. Again I can not thank you all enough.

Thirdly, I learnt of the footprint of my action and that fact that even when you feel like you are trucking along alone in your class making shift and having sooo much fun many people are watching noticing and reflecting with you. They might. Be walking past your door hearing your class engaging and discussing or connecting digitally but in teaching especially in Manaiakalani you are never alone. And someone people see thing in you that you do not yet see yourself.

No matter where my life might take me, I will also be a 2016-2017 MDTA teacher and that fills be with great pride and the knowledge that I have skills and knowledge to draw as I continue to grow as a teacher.

Friday, 10 November 2017


As you will know if you have read my earlier blog post this year I have been working towards completing my dissertation in order to gain by honours degree i
n teaching. This has not been an easy journey for me particularly as the year has gone. However I am so proud of the research I have produced.


My research found that in my classroom targeted fluency teaching improved reading fluency for my learners. I also discovered some issues around self-assessment and noticed that this needs to be extremely well scaffolded.

Being both a researcher and a teacher this year has put a critical lense on my teaching and made me more reflective than ever. It is interesting to look back and thing does the outcome match the purpose and if not why. And surprisingly you often find that as you do this additional information comes to light, which then guide your future teaching.

Handing in my dissertation was a big moment for me and I am so grateful to my research supervisor Rachel for all her support and encouragement, but also to all the teachers around me who also supported me in this journey.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Dorothy Burt: Visibility Enables Accelerated Shift

"Visibility Enables Accelerated Shift"
-Woolf Fisher Research Centre

As we head towards the middle of term 4 and the film festival we are privileged to have Dorothy Burt talking to use about the Manaiakalani Kaupapa. It is important that all elements of the Manaiakalani pedagogy Learn, Create and Share are not optional if you want to create this accelerated shift they must happen together to achieve this goal. We also be connected, have ubiquitous, empowered visible learning. 

We can not cherry pick because you can't connect if it is not visible. 

What is the #1 Factor Influencing students Achievement?-Collective Teacher Efficacy!! This is based on a number of researchers including John Hattie. 

At Pt England we have a collective inquiry goal which we all approach in our own ways. By having this shared goals we provided accelerated shift for learner and support teacher practice.  

Evidence and Data provides us with opportunities to teacher better and be the ones the cause accelerated shift. 
-School Inquiry, this occurs at a school, team and teacher level. 
-External Inquiry, Woolf Fisher Research, Auckland University
-Teacher Inquiry, Teacher inquiry 

Celebrating Accelerating Shift for One Learner in 2017

I am so proud of every learner in Room 14 for all they have achieved so far this year. This is one learners amazing shift. I am so proud of her and her achievement. 

Class Site

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Term 4 Inquiry update

This year I have thought a lot about the narrow nature of my inquiry. The reason for this has been my research needed a specific focus. While my specific focus has been narrow I realised that I have been using the skills I have developed in my inquiry throughout my reading program and that these have been valuable for my learner. I am excited to link my inquiry to our music theme this term and continue to build fluency but also critical thinking and reflection. 

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Moving from skip counting to basic facts

The children were very good at counting in fives. However none of them used basic facts the first time.

They then looked at how they could work this out using 10s. 

They struggled at first to work out how many groups of ten there would be. The either used the same number 10x6=60 or continued to skip count. 

It took a bit of practice but they started to get this idea. They talked about the number of groups being halved. 

Then they did a problems like 7 lots of 5 they then made 3 groups of ten and one group of five. They repeated this with 3s making groups of 6. Then 4s. 

This is a great strategy that I don't use as much as I could. I have been aiming to get them to using timetables that I have not pushed the way they could make different groups. I think this partitional thinking is key to developing a wider sense of how to solve addition problems. The problem that we use get different types of thinking.

Later Jo talked about moving children into solid stage 5 and giving them the basic facts knowledge they need for stage 6.

When we are teaching children multiplication when need to help children generalise by knowing families of facts 1x17 is the same as 17x1=. Then they can work out the easiest ones first 1x, 10x then we start to use the knowledge we have to find unknown facts. 

Math Learning Moving from equal sharing to repeated addition

Jo did some modelling for us develop our teaching practice around moving children from equal sharing to using repeated addition.

First she ask the children to skip count in 2s, 5s, 3s. Then she ask them to identify the written form of fractions 1/2, 1/4, 1/3 and 1/10. Some of the children could identify 1/2, 1/4 and 1/3 but done could read 1/10.

She then ask the children to share some counters. She asked them to share them fairly between the monkeys. The children needed support to understand the question. She did not give them the counters. None of the children answers. So Jo asked "How could we make sure they get a fair share if I give you the counters. The child gave each five rather than equal sharing. The children said we can use our timetables.

After identify where the children were at Jo began teaching. She started with two monkeys and 8 counters. How many will each get. Children found it easier and used doubles knowledge. Followed this with adding more counters. Student were good with doubble so they moved on.

They then moved on to 3 monkeys and 12 counters. Students again used timetables and repeated addition. They then discussed what fraction they had and practiced writing fractions and learnt about the denominator telling use how many groups.

They moved on the four monkeys the children said straight away they get 1/4 because the bottom number is how many monkeys there are. 

The way Jo used word problems in the way she talked I do sometimes but perhaps I need to do this more. I also think this reinforced the need for my to continue to do fraction recognition as often as possible. Also the importance of managing children so that everyone gets thinking time. Well this is something that I try to do it does not always happen as they are so keen to share. 

Monday, 18 September 2017

Inquiry update term 3

This term I have been focussing on bring the fluency ideas we build through video modelling into our small group lessons. I have done this through modelling of small passages of the text during group sessions and getting children to read aloud and reread fluently. We have also be considering the different uses for the digital tool (screencastify) that we used for video modelling and students have been creating review video as well and screencasts of presentations to make digital stories.

The interest part for me has been how my teaching now reflects the key ideas emerging from my research.

These ideas are:

Well my inquiry has somewhat taken a back seat to the writing of my research this term. It is clear that developing the ideas of fluency is still happening in the small group setting.

The reading of our Penpal letters shows how far the class have come. Over half of my class wanted to read their letters out loud to the class and those who did read fluently and the rest of the class supported them in doing this.

Next term I want to draw on the term theme to integrate fluency. We will be doing a lot of song reading and listening and we will talk about how phrasing is achieved. My goal for next learn is to embed the fluency criteria in multiple media and transfer this into silent reading. I believe that this will increase comprehension for my class.

I will also be looking at how paired warm ups can support basic facts development in maths. This has come from the professional development that we received from Jo.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Maths Place Value

Today we are very lucky to have the wonderful Jo back with us to talk about Place Value.
Jo talked about it being important to make sure all place value learning was grounded with materials. By creating bundles of tens and grouping tens to make hundreds.

We need to make sure place value becomes our learners  friends by doing it every day.
This many look like give the kids numbers. They order the numbers, expand it, write add tens it. Say the numbers after and numbers before.
They should be provided with loads of materials in this time frame.

Remember the teaching model:
-Start with material.
-Move to imaging.
-Then to the more abstract.

Jo had some lovely helpers to show us how she would teach a lesson.
First she gave them the problem: 19+6 to see where they were at with addition. They struggled to explain their thinking.
After this she gave them some tens frames to she what their number ID was like. She did this with numbers between 1-10 and then teen numbers. They were very good at this.

Then they moved on to using counters to find 10 and numbers 9+4=13. Learners did this well.
Then they moved to imaging by putting the counters on the frames under the book. Then encourage the same thinking. 8+5 If there is 8 how many empty squares are there? They made a tidy ten. 10+3=13
Then she revised the numbers 6+9 and encouraged them to think about what number would be easiest to make a tidy ten. Children did not add to the 9 but added to the 6. Then Jo modelled adding to the 9. Then she moved into 19+6=

She encouraged a lot of pair and share times during the group lesson.

The power of imagery. We noticed in this lesson that when they were prompted to image they had more success and felt more confident.

When working with a group it is important to be able to hear and respond to the kids ideas and misconception.

Basic addition facts can be broken down into steps to learn.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Inquiry Term 3

This Term I am building on my Fluency Inquiry. Reflecting back on the Inquiry so far and thinking about how this fits into the Manaiakalani Inquiry model. Then I considers what will come next. As my Inquiry is linked with my research the new gaps and challenges I have identified in my data are now feeding into my inquiry. 

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Teaching beginning readers using prompts effectively!

Today we had the wonderful Helen Squires. Help us to develop the best ways to support our developing readers. This session really helped me to think about which prompts I use regularly and the ones that I need to start using,

Teaching children who are at the stage of learning to read.

-We often forget the importance of reading to the children. This allows for development vocabulary and children will begin to use this language in their conversation with others.

-Observational drawing can also be a great way to develop language and the skills of noticing. Does the object look the same as you picture. What can you see.

When learner are focussed on decoding. You need to orientate the learners into the focus of the text. This is a short opening focussing on the Vocabulary in the text rather than opening up the topic by discussing the topic you sum up the main bit of the story. For example the little red hen: This is a story about a hen whose friends are too lazy to help her bake a cake.

Magenta- At this level the focus is not what you say you must see, what you see you must see. These book have the same phrasing across the pages. Again Orientate the book, this is a book about things we do at school. Children need to tap on each page. Children read in their own time not all together so you can catch each child as they read. Children will often point to space between words or after word. You stop them and say "you said cut can you see cut?"  If they don't know the word you tell them. Once they are one to one pointing less repetitive books are introduced. Once they have learnt the words get them checking "You said the can you see the." child "Yes I see the" They might point to the wrong word they can confirm they are wrong. "Tent" confirming cover word you said tent what would you expect to see for tent, t..t...t... Child T

Magenta is just getting the DOS-direction, orientation, sequence. This applies to arranging the magnetic letters. Then break it make multiple times then write it. This should be quick at the end of the book.

Red is where the text changes, this provides an opportunity to think. I go to school on is the pattern. On the last page it will change for example I go to school in. For this the child is likely to say "on" You say you said on do you see on. Then you tell them. Read the sentence with them. Confirming for changes. Have you still got more words to say. This is when the child changes to text but has not read all the word. The boy climbed up the mountain, The child say The boy climbed up the hill. You said hill do you see hill, h....h..hill. Then you tell them.

This is the level at which we try to lose the finger pointing, Then pointing is strong get it gone.
If children are struggling to stop finger pointing break it down into three words etc to build fluency.

The boy went to the supermarket... Child said the boy went to the shop. prompt: Try that again and think who went to the supermarket.

Still doing word work. Making or breaking. A word they know "Can" Get child to make can. give them m, r, t. Can you make Man. Can you make can, Can you make ran. Always go back to the word they know in between new words.

Yellow- This again build the stills of confirming and discounting. The sentence is the boy knocked on the door of the shack. The child say " They boy knocked on the door of the house" You said .... They could give them options. Cottage etc.

Word work adding endings, beginning, vowel sounds etc.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Many Hats

This term I have been both a researcher and a teacher. Taking on these two roles and considering what they mean for me and my class has been a challenge and a privilege. At times it was challenging changing hats and looking at my teaching and my learners through two different lenses. However it was also very rewarding. Having the structure of a research design and thinking carefully about how information was gathered and what action I took, why I took them and exactly what impact they had more critically as a researcher reminds me of the importance of stepping back as a teacher and looking at yourself through a different lense. You can't expect the same actions to produce different results so it is important to be very reflective and even critical of yourself to make sure what you are doing is the very best for your students and what they need to learn at this point and time in their life.

My two hats are important and having them in such a formal way this term has reminded me that if not in  a formal way I will always be a researcher as I inquire into my practice as a teacher.

By en:User:Eric Bouliane [GFDL ( 

Monday, 3 July 2017

Inquiry Update Term 2

This term my Inquiry has been focused on video self modelling to increase reading fluency. You might as why fluency. Research suggests that fluency is a key element that impacts comprehension. Reading fluency combines many elements and I believe understanding, thinking carefully about these will help the learner to develop these skills and use them effectively to build understanding. 

During this term learner have been recording themselves, watching these recording and self reflecting on their fluency.  I have noticed that engagement in this has been high however those learner who struggle to decode are less motivated to record. Overall I have seen an increase in understanding of what fluency is as why as reader it is important from a majority of my class. 

Next steps: Next term is our school production and film festival filming. During the term I want to focus on reading of plays and poems to father build fluency for all learner. The element I believe we still need to focus is expression. While phrasing and speed have had noticed changes the level of expression in reading across the class is still low. 

Thursday, 8 June 2017


Where do you believe creativity comes from?
How do we get it?

There are many myths about what creativity. Some people feel that creativity needs to be something completely new and coming up with original ideas is challenging. Sometimes we thinking about time and how being devoted to creativity is the only way to have creative ideas. Or even that feel that there are too many creative things to do and you have to be in the mood to achieve them. These are just some of the many myths creativity.

Jon Westenberg-This is one person idea's on this topic.

I don't know the truth about creativity. I don't know the best way. All I know is that you need to try! Creativity never happens if you don't try, so take risks.

Creating with your Mac

There are lots of cool things that our Mac computers can do. There are loads of keyboard shortcut and trackpads skills that we can use. We also have iMovie and Hyperstudio that we can use to create. 

Monday, 29 May 2017

Creativity Empowers Learning

Today the wonderful Dorothy Burt came to our staff meeting to share with use about how we can inspire creativity in our classrooms.

We need to remember that creating helps learners to embed the things they learner. We need to Hook learners into learning. We want our kids to be "Creators of content, not merely consumers."

When teaching movie making, normally the main focus is the teaching of Key Competencies. This type of learning provides an opportunity for learners to shine.

Sharing work in progress of not even finished work to inspire and celebrate what we have created so far.

Looking back at the creations of the past is inspiring. It was nice celebrating the teacher of the past and they things their classes created. There were so many great reminders of thing that week can do.

Creating is Not just done in the mind. It is the actions of doing multiple things and involves the whole body. Consumers are excited and enticed by: Sight, Sound and Motion.

We need sight, sound and motion to remember things. If we really want to get our kids remembering things and really engaging in learning then we need to think about how we include sight, sound and motion.

Thank you so much to Dorothy and the other teachers who have shared with us their create from the past. 

Monday, 22 May 2017

Term 2 Inquiry


Much research suggest that there is a strong link between fluency and comprehension in reading. The literature explains that while this link could be present for a number of reasons. One is that when reader read fluently drawing on sight word knowledge and context to make meaning less mental energy is spent on decoding which allows mental processing to focus on comprehension. The other come from phrasing. Often the meaning in more challenging texts is aided by the phrasing of the text. By reading the punctuation correctly and using expression while reading readers gain more from the text.

This term I will focus my inquiry around how my teacher action can support the development of fluency for my class and how video modelling and self review can support these learners to become fluent readers. This inquiry also links to the research that I am doing for my Honours degree at Auckland University.

This week I am developing the self review criteria with the class and building their knowledge of fluency so that by the end of the week we can create and review our first videos.

I am excited to engage in this study of my practice as I think that an understanding of fluency has the potential to support many of my students to develop their reading even futher.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Forming OTJs in Maths-Jo Knox

An OTJ draws on multiple source of data to make a judgement about their ability in comparison to national standard.  You can't just use one piece of evidence as this is hazardous to forming a true picture.

Type of evidence you will include are:
-test data
and other group work.

To make a judgment you will need to use the The New Zealand Curriculum Mathematics standards poster, the standards books and additional illustration.

We also need to remember that just having the answer it is not enough it is about how they explain how they know it.

While the number is the most critical requirement, strand include geometry, measurement and statistics.

We also must remember that number knowledge is used to facilitate problem solving. Knowledge is important but it is there to help you with strategies.

When forming our OJT we need to think about are they able to do it independently and most of the time. 

We need to think about how we are tracking all of this data overtime so that we don't have to go back to each individual sources each time. This can be done in many ways.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Maths Professional Learning

The maths discussion we had today started by looking at how the curriculum, standards and numeracy framework line up.

Here is the cut up poster we put together.

We look at a gloss problems and worked in teams to mark these and identify the stages.

Some important things to remember:
-Gloss is a mental test. Students who can do gloss questions in a their head are working at a higher level. If students have given you the correct answer but are struggling to explain this is when you might use water.
-You can reword the problem to change the context if it is not relevant to the learners but not the change integrity of the question.

IKAN-Aims at Testing number knowledge
The benefits of  this test is that it is quick, however we must remember that it has added pressures of time and recording pressure.

The box on the right in IKAN tell you more that the totals at bottom. Jo said that for her learners she gave them a chance to self correct the problems that they just made silly mistakes on so that they could focus their learning goals around real areas they need to work on.

Spider Graph
Help students to see exactly where they are in a visual format. This means that can see their areas of strengths are areas that they may need to work on. By highlighting the standard and the students results by the second set of testing they can see their progress.

Todays workshop really helped me to understand the assessments better and discuss these with other teachers.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

GAFE-Ignite session

The final event at the GAFE summit was ignite talks speaker have 5 mins and 20slides to share their message and idea.

Beginning code switching by Jim Sill
After 30 years of driving, Driving on the left instead of the right has caused a switch because not the cars on a different side and when you go to turn the windscreen wipers go on.

So we need to be aware that we you try something new you should expect not to be great at it first time.  When we go back to our class we have to remember that our children are code switching when they change teachers.

This book may help you to understand this ideas more, Hardwiring Happiness-Rick Hanson PD

Reaching the Summit (and surviving) by Stuart Kelly

What does it take?
Citizenship-You have to be united and a family.
Culture-Each person has a culture they bring with them and culture can be supported and promoted with digital technology.
Connectivity-Connecting allows us to do more and do all of the things we have learnt today. We all need Wifi.
Celebration-We need celebrate our success, Ask your students is it work? Celebrate by sharing.
Cash- infrastructure is everything You need to spend on the important things.
Communicate- Talk about it, as soon as you start thinking talk about it.
Recognise the talent within your own school.

Students, Students, Students, Think move a grow it teams to do the best for them.

My digital Journey-Angelnella
She is a year 11 student. She is the first student at her school to buy and bring her chromebook to school for BYOD. When she was little she could never imaged having her own phone and chromebook or being at a full digital school. She feels support by her school and teachers to use her device and connect. Students can share away from a normal classroom on the field, at lunch or at home. Robotics is a subject taught at her school and taking this subject is something that she wants her future to be focused around, this opportunity came from this school subject. This subjects helps her to learn from mistakes and proved that technology can help solve problems and hope is important too.

Make Mistakes, Learn from them!!

As children we believe in many things and things we can make them possible.

Trust Us! give us as students to use our devices and trust us with our devices until we prove you wrong!
"In the future I hope to see flying cars, hoverboards and all of you." I know that I want to see you again too, surely doing amazing things.

More than a coincidence? Chris Betcher
When you hang out with people that want what you want you have a pretty high likelihood of mixing with the right people to get what you want.
It is who we know!
Think about all the people you have met today and think....
Who did you meet?
How will you continue to connect?

I won an awesome book by Richard Wells. Yay!

Friday, 21 April 2017

GAFE-Session 5&7

Today I followed Jim around GAFE.

First I went to his session on-360 images and Google Street- Jim Sill
The street view app is a really cool way of viewing exciting places and looking around them. It allows your learners to be there using the magic of digital technology. The even better thing is that you as an educator can add to the bank of 360 images or make images that you can keep them private. You can use a normal camera or use a 360 camera. For more information click on Jim's name to go to his resources.

Exploring Google Expeditions with cardboard- Jim Sill 

You don't need Google Cardboard for expeditions but it makes it better. You can buy cardboard really cheap but they won't as good as the just a little bit more expensive ones $7-10. Test the lenses and the quality of the cardboard.

Google expeditions uses street view so you can visit locations as if you are on a fieldtrip.
-It shows children a world outside of their backyards.
-Allows them to connect with the learning.
-Connect emotionally with areas and topics.

There is teaching material on the expeditions that teachers can use to support student learning. You can point children to different things to look at. You can see what the children are doing. It has guiding questions (With answers YAY!). As a teacher you can pause it but as Jim said if you pauses it the kids will get grumpy but it may have its uses.

The kit
It does not come as a kit but you may need to build a kit.
-You need phones or ipads
-Cardboard (not necessary but good).
-Teacher device (Tablet or Ipad)
-You need a network, local wifi network using a router. The local network because most schools block pair to pair sharing.

Jim Lead our expedition to El Capitan. Climbing up this huge mountain was a great experience. Jim had the ability to point out anything that we are talking about or things that kids might want to talk about.

Within expeditions you can search for them by subject.

Presentation two- Leading Learning using Google Sites

This session was about how we use sites and what learning looks like in our classrooms. It was another great session. Thank you to our wonderful open minded audience!

GAFE Day 2- Opening Keynote

To start the we were so very very privileged to have the amazing Aorere College Barbarshop group 'Fa Man'. Thank you to the four very talented young men who shared their passion with us it was wonderful.

Day 2-Keynote
Richard Wells presents 'Let learning TRUMP teaching & tech'

Richard started by saying I can tell the future I have been telling my children for years all you need to worry about is TRUMP.
Teachers and children often say in relation to learning:
"I hate it when he just keeps talking"
"I just want to work on the things I need to"

The thing that is interesting is that well teachers say this when they are the learners but as teachers do we still do it?

In England when he was at school, the school focused on letting children explore to learn but this didn't teach him the skills or strategies he needed to solve problems himself in reading. 

Maybe why children love playing games is because each person has a role and everyone knows their role and the rules of the game so they can manage and play and solve problems themselves. Richards ideas that he is focusing on in his blogging is giving kids strategies so they can play on the pitch without the coach (teacher). 

The classroom needs to recognise the individual learner not just the teacher. Here are some ideas of things people have given the kids to help them decide what they need to do. 

How to we adjust to make sure children always know what they are doing. How can learners get feedback from each other and support each other to speed up the feedback loop. 

Should they connect? How should they connect? Is one way of connect enough and what tools do they use to conduct these connections effectively. 
Richards Wells suggest that we need to give learners access to all five tools, here is his blog post on this topic.

This is Richards awesome tools. 

Relating to others especially when in confrontation, Well you can would together in Doc and Hangout students need to have tools and strategies for the students to do it.

Using language symbols and text, I can put stuff on a slide that no one can read. You can use text and images to really create and put children in the shoes of others using Google cardboard. 

Managing self, Some tools for managing self timers. Timers are important if you teach boys if they have a time limit you will get more work out of boys. You can use calendars to organise your week. Groups can allow students to organise themselves. 

Participate, The classroom should be a room where children feel safe and comfortable to contribute and participate. Google forms is like putting your hand up. In secondary school you can use Google+. 

The first thing you need before you add your Google Tool they students need to know the How to of the Key Competencies for the use of the tools to be effective. 

GAFE presenting

Today Karen and I presented a session on how to create Google Sites in classic sites. It was an awesome session with some amazing people who created the great beginnings of their future class or professional learning sites.

Below are our slide checks them out to help you start creating your site and using HTLM to make it amazing.

Thank you so much to Karen Belt for supporting me and sharing this amazing experience with me. 

Thursday, 20 April 2017

GAFE session 4

Story writing in the digital classroom-Kimberley Hall

I have not quite finished animating my story. 

Writing choose your own adventure story. Using google slides to create your choose your own adventure story.

When you are doing this you want to plan because you are linking to things that are happening in the future.

GAFE Session Two

Session two- A-Z of lesser known Googley Goodness-Kimberley Hall

This session was full of great apps and ideas that are awesome for using for a range of things. 
We started the session by looking at Googlefeud which is like family feud but uses search results from google so think American when you play. 

My favourite things discussed. 
Androidify is a great you can made cute little character GIFs. Would be awesome for creating characters for a story.  

Google arts and culture allow you to explore art galleries around the world and zoom in on detail.  The world wonders section allows to walk along the great wall of China. Great way to get outside the classroom. 

Boomerang for email you can get emails send back to you. It even tells you how likely you are to get a reply. 

Chrome Experiments This is where new things that people are thinking about adding to chrome great for exploring cool things.

Quick, Draw This is a program that tries to guess what you are drawing.

Explore in google, You can use explore within the docs and slides using the explore function. In slides it will suggest slide layout. With sheets it will help you create charts and graph.

Geoguessr, This drops you in a random location on earth and you have to guess where you are based on the surrounds. Great way to teach problem solving. You can google things but there is no way to google the answer.

HelloSign for GMail Gmail extension that adds onto gmail allows you to sign things in your email.

CraftyRights Extension that makes sure you only get free to use images.

We always need music for movie making and here is a great was of getting free to use music. There is sometimes creative commons guy that means attribute which is the right thing to do anyway. Audio Library in YouTube.

MyMaps-This allows to to do loads of cool things with maps find the size of nz and find the percentages of other colours.

Piktochart- integrated into drive, for creating infographics.

Public Data- Data collects can be used for a range of purposes.

Rain Alarm- The extension tells you when rains is on the way great for making sure you are not outside when it rains.

The Great Suspender- Stops background activity on tabs that you are not currently on.

Great session, Wonderful ideas, Thank You so much for sharing Kimberley

GAFE- Session One

Experience a student-led classroom - today! Richard Wells

Share, Create, Critique- The idea of this session is to share and work together to create a resource that we can all use. 

The main reason we are in this session is that teachers work too hard, so let work out how we can get the learner to do the work.

Children must reflect on their own learning naturally and self-assessment.

What is the elephant in the room? The key word for educate is to negotiate, you must negotiate so that you avoid the elephant in the room.

To do with well we need to take a step back from the technology, like how do the children have a conversation.

Part of working in a student lead classroom is negotiating the rubric for the grading.

Richard Wells- has thinked the key competencies in terms of solo.
By Richard Wells 
If we think about Rugby as a design of learning, The coach is not on the field with the children they set the plays before hand and then let the game happen. How can we do this in the classroom?

We have created a google presentation Key Competencies

Computer games give feedback every 1.5seconds that is a small feedback loop. How can we make our feedback loop smaller?

GAFE 2017- Opening Keynote

I am very excited for my first ever GAFE Summit in Auckland. This blog will document all of the great learning from this amazing event.

Opening Keynote: Iteration and Innovation in Education by Jaime Casap

"What we need more than anything in education is a culture of innovation and iteration in order to take new learning models supported and enabled by technology to create student focused learning environments structured to help empower our students to build lifelong learning knowledge, skills and abilities." Description from GAFE website

You can connect with Jaime Casap on twitter: @jcasap

Why do we care about education?
Around the world we believe education is important because it disrupts poverty! Jaime linked this to his personal experiences he said "I get to be here today because of education!" The experiences he has had he has because of education. This is true for me and many others, the education we have provided us with opportunities and experience that we can treasure. If you work hard and get your education you can do ANYTHING!

No matter how long you teach for if it is 2 years, 10 years or more you can impact generations. To impact students for years to come. With this impact we have we need to take sure we take education very seriously. We don't live in a world where we can prepare children to sit behind a desk and do the jobs that computers do now. We need to take the best of education and take it to the next level. What role does technology and computer science have?

We keep talking about preparing learners for the 21st century BUT we have learners that will be working in the 22nd century. In New Zealand and around the world computer science and technology are hug job areas and for this reason they are becoming more and more the focus of education.

Jaime explained that we have been talking about computer and technology in education. So what is different now? We now have research shows how technology can support learning. We can now do more, personalise because of technology.

Technology is a part of everything we do today. It wraps around everything we do. Have you used technology today? Well you must of because you are here. There was a time when it wasn't so easy to use the internet but the children we teach never knew that time. That is not to say they are wired differently they still do two things at the sametime poorly, They just think differently about education. These children learn by going out and learning they don't wait for someone teach them. Yes they learn mistakes and we have to work on that and really think about what this generation is facing.

The technology we have now is not even close to what is coming. Children these days can put glasses on and travel anywhere virtually. We can merge the real word with AI. What does this mean for these children? Robots are replacing jobs even driving will be taken over by robots.

Skills needed in a technology world:

The questions we use to ask don't make sense anymore, for example what do you want to do when you grow up?

WE should be asking what problem do we want to solve? & what do you need to know to solve this problem? Who can you connect with to help you solve this problem?

Iteration is a result of critical thinking-Feedback and feedback loops allow for critical thinking they are more important than grades.

Collaborations is how we solve real problems, in a real world we have to work together to innovate and to solve problems.

We need to teach children who are digital learners, who think critically about technology.

We therefore need a culture shift...How do we take educations to the next level? When need to need to memorize things and when is does information become a commodity. We need to ask questions that google can't answer give learners real world problems to solve.

You can start Google anywhere but it takes time! The future classroom is tomorrow, it is what we do in our classrooms. What we take away from others and use to create change and support problem solving. We are only at the beginning, 40% of the world are online. We are at an exciting time in education. For a 5 year old the greatest technology we have today will be the worst they see in their life. Do we have the right process in place to help them place that they are doing to need to thrive and build the skills to solve the problem of their world!

Monday, 3 April 2017

Inquiry update

As the end of term one quickly approaches it is a great time to share what I have achieved in my inquiry this term. Term one has been a very busy term for my class with swimming and other events. This term my focuses group a long with the rest of my class have been involved in building the skills and environment needed to have positive discussions about numbers and how we manipulate them. 

This learning has happened within our maths groups as well as during our Friday maths challenges in which we work in mixed ability groups to support each other to build knowledge and key competency skills. 

I would love any feedback our ideas has to how I can further my inquiry. 

Monday, 13 March 2017

Blogging is Rewindable too!

Today we had a wonderful staff meeting in which we build on our knowledge about rewindable learning from last year. This year we discussed how our blogs and the blogs of our learners can be made more rewindable by using labels effectively.

This year I used Labels for my learners these are: Maths2017, Writing 2017, Reading2017. I think it could be better for the learners in the future if I divided up these labels to make it Reading,  2017 so that they can have a full record of reading and what they did in 2017.

Another thing we discussed was how to make sure that the feedback we give in Doc is rewindable by putting them on the blog. We discussed perhaps using Google keep to keep these comments and add them to the blog so that they can be reflected back on.

One of the things that happened during the Summer Learning Journey was that dialogic conversation happened on the learners blogs. Can we realistically get this dialogic discussion happening digital with our teachers given our busy lives? I hope so but I am not so sure watch this space.

Audience, Learners knowing that they have an audience and who they are important. This is built for our learners through twitter feeds that automatically tweets their post.

Blogger Tips

Schedule posts
This can help to keep our class blog alive so that the wider world can still connect with us.
Keeping a blog up to date is important we need to JUST DO IT!
Can you get the kids to email the post to blogger?

Blog Layout
When it comes to your landing page what do you see? Can you get to old post? Can you see the comments so see who is engaging with you?

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Inquiry focus 2017

As I have discussed in previous posts the beginning to my year has be fueled by the idea that we are voyagers setting out to explore the unknown but always knowing where we are and where we have been.

After listening to the research feedback I had to think very carefully about my inquiry focus. As a school we are aware that the feedback suggest accelerate shift in reading but not as much shift in maths. This is why our inquiry focus this year is mathematics.

There are many factors that have influenced my think about my inquiry including, what Stuart McNaughton had said about interpersonal skills, key competencies and critical thinking and my dissertation in which I plan to focus on fluency video self modelling and peer feedback. This lead to think that feedback was a link between my dissertation and Stuarts ideas and that this could perhaps support critical thinking and discussion in mathematics.

This lead to my inquiry question: How does peer feedback affect progress in mathematics with my target group?

Peer feedback occurring in a maths group helping learners to form their picture of numbers and strategies. 

To start my inquiry I need to think about what this feedback looks like. I believe that it may be best in a discussion form in which student given feedback to each other including questions which opens up discussion about numbers and strategies.

I believe that the best way of achieving this discussion is to have open problems in which student work with different numbers (number that they choose from options given in context) using the same strategy. This allows them to given feedback around how they strategy worked and what they noticed about the numbers.

I still feel I have a lot of clarify to do and part of that process will be observing others to see how maths discussion happen around our school. This I hope will help me to develop my teaching to better support student voices in the feedback and discussion process.

It is also important that student share their maths on their blogs and that this is done creatively.
Some ideas I have around this at this stage are:

-Sketchnoting using google draw and/or pixlr
 -Video descriptions of what they did and why
 -using mini whiteboards and ipads to record problem solving.
- Audio/movie
- EE/educreations - Used to record thinking as group is working and solving.

I am excited to see how peer feedback can support discussion and build understanding in mathematics. I will keep you updated on my progress as I continue to inquire into my practice.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

I am a voyagers and research helps me on my journey!

Today we gathered as a cluster in the Tamaki College hall to listen to the findings and future focused ideas presented by the researchers.

Before starting the presentation Russell Burt announced that Manaiakalani is now a COL (Community of learning) however while this official COL recognition is great it made me think that since I arrived last year I have already been part of an amazing community of learning and that while this would change in some ways the role people have it will not change my feeling of being part of something bigger than myself.

It is together that we innovate, learn and do more for the future.

Sitting in the hall I was reminded of something that has come up a lot for me in the weeks leading up to this presentation. A simple statement with a real and lasting meaning that is backed by the story and Movie Moana. The ideas is that We are voyagers, who need to know where we have been and where we are chart and plan where they are going.

Today's discussion started with Aaron Wilson talking about where we have been.
He took us through the data. My big take way was that we have done a lot in the past especially to improve writing in which we are getting accelerated shift against the norm however there is still much to be done and our progress must be maintained as we venture on with the aim of seeing the same accelerated shift in reading and maths.

This discussion was followed by Stuart McNaughton discussing with us the interpersonal skills and key competencies our learners need. He discussed critical literacy and suggest that we see low rate of achievement in critical literacy. The best place to teach critical literacy in the act of being literate.

We should also encourage learners to be critical of their action and reaction. Ask them to think why is it that my actions had a negative effect on my group? We should be thinking critically about our social skills as well. We need to think about how we build arguing and critical thinking skills in groups.

Another area Stuart discussed was self control. He suggested that children are much more aware of needing to be self controlled online however we need to give the learners strategies for building self control.

He also talked about the interpersonal skills of empathy and compassion. He said that
children who read more books tend to be empathetic. this is because well written narrative text help learners to consider others views. It seems that many of our learners have strengthens in this area.

We do however need to consider how we help learner to put themselves in others shoes when online. To make digital personal again so that learners learn to tell when someone is upset online and think would I like it if.....How is the best way to interact and react to others online.

Lastly he suggested that teaching of these skills needs to be part of teaching other curriculum areas.

I have to admit it all seems like a huge challenge one that I am ready to take on but first I need to decide on a starting point. Listening to expert researchers present challenges reminds me how very privileged I am to be in an innovative school and community. A community that is not afraid to look at itself and say that failed lets try something different. A community that invites others to give input, to be critical and to challenge us. It is because of these researchers along with many others that I feel challenged to alway do better, try harder and keep going on my voyage no matter how rough the sea is.

So thank to all those who are part of the Manaiakalani community setting expectation high for both learners and teachers!

A new year, A new room and New learners!

The beginning of the 2017 school year has seen a lot of exciting changes for me. This year I am in my own space with a wonderful group of 30 year 3/4 learning. I have to admit after one week I am already feeling tired but also excited for every moment of learning we will share.

My first week was amazing! The children of room 14 are loving, kind and enthusiastic learner who are ready to try new things.

My big focus for week one

My big focus the first week was be routines, expectation and getting to know each other. In room 14 we start the day with the roll followed Mihi and Waiata I have really enjoyed introducing this to the class and I feel this sets us up for the day really nicely.

To start the year i put all the learners in teams, their bags hang in there team, they sit on the mat in their team, their chromebooks are labels in teams and even their boxes for their books sit in team groups. This has really help me to support the learners to feel a collective sense of responsibility and helped them to support each other. They all gain points as a team. I have found that this work really well both for management as there are only 6 learners in a group and for building collaboration and collective responsibility.

I am really enjoying teaching in room 14 and look forward to many more wonderful learning adventure to come.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Future-focused learning in connected communities

Yesterday was the first day of our university summer school paper. As part of our first day we had to share an activity related to one of the readinging. I choose the report Future-focused learning
in connected communities. This report discusses the need for changes in our education system to make sure learning is future focused. This report has 10 main goals, it suggests that some of the goals should be met by 2017. As part of the activity we discussed what we had achieved as schools and as a system. Below is the presentation we created as a group.