Monday, 17 September 2018

Digital Fluency Intensive Northland Cohort #2

Last week I had the privilege of sharing my experiences with the wonderful group at the Digital Fluency Intensive Northland Cohort #2. I am so great for this experience and I find that every time I go up North and share (this being my second time) I find myself humbled by the commitment and passion of the teachers as they learn what they need to know to embark on their journey to develop their classroom.

The day focused on learning to develop our classroom site focusing on the users and the purpose of our sites. We talked a lot about why we make and use class sites and how having a clear plan and layout helps to make our sites effective.

It was incredible seeing the Cohort setting big goals and working hard to achieve them. I really enjoyed helping different teachers identify challenges for them and supporting them to overcome these. The challenged ranged from creating buttons to embedding content.

At the end last week I got some wonderful feedback from Kerry and the Cohort:

Hi Clarelle

It was lovely to have you here with us this week on our Digital Fluency Intensive, thank you so much for coming and sharing your expertise.  I think everyone now has their sites well underway and looking pretty fancy!  

Robyn said you really helped her put things into perspective with how to organise and upload her iPad resources to her site, you'll probably hear from her if she gets a bit stuck.  With your help Sue from Kawakawa was happy with the improvements she made to her class site and Dani left you a nice comment on her blog, click here for the full post 

After looking at Clarelle's class site, I have gotten some ideas for how to link in Explain Everything activities to my slides and she is happy for me to use and adapt some of the activities accessible on her site - Thanks Clarelle! 

I was really grateful for this feedback and for all the people who supported me and gave me this opportunity to share.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

DMiC Professional learning

Social and Academic Status

Updated 12 April 2019

How does status change in our classroom. When do children hold academic status. Children who have a range of language stills seem to have more status to the other kids. Status is given for many reasons and this can impact the way that children interact. Can we plan our lessons to change the status for kids? How can we talk as teacher to evaluate or change the status? 

How does this affect behaviour? 
-Children will often raise to the belief of others. If one thinks I can do it then why should I. 
-If children believe that someone else holds all the power they may choose not to share. 

What we believe about our academic abilities and those of others is often form my our perceptions rather than reality. 

What we value and push for in mathematics will be reflected in the way the children engage in maths.

What do I think the kids think being smart in maths look like:
-Sharing their ideas
-Explaining their thinking

I want to support students to think about:
-Never giving up
-Challenging each others thinking

We read an article by Jo Boaler. This article talked about the different elements of maths. 

Multidimensional Classrooms
This talked about elements of a multidimensional class. It talked about adapting the problems so they are group worthy. Every child has something to add. We can get students to share a small part and this can add status and support the whole groups thinking.
In the classroom this looks like an expectation that everyone can participate. The problem is open to multiple strategies and potentially answers. Children learn that there is no correct way of doing it, they can all achieve. 

Assigning Competence
This is when the teacher actively raises the status of the students by praise the Mathematical thinking and sharing. This can be done to provoke the class to think about an idea but also build students confidence, status and increases the visibility of the students ideas which could be missed if the teacher did not actively engage and support that student by raising the status of their idea. As a teacher it is important to be specific about what you are praising as this make sure that students know it is not empty praise.
It is about how we know our children and what praise works best for them to assign competence. It is all about relationships. It requires the ability to step back and open your ears to the groups that are working to pick up what working. It is about setting the expectation that they share that great idea that you heard. 

Student responsibility 
Getting students to take responsibility for the groups thinking. Removing the individual responsibility and put it on the group to make sure everyone understand and can justify. This can be done by the teacher coming in with a question for one student and then if the student doesn't  know moving away and giving the responsibility back to the group to support the development of this thinking. This can be feed in through the group norm discussion and the praise you provide. We talked about how this links to the vocabulary because students need to explain their ideas. Even if a group really struggles there is so much you can praise and affirm because mathematicians do not always get to a fully formed answer.
This needs to be a part of our groups norms, we should expect that everyone understands and enough students to say "I don't understand" and get them to ask questions. The more to praise the student responsibility and when they take these responsibilities for their own learning so students know that this is what we do it maths. Reasoning and providing evidence is a key skill our kids need to succeed in education and life.  

Don shared an example in which and group did nothing they could not start. During the sharing back the teacher said "You are the most important group, you struggled today and so it is everyones responsibility to make sure you understanding and it is your responsibility to ask questions."

High expectations 
Students appreciate challenge, having difficult problems and making sure you push students forward with critical questions and getting them to use these with each other. Again it comes down to how it it set up in your class and what you expect.
If you have a question ask each other not the teacher. It is all about putting the responsibility back on the learners. What do you think? It is also about encouraging them to consider more than one way of solving a problem. This can be effective for higher level learners, sometimes drawing out the problem is extremely challenging with complex problems.

Effort over ability
Praising what students have done and reminding them they can keep stepping up and doing more. Praise those who lesson and try their very best. Make sure no matter what the ability of the students they are pushed and challenged so they put in all the effort they can. This builds students who keep going and trying even when faced with huge challenges.
You gotta get up and try, try, try -Pink It is about being motivational in the way you encourage learners to try. Celebrate the little things praising the little moments. By choosing a group that didn't get it right you are able to praise effort over ability. 

Learning Practices
This is about stopping at any point and revisiting the learning practices. What are we doing to learn? This can link back to the class norms. Teacher need to know what practices you are looking for and value will help you to notice and praise and teach to this practices. 

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Co-Teaching a privilege and an honour

As teachers we are always so focused on student learning. Our inquiry focuses on the needs of the children and how we can address these. We are always looking at, talking about and using data to support make sure we are doing all we can to support students learning.

I have blogged about this a lot, so this blog post will be different.

I wanted to reflect on some of the big changes that have happened for me over the last 3 years and what impact they have had on how I teach and particularly how I teach with others.

2016: This was a year of new for me, a year of intense learning with MDTA, working in a shared space with 2 other teachers and of course learning to teach and learn using digital technologies to enhance learning. This year was huge but in the all the learning I took in so much but didn't nessairly have time to process it all and see just how far I had come. 

2017: This year was still very busy but I see it as the year of time. Of course I am a teacher so there is never enough time but this year I worked in a single cell class and had time to apply to skills I had learnt and had time to process the huge amount of skills I had learnt and really find out who I am as a teacher. 

2018: This year I feel like a co-teacher! I feel that within our two teacher space we work as almost one. Sharing everything, asking questions and most of all learning together and from each others. It is strange how much you can learn in three years. But I know that my journey this given me the skills, passion and ability to co-teach and learn. 

What I believe are the key things to co-teaching: 
  • Know who you are as the teacher. 
  • Know what you bring. 
  • Notice the what your co-teacher brings
  • Take every chance to learn
  • Take every chance to teach together and have a shared voice. 
  • Be honest and open, ask questions and discuss issues. 
This year I am privileged to work with a Chrissy who has a passion and eye for art. As a result of our Co-teaching I have become an art teacher and my passion for teaching art has grown. I hope that you have the chance to Co-teach and learn together with the wonderful teachers around you. Even if they are not in the class with you every day make the most of what they bring because we are stronger together.