Friday, 22 February 2019

What do we need to be inquirier

What attitudes and beliefs are needed for effective teaching as inquiry
-Working with others, collaboration and different view points.
-Open to criticism
-High expectations
-Formative assessment
-Take risks (open to failing)
- Self belief, If I learnt something last year that made great change in my students learning it should be a starting point for the next year.
-Regarding the kids as co-researchers
Image result for inquiry
"Pose questions that capture the main dimensions between teaching and learning
Collect valid and reliable information
Analyse data to identify patterns and issue, (Aitken, 2007)"

We need to be aware the there are no absolute truth in education, hypotheses may fail, accepting that you are not always right and our beliefs and ideas can fail. 

Big problems can not be change in by one teacher, in one classroom, in one school. We have to do it together!

Resilience is about pushing through the barrier. Sometime it will feel hard, student will not always be ready for your high expectation but if we keep them up they will raise. 

We must make sure that our ideas about what students do are based on facts and data and are not just assumptions. 

Students have a huge voice. They can tell you a lot about their learning and what you have done and how that has impacted on them. 

We must not forget to be knowledge building so that we really understand the issues and their complexity. 

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Connecting with families

This year I am focussing on visible and rewindable teaching and learning and making sure families, children and the wider community can easily connect with our learning in an important part of this

As part of this, I used the blog commenting template designed by Karen Belt in 2016 as part of her MIT inquiry. I made up a blogging card for the learners in our space to share with their families and so they can stay connect with our learning journey in 2019. It is great that we have these resources available to us as teachers from inquiry that were success full. 

Last night I check my email to find the one of the parents had already left and lovely comment on their sons blog as a result of having this card. This made it all worth it and I can't wait to see more commenting as we continue to share throughout the year. 

If you also want to get families commenting check out Karen Belt’s wonderful 2016 MIT project here.


Today we had our first CoL PLG. Russell opened the PLG with a strong statement "You are the change makers in our community" He explained that we as CoL teachers will act on the evidence that we gather in our inquiries. Teaching is only improved to meet the needs of kids when we use data, are honest and learn what works and what doesn't work by trying things, being prepared to fail, failing and trying something different to find what does work.

Next we discussed the Data from our cluster meeting in week 2. We talked about how the data in writing shows we are doing really well but the picture is not the same in maths and reading. How can we make the same shift in other subject as we do in writing?

The Woolf Fisher team shared with us about Teaching as Inquiry and how we can get the most out of our inquiries as we start on this journey.  The Woolf Fisher team are now doing a Meta Analysis of the CoL inquiries from last year with the aim of understanding the practices that supported student acceleration and what makes an effective inquiry. Last year we wrote reports about all we had done this year they aim to spread this throughout the year as specific blog posts, so stay tuned to see that.

In terms of the inquiry we want to spend more time understanding the problem, learning, researching, diving into the data and really getting to understand the rich picture before we jump into solving the problems. We need to slow down and be really analytical about the student so we can make sure we adjust the teaching to address the problem.  We also need to know what the practice was before the inquiry. What are we changing and why?

We need to make sure we are tapping into rich data, this can come from a range of sources.

Why inquire? The Three view of effective inquiry.
-The View of 'Style'
This is the focus on what the teacher does rather than what is happening to the student. This assume that a 'good' teacher will have a positive impact on all student.
The  view of "Outcome"
This is the focus on the student outcome and assumes that good student outcomes means good teacher practice. We must consider the 'black boxes' Student learning opportunity, Black box (how the student understand this learning), student outcomes.
-Teacher inquiry

“Since any teaching strategy works differently in different contexts for different students, effective pedagogy requires that teachers inquire into the impact of their teaching on their students.” (NZC, p.35)

Effective inquiry should tackle a big problem.

Thursday, 14 February 2019


Blogging I back in full force. This year we have the Manaiakalani blogging app up and running and it is so exciting to see the learners blogging eagerly. I started off introducing the blogging process to a small group of learners in the class in order give them the skills and empower them to become blogging experts who other could go to for questions. 

Then I worked with kids 1-1 with the support of my expert bloggers to help them understand the process.

We are now moving into the phase in which each learner is ready to blog at different moments in time and I decided the best way to support them in this was to make the process rewindable and visible through the Cybersmart page on our class site. Salem helped me with this creating with me videos of how he blogged so that learners can follow them.

I think I my next step will be to create a photo process and QR code for the classroom wall that students can see and refer to and that links them straight to videos. This will empower them to be their own problems solve as they continue to gain confidence as bloggers.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Research presentation

Manaiakalani sense-making session with student achievement data.

It’s been a great start to the year but it wouldn’t be a new academic year without looking back at our student data from 2018 and using this to celebrate, set goals, define our inquiries and understand which areas we can do more in.

Patrick Snedden
Reminded us of our journey. He share with us about the role we had played and the people who came before us played in creating Manaiakalani as it is today. We are about big change, creating transformative practice. Having data form this practice collected and analysed mean we can be critical of were we are at and see that we have achieved so much. Manaiakalani started here with 12 school and brave teachers and now the pedagogy has spread with over 100 school engaging in learn, create, share pedagogy.

Next the Woolf Fisher team shared with us the student achievement data for 2018.

Rebecca said “we are going to start today a long conversation which will continue this year.”

It was interesting listening to the data from the junior school. There biggest thing I noticed was the entry level word writing. The norm was that students could write fewer than 5 words when arriving at school. There was good progress during the year however they are skill quite far off the norm for New Zealand.

Maths in the junior school was interesting it looks as though many students get stuck in the counting (stage four) however at year three there were more students pushing into stages 5 and 6.

Reading had a big spread however looking at the years 3 data there was a large group reading above gold. The group at purple interested me. I wondered how can we make a bigger impact on these kids to push them into the gold barrack. Reading in a higher years is interesting as students progress less than the norm. We need to continue to give reading a push as

Friday, 8 February 2019

Making positive behaviour visible

How learners interact, manage themselves and engage with their independent and guide learning is so important. However I as a teacher often focus most of my time and energy into the academic learning and making that visible, rewindable and engaging for the learners.

This year my co-teacher and I wanted to make the of learning behaviour and positive behaviour a visible rewindable part of our classroom.  This is a process that will take time and with each day we add and adjust the way in which we do this.

One way we have begun to explore this is through the classroom walls and in particular our inquiry walls. We have an inquiry focus in term 1 around the school values and health. This has leant itself to our aims of making the "way we are at school" known here as the Pt England Way central to everything we do in our classroom.

What have we done so far:
We are in week 1 for the year and we have been capturing the positive and making in part of our classroom environment. First we looked at our inquiry question: How can I be the best kid on the Point?

We broke this down into other questions which sit on our walls next to our inquiry question these are:
What does sharing look like?
What is Cybersmart?
Is it Kind?

Once a week we take one of these questions and ask the kids what it means to them. Providing examples, linking it to acts we have seen in the classroom. We then give the kids a chance to practice what these important values look like after all we practice reading, writing, maths, science. Practicing the way we learn is important too.

We are so excited to for 2019 and making the way we learn and act visible, rewindable and engaging for our learners. 

Thursday, 7 February 2019

DMIC 2019

The focus of our Discussion around DMiC today is looking at how we plan maths. We are using the Curriculum Elaborations and as a team create learning outcomes from theses larger ideas. Today we focused on statistics with the aim of creating pathway of learning outcomes coming from each team in the school. 

We focused on statistical investigation and worked to create learning outcomes that are measurable and doable. We need to be able to see these learning outcomes in what the students do, not what they are thinking. 

Level 2
Statistical investigation
S2-1: Conduct investigations using the statistical enquiry cycle:

posing and answering questions
gathering, sorting, and displaying category and whole-number data
communicating findings based on the data.

We want to have a continuum of types of graph. For example at level 1 pictographs, level 2 building of pictographs with picture represents multiple objects, add bars graphs. By building up the knowledge of different graphs so that when the reach level 4 and even level 5 they have meaning knowledge of all graphs so they able to conduct robust statistical investigations.

Why? and So what?

By having this understanding of where kids start and where we need them to get to we can make sure each year builds on what they have already done so what each year is a stepping stone to new learning and they have all the knowledge they need by year 8 and we can send them off to high school with a sound knowledge that will set them up for life. 

Friday, 1 February 2019

My CoL Inquiry 2019

My 2019 CoL Inquiry Focus:
Will the use of gifting language in literacy lift student achievement in both reading and writing?"

Manaiakalani Community of Learning is working together on this task using the expertise existing in of our community of learning. I have selected the achievement challenge of:

Lift the Achievement for boys' writing from years 1-10.
The teaching as inquiry framework I will continue to use in 2019 has been specifically co-constructed for Manaiakalani schools using our familiar Learn Create Share structure.

Throughout the year, I will be labelling my blog posts to reflect our Learn, Create, Share structure.

Learn - Gather Evidence
Create - Make a plan
Share - Publish
Learn - Scan
Create - Try new things
Share - Co-teach
Learn - Identify Trends
Create - Innovate
Share - Model
Learn - Hypothesise
Create - Implement
Share - Guide
Learn - Research
Create - Reflect
Share - Feedback
Learn - Reflect

Share - Reflect