Friday, 27 March 2020

A Big Change: My thinking behind online teaching

If you had asked me in January if I could teach online I would have said "no" or maybe "I am not sure, I could try." But back then how could I have anticipated what this year would bring.

We as teachers face many challenges each day and as a result are constantly changing the way we teach, but it is not often a change this big happens, this fast.

As I looked back at what I did as a result of the sudden change in our society I wondered if my thinking would be of us to others.

This video shows the thought process I went through to get to the current asynchronous model of online teaching.

This will be the first of many blog post on the topic of my online teaching and my learners response to this. My hope is that it will provide a platform for discussion that will lead to a continuing though process and the most robust approach to learning online we can have during this challenging time.

Class Onair: Making Skittles

This is my most recent Class Onair Lesson.

This is a reading lesson with year 4 children reading at blue (level 11). The focus is on understand the purpose of a text and thinking about the decoding strategies they are using. Our learning intentions were:
  • We are learning to re-read and read on to fix our mistakes. 
  • We are learning to identify and discuss the main idea in a nonfiction text.  

To see the lesson click here

This group are amazing. They have a level of excitement, engagement and a positive attitude towards learning that not all groups have. I am also very lucky to know this group really well. They were all in my class last year, so I am aware of the strength they bring and the challenges they face. This group have been going great this year. They are behind where I would like them to be but they are constantly making progress which I am very happy about. This book was a little easy for them and did not provide enough challenge to tackle our decoding learning as I would have liked. However it did provide a great context to create and an opportunity to look at a style of text they were less familiar with. They have now moved up a reading level. 

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Tools to Gain an Accurate Learner Profile

Describe the tools/measures/approaches you plan to use to get a more detailed and accurate profile of students’ learning in relation to that challenge. Justify why you chose these approaches and tools. (WFRC? #3)

Creating an accurate student profile is an important part of an effective inquiry. As I considered what this might look like I thought about what data I needed to best answer my question. 

Will increase discussion between learners and deliberate acts of teaching vocabulary improve achievement across multiple curriculum areas? 

First of all I want to build the picture of my target learners across multiple curriculum levels. This means looking at reading and writing achievement, maths achievement and wider curriculum achievement and interest. While I will focus on my whole class during this inquiry, I want to have a target group of my year 4 learners. These are all learners I had in my class last year and they make up the group of students in my class who are working well below their age in reading, writing and maths. 

Given these consideration I have decided the data I will collect with include:

1. A student voice survey, this survey will establish motivation in learning, the level of discussion they believe they have in class, how learning focused they think their discussion is and how they view their achievement. 

2. Star and PAT Maths/Reading data. This will provide a level of achievement in reading and maths. 

3. Running record data, this will provide some areas of need in reading and a level of decoding and comprehension. 

4. E-asstle writing data and a word count of writing sample. I will also compare sample to look at the types of words used and use "What every primary school teacher should know about vocabulary" as a reference text for this. 

5. Deliberate observation of student discussion with and without the teacher. I will ask another teacher to come and observer and make notes to get a clear picture of discussion. 

6. Picture vocabulary test to see what the extent of learners vocabulary is. 

Monday, 16 March 2020

Focusing Inquiry for 2020

I have been thinking a lot over the past 3 months about my inquiry from last year. How much I learned as a teacher and the shifts I saw in the children's attitudes and ability.

What I know for sure is that there is so much more I need to learn. So much more value I could be bring to my classroom to address the gaps in vocabulary. As I began to discuss this with others in my school I released that I needed to maintain the literacy focus in had in 2019 and build on this.

I began to read the wonderful book by Dr Jannie van Hees and Paul Nation- What every primary school teacher should know about vocabulary.
Image result for What every primary school teacher should know about vocabulary.

This a long with discussion with my SMT team and teaching colleges helped me to develop my questions that will guide my thinking around my inquiry this year leading from reading to oral language and hopefully into written language as the year progress.

Will increase discussion between learners and deliberate acts of teaching vocabulary improve achievement across multiple curriculum areas? 

My plan is to be more specific in my thinking, planning and implementation of my intervention this year giving my approach more time to work.

Friday, 13 March 2020

Looking Back and Taking Stock

#1... Use the ‘inquiry stocktake’ doc to reflect on and write about what you aim to learn about inquiry this year.

As we start to think more about 2020 and our teacher inquiry it is important to look back and ask, how well did I inquire last year. In this process I began to think about the planning for inquiry and the process of recording the changes I made. I also though about all the good intentions I had that didn't become reality.

Having been sick for the CoL meeting I spent a great deal of time looking at the Stocktake doc and thinking about what applied to me and how this could help me move forward in 2020.

Image result for teaching as inquiry

What worked well in 2019
In 2019 I developed a lot of ideas and tried a lot of things which gave lots of diversity in practice and learning opportunities. I had great success in reading and found that learner could rise to the high expectations and absorb a lot of new vocabulary in this area.

My Challenges in 2019
My biggest challenge was consistency in my approach and giving things time to work. I think this was due to a lack of forward planning at the beginning of my inquiry. While I did a lot of research I didn't have a clear vision for my class and when I believed something was not working I changed it possibly without enough hard evidence.

I also found the challenge of time. In my CoL across school role I am out of the classroom 2 day a week and this can also lead to a lack of consistency in my room.

The Support I need in 2020
I am going to reach out to other teachers and members of the Woolf Fisher research team and the Manaiakalani team to help me connect with effective practice in reading specifically around dialogic discussion and vocabulary. I want to have a clear idea of where I am heading before I leap in. I also want to have a strong foundation in research and more check point which I will need help developing and implementing as this will give me a richer picture of student achievement.

Friday, 6 March 2020

Manaiakalani Class Onair

This year I am continuing my role as a Manaiakalani Class Onair teacher. I am excited to keep sharing the learning that takes place in my classroom and extend on my won learning through watching myself teach on video and hearing feedback from teachers. 

This video shares a bit more about what you will see on my Manaiakalani Class Onair page.

There are many amazing teachers taking part in Manaiakalani Class Onair this year and many teacher who have contributed in the passed. You will find episodes ranging from year 1 to year 13 in many curriculum areas.

Here is a link to the site. I hope you will visit.