Monday, 18 September 2017

Term 3: Maths Inquiry Update


I have recently taken some time to reflect on what I have been doing differently in maths this term.  I have quickly realised that it doesn't seem like a massive change in practice, it is making a difference in the way that my students are thinking about solving their problems.  By providing my students with opportunities to image (mainly using 10 Frames and using Bonds of 10s) when problem solving, they are gaining confidence in their abilities.  I have also been providing a weekly "mystery number" each week that students use to think deeper about what they know about that number. 

Friday, 15 September 2017

Empowering Student Selected Texts


The one common question that I am asked about my Inquiry this year is "How have you gone about providing students with opportunities to select their own texts keeping to the overall topic?"   In all honesty, this was something that I have struggled with for a few months especially considering that my students are so young and new to learning on a Chromebook.  Did I really want to release my control over what they were doing online?   I have come to realise that by scaffolding across my reading levels, they are all definitely able to do some self exploration, especially at this point in the school year.



This week, I had a group of students reading a book about the solar system. After reading, students were asked to think of something they would like to know more about from the book.  I gave the a graphic organiser on a Google Slide to fill out and asked that they hyperlink each website they used to learn something new about their chosen topic.




Saturday, 9 September 2017

Presenting at the Manaiakalani Boards' Forum

This past Thursday night, I was one of six CoL teachers asked to present my Inquiry representing the six different Community of Learning Achievement Challenges.

It was a great night to simply be reminded of the BIG picture that we are a part of in many ways, not only as CoL teachers but as Manaiakalani classroom teachers.

As the night began, participants were given the opportunity to take a look at our poster presentations for the Manaiakalani Hui  Then, after hearing about all of the various Manaiakalani is supporting teachers, and student learning, across the nation, it was our turn to share each of the Achievement Challenges and what our individual focus has been for the 2017 school year.

Here are some pictures of the night (taken by +Fiona Grant) and the slide deck that I presented, which was comprised of a mixture of slides from presentations that I have made over the past few weeks.



Monday, 28 August 2017

2017 Manaiakalani Annual Hui-Kahui Ako

This past Friday, the Manaiakalani Cluster held it's annual Hui at the Panmure Yacht & Boating Club.  During the day, I had two different chances to share my Inquiry with my colleagues and those in attendance.

During the morning session, the Spark-MIT teachers gave our first Ignite Talk to those in attendance.  It was a great opportunity to share and present a short (6 minute) presentation about what I have been doing with my literacy students this year. I was able to realise a few things about what I had prepared in order to help better prepare myself for our upcoming session at the New Zealand ULearn conference in October.

My Presentation Board
Our CoL teachers were also able to share our inquiries in a "science fair style" poster presentation that enabled participants to move around and view what we have been doing.

Participants were given a bingo style card for us to sign when our booth was visited and interacted with.  Many participants took some time to leave extremely positive and helpful comments on our blogs. During this time, many stopped by my booth and talked about how they had been following my professional blog this year and using some of the things I've talked about in their own classrooms.

Perhaps the most rewarding conversation I was able to have was with Rebecca Jesson from the Woolf Fisher Research Centre, whose findings and suggestions I have based most of my implementations on.  It was so reassuring to hear what she had to say and to answer the questions that she had after hearing my speech in the earlier session of the day.

Speaking with Manaiakalani's Dave Winters at the Hui.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Pasifika Power Up PLUS


For the past two years, I have had the privilege of being part of this amazing program at Tamaki College working primarily with our primary students.  This year we have had a record number of primary students attend (along with their parents!) to work on homework, receive help as needed, and gain a deeper understanding of high school NCEA requirements.

It is such a fun night and all of our students from ECE to Year 13 mix together for the sole purpose of raising their own educational level.  One of my favourite things is watching our parents interact with their children and their friends to help them study or understand a concept they are working on with one of the tutors.  If you're around GI on a Tuesday night, you definitely should come check out PowerUP.  We'd love to have you!

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Pt. England COL Inquiry Presentation

This week, the PES COL teachers were asked to do a five minute presentation for the rest of our staff sharing how our Inquiries are going up to this point.  I found it so beneficial taking the time to go through where I am in my Inquiry now and the path that I have taken to come to this point with my class and in particular my focus group.

As I prepare my presentation for our upcoming Manaiakalani Hui next week, I am so thankful that I was able to share a portion of what will become part of that presentation ahead of time.  I compiled a video with a voice over recording of the presentation that I gave to include on my blog primarily for those who have asked to have a copy of certain parts for their own reference or further inquiry, but also as a great reminder of where I am at to this point.




Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Maths PD: Jo Knox

Today the teachers of Team 3 were given an opportunity to meet with Jo Knox and spend some time together going over some the areas of maths that we are seeing our students struggle with continuously.

First, Jo spent some time talking to us about strategies to use with our students to learn solidify place value understanding.

Create/See/Record:
ex: Going from 29 to 30 without saying 20/10…It is very important to use physical materials with students like packets of 10 (beans/sticks) and place value charts (houses). Jo said that by using discrete objects that have to be physically connected to make 10 students will gain a more concrete understanding. Jo also suggested using the 1000 book to could by 10s, or by 100s from any number. However, you must be sure to use the materials to reinforce the concept.

Develop Place Value Understanding
ex: writing 54 in words We need to be sure that we are providing multiple ways to use a number when we are doing this. For example, add 10, now subtract 20 and go up 5. Then, write the number in words, and the expanded form. However, when doing this, be sure to provide the students with a chart (or Google Draw/Slide) with the words on it. I was thinking that this is something we could easily have set up as a Slide/Drawing that is scaffolded into our daily routine until students grasp the concept. Once students are secure in this process, add it as a weekly assignment and then scaffold in a new version with different concepts on it to do as a group/class.

Using a Daily Maths Wall-Very similar to the "calendar wall" that is done in the year 1 classes by adopting this technique to use with students at their level to repetitively learn over and over the same concepts that need daily revisiting.

Jo then worked with a small group of our students to model some of the ideas she shared. It was during this time that the power of imagery became quickly apparent.  By having the students image after they got a concept with the materials, and then go back to the materials to check it reinforced student understanding.  When adding using double digits it is important to move to stick packets of 10 and do it with the sticks and then imaging again.


It was also very evident that providing the students with the time to describe what a number looks like was so powerful, and as always remembering that dialogic conversations in maths, as well as reading, are so valuable to increasing student understanding.