Thursday, 11 June 2015

Maths Progression: Problem Solving

In addition to having my literacy students begin to use a SOLO based rubric to monitor and self-reflect on their learning, I have begun to have my Maths class do the same.  We have been working on becoming confident problem solvers the past few weeks.  

My students are often able to tell you how to solve a simple problem using an algorithm, but many lack confidence when it comes to telling a group of their peers.  They also struggle to explain more than one method, and choose the best method possible.  

Over the past two weeks, I have watched the confidence in my students grow tremendously.  They are no longer afraid to make mistakes because they have discovered when it comes to Maths, a confident mistake often leads to correct understanding after our group presentations and discussions.  

Today, my students spent some time reflecting on themselves as a learner over the past week.  They reviewed the level they were at last week, and decided whether or not they have made enough progress to move to the next level.  As shown on the post below, Quasia entered today's date on the same level as she was at last week.  At first glance, one might think this meant that she did not make any progress during the week.  However, that is far from the truth.   Looking further in Quasia's post she discusses what she feels she has achieved this week and what her next step is in order to achieve 'purple.'  

Check out Quasia's post below, and feel free to click here to see her personal blog and leave her a message on her progress.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Reading Progression: Managing Time to Complete Assignments

Today, my literacy class had their first go with using a SOLO based rubric to help with their personal reflection on their assignments.  I decided to begin our SOLO rubric journey using a Key Competency that the students in my class really need to work on: Managing Self/Time to Complete Assignments.

Luckily, another teacher at Pt. England, Ben Baxendine, has already started a similar journey using SOLO based rubrics to enable his students to easily monitor and reflect on their progress.  This provided a pathway for my focus, and allowed me to start off at the point he has begun to feel the most successful.

I introduced the rubric to my students first thing this morning, and we spent some time going through each stage (or colour as referred to the levels as a class).  Students then spent some time looking at their most recent reading assignment and determining which level they felt they were on.

Once they decided which level they were, the students wrote today's date in the corresponding 'colour box' before posting the rubric on their individual blog.  Each student was also asked to write a paragraph or two under their rubric discussing why they were at that level and what they will have to do in order to achieve their level goal for our next assignment.

Here is one example of a student blog post:

This is my reading progress.

This is my reading Progress.Apparently I am in the orange zone,because I have't been managing my self ,and been doing my work properly .
 I have been talking too much and been getting too distracted,I understand why now.
And next time I will know what to do,and hopefully move to the Green or Blue zone.I hope u use this too.

PD: Dr. Jannie van Hees "Crafting Writing. Crafting Writers."

Today, we had our second session with Dr Jannie van Hees.  We spent the afternoon discussing our student writers and crafting effective paragraphs.

My notes from the session are below:

What is a paragraph?  How can we get kids more “crafted” in their paragraph writing?

Don’t forget to keep students in a “Goldilocks Zone” not, slow, hard, easy-especially with vocabulary choices.
This allows students to have powerful learning at all times.  This is highly powered by gifted words, and bringing definitions alive with a classroom discussion (not jumping to the dictionary).  

What is your ultimate goal with writing for your children? Dynamic, delicious writers, or able to pass an e-asttle format test.  Do not let go of frequent oral language and crafting “dynamic and delicious” sentences together.

It is so important that our student writers understand that editing is an ongoing job, and the writer must always be wearing the shoes of the reader.  

Do your students begin their writing with a sentence?  This is ok some of the time, but it is important that your students do not overuse this form of a writer’s hook.  It is very important to demonstrate varied ways to craft a hook.  

Make sure learners identify and write their topic, purpose(s) and audience prior to starting a piece of writing.  Purposes...move away from using “describe,” “explain,” “construct.”  Instead, use a reason:  “Your parents/aunties/uncles will be able to fully understand what happened during our assembly today.