Sunday, 30 June 2019

Creating with Slides

This term, I really wanted to find ways to engage my Year 7/8 students more when completing Learn and Create tasks. Now that I have a group of students working at a Year 8 reading level and it was my intention to provide them with some choice when selecting their supplementary texts. We spent some time reading and discussing the School Journal story "The Seeing Hawk." Students were then given opportunities to select a topic to independently dive deeper into (as seen on our site here).

After selecting one of two learning paths, students were asked to use the information to create a fun and interesting Digital Learning Object (DLO) of their own choice. As part of our DFI sessions, we spent some time looking at Google Slides and one week I had a go at creating an interactive game (Seen Here).  So, of course, before setting them off on their way, I quickly showed off my skills making a game using Google Slides.

A few of the boys in class decided to work together and they have been problem solving their way through to create this game about the Tā Moko.  When you play the game (in present mode), the various boxes are clickable and students can select the answer they agree with before the slides flips and they find out how they did.


I was very impressed that the boys took time to try something new and they have embraced the intricacies that come along with formulating a slide show game. I also really like that they are teaching after the answer in selected to provide more information about that question topic. 

This is an awesome Create (or Create to Learn) task that extends the computer skills and computational thinking of our older students. I am excited to implement more tasks similar to this in the upcoming weeks that will allow my students to feel like they are doing something new and exciting. 

Friday, 28 June 2019

Digital Fluency Intensive #5

What did I learn that increased my understanding of Manaiakalani kaupapa and pedagogy?

Manaiakalani: Visible Teaching and Learning

It is easy for us to overthink the word “visible”. However, it has been around since the beginning of time. 

Previously, the teaching/learning journey was invisible. It was very difficult to see what it was that students were learning at a particular time. Many students learnt how to read the teacher’s mind and figure out what was expected of them. This often comes from family involvement and discussions that occur in the household.

However, it is now the way in Manaiakalani classroom for teaching and learning to be visible to enable all students to be successful. In all aspects of classroom interaction (from planning, process, outcomes and assessment) what can be visible?  We want to be sure that there are no surprises in our classroom for our students. Teaching should be accessible, available and advanced.

Using Multi Modal Learning
As educators, our job is to make learning engaging, and exciting for our students. We, in Manaiakalani, need to always remember our Hook. Is what we are doing in class engaging? Will it “hook” them into the learning that I want them to experience? We need to be working to inspire our kids to go in and investigate further. 

What did I learn that could improve my confidence, capability or workflow as a professional?
 
General Rules of Thumb: (and great reminders!)
Always, plan your site first on paper. Make sure you set up a folder in your drive with the permission settings set to anyone with the link can view. 

Students should be able to access what they need within THREE clicks. 

Headers: Use a Banner (w/ Image) or Title Only.

When creating buttons using Google Drawing, it will always open a new tab which does not allow students to "go back". 

Embedding Twitter Feeds: Go to publish.twitter.com put in the twitter feed account URL that you want to use and then select that you would like it as a timeline. Once you get the embed code, add it to your site and it will naturally populate in real time. 


What did I learn that could be used with my learners?  
As part of our afternoon, I spent time working with Robyn Anderson and Sarah Tuia to create a mutli-modal Google Site using the mulit-textual database that I helped to create as part of my 2017 Spark Manaiakalani Innovative Teacher inquiry. We spent time looking at Maori myths/legends and working our students through the historical art of oral story telling. A link to our site can be found here. I would love to use this site with my students in the future and consider putting together multi-modal site pages together for students to use in the future, especially for topics covered every year (ie Matariki, Pt England Way, etc).




Friday, 21 June 2019

Digital Fluency Intensive #4

What did I learn that increased my understanding of Manaiakalani kaupapa and pedagogy?

Share:
We have been sharing as humans since time began. While the mode of sharing is ever changing, the actual human response remains the same. However, digital affordances have changed the speed and amplification of the information being shared. Since 2005, the original 7 Manaiakalani schools have focused on harnessing the digital affordances to find the best way to use the latest technologies to help our students learn most effectively.

Why do we (still) use Blogger: Used as a space where we can teach our students many things at one time when focusing on what it looks like to be an effective digital citizen while online. As a school, we have many systems in place that allow us to legally monitor student (and general population) engagement with the digital tool. The importance of blogging three times a week was also revisited as it has proven once again (by the Woolf Fisher Research Centre) that students who blog three times a week continue to show academic growth even during non-teacher contact time.

Manaiakalani is the only cluster of schools in NZ that has a dedicated Cybersmart Curriculum. We know that our students are taught a dedicated Cybersmart Curriculum.  

What did I learn that could improve my confidence, capability or workflow as a professional?


Google Forms:

We had a few good reminders before sending out a form. Using the settings, make sure you check:

-Do you want email addresses?
-Responses to form emailed to participants
-Checking/Unchecking external domain access
-Limit to 1 response (or not)
-Editing after submission
-See other’s responses

Perhaps the most mind blowing suggestion for me is using one spreadsheet to collate data for many forms. I hadn't realised that you could do this previously. It would be so beneficial to have all the data collected using forms for one school year on the same spreadsheet.
-Select Response Destination
-Select Existing Spreadsheet
-Rename the tabs to reflect the correct form

Sheets:
Sparkline: Making individual line graphs for a row of data that shows in a cell. (=Sparkline).

We also learnt how to program a Macro to record a set of directions that are used often. Those directions are programmed into a recorded list and then can be applied with the stroke of a few keys to update a new spreadsheet (or tab) in the same way.



What did I learn that could be used with my learners?  

My Maps:
Used to track/plan journeys, measure distances, add place markers
Importing from a Spreadsheet:
-You are able to have students add data into a Google form and then import that information from the spreadsheet onto the MyMap place markers. 
-Creating various layers using the same map
-Students can embed their individual MyMap to their blog




I would love to have my students trial the Blog Post Analysis as I discussed on my post here.

DFI: Blog Analysis

As part of the DFI Session 4 (Dealing with Data), we spent the day exploring ways that we could better collect, collate and display data. At the end of the day, we talked a bit about how our students in Manaiakalani (and across the Outreach Clusters) make accelerated growth in their learning when they blog post a minimum of three times a week and continue their growth over the holiday periods if they continue blogging on their own.

We looked into a statistical investigation that Robyn Anderson (Panmure Bridge School) did with her Year 7/8 students looking into the regularity of their own blog posting.  We were then tasked to use the tools we explored during the day today to look deeper into some student blogs from around Maniakalani and analyse them. After doing so, I spent some time looking at my own professional blog and this is a DLO for what I came up with.


This is a task that I would love to do with my students in the near future to see how they think they measure up with the 3 posts a week average goal, and what goals they would set for themselves moving into term 3.

Monday, 17 June 2019

Critical Thinking: Assigned Q&A

This week, I decided to take one of the suggested Google Docs Learning Tasks from DFI and put it into practice with one of my literacy groups.  It was an easy assignment to implement, especially because I already had the online articles pulled for the group to use.  All it required from me was to put the article on a Google Doc and give the students in that group View Only with Comment editing rights.

The group I assigned the Q&A to was comprised of 11 year 7/8 students instructionally reading between 11 and 11.5 years of age. They immediately took off and after reading the article through, they had so many questions written for each other in such a short period of time. They will be working through the questions assigned to them during class tomorrow and then we will be spending some time discussing their understanding of the article together.

Here is a screenshot of the article and the students' Q&A Commenting.
Please note that it is not shown in entirety to enable surnames to be hidden from view. 

One of the things I would consider doing in the future is breaking the group up into smaller groups of students for the Q&A.  It seemed that it was getting very crowded in the comment threads and some questions/answers were getting hard to see without resolving the comments.

Friday, 14 June 2019

Digital Fluency Intensive #3

What did I learn that could improve my confidence, capability or workflow as a professional?

Image result for DJI Spark logoToday began with Kent Sommerville talking with us about using drones and other camera connections to livestream using YouTube. He not only shared with us the various uses of drones in a school setting but also how to set up your livestream to be delayed or immediate for various reasons.  We also spent some time discussing the pros and cons of using a GoPro verses a Drone for various reasons. 

I love being part of a school that has the latest digital affordances available that will provide students with different cutting edge experiences. My mind is already working though how I may use the Drone or Osmo when filming my film festival movie.

 Just before morning tea, we also spent some time exploring YouTube a little further. We looked into how to set up a YouTube channel that could be used to put together playlists of videos for our students to use for rewindable learning or for deeper learning into a subject.

What did I learn that increased my understanding of Manaiakalani kaupapa and pedagogy?
Manaiakalani Pedagogy Focus: Create/Hanga
As always, it is so wonderful to have some time to focus in on the Learn, Create, Share pedagogy of Manaiakalani. Today we focused on Create/Hanga.

Create in Manaiakalani is all about the hook. What can you do to “hook” students in learning?

“Creative skills help students become better problem solvers, communicators and collaborators.” (Everyone Can Create Apple)
“Creativity focuses on the process of forming original ideas through exploration and discovery. In children…” (Kohl 2008)

Create has to continue from ECE classrooms all the way through to Year 13. 
NZ was formerly known around the world as a centre for creative education. The documentary called The heART of the Matter focuses on NZ education 60 years ago in the far north at a school which is now a Manaiakalani Outreach School.  
It is important to remember that Create is a DOING word, using the whole body and incorporates the senses.  The idea of doing something allows our minds to be kickstarted into doing something. 

What did I learn that could be used with my learners?  



After hearing a bit about how to use Google Drawing, we had some lovely students come in from Panmure Bridge School and my Blog Post is Here from our session with them.

My big take away from that session is using Shift when resizing the canvas to your desired size.





We also spent some time looking at Google Slides and we were asked to use it to Create something that we would like to use with our students. After exploring student blogs last week for our Hangout assignment, I really wanted to have a go at making an interactive game using Slides. I am so excited to use it next week with my maths students. Check out my blog post here to see my creation.




Gaming with Slides

Today, while at DFI Session 3, I was given some time to Create using some of the tools that we explored today that we plan on using in class next week. I decided as part of our Maths Follow Up Tasks, my students would have the opportunity to create a game using a mathematical concept.   Here is the slide deck for the game that I created:


When students play the game, it would present like this:




I am really excited to teach this way to Create during my Maths classes this week, and I already have ideas for using it with Literacy as well.

Google Drawing a Picture

As part of our DFI session this week, we had some lovely students from Panmure Bridge come by to share with use some Drawings they had made using Google Drawings. We then had some time to explore doing this using the Polyline drawing tool.

Here is a picture of a Kiwi Bird made using Māori designs that I drew during our session.

Friday, 7 June 2019

Digital Fluency Intensive Session 2


What did I learn that increased my understanding of Manaiakalani kaupapa and pedagogy?


It was a great morning spending some time reviewing the Learn/Ako focus of our Manaiakalani pedagogy. It was a great chance to refresh some of the information that was shared with us during our term 1 staff meeting.

A few take homes for me were:
FOCUS: effective teaching and learning using both digital and analog world (side by side railway tracks)
-Effective Practice is teaching that RATs:
Recognise Amplify Turbocharge
-Learn is not prescribed by Manaiakalani...it differs from school to school and has nothing to do with digital education
-Great teaching + Digital Affordances=Accelerated Learning


What did I learn that could improve my confidence, capability or workflow as a professional?

One tab would be an amazing extension to help organise my life professionally. I often leave Professional meetings (COL, DFI, etc) with many tabs open that I want to use to formulate an informative or reflective blog post at a later date.  I think I would use this more often than the Toby extension.

What did I learn that could be used with my learners?  

It nice to review using Google Hangout. It is something that I have used in the past with my class to have some sharing time with another school in South Auckland.  However, over the years, I have not
thought to use it. I would love to come up with a learning opportunity for my students to Hangout at some point in the future.

We also had some time to have our own Hangout discussing student work from around the country. Check out my post of this session here.

During our session, we spent some time having a Hangout with others discussing student work.  Here is a video for our session:


What did I learn that could improve my confidence, capability or workflow in my personal life?

Although I have been using Google Keep for quite some time, I had not thought to use notes collaboratively with adults in my personal life to help with planning household routines or group events. I plan to add Keep to my husband's phone so we can have a collaborative shopping list or prep list for future trips.  I am also in love with the location tracking tool in Keep. Being able to have your phone ping you a reminder when you get close to the location is amazing!




Thursday, 6 June 2019

PES PD: Dr. Jannie van Hees

As a team, we have presented Jannie with three areas of concern

FOCUS: Reading age: 8-10 years old. This is where a lot of our kids are stuck..
Reading strategies/ approach to do with kids when they are with us.
How do we lead group discussion/facilitate our reading groups to get more vocab and thinking/argumentation from our students?
Also what types of follow up activities can they do after this session with the teacher?
Image result for flippers in water
Deep Diving into Text
Narratives are often less demanding in terms of what is going on in the text. We need to make sure we are doing a disproportionate amount of non-fiction.
Read silently-take in information (what can we get a hold of from this text? Then, read to build fluency)
Re-read aloud 1-2 paragraphs (or short section) and try to get a wider deeper meaning of the reading (holistically look at the text).
Teacher becomes the mediator for student discussion to pull together the deeper meaning on the story and pick up the “gems” that need to be melded together.

Significant Word Groups: Be intentional about noticing. Do not singularly look at vocabulary but look at the phrase or group of words for combined meaning (veil of mist)

Quantities of quality text (cutting edge texts for kids). Less about doing activities and more about focusing in on logging word groups.  We need to create a hungriness in our students for a deeper want to learn.

Learning conditions need:
Word Consciousness Cultivation
Rich Language and Word Availability
Explicit Word Attention
Word Learning Strategies

Developing a culture of word-consciousness, while creating a community of Word gathers.
Word hunters
Hungry for words
 Word crazy
Word power/powerful
Word wizards
Collect-grab-share
‘Human’ dictionaries

To be relevant vocabulary must be:
in text-in context
Available-notice
multiple encounters
engaged with

WORDPLOSION: Digging deep for the underlying meaning of a word and then you are able to understand the word family.
Example: Employ
-explain it: to enhance something/to put to use
-family members: employee, employment, employed,
employing, reemploy
As texts become more complex, language and structure, vocabulary, concept knowledge and thinking and meaning bring upon deeper student understanding.

Deep Diving
We want kids to be mindful readers. Deep diving comes from talking about it. Students are viewing, reading, noticing, and talking with each other and the teacher.

Newspaper article
Headline: what clues does it offer about the main points? What is amazing about that? What do you want to know now?
Paragraphs 1 and 2: Dig the details of the article to help answer the questions further
Use images and movie clips when appropriate

Slow down to take small chunks to pick up ideas. Looking at groups of words. What are the surface meanings of those words?

Critical Thinking: Assigned Q&A

It was so fun to expand Critical Thinking with some of my fast finishers today. 

After attending our first DFI session last week, I really wanted to have some students expand their critical thinking skills using an assigned Q&A Google Docs assignment that Dorothy Burt shared with us. Unfortunately, the way things were in our learning space this week, we ran out of time to trial it as a whole reading group (or class), but I did have three boys who were fast finishers. So, I took their spare time and turned them into guinea pigs. 

Using an article that was already assigned as one of their reading texts for the week, I quickly copied the text to a Google Doc and shared it with the three boys. I took a few minutes to show them how to assign comments to each other (+their email address in the comment box) and then instructed them to ask each other questions about the text. They were very excited to trial something new, and while they were getting started, I wrote a question individually assigned to each of them to answer. 

They boys were enjoying themselves so much, they didn't even realise that the entire learning space shifted from literacy to maths all around them.  Once I realised they were still working in our shared space on the Q&A, I told them they would have to finish up later and they were actually bummed to have to stop working and shift to maths. 

So very excited to add this into my lessons for upcoming weeks to see how it goes with a whole reading group working together.

Friday, 31 May 2019

Digital Fluency Intensive Week 1



For the next nine weeks, I have the opportunity to be part of the Cohort #2 of the 2019 Manaiakalani Digital Fluency Intensive. I am very excited to begin this journey, and I am looking forward to discovering some new tools to be used with my students and in my planning.

This week, we spent time focusing on Google Drive and Google docs. It was a great opportunity to refresh my thinking around these two elements of Google suite. 

A few take aways that I have are:
  1. When copy and pasting, it is important to press Ctrl+Shift+V and not simply use Ctrl+V.
  2. When on a doc (or in a folder) that you want to add into your own drive do not make a copy. Press Shift+Z
  3. Use the "Assign" tool when adding comments for students to create questions about a text for other students (those they have assigned) to answer. I am really excited to use this with my students. 
  4. When working with a group (ie parents, school club, or group of teachers) create a Google Group to use as a platform for sharing and discussing information.
  5. I am very diligent when organising my own Google Drive but do I offer opportunities for my students to clean up their Drives on a regular basis?
  6. We also explored a few new Chrome Extensions that I am excited to try in my classroom. Watch this space to see which I decide to use and how it goes with my students. 

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Testing Hypotheses

Explain the hypotheses about teaching that you decided were MOST worth testing, and why. (WFRC #8)

For each of your hypotheses, explain how you will test it and what evidence would support (or refute) that hypothesis. (WFRC #9)

Scaffolding:
Am I scaffolding too much and at the same time, am I removing the scaffold too soon? It is such a delicate back and forth that we must do, especially in a class setting with students working across three curriculum levels?

WHY: Many students in my class, are so used to being able to do things in a step by step process as described and monitored by teachers in the past. Students are not used to self-monitoring their own progress.

TESTING/EVIDENCE: The most immediate way to test this is by observation of independent student work. By providing students with assignments that have the scaffolding in place as a pre-observation and then removing it for a later assignment will provide the easiest way to visualise and assess student achievement. Once it is observed that a task of that nature can be completed without the scaffolding, then move on to the next task type.  I also believe that the effectiveness of this will be seen when analysing student running record results. Many of our learning tasks are created in a way that will allow students to think about a text in a way that is required for the higher level running record tests.  If students are able to make that connection from their assignment to the test question then growth is evident.

Collaborative Sharing Time:
Do I provide my students with time to learn from each other? We spend so much time in class reading about similar topics, but what can I do to provide opportunities for groups to grow wider with their understanding of a learning topic by learning from their peers in other reading groups.

TESTING/EVIDENCE:
Evidence of .this would occur by careful planning on my part and the development of tasks for students to work in across their reading groups. This could provide students with a common language about a subject but depending on which text they have been exposed to they would have different levels of understanding. Students working together collaboratively like this has the potential to create cross-group creative tasks for students to shine with those from higher/lower reading levels.

Monday, 27 May 2019

Addressing Student Learning Focus

Develop a set of hypotheses about patterns in your teaching that could be changed to more effectively address the student learning focus. (WFRC #7)

1. Time Management: Am I expecting too much or too little of my students when it comes to their follow up tasks?
2. Collaborative Sharing Time: Do I provide my students with time to learn from each other? We spend so much time in class reading about similar topics, but what can I do to provide opportunities for groups to grow wider with their understanding of a learning topic by learning from their peers in other reading groups.
3. Scaffolding: Am I scaffolding too much and at the same time, am I removing the scaffold too soon? It is such a delicate back and forth that we must do, especially in a class setting with students working across three curriculum levels?
4. Reading Strategies: Am I offering the right follow up tasks (in a creative way) that allow to students to develop their specific reading struggles?




Thursday, 23 May 2019

Process of Hypothesis Development

Describe your process for developing hypotheses (what you read, who you talked with). (WFRC #6)

Conversations with:

Woolf Fisher Research Centre
-Students across our cluster are making some achievement, however, they still remain below the national norm for their age group.
-Wider and Deeper Reading Models
-Increased Reading Mileage 

Russell Burt-Principal 
-Ongoing Staff meeting discussions about our school reading data and next steps

PES Staff Inquiry Meetings
-Twice a term, we have staff meetings designated to discussing with and gaining feedback from our staff in regards to our 
Team 5 Colleagues
-As a team, our team wide focus in on reading and as a result we have ongoing conversations during our team meetings (Both formal and informal)

2017-2018 COL Bursts and Bubbles
-Listening to the presentations from the CoL Teachers from across Manaiakalani

Professional Development/Reading:

Betsy Sewell (blog post here)
By the time students reach years 6,7, and 8 they have so many gaps that have been created by the inability to know HOW to apply specific reading skills like letter combinations, sounds and words.  What can we do to change the way they are learning? Betsy offers many new strategies that we are implementing at lower levels around the school.

Dr. Janni van Hees (Blog thread here)
During the past few years, I have been able to have multiple sessions with Dr van Hees across the grade levels due to the different classes I have taught. Her messages are always the same (students need to talk more and be talked to using high level vocabulary), but she continually brings new strategies to consider and trial in class. 

What Every Primary School Teacher Should Know about Vocabulary?-Jannie van Hees and Paul Nation








Monday, 20 May 2019

Manaiakalani Create PD

This term for our Manaiakalani staff PD, the whole cluster was invited to Tamaki College for the afternoon to spend some time engaging in a fun create task or two.  I signed up to make Vietnamese spring rolls.

We were split into groups of 4 and put into kitchens around the room to work. Each kitchen was responsible for prepping the ingredients needed to make various types of spring rolls. We were in the shrimp kitchen. My job was to cook the vermicelli noodles, dice the lettuce and then I split the prepped veges into two different serving dishes.

After learning how to prep the rice shell, we were given time to explore the various ingredients and make our own spring rolls to sample.  We had a lot of fun and I look forward to making these again in the future.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Preliminary Findings


Begin to collect evidence and data  and come to the next session ready to share your preliminary findings about the nature and extent of the student challenge i.e. using your baseline student data and evidence. (WFRC #5)


Earlier this year, I conducted a student voice survey in an effort to understand my literacy students a little bit better and to gain a deeper understanding of their reading likes/dislikes.  When looking over the survey I was pleasantly surprised to learn that of the 28 students who took the survey only 2-3 said they didn't enjoy reading and just over half of the students also put something in their answers about how they enjoy reading even more when they are able to relax and not be distracted by others.  Students indicated that they enjoy reading most in silence.

When creating the survey, I was curious how the students saw themselves as readers. So I asked the question:
 
I was happy to see that only 21.4% of the students in my literacy class considered themselves to be slow readers and when digging deeper I was exceptionally surprised to learn that some of those students were actually some of the more able readers in my literacy class.

Students were also asked (in short answer form) what they wanted to improve on the most in reading this year and the most common response was that they wanted to be able to read and understand "big words" the first time.  I found it very interesting that this is something that our students indicate as something they would like to work on and it is also something that we have flagged as an important area of focus for the students in our cluster. 

I have also collected and created a spreadsheet for my students that shows their test scores from Running Records, PAT, and STAR as well as their Curriculum level from the end of 2018.  I have included the data for the students in my focus group below as compared to the national scale score average.


Another piece of evidential data that I am collecting are student reading ages based on the results of the PMBenchmark Running Record kit which I will be administering during the next few weeks.  This will be compared to the data from the end of the 2018 school year to see what the student's shift in reading age is over the past 6 months.

The last piece of data I have is found in my anecdotal teacher notes where I indicate observations that I have when reading aloud with students from my literacy class.

Friday, 12 April 2019

Words Have Power...PES Edition

Today, the teachers of Pt England had a Teacher Only Day and the last portion of our day was spent hearing from Dr. Janni van Hees. Below are my notes from our session.

Janni van Hees
April 2019
Image result for words have power



Quantities of quality text
  • The more books in a child’s life means the more talk accompany there is in their world. What type of talk accompany mileage engagement are our student’s encountering?
  • A quick explain (in the gifting zone) helps using ‘real life language’ when working with students
  • We can’t afford for too long to be at texts that are too low. Students need to be reading challenging texts routinely.
  • It isn’t just written but oral as well.
  • We need short, sharp dives into quality challenging texts.
We want our students to be capable in Language: expressing and understanding.

Children’s language and learning acquisition potential is astounding. Don’t be scared to work in the “Goldilocks” zone with kids. The ultimate achievement is uptake! They will get it because they can!
There are two ways to learn language: engagement and usage. It is important to remember quantity along with quality.
  • Other’s language available to me
  • Me trying out the language and using it
We should disproportionally provide language for the kids. We spend too much time with reading groups and not enough time with expanded opportunities for oral language

We need to be sure that we are optimising learning conditions by allowing a flourishing learner potential for learning and language.
We need to Deep Dive in Action.Image result for deep dive

Say more and talk with detail. (My COL blog post using this)
-Use words and ideas that gift your learners knowledge and words. (YOU-Teacher)
-Use words and ideas so your audience knows what you mean (STUDENTS)
-Use words and ideas that gift your child knowledge and words (Families)
**When talking about the detail focus on talking the detail not necessarily focusing on how, what, when, why, etc. Focus on the details the students present.

Adding detail doesn’t make something more interesting. It allows your reader to see exactly what you mean.







PES DMIC PD

Today the teacher's of Pt England had a teacher's only day and we spent the morning hearing from DMIC Don. It was a great session refocusing our mindset on various elements of DMIC Instruction. Below are my notes from that session. 

DMIC-Don
April 2019

All the things we already know about maths (including follow up tasks and content knowledge) does not change with DMIC. Strengths with behaviour management and key competencies does not change. All that changes is the delivery of the mathematical content.

Complex Instruction
  • Promotes a different way of understanding of how people learn
  • A different image of what it means to understand a mathematical idea
    • Norms
    • Accountability
    • Grouping
Builds on the idea that learning is complex, and that the learners all bring different ideas and understandings to a problem, which make sense of the learning challenge it presents in multiple ways.
  • Standing back and observing from a distance
  • Provides opportunity for students to show what they know
  • Teacher is able to pull from student interactions for sharing back
Social and Academic Status

In GI, the community values, family, inclusion, reciprocal relationships, leadership (church, chief, school), family/culturally centered events, sports)

-confidence (DMIC; NO hands up….keep the control on the teacher not on the confident child who continually volunteers)

Assigned Value?

- English has more assigned value than other languages.
-non-fluent English speakers do not have the same competencies as those of native English speakers
-Asians are always good at maths
-Status at PES is often determined by those who are/are not able to self-regulate and use language to accurately express themselves.

Status GeneralisationHelps us understand how the characteristics between people differ and how they are pooled so that status is allotted
  • Status is local and changes within settings
  • Status differences in classrooms reflect those of wider society
  • Many local status characteristics derive from the school and class culture
  • Children watch and interpret teacher’s actions to see what is valued?
The effect of status
When students work in small groups the differences in status (not strengths or motivation) shapes who talks, who others listen to, and who’s ideas direct what decisions are made.

It is better to consider students as having low status instead of low kids, low achievers, struggling students because this means teachers will look for more effective ways to open up the maths for all students.

What does being “smart in maths” means?
-How can we build this into our classroom culture?
-Why do we listen? Focus on listening to understand

Presenting back: Roles need to be defined as things that need to be done. However, student involvement in presenting back needs to be fluid. Every student should be presenting at some point during the talk back.

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Building an Accurate Student Learning 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 #4)



When thinking about my inquiry this year, the tools/measures/approaches that I plan to use to help portray and accurate profile of student learning in relation to vocabulary acquisition strengthening reading comprehension and promoting student led dialogic conversations are:

1.  Student survey: My hope is that by asking my students to help paint a reading profile of themselves, (likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, etc) I will be able to hopefully plan the best reading tasks/genres/topics and have an idea of where to focus my lessons to help build student interest in a topic

2. PAT Scores: This paints a very quick picture for me as the teacher (and for my students when we go over the results together, which I hope to do early in Term 2) of a student's strengths and weaknesses. It also allows for a clear picture of student achievement at the end of of the year when combined with other data collection.

3. STAR Test Scores: This test allows for a picture of current vocabulary usage to be made for each student. Combined with the PAT test at the end of the year, it contributes to the clear picture of student achievement as well. 

4. BURT Word Recognition Test: After administering this test last year, I realised what an easy tool it is to administer and how it also contributes to that picture of student achievement.  Going through this with the students and allowing them to see what they were able to achieve now and at the end of the year is a quick indicator for them of the daily words they are able to recognise while reading.

5. Running Records: By administering Running Record tests, I am able to see firsthand what an individual's issues are when decoding/comprehending a text.

6. Teacher Observation/Group Interactions: I try to keep adequate anecdotal notes when working with my reading groups. I have begun to keep an "oral reading" log where I quickly note things I notice during our reading sessions in addition to my normal teacher plan reflections. 

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Say More. Tell the Detail.

As part of our CoL meeting last week, we heard from Dr. Janni van Hees and she shared with us some practical ways to get our kids using higher level vocabulary.  One of the strategies she shared with us was referred to as Say More. Tell the Detail.

I decided to try this strategy with my Literacy class this week with the hope of linking the concept to our writing assignment from last week.

Dr. van Hees suggested showing students a simple statement like:

A bird flew into our house.

After showing this to the class, have a discussion about what else we could include as the author to allow the reader to understand (and see) exactly what the author was trying to say. Then, show them this improved paragraph. 

A bird flew into our house. We had a window open and it just flew in. It was super scared 'cos it felt trapped.

Taking this concept into consideration, I knew from the writing samples I had recently scored that many of my students were not including detail of this type in their writing. I have also observed that my students were not used to sharing colourful language when brainstorming and looking at a picture before they begin writing. As a result, I decided to focus my writing lesson this week on painting a picture with our words. 

We began by looking at this picture and sentence:
The sun low over the horizon
I saw the sun.

I then asked the class what else they wanted to know.  They came up with things like, 
  • When did you see the sun?
  • Where did you see the sun?
  • How did you see the sun?
We then discussed ways that we could add personification to the description and what other descriptive words they could use when talking about this picture.

We pulled together this list:

  • When: On my way to school this morning
  • Where: over the river
  • How: rays through the clouds
  • Figurative Language: Personification the sun is greeting me
  • Descriptive words (adjectives): *sparkling river  *bright rays *morning sun
Then, we were able to construct the following detailed sentence.

This morning, on my way to school, I looked over the sparkling river and saw the bright rays of the morning sun shining through the clouds to greet me as I started my day.

Students have been provided with three more pictures to consider while making sentences that paint a picture. I am hoping as a result of this we will begin to see words and phrases from the Goldilocks zone emerge when we are brainstorming for our digital word bank prior to starting our writing tasks each week.




COL PD: Words Have Power

As part of our second COL meeting this term, we spent some time with Dr. Janni van Hees exploring the power that words have and considering ways that we can optimise the words on the page to increase student understanding.

Image result for Power of words
Dr. Janni van Hees

What’s on your mind? One of the strong issues arising are our language meaning making strategies.

Growing our Language Capabilities
Vocabulary through Written and Oral Print

Our Manaiakalani Key Focus: Languaging Learning (2019) from Lanugage Abundance (2018)
-Learning is carried on a sea of language
-Discovering the common language
-Ultimately allowing students to be empowered

Optimising Learning Conditions: Allows for the uptake of the language available. These are things that the students need to do and be aware of when in their learning groups.

-Focus and notice
-Put in the effort
-Take part (participate) fully
-Push myself to the edge
-Dig deep for what I already know
-Notice and focus (Learn from others)
-I share (others learn from me)
-Think and talk, think and need
-Wondering and Asking

This is very similar to the DMIC approach of setting up Class Norms for students to adhere to in order to be successful

Are our students reading deeply enough while being extended enough?-What can we put the lens on?
-Only some learners speak in my classroom when we are learning together
-Question: What is the environment that I have created for responding to the text/question/situation? (What is the culture? Hands??thinking and sharing???)

Point to Ponder: If we across the CoL, have Deep Diving, we are providing quantities of quality texts while increasing noticing of vocabulary and knowledge basis will we be able to see the increase in student achievement. We must provide ways to scaffold understanding so that they drip with understanding.