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.

COL PD: Valued Learning Outcomes

WFRC: Aaron Wilson
As part of our second CoL Meeting of the term, we had an opportunity to once again hear from Dr Aaron Wilson from the Wolf Fisher Research Centre.  Dr Wilson pointed out the importance of recognising patterns and identifying Valued Learning Outcomes. Below are my notes and take aways from the session. 
Recap of Session 1:


Don’t focus your inquiry on the low hanging fruit things...what are the stubborn issues in your classroom and what can we do about it?
Teaching as Inquiry should not be an individual thing. In order to effectively change the cluster, we need to be grouped together more often to discuss our challenges and successes to ultimately make change for everyone.

Point of thought: Are our inquiry groups too small? Should we be focusing on our whole class or a larger group of students within our class?



Pattern Recognition: we need to come together as educators to see the patterns in our successes and failures so we can ALL learn from them.

Identifying Valued Learning Outcomes (VLOs):
  • Achievement
  • Progress
  • Māori learning as Māori
  • Key competencies
  • Participation
  • Affective outcomes
We need to focus on obtaining an holistic picture of our students.

Reading VLO’s:
  • Able to read and comprehend unfamiliar, age appropriate, texts independently - PAT/asTTle
  • Develops in reading ability at an at least expected rate of progress - PAT/asTTle
  • Reads regularly in and out of school
  • Loves reading
  • Has strategies for selecting texts for particular purposes
  • Knows that some texts will require resilience and persistence to make meaning from
  • Has a toolbox of strategies that s/he can use deliberately
  • Can synthesise across multiple texts
  • Considers connections between oral, written and visual language
  • Can read critically and is hyper-aware of authors’ positioning of readers
  • Appreciates aesthetic properties of language and literature

When you value things that are not texted in standardised tests you need to look at things much differently.

Point to Ponder:
For the problems that we are looking at, in order to build a really rich picture of student LEARNING (achievement and progress) what is that we need to know and how will you measure it? How can we find out what children CAN do?

PES PD: Manaiakalani LEARN

LEARN
Term 1: Dorothy Burt
This week was the Pt England Manaiakalani staff meeting.  During Term 1, the schools throughout Manaiakalani focus on the Learn part of our Learn, Create, Share pedagogy.   Below is are my notes and personal reflection from that session.


Recognise Effective Practice
Amplify Effective Practice
Turbocharge Effective Practice
In the digital world of our learners.

Looking at effective practice through the RAT lens in the digital world.

Effective practice is the key, but effective planning and individualised student goals are the gold and the digital learning simply amplifies our practice.

The ability to see what others are doing allow us the affordance to amplify our own teaching practice. We do this is many different ways, Blogs, PENN, Learning Environments.

Turbocharging comes into play when we use digital affordances to provide ways for rewindable learning, ubiquitous learning to take learning into the next level.


As a staff, we split into groups of 4 and looked at various progressions for the Level 2 reading curriculum and presented mini-lessons that focused on a particular progression. The rest of the staff had to guess which progression our deliberate acts of teaching (DATs) was being used with that particular group. This provided an excellent way for our staff to amplify our effective practice through modeling.

Now that we have reaffirmed our understanding of how to link the progressions to our micro-teaching through our DATs, we can continue to reaffirm the understanding of that progression through our turbocharged learning tasks that will ultimately provide an avenue for an increased level of student understanding.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

The Catalytic Issue and my Hunches

Image result for catalyst
Explain why you judge this to be the most important and catalytic issue of learning for this group of learners this year. (WFRC #3)

This year I will be inquiring into promoting vocabulary acquisition to strengthen reading comprehension and stimulate student led dialogic conversations.  This is the most important issue for my group of learners as indicated by our school wide reading data and the 2018 Manaiakalani Reading data because as the years go on for Manaiakalani students the gap between our students and the NZ norm increases tremendously as they reach years 7-10.

I believe that based on the Professional Development we have received over the past few years from Dr. Janni van Hees focusing on Language Acquisition and the discoveries made by previous CoL teachers are key to building the link from primary to intermediate and then again from intermediate to high school.  I am very interested in seeing if the students from my focus group are able to grow in their understanding of unpacking topic rich vocabulary to ultimately lead to a growth in self-efficacy to promote dialogic conversations that will in return create a "want" in my students to independently go "Wider and Deeper" in their reading, as previously unpacked by Dr Jesson and Dr McNaughton.

Some possible wonderings that I am considering as I discover the catalytic issue of learning this year are:
-Have students at this age have lost the confidence to share with their peers? What can I do to promote student self efficacy in my classroom?
-Is it true that my students are not actively reading for pleasure?
-Do my students know where to begin to read for pleasure?
-How can I effectively model and recreate useful strategies for students to use to gain vocabulary knowledge while reading?
-What are the level of texts used in the high school reading program?
-What does the high school do to promote reading comprehension? What do their follow up tasks look like?
-Could introducing NCEA level vocabulary purposely in years 7-8 help to bridge the gap between intermediate and high school?