Friday, 26 July 2019

Digital Fluency Intensive #6

Manaiakalani: Connected
The default is visibility. Manaiakalani connects students across the cluster for valuable sharing and connecting for learning. We are also connected to a number of clusters around the country as part of the Manaiakalani Outreach. This allows for teacher support and a shared language as well.

Connected learners share (Tohatoha). What a great reminder that we are all connected through the Manaiakalani site to our own school sites, which enables students (and teachers) to see what is happening at other schools. 

Implementing the kaupapa of Manaiakalani all four elements are required to be working together at all times in order for the effectiveness to be seen across the classrooms. 

Looking at the visual appeal for sites and 2-3 clicks. What is good and what needs improving? We spent time looking at sites from around the clusters and evaluating them. 

By using Google Sites (instead of other available platforms) students have access to their learning and resources at any time, whether at home or school.  When creating a site, you always need to consider who your learners are, how they are accessing the site, what the theme of your site is going to be and what the purpose of the site is.

No matter what you are creating for students, it is important to make them purposeful learning tasks. don’t forget to keep the SAMR model in mind.  When modifying and redefining, it is important to remember that you are using multiple platforms to learn, create and share their learning. Just as it is important to spend time reflecting on the technology affordances you are providing for your learners.

One of the things that I spent some time doing today was cleaning up our team site a bit. We tend to randomly add links to our site as we need them (for testing purposes, media links, etc). I went through and made these links more uniform to the rest of the site format by creating actual buttons. Some of these can be seen on the bottom of the home page for our class site.

Taking time in the future to have students create a site for a specific reason is something that I am considering and the reminders we were given today about the site building are a great place to start when working with students as well. A big thanks to Clarelle Carruthers for all her helpful tips, especially those in regards to choosing a colour scheme, font(s), and layout to use throughout the site development.

COL PD: Monitoring and Identifying Change to Practice

During our COL Meeting, we spent some time with Aaron and Hanna discussing where we are at this time in our Inquiry process. Below are the points to ponder from that discussion.

Aaron and Hanna (WFRC)
Monitoring and Identifying Changes to Practice

Restate your Theory of Action:
The valued learning outcomes I want to improve for my students in this inquiry are….
The changes I am making to my teaching to improve their outcomes are…
The reasons why I think these changes in my teaching will be effective to my learners are…

By the end of you inquiry, you want to know what the changes are that have happened for the learners and what has been the reason for it? What has the teacher done that caused those changes?
-Pre/Post for student understanding ...also pre/post updates on what is being changed in the classroom by the teacher
-Implementation fidelity-How faithful are you as the teacher in making sure that the actual intervention is the planned intervention (how can I be sure that opportunities in the classroom are authentically occurring)

-As well as informal monitoring (lesson-by-lesson and minute-by-minute planning), it is useful for more formal checkpoints
-Reflection and Inquiry have two different purposes...Inquiry has evidence to back it up. Reflections are more about how did it go.
-More micro-formative assessments (ie mini-easstles for reading tests)
-Student voice is vital. Quick fire exit questions, or chats with some case study students.

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

6 Month Academic Results

Using either the Blue PM+ kit (up to Level 22) or the Probe test. I was very impressed with the results of the majority of the students in my classIt was great to see that three students in my focus group had accelerated growth, two had expected growth and I was able to pinpoint some learning points to focus on specifically with the two students who did not make any progress.

**Note: The results on this graph are from Running Records (Blue PM+ and PROBE)

Our class also grew by new two students working at this level during Term 2 and those two students were not tested again since they had just arrived at PES a few weeks prior.During the Term 2, we spent some time conducting Running Record tests for our Reading students using either the Blue PM+ kit (up to Level 22) or the Probe test. I was very impressed with the results of the majority of the students in my class.

It was great to see that in less than 6 months time, Students B (1.5 years), E,(1 year) and G (1.5 years) in my focus group had accelerated growth, Students A and C expected growth (6 months) and I was able to pinpoint some learning points to focus on specifically with Students D and F who did not make any progress. In order to move forward, I am going to work specifically with these two students to improve their ability to emphasise with others, especially with characters from their texts.  It is my hope, that by providing many opportunities to discuss a character's feelings and infer why they are feeling a certain way will enable all the students, but primarily Students D and F to make that expected growth next term.

Our class also grew by new two students working at this level during Term 2 and those two students were not tested again since they had just arrived at PES a few weeks prior.

It is my intention to work with the 4 students who have yet to make progress and test them again before the end of Term 3.  Hopefully, this testing will allow me to focus their learning more specifically to their individual needs.

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Digging Deeper

In an effort to dig deeper in to vocabulary acquisition, I have been taking some time to change the way that I have always viewed providing students with the definition of a new word. In the past, I simply told the students the definition or told them to look it up. Now, in the beginning of the teaching career it sounded more like, "Grab a dictionary and see what you can find out" and since teaching in a digital environment it became, "Use a define: smart search."  This is not to say that in the moment of working with a group of students (especially those reading at the lower levels of the colour wheel),  I did not focus in on using context clues to determine the meaning from within the text. However, after meeting with Dr. Jannie van Hees at a recent Professional Development session with my team, I began to think of ways to provide more student voice as we dug into deeper understanding of vocabulary found within our texts.

After providing my students some time to independently read through the text, in our small group session, I led them to specific sections of the text that I had previously determined. While those shorter sections orally, I stopped and pulled out specific words and phrases that I felt we needed to dive deeper with. I simply began with a "Hmmmm, I wonder what that means...magnificent height and breadth?"  I then, grabbed a sheet of paper and put that phrase into a bubble in the middle of the page, and asked the students what they thought. After adding all of our ideas to the word chart, we read the selection again and students were asked to formulate their own definition using our word chart.

Here is one student's response: