Thursday, 9 October 2014

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

ULearn 2014- Modern Learning environment

This years focus is the modern learning environment.  An exciting time for me as we are preparing for team teaching next year.  I am looking forward to the ideas that are about to be shared and understanding I can share with my team mate.  The first key note is about go start. I will blog notes with a brief reflection after each session.  The one thing I will take from this.  Here we go!

Monday, 18 August 2014

WOW WOW WOW! MLE !! What a step

We are right in the thick of things now!  Over the past 5 weeks we have visited five different schools.  Heard lots of different philosophies and school visions.  Over the visits we have seen great spaces with little thought around what MLE means and we have seen amazing MLE in action with thoughts and ideas behind it.

Throughout this journey which has taking 18months to change my own practise to get to where I am today!  So it is time for a quick run down on what I have done!

Professional readings!!!!! So many it is not funny.  Child centred learning and self regulation.  All last year I knew the definition of self regulation but had no idea where to start.  So this week I have introduced just knowledge goals for my students.  Students used their knowledge testing to define their own goals.  Here is an example of a goal sheet.

It is great to see the students choosing what they want to learn.  The biggest challenge for me has been having all the learning set up for the individual goals at the moment I have kids working on 15 different goals over 4 stages!  It is a headache!  However,  through reflection with the kids they are more motivated to find out their learning.  It was interesting listening to two of my boys, the two I have to manage a lot for behaviour and being on task,  teaching each other at morning tea how to do different goals so they could move on quicker.  

I know this post is all over the show but so much has happened and I am having an explosion.  The furniture is set and the basic workshops are running with little student choice.  After visiting Amsbury School I thought how can I get my students setting their own goals and turning up to workshops as they need in relation to their goals.  I am good at running before I can walk so I needed to make this manageable. Hence the knowledge goals.  Then I thought how can I tie in reading with our solo matrix.  I broke down the skill of main ideas and what I wanted my kids to be able to do which was write a summary.  We then self assessed and that allowed my students to place themselves into groups.  After my workshop today I had one of my students come to me and say I get it can I move up a group now.  I wasn't expecting it so I now have to give her an opportunity to move on and link up to the key words group.  

It is so true that students learn and different paces and stages.  I think with the goal setting it is allowing students to move forward at their pace and seek help when needed. 

Students are now able to regulate their learning and have ownership over their goals.  Only a small step but a big one.  

I had to pull back on the activities that I am getting the students to do as I was overloading them.  I would next term like to run the 20% passion project time as an opportunity for self directed inquiry.  I just need to work out structure for the inquiry so students have a purpose!

Monday, 19 May 2014

Knowledge Data Reflection from Term 1

How did our students go?  Most students are working below expectation in knowledge.
Yr 8

  • 9 students at or above
  • 17 students 1 stage below
  • 5 students 2 stages below
  • 1 student 3 stages below
Yr 7
  • 3 Students at
  • 9 students 1 stage below
  • 10 students 2 stages below
  • 1 students 3 stages below
How do these results contribute to my overall understanding of my students needs?
These are highlighting the need to build knowledge within my students.  It is obvious when working with students the gaps in knowledge but also the lack of understanding the maths language. 

What are the implications for further teaching? 
Dedicate 10min each maths session to hotspot teaching of knowledge.  Refer to links within the unit plan so students connect to what we are teaching. 

What are the implication on the data for feedback to students?  
Students to set learning goals on what they need to learn in order to move to the next stage.  Highlight key areas of assessment for improvement.  

Reflection on Teacher Inquiry

What have I tried? This last fortnight I have been introducing the writing and the structure. I have started running workshops on features and strategies for writers. I also introduced a writing reflection time.
What has worked? The writing reflection was really successful I found students were able to identify what they wanted help in. Workshops are working however, I find students will not opt into these I need to tell them.
What hasn’t worked? My modelling of the writing reflection. I think I need to model how to write this against my modeled piece.
Where to from here? I am going to carry on with the writing reflection. I need to use this to form the workshops that I am running as this will give students ownership over the planning.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Effective Writing Instruction Chapter 1

After changing my focus to working on my pedagogy of writing I have been reading Alison Davis book. The one thing that I have taken from the first chapter is the need for students to be self regulated writers. This term 'self regulation' is not new to me. However, I have struggled with the how?? To create it in my classroom. Alison has lead to prompting questions for students to reflect on to develop self regulation. These are:

  1. Why am I writing this? Who am I writing this for? What kind of writing is this?
  2. What information do I need to be able to write?  How will I plan to use this information effectively?
  3. Why have I made this decision? Why have I chosen this word/phrase/ form of sentence? What are the alternatives?
  4. What have I learned about my writing?  What have I learned from my writing? Why was this difficult? What did I do well?  What are my future targets?  What will help me reach these?  

I am going to work with number 4's set of questions this term and introduce it in on a Thursday before we head off to tech.  At this point my students have usually blogged their piece and are ready to reflect.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Keynote Speaker - Dr Roberta Hunter Developing Mathematical Inquiry in a Learning Community

Maths is like a cobweb.  Not one strategy but lots of pieces that come together to learn maths. As a teacher your job is to sit outside on the edge of the cobweb not in the centre.

Word problems or problematic tasks are always used.  Plan for all the possible strategies that could come out to discuss it.  

Let the children read the problem.  Then let them facilitate the conversation. 

Explore the incorrect solutions the mistakes are leading towards the new ideas.

How often have we taught active listening? 
This could be where I am going wrong.  I haven't explicitly taught them how to active listen.  Next term I need to teach how to active listen and how to have the discussion.

Talk moves look into how to teach these.

Come up with a discussions criteria for success.  How do we work together in maths.  What counts as evidence? 

Celebrate when kids get it wrong because they took a risk.   3 levels of the same problem differenatited problems.  

Launch the problem correctly use the visualising strategy.  

Don't underline key words in maths.  It confuses the maths problem.    

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Yr 7 & 8 Odd Shaped Room

Great beginning and end assessment.  10 minutes to do the task.  

Creating a rubric for it. Start with mission accomplished.

Great for goal setting and where to next. Could start the unit with it.  This would group the kids and could be used for the weeks teaching. 

Teaching the area

What is the area? Make the link with number and strategy.  How can this then be between 20-50 metres squared.  Broken down into steps.

Introduce the compound shape.  Count each cube.  Then we can look at faster than this.  

How else could we count them?

Modelling and Understanding the Equal Signs

A Model

Maths Review

What topics have you covered? Add and sub, mult and div, fractions

What has been different about your maths teaching?  Focusing on two to three solid strategies then transferring those through.  Focusing on subtraction and division.  Number links to strand.  Hot spot.  Rich problems with the statement first to focus what they are looking for.  When testing highlighting what they know.  Unpacking the PAT data for term 2 planning.  Snapshots of learning.  Integrating the iPad. Testing and filming the testing. Teaching maths for two hours in the morning block. 

What have the challenges been? 
Varying degrees within the class.  Learning the technology. Tests to understand levels for strand.  Students self efficacy in maths. Gap has become bigger between each students.

Friday, 11 April 2014

6 Powerful Steps to Strengths Based Performance

After feeling so inspired coming out to the AP/DP network I thought it is time to get a handle on my professional readings and I also had reflections on where I am at as a leader and there are few things that need to change.  

So when at Ulearn last year I heard a speaker talk about growing from the grass roots up.  I had yet done this and held a lot of the work load myself.  It was time to start sharing.  Knowledge is power but I do not need power in order to allow people to be inspired to want to follow me as a leader.  What have I done so far to share from the grass roots. I have shown T how to set up Easstle testing. She now sets up our reading.  I have also made her an administrator on our google set up so that she can set up users and change passwords etc.  Where to next share the knowledge further.  I am going to show J how to do the same.  With a new staff member coming on board it gives purpose.  It has taken me 6 months to action this.  I have now started to begin my steps....

I was also made aware of a book called 6 steps to strength based leadership.  I finally started reading it after the meeting.  Boy did ideas start following and did a light bulb ignite in my head.  I clicked to why I had thought about not wanting to be in education anymore and why my love of teaching had disappeared.   It was because I was not working towards my strengths.  I love IT and the engagement it sets up kids for and the spark they get out of their 200 YouTube views.  It empowers me to lead staff and see them get excited over now developing a personal passion to write and then blogging so their students want to read it.  It excites me that I am going to be getting release to work in classrooms and support teachers on how to use new tools.   

This excitement had not been possible until this year. Until our ratios of computers were back.  You can't effectively integrate iPads into your teaching when you only have one! I knew this.  This is why it hadn't worked.  People don't know what they don't know until they are exposed. My strengths were not being shared most of my day was about not using my strengths. I love my job again.  I am up at 5am blogging I am so excited.  Why?  My strengths are being used.

 I started reading the book.  To tell you the truth I am only through the first chapter.  But boy have I learnt a lot.  I need to unlock all my strengths in order to be the best I can be.  There will be other staff on our team that strengths are my weaknesses.  I don't need to worry about my weakness.  This doesn't mean I am not going to work on them.  No it means that they are no longer going to be a focus of my day or inquiry,  I will plug away at them but reality is I am only going to make small steps.  If I play to my strengths I am going to make huge steps forward and be more excited about the process.

How do I know?  Cause it has worked.  Over the past 10weeks I have set up our iPad cloud server.  Bloody hard job.  Learnt a lot.  Did it feel like work? Hell no!  I loved it.  I worked weekends, early mornings, late nights, I couldn't get enough.  How did I feel once it was completed over the moon.  My whole inquiry worked towards my strengths.  Now I want to get in and support my staff, inspire them to give it a go! Blend e-learning into their benefits and have their kids loving it as much as I do and my students.


AP/DP Network Meeting 1

What an exciting meeting.  It was great to re connect with others that I had in the past.  I feel like my passions have been reignited.  We were exposed to a tool that allows every voice to be heard in a room and allows for a joint buy in.

By using this tool I realised how sometimes my voice could over power others and it is important that everyone has a voice.  I feel that sometimes we don't have ownership and buy in from everyone and see this as a fantastic tool for allowing this to happen.

So here is the jest of the tool.

You start with a question or probe that you want to gain a joint understanding on.
Then you move around the circle in a clockwise direction.  Each person has the opportunity to contribute a succinct idea.  There is to be no discussion or questioning.  You are allowed to pass.  You continue this process until everyone passes in a round.  The facilitator must record the exact respond for each person.

Then you have an opportunity to ask for clarification on any point that you do not understand.  Once this process is done you then look through the list and if any two point are the same you can ask the people that contributed those points if they are the same.  They have to agree for the points to be the same other wise they can not be joined.

After this voting takes place.  Each personas 10 votes and there is 3 rounds.  People can only spend a maximum of 4 votes in each round.  How they choose to spend these is up to them.  From there you come up with your tops.  

This way everyone has had a chance to have a say and be heard. I saw the power of this tool to be used in so many different ways with staff, in the classroom, BOT, community consultation and many more.

So I tried it with my class.  I posed the question what contributes to effectively learning.  We came up with a list of 120. Then our top 5 were

1. iPads to support our learning
2. Enjoying what we learn
3. Manawa Card Goals
4. Kapa Haka
5. Fitness / having Aimee in the room two teachers

It was a powerful process and really allowed for the collection of student voice.

I can see myself using this tool often!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Target Students Reflection Week 10

Thinking about my three target students.
What have I tried so far? 
I have introduced my students to blogging their writing for a purpose.
I have introduced a planning frame work for responses
I am conferencing these three students writing daily
I have introduced commenting on blogs 
What has worked?
The planning framework provided sturcture to get ideas down.
Blogs have created motivation and purpose   
P - Has had dramatic drive for writing and seeks feedback
What hasn’t worked?
My modeling of using the framework and students unpacking the what would need to be in the planning framework first.
Where to from here?
Use models to help students develop ownership over what would need to be in the planning frame work

ICT - Leadership

Over the past two years I do not feel I have developed much as a leader and probably turned into the person that just does the stuff that others don't, as I get paid for it. This was never my intenetion when I took on the Assitant Principal role but has what has come out of it. Over the past two years I had lost my passion for teaching and leading learning altogether. I bacame a person that came to school did my job and left. Regretting the decision I made to leave by 1:1 digital room. I came to Coley under the impression that they were a mile a head with IT and digital learning everything was humming, staff, community and BOT were all on board and this was learning for the new work place.

However, after 2 years of getting the foundations set we are ready to take off and I am excited. We are at a 2:1 ratio with nearly 1:1 in the senior school. We have a mixed model of iPads and computers in the Junior and Middle school with the vision to moving to all iPads. I have hit obstacles and challenges both positive and negative along the way. I did not consider that when I gave staff 6 months to play on iPads that some may not even want? That what was the point? That some would come to me and ask for help? That possibly some people see me as unapproachable? These are the hard facts. I needed to go back to the drawing board and decide what to do. 1st step find my love of IT and learning agian I love IT and know the impact it can create in the learning environment used as a tool. I know we need to be connected! We are inspired by the unknown and the ability to access what ever I need to know at my fingertips. Prior to this year I have not been able to blend it into learning effectively at Coley as I simply did not have enough tools. It was just a rotation rather than a tool for learning. So what to do....

 I had a chat to our service provider about a management system for our iPads. They gave me a brief tour around Meraki. After 1 hour I left and thought great. I have just purchased 23 iPads and have a new lease of 53 coming, plus the the 15 odd we already had. I was excited. My fire had reignited. I wanted to get started, and in my true nature I wanted it done now! I couldn't wait for the tech to come in two weeks to show me another little bit. I started on an iquiry to teach myself. It was hard! There were sleepless nights, all weekend working, morning and nights dedicated to IT. Lots I did not know. Some times I had to stop and just have a break to come back too. I wanted to learn. I googled, facebooked and youtubed. I read the apple website a million times. I went on the VLN and saw I wasn't the only person having problems. I learnt from their feedback. Guess what??? I completed a successful inquiry! The iPads are now set up! I know the system inside out! Gee was I proud. Now it was time to hit them in the classroom.

 I learnt a lot from my first round of being a 1:1 digital teacher so this time my instructions were clear. My intentions on the links to learning were clear! I was about to educate. But it wasn't all about me and my class, I needed for this to filter down. So first point my team. T was already ICT savy and last conference they talked about growing from the grass roots up rather than being the gate keeper. I had been the gate keeper. It was now time to start sharing! I gave T the admin rights to set her students up with email. We discussed how we would be using them in class. I shared the blogs my class were doing. She liked it and tried! Wow this was going to be easy to filter through the staff. However, it is not! T is similar to myself we are loud and have lots of ideas, we will run with new things and embrace them. Not everyone on staff is like us and not everyone in my class is like that either. How can I get my staff as excited as us? I then came across this clip:

I wasn't buying in my staff.  They didn't know why we were moving to digital learning to help achievement.   I need to show them how they can it can be used in the classroom.  I need to show them what apps they can use.  

Hey and guess what?  This needs to apply in my classroom.  Am I actually taking notice.  So writing will always state why are we writing?  How are we going to do the writng?  What do we need to make sure that we are successful?  I need to provide this transfer.

So where to from here in ICT leadership.  1 st step is to run a staff meeting with the inquiry probe.  Why do we need ICT in classrooms?

The Two Inquiries

This year my passion for Teaching has returned. I am focusing on two teacher inquiries. The first is a student focused one around raising achievement in writing. However when I set this goal we were pigeon holed into the direct acts of teaching. I am extending this now to developing my pedagogical knowledge of the teaching of writing and how applying what I learn about teaching of writing, while monitoring my target kids. The next inquiry is a leadership one. My focus of this inquiry is around developing staff voice and buy in while working towards their strengths. Wish me luck!!!!! Back starting work at 6.30am and never finishing early as my fire has been reignited.