Friday, 20 September 2019

Digital Fluency Intensive #4

Todays focus was collaborating around google sites. What a task they set for us today. It was definitely great to be able to start a site from scratch over and over again so we go used to where things were and how to line things up so it looked neat and tidy.

Here is a link to my multimodal site - Idenity.
A lot of the information or linking of texts was taken from Angela Moala's multimodal spreadsheet which is a collection of texts which make up a multi textual series of learning. The only things I had to create were the learning tasks that linked up the different texts.

Dorothy also went through some of Woolf Fishers research about T shaped literacy which our team of teachers in Year 7 & 8 have been looking at over the last couple of years. This is taking students through a literacy lesson that is both deep and wide. This is ensuring you as a teacher are diving deeply into a main text with your group of students, but also providing opportunities for them to work independently on activities with a variety of other texts/videos. This was the purpose of us creating a multimodal site.

One take away I will definitely remember to keep in mind for the rest of my planning, is to ensure I provide opportunities to empower students through free choice of texts to read. This is also added on at the end of my site.

I would love to keep creating multimodal sites like this for my teams inquiry studies or even during units of learning in literacy.
Thank you DFI for another workshop filled with useful knowledge and tools to use daily.

Thursday, 19 September 2019

Monitoring Micro-Shifts

To recap what my inquiry is focussing on this year, here is the challenge I am covering.

Kahui Ako Achievement Challenge 5: Improve the achievement of students with special needs in the learning areas of English/ key competency using symbols, languages and texts.

My inquiry problem/ challenge: Students who are 'stuck' in their learning 2-3 years behind where they should be at for Year 7 and 8 getting ready for College.

One of the biggest positives to come out of this are the big shifts my focus group is making in their running records testing. This is covered in my End of Term 2 Blog Post.

One thing I need to do a better job at keeping track of, are the micro-shifts students are making from week to week. These are things that might not show up during testing time, but show progress from what they couldn't do before, to what they can do now. 

An example of this came from the analysis of their running records. The words students were getting wrong showed their reading behaviours at only looking at the initial sound (or 1st letter) and the ending. Then students started guessing whatever words they know which started and ended that way. This showed students were not looking at the middle letters/sounds and not even attempting it. Instead they looked first to the pictures or the ceiling to try and find words.

One way I thought to try and cater to this problem was Besty Sewell's 'Agility with Sound' program. I had first observed this style in action at the start of Term 2 with Helen Squires but haven't done much with it until I attended a seminar of Betsy's earlier on this Term. 

I decided to try this out on the boys in my focus group who had only made 1 level shift during the mid year testing. From this, I was trying to find who can hear the middle sounds and who can identify and retain sounds in their heads long enough to record down. Here are a few examples and observation notes of my session with them.


Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Digital Fluency Intensive #3

Our 3rd DFI day I missed out on due to being on leave. Upon reading up on the agenda for the day, I was quite guttered that I'd missed out on it as my students and I quite enjoy creating on google slides and drawings.
Here is my attempt at one of the tasks on google drawings. I've also added this as a button on the left hand side of my blog.
What I really enjoyed and find useful is the Google drawings sandpit with links to examples of it's many uses which gave me new and fresh ideas I hadn't used before. 
One thing I do need to go back and double check are the settings on youtube and organising my playlist to suit my class and their use of youtube.

Friday, 6 September 2019

Digital Fluency Intensive #2

Day 2 of our DFI course brought more learning about our Manaiakalani Kaupapa as well as exposing us to areas of the GSuite we have yet to use.

One of my takeaways from the AKO section of the Manaiakalani kaupapa and pedagogy was RATE. Recognise, Amplify, Turbocharge, Effective Teaching. This led me to a very useful blog post from one of my team members which triggered all the learning that took place in one of our Learn staff meetings at the start of the year. Here is a link to Kiriwai's blog post.

One of my biggest takeaways was from our deep diving session about Google KEEP.
Normally during a DFI session, I would make quick notes on my phone using Samsung notes so I could remember the things I needed to go back and have a look at and the most useful things for me and my class to start using. With google keep, I can use this on anything google on my laptop as well as on my phone and it would update immediately. Here's a list of all the things google keep can do which include: can take photos, shopping list, can draw, can get notes or comments shared across team and plug then in along docs and so much more. The best and most useful part of google keep which I will definitely be using in my class is the fact that it can grab text from an image! I could take a photo of a piece of text from a book and using google keep, extract the text from the photo and have students use this in docs for students to highlight and write notes/comments next to it.

Something that I could use with my team this coming holidays would be our session on google hangouts. This enabled us to talk to each other in a group setting and screen sharing. We combined this with quicktime player to record our google hangout. We trialled this in small groups of 3 so here is a short video of myself sharing with Jenny and Elena.

Friday, 30 August 2019

Digital Fluency Intensive #1

I have been looking forward to my chance to join the DFI course and finally I've made it in cohort #3. An exciting start jam packed with an enormous amount of knowledge, tricks and quick fixes which would all add towards making my teaching life a lot more manageable in our Google world.

We are very fortunate to have quite a packed class in this cohort as it makes for more rich sharing of experiences from novices and experts alike.
Having been at Pt England and therefore part of Manaiakalani for the last 5 years, I was immediately immersed in the Learn, Create, Share pedagogy which has become just what we do as teachers. Something new and interesting I found out today during Dorothy's coverage of the 'Origins of Manaiakalani' was that this was born out of classroom teachers literacy learning cycles and the realisation that we were actually already doing Learning, Creating and Sharing just in smaller settings and maybe using different academic language.

One of the things I really enjoy about DFI so far is the set out/ layout in which the course is delivered I've shared this in my top tips poster below (which is a big achievement in itself as it is made in google docs!). This is using the Deep Diving, Chalk 'n Talk, Explore and Levelling Up model. It definitely felt like all those things and I particularly enjoyed the levelling up so that if we felt up to the challenge, there is still more to be learnt, or we could choose to stay and keep familiarising ourselves with some of the things we've covered already.

My biggest takeaway is the amazing wonders of google docs. One thing I could share with my students come Monday would be the explore button on docs which only give you images that are free and good to use with citations already imbedded.
One thing I will be working on is to do a complete Marie Kondo of my drive so my folders for the last 5 years are more organised.

There is so much more I have picked up and can't wait to revisit. This is also made easy as everything is rewindable and constantly being updated for us. So I've had such an enjoyable 1st session and am looking forward to our next DFI session. I also highly recommend EVERYONE needs to make sure they do this course.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

One KEY STRATEGY in Reading and Maths

Our writing data across the cluster shows accelerated progress in writing. We are currently looking into how we can make that a "threefer" as Russell Burt puts it. That is accelerated progress across all 3 core areas - Reading, Writing and Maths. 

One of the reasons why we thought writing was making that shift consistently across the cluster was that there was a shared understanding and knowledge of what writing covered. And we all had a similar way of delivering this part of the curriculum for our students. So how could we do the same for reading and maths? What are some key strategies/practices that we think every class should be doing (because we've seen it work in our own classroom setting). Our hope is in collating this data using our CoL group would be a great starting point in trying to achieve a "threefer".

I decided to share my strategies with my team during our morning meetings to see if they agreed and if this was THE ONE that would benefit students in Years 7/8. 

For reading we decided: 
Deep diving sessions with the teacher using texts that are difficult/challenging for students in that group. This has students pushing themselves to unpack unknown vocab and looking at phrases in and out of context.

For maths, I couldn't decide on just one so the top 2 strategies that have worked for Year 7/8 students in our block are:
1) Teaching number knowledge through strand
2) Pitching your lesson focus/problem at Level 4 of the curriculum, then differentiating from there. That means pushing your extension kids out further from level 4 and bringing up students who are struggling to level 4 work.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Collecting and monitoring the changes in my teaching

Describe how you will collect information about the implementation of your changed practices/intervention (so it is clear what you doing differently)

I plan to collect information about the implementation of changes through my weekly planning and highlighted in tables like the one below. 

Here is a detailed description of the changes I made in my teaching practice. 

One of the major mind-set changes for me as a teacher was EXPECTATIONS! I had no expectation what so ever for any student in this group to make much/if any shift at all. This was from reading their history of learning in their black folders which you get the general picture that this group of students had a negative outlook on their reading capabilities and actually hated reading time. I simply wanted them to enjoy reading. Feel good about themselves when they read. I have since lifted my expectations for this group by setting goals for us to work towards within a given time-frame. These goals are covered in my previous blog post about Interventions in Action.

My evidence of this change will be in my planning as my DATs (deliberate acts of teaching) will have less description of sequencing of lesson (coverage) and describing follow-up activity but more bullet points of important phrases and vocabulary I want to draw their attention to in a text.

Together with my "feelings" of how I think things are going, I have also collected a few student voice opinions every 3-4 weeks. I have also made sure to stick to my timeline for when I had planned to test students again. 

Here are my target groups mid-term 3 running records testing.

My 2 students I'd like to comment about are the ones of didn't make much/if any shift the first time round. My first student 'FM' only made 1 level shift in the previous testing round failing level 9. This time he round he passed level 9 and 10 so could potentially keep being tested up. Student 'GW' failed his level 15 test in term 2. This time, he passed level 15 and 16 and was quite chuffed with himself. My last student 'RF', although she is not getting the same change in teaching as she has moved reading groups, I can report she has made another 6months progress in her reading age. However this is not attributed to my interventions as she moved group at the start of Term 3.