After all was said and done, what did it actually mean in terms of student achievement? Here is a summary/reflection of my inquiry this year. Yes, some students made the necessary progress. But what I've learnt the most from, are my students who didn't make the necessary progress. It made me look hard at myself, what tasks I was providing for them, and also looking at the learners needs more closely. This was definitely a learning curve to improve on for next year.
Friday, 30 October 2015
Tuesday, 15 September 2015
The guidelines for our reflection about our Term 3 inquiry was to look at the barriers we encountered throughout the inquiry process so far this year. As well as identifying these barriers, we shared with our staff the things we put in place to try and address these barriers, and then reflect on the impact these implementations have made so far.
Friday, 28 August 2015
Today was a good opportunity for us to have some useful learning conversations with other teachers across the cluster. We managed to start planning what our DLO will look like for next term incorporating and promoting cybersmart with our students. Here is an outline of what we came up with.
Monday, 3 August 2015
Term 3 has kicked off to a great start. Our first inquiry meeting offered some good insights into how (if any) our teaching practice has changed thus far. The biggest changes I have made to my teaching since arriving at Pt England, would be teaching students who are all on 1:1 devices. This challenged my approach to teaching and how I was to deliver the curriculum. This also brought along other challenges such as dealing with students who leave their chrome books at home, chrome books not charged, as well as keeping up to date with 'marking' students work through their folders or commenting on their blogs. All this however, was dealt with through the help and support and my fellow staff and team members as well as Manaiakalani facilitators.
In terms of my actual teaching, the changes I have made have been as a result of the year level I am teaching (Y7/8). By the time students have reached Year 7 & 8, the levels at which each student operates at differs and the gaps between students also widen the older they get. The changes I have made have been in 'what' actually gets taught to them. In the planning stages of what to deliver my students, I had to prioritise what 'must haves' students needed to address first in order for them to cope with work at year 6, 7 or 8 level.
Friday, 3 July 2015
So what have I learnt this term? I actually had a really good time putting my learning together for this inquiry presentation.
I have been very fortunate with the amount of support I've had from Manaiakalani facilitators, my team and other staff members on my learning inquiry into 'learning to create'. My presentation is a reflection on where I am at in my inquiry. I have included our staff PD we have been fortunate to have and how this has been implemented in my teaching.
Here are a few examples of the types of 'create' activities we have been working on class and the benefits of this for students learning as well as areas in which I can still see needs improvement. I have been working on creating activities which can be transferable across the curriculum. I also have slides which show hands on activities as a reminder, that despite having 1-1 chrome books, it is still important to provide opportunities for the different types of learning.
Monday, 25 May 2015
Monday, 11 May 2015
As part of our inquiry, we are also taking part in professional development across the school to ensure we are all on the same page. Last week, year 5-8 teachers had the privilege of having Dr. Jannie van Hees.
"Developing a Dialogic, Orally Expressive Classroom"
This was a great way for us as teachers, to take a good look at our practice and see how we explicitly grow student expression in the classroom. Most of us were able to reflect back on what we already have in place in our classrooms, but most of it happening accidentally - as a by product of what our initial focus for teaching was. Instead, Jannie has encouraged us to be more explicit in our teaching of oral language. We need to allow the students to think more freely on their feet, learn to retain chunks of information in their heads and be able to say it out loud later.
Some of this has allowed me to look back on what I had already learnt from TESSOL and act as a reminder on what I need to implement in my class. Some ideas that came to mind while Jannie was taking PD, was front loading information to your students so they have a starting point which student would be able to start making connections from.
I do hope to be able to report back what changes I have made in my teaching as a result of this PD.
Wednesday, 22 April 2015
Monday, 9 March 2015
Friday, 27 February 2015
Creating independence and cognitive engagement in literacy tasks.
This is the focus for my inquiry looking into what best practices are most useful and effective in accelerating our students learning, especially in the area of literacy.
As a new teacher to the Manaiakalani community of digital learners, and in particular 1-1 devices with year 7 and 8 students, I am steadily becoming familiar with the “Learn, Create, Share” philosophy running across the cluster.
My inquiry will be focusing on the CREATE part of this.
I feel this is a strong need in my practice as I have the content and curriculum knowledge of what the students need to learn at this age level, but need to inquire as to how to make this effective using their devices.
I will be looking at what open ended activities will help students become more engaged and yet still maintain the higher order thinking needed at year 7 and 8 level.
My first steps into my inquiry will be to assess what needs or “must haves” do the students need to have now, in order to cope with the learning that is needed at senior school level. This will require a lot of “filling in the gaps” and intense vocabulary work.
As part of the support systems set up for new Manaiakalani teachers, I am also receiving help from Kayla Hansell with activities that will help keep students engaged in their learning.