Friday, 11 August 2017

Digital Fluency Intensive 3 - Getting Creative, Google Hangouts

Week 3 of our DF Intensive series of workshops is almost over with more great - today we have learned how to fine tune settings in GOOGLE Mail and GOOGLE Calendar which will make organising emails and events/schedules so much easier.

Our main learning was on GOOGLE Hangouts - a tool that allows you to remotely connect with others for discussions and share online. To demonstrate this tool in a real world context, Dorothy joined us from Adelaide with Matt, Gerhard and Kelsey Morgan (Education Programme Leader visiting from Christchurch) to guide our group from the Manaiakalani Trust training room in Glen Innes, Auckland.  Despite a couple of technical glitches, we got to share our favourite restaurants and streetview images from GOOGLE Maps.

Today's task was to create a GOOGLE Hangout and discuss the creative content of blog post of student learning. Together with Jocelyn and Kelsey, we used three questions to guide our conversation.

1. What learner empowerment is demonstrated? Do you detect signs of learner agency in this post? Did they have any room to make choices?

2. What supports / scaffolds might the teacher have set up to get this creative activity to occur? e.g. scaffolds, rubrics, templates etc etc

3. Explain/reflect/demonstrate learning, through creation - How has creation given more
opportunities for deep learning and cognitive engagement?

Looking forward to Week 4!

Friday, 4 August 2017

Digital Fluency Intensive 2 - Collecting and Analysing Information

Session 2 of our Digital Fluency Intensive brought a better understanding of the LEARN component of the Manaiakalani pedagogy. It was sobering to hear of how many students from the Tamaki community were leaving high school in the 1990s with no qualifications. This dire situation became a huge driver for change as continued underachieving was unacceptable. Research shows that students in Decile 1 'land' at school, well behind their peers in higher decile schools. To interrupt this cycle of underperforming, schools started to challenge existing teaching methodologies. From humble beginnings, a handful of teachers rose to the challenge and the starting point was knock convention on the head by using podcasting to target improvements in literacy.

Our trainers also shared with us how to work with GOOGLE FORMS  and GOOGLE SHEETS.   FORMS is a great tool for gathering information using a variety of question options and it automatically collates the data on a separate sheet - genuis! SHEETS are a tool to record, analyse and format information.

The illustration above was produced using FORMS (specific location of favourite holiday destinations) and SHEETS (collated information to merge into map).

I am looking forward to putting my newly acquired SHEET skills to smarten up the content and appearance of my existing spreadsheets for Turn in Sheets and Assessment data.

Thanks for another informative day Dorothy, Gerhard and Matt!

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Digital Fluency Intensive 1 - Living local, learning global

The first day of the Digital Fluency (DF) Intensive for Term 3 has been jammed pack full of useful content. Our group of 11 teachers from 6 different schools across the Manaiakalani cluster have spent the day learning practical tips including how to better organise our GOOGLE Drive and exploring different formatting options within GOOGLE Docs. We have also had an opportunity to put our new found skills to the test with a poster based on the Manaiakalani kaupapa. Looking forward to spending each Friday for the next 8 weeks at DF sessions to learn more from our expert trainers and the other participants.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Inquiry Update: Term 2 Round up

Taking stock of Term 1, I have come to really appreciate just how fluid the inquiry process and that it unfolds in a non-linear way, prompting a changes that initially were not on the radar.
Term 2 started with a clear goal - I needed to collect and analyse more data for my target students and continue on my inquiry journey. I had expected to do a round of IKAN and GLoSS testing and be on my way.

In the real world, however, my inquiry process stalled for a couple of reasons. Firstly, completing the testing was incredibly time consuming. Secondly, the results brought an unexpected outcome - four of my original group of 6 students tested at “well below”  i.e. 2+ years behind their required level. The immediate implication of this was that I needed to choose a new priority group at the 'below' level. The logic, as outlined in a previous post, being that it is easier to shift students at the ‘below ‘ (i.e 1 year behind their required level) than those who are under performing  at ‘well below’.

Looking head to Term 3, I will use the recent data to identify a new group of 'below' students.
I can then proceed to test out my revamped focus question - the extent to which the format of maths problems will influence the problem solving abilities of my target students.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Inquiry Update: Reset Focus

My initial inquiry was to investigate if the use of materials would assist my target students to improve their abilities in Algebra. Now, as Term 1 draws to a close, factors arose that suggest I need to reset my inquiry focus going forward.

1) Target group: Working with students across four groups I found that the students who needed and wanted support from physical materials were not my target group - they were students sitting at ‘well below'.

2) Types of materials - A variety of 'hands on' physical resources were made available to all students. It would have been useful to have alternative, potentially more appealing/engaging materials that could be used on online or were in some way device 'friendly'.

3) Change of content Due to the results of the initial IKAN testing in Feb 2017, the results for the target students showed there was gap in Place Value. This highlighted that Algebra, my original inquiry topic was not an urgent need for the group.

Students in the target group were tested in twice in Term 1 - February and April 2017. The results for Place Value show that 50% of the group improved by one stage i.e. moved from Stage 3 to Stage 4 and 25% of the group did not change their level (no drop or increase). NOTE: 2 students were only present for one test so no comparisons could be made.

Looking forward to Term 2, the focus for Team 5 will be Number and Statistics. A first step for resetting my inquiry, is to make better use of test data to help me identify the learning gaps for my priority learners in this part of the maths curriculum.
With a full set of data for my target students on their Number and Statistics levels, a possible new inquiry focus could be to investigate the nature of maths problems used with students - number or word problems?, real world examples? With these factors in mind, it will be interesting to find out to what extent the format of maths problems will influence the problem solving abilities of my target students.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Using Materials to Improve Understanding

As a first year Beginning Teacher, I am new to the process of Teaching as Inquiry. I am looking forward to reflecting on my teaching practice in a systematic way and am keen to find out what is (or is not!) working to cause learning amongst my students and make changes where needed.

In deciding the focus for my Maths teaching inquiry this year, I am aware that some students have struggled to make sense of basic algebra problems. I am wondering whether the introduction of materials would be effective in helping students improve their understanding of the concepts of algebraic patterns. The nature of the materials used could include 'traditional' physical objects as well as tasks that include items that can be manipulated using a mouse or keyboard.

My first instinct is to focus on the most ‘at risk’students i.e. those sitting at ‘Well Below’. However, it has been suggested that it will be more beneficial to work with students who are ‘Below’ because there is less of a gap to progress them towards the ‘At’ benchmark. With all this in mind, the inquiry question I will have come up with is:  To what extent will the use of materials with my priority learners, improve their understanding of concepts/patterns in Algebra?

Monday, 20 February 2017

Teaching as Inquiry - Manaiakalani framework

“Recognising and spreading sophisticated pedagogical practice across our community so that students learn in better and more powerful ways...”

The Manaiakalani Community of Learning is working together on this task using the expertise existing in of our community of learning.

The teaching as inquiry framework I will be using in 2017 has been specifically co-constructed for Manaiakalani schools using our familiar Learn Create Share structure.
The elements in this framework share close similarities with other models New Zealand teachers use.

I will be labelling my posts as I update my inquiry throughout the year to make the content easy to access.

LEvidence, LScan, LTrend, LHypothesise, LResearch, LReflect,
 CPlan, CTry, CInnovate, CImplement, CReflect,
SPublish, SCoteach, SModel, SGuide, SFback, SReflect

Label Key:

Learn - Gather Evidence
Create - Make a plan
Share - Publish
Learn - Scan
Create - Try new things
Share - Co-teach
Learn - Identify Trends
Create - Innovate
Share - Model
Learn - Hypothesise
Create - Implement
Share - Guide
Learn - Research
Create - Reflect
Share - Feedback
Learn - Reflect

Share - Reflect