Wednesday, 14 November 2018

CoL Inquiry 2018 - takeaways for teachers

Here is some 'takeaways for teachers' that have emerged from my CoL Inquiry from 2018. 
Please keep in mind that my Inquiry focused on 3 specific students. 
Any comments about Autism, what worked/didn't work were specific to my 3 students and may or may not work for your lovelies.

Also this is not about key competency development - that depends on the individual child and their needs. I can only advise you to focus first on the key competencies, and develop the holistic child, rather than only trying to raise their achievement levels.
This is more about what I tried and what worked/didn't work for my additional needs students that I focused my inquiry on.

Would love to hear some feedback in the comments! 
(What else would you like to know? Does anything need further elaboration?)

Monday, 12 November 2018

End of year CoL Inquiry summary (Nov 2018)

1. Summarise the challenge of student learning you focused on in this inquiry.
I chose achievement objective #5 which is to “improve the achievement of students with additional needs in the learning areas of English/key competencies using language symbols and text”. I took this achievement challenge almost word for word but added “in a mainstream context” to create my inquiry focus. The other teachers who had focused on this inquiry had been Somerville teachers and I wanted to show that this is still an issue we face in mainstream classes (in a very different way, but both should be acknowledged).  

2. Describe how and why you first selected this challenge of student learning at the beginning of your inquiry.
I selected this inquiry because I knew I had some additional needs students in my class this year. Two had joined our school mid/late of last year and I had requested to keep them for 2018 as I knew I could make progress with them. I had another student who I have taught for 3 years (2016-2018) who has additional needs, who I felt I had not done enough for. I decided to focus on these three students within the context of my 27 students in a mainstream classroom as their needs are common in mainstream classrooms, but not all teachers know how to best deal with/foster their needs.

3. Describe the tools/measures/approaches you used to get a more detailed and accurate profile of students’ learning in relation to that challenge. Justify why you chose these approaches and tools.
At first I chose a learning goal AND a key competency to focus on for each student (I later changed this). I identified and analysed their current academic progress, what I had done/was currently doing to try and meet each students needs and set goals for where they should be/what they should be doing (non-academic goals) by the end of the year. Of course these goals included academic shift (specifically in reading) for all 3 students, but they had major goals that were key competency based as well. 
Things considered when setting goals were - current behaviours (desired and undesired), triggers/reasons for those behaviours, social norms for the boys age (10-11 years old) and what was realistic/achievement for one student who is Autistic. 

4. Summarise your key findings about the nature and extent of the student challenge i.e. using your baseline student data and evidence.
My analyse of the 3 boys I felt was sufficient for the challenge. I recognised very early on that the data I would be collecting would be very qualification, as their goals were very socially-orientated and therefore hard to document (e.g. being able to speak in front of a group). I initially didn’t/couldn’t think of ways to get quantitative data so therefore alter on, had nothing to compare to from Term 1. 
Upon reflection, having had all 3 students at least for 1 term in 2017 (if not longer), I felt I was not meeting ALL their needs. I had designed specific learning activities and goals for 2 of the students who had very low academic ability (for various reasons), but had not attempted to address their key competency/social needs. For the third student, his needs had changed drastically since last year so although nothing was done for him last year, it was not needed as much then. 

5. Describe the main hypotheses you developed about factors that might contribute to this problem of student learning (e.g. particular features of teaching or out of school practices that were not as effective as they might be).
As I did not have a specific tool to implement or programme to run, it was hard to define what I was actually doing. At first I had an academic goal AND a key competency focus for each student, meaning I was trying to DO and collect evidence for 6 things, every week. This became really hard and I wasn’t very successful. As I was feeling overwhelmed by what I was trying to do, in my early reflections I often talked about the boys behaviours rather than what I did, or actually talking about the teaching/learning aspect. Once I recognised that I wasn’t doing it right, and rejigged my inquiry plan a little, things became much clearer. I had one key competency focus for each student, and that was it. Instead of trying to focus on academic and key competency, I had to only focus on key competency, and the academic (hopefully) would rise on its own. 
The main idea behind this achievement challenge was that if students were better able to communicate (through the use of key competencies), their learning would improve. For my 3 students, their 3 challenges were different, but suited their individual needs specifically. 
Ryan - his identified key competency was managing self. Ryan never completed work, and quite often didn’t start it because he couldn’t manage his own time, resources, or work load. He struggled to be in the right place at the right time and was never on task. 
Kian - his was managing self as well, but more about staying on task and not distracting others than right/wrong place/time. He typically started things, could open up the work, but would never complete anything. His ongoing negative behaviours meant he missed out on opportunities within the school which frustrated him immensely. 
Paul - as an ESOL student, Paul usually did not actively participate in group or whole class activities. Although some would claim ‘he doesn’t understand’ what is going on, I felt that he could and his issue was more about confidence and being willing to try and take a risk. 

6. Explain why you hypothesised that these factors would contribute to the student learning problem. Give reasons and refer to professional readings, colleagues and experts you consulted etc.
I just felt that this was the one thing holding these boys back - if they could manage their behaviour they could get on with the learning. If they could participate more without feeling scared to share, he would learn from others more.

7. Explain how you tested your hypothesis about factors that might contribute to the problem of student learning e.g. observations of teaching, student voice about out of school practices
As a school we did student voice about our own teaching practices in Term 1. My results were very conflicting (I.e. the thing they identified I was really good at, was the same thing that I needed to work on). I reflected a lot and tried to observe my own teaching - how many times did I speak to these 3 boys? In positive or negative ways? What was the tone of what was said? How did I make them feel? What was the cause of their negative behaviour? Is there anything I did to cause it? 
At first I tried something simple like giving Paul specific tasks to do with a trusted friend, such as taking messages around the school. I wanted to give him confidence to speak to other adults in the school (apart from me). I would give him a very simple message such as “do you need more paint?” and he would go with his friend to ask different teachers. If he freaked out, the friends job was to remind him what to say, not say it for him. After a few days where he took different simple messages around, he began bringing back replies that he had memorised. The friends that went with him reported back on if he did speak/who it was and Paul reported back if it was scary/okay/good. This improved with time as he got more confident so I knew his key competency selection was accurate. 

8. Summarise your key findings about possible causes of the problem of student learning identified in the profiling phase i.e. present your baseline data and evidence about teaching and other factors that affect student learning
Again, very qualitative but causes of their learning issues depended on who they were, their needs, and what their goal was. 

9. Describe in detail the intervention you designed to address the student learning problem i.e. exactly what did you plan to change? Be specific about actions, timelines etc.
There was no specific programme or intervention as other people have. Each student had one key competency to focus on, and we tried out different tasks/tools/activities to try and build up that key competency in each student. Sometimes the action to be tried out lasted one day, one week, or sometimes intermittently (on and off) depending who the child was, what the action was, and how they reacted. Observations were noted weekly per student, and testing of two students (Kian and Paul) was done once or twice a term depending on needs. 

10. Explain in detail your theories about why that intervention would positively impact on the problem of student learning (i.e. explain the causal chain you theorised).
Students with additional needs, both in special schools and mainstream schools, often struggle with communication. In the mainstream environment, this can be made even more difficult by large class sizes, noise levels of those class sizes, as well as the ever heavy demands of the curriculum etc. For my three boys, I felt that if they could work on their one chosen key competency, they would be better able to navigate the classroom environment, hopefully being more settled and ready and able to learn. For each of the 3 students this looked different. For Ryan, who is autistic/add/odd, his KC goal was managing self. So was Kians, but for different reasons and in different ways. Ryan often got overwhelmed by the classroom environment and seldom completed any work (set tasks or free-choice tasks).His goal around Managing-self was more focused on him being able to set up his own day, pre-schedule brain breaks (or take these when he needed without interrupting the whole class), choose rewards that were fair, and make independent choices about his learning. For Kian, his managing self was more about staying on task, making good choices about where to sit and who to sit/work with, setting attainable academic goals for each day and him being able to see his own progress and have a positive self-efficacy. For Paul, he is ESOL and so didn’t contribute to class or group discussions. He had enough English to understand the gist of what was happening most of the time, and had friends to translate instructions/tasks into his first language to help him. I wanted him to be confident to share his ideas and speak in front of the class without fear of teasing. His goal, participating and contributing, started with things like taking notes to other teachers and asking adults questions. We built this up by always having a friend with him who could help him if he got stuck. Later, it changed to getting him to speak to a different buddy (different classmates everyday) in 1-1 situations, then either getting the buddy to share his ideas, or if he felt confident enough, him to share his buddies. We continued challenging him by getting himself and Kian to join a mixed-ability reading group (previously they had been their own reading group as they are both on the colour wheel). In this group, we read stories (usually level 3, or a high level 2) aloud so Kian and Paul could follow along and read what they could, but when they couldn’t, they could listen and still get the meaning of the story. They were expected to participate in the conversation about the text at the same level as the more capable readers, and after the first few times of being overwhelmed, could do so adequately. Ryan was involved in the same way with mixed-ability groups, however he took much longer to be an active part of the group discussion than the other two as he often wasn’t ready and able to deal with the social situation of a reading group at the particular time that the reading group was happening. 

11. Describe in detail the sources of information you drew on to design your intervention (e.g. readings, courses, people).
I did academic readings about autism, ADHD, ODD etc (blog post link - , got help from Donna ( and, and attended a workshop at the University of Auckland about learning differences (,, and I was also able to draw on expertise from junior teachers and TESSOL trained teachers to help me with Kian and Paul’s. 

12. Give specific examples of how you monitored the effectiveness of your intervention and made adaptations as you went along
 As previously stated, my ‘intervention’ as such was an ongoing, ever-changing process. It wasn’t one thing designed to be done over a whole year - or rather, yes each child’s key competency stayed the same, but the way to improve that key competency changed daily/weekly. One specific example of the ever-changing process was Ryan’s tent. I had read in the academic readings about autism that children found comfort in having a quiet, dark place to go where they could calm and re equalise. I recognised that this would be really beneficial for Ryan as when he is worked up, he often hides under tables and chairs, and makes forts out of them. I got a teepee type tent and set it up in the corner of the classroom. We talked about what it was for, we agreed on its purpose and how it would be used. It worked really well for the first two days and then on and after the third day, he began using it not for the purpose we had agreed it was for. I put it away, and explained why. It had stopped working. A few weeks later, he asked if he could get it out again and use it if he agreed to use it correctly etc. We did, and it worked. He took himself to the tent to calm down and as a reward when work had been completed. 
Another example is the ear muffs. Again, I had read in the readings that overstimulation, particularly with bright lights and loud noises can trigger stress in Autistic children. I bought him ear muffs, and again it worked very well for the first few times he wore them, and after a while he would wear them at inappropriate times or in an inappropriate way. As with the tent, I took them away. They were always physically in the classroom and in fact were in a place where he could see them, but he knew he wasn’t allowed to use them as a toy or at certain times. One day he randomly came and asked me if he could wear them to help him do his work, I agreed and gave them another chance. They worked well again. 
Often, and particularly with Ryan, the things I tried worked some days and not others, and we would try them again later or wait for him to be ready enough for it to work. Often the ‘thing’ we were trying out had to be adapted slightly as it wasn’t quite right. Sometimes they didn’t work at all, so were scrapped (such as Ryan’s visual timetable, which he used once and didn’t even follow). It was all part of the learning process. 

13. Summarise evidence about key changes in teaching and other factors that influence student learning.
The biggest change in myself was how I saw, spoke to and responded to Ryan. I really developed my understanding of Autism (and ADHD, ODD) and hence changed these things. As previously stated, I learnt not to say ‘no’. I had do hugely adapt my teaching programme, again differently for each student. Ryan’s adaptations included time, topic, choices, creativity, location, and reward. Paul’s adaptations were more learning based, and setting him up in situations with people he trusts to encourage him to talk. Kian’s again were more learning based, but also setting him up for success in as many small ways as possible. 

14. Summarise evidence about key shifts in the problem of student learning
Obviously I can talk about shift in the students learning levels, particularly reading, as the achievement challenge talked about English. For Paul this also includes his Oral language improvement. The biggest change for all the 3 students is their shift in their chosen key competency. Kian’s ability to manage himself and his own learning is HUGELY different. Paul’s confidence in talking in front of groups, participating in group conversations and whole class conversations is literally chalk-and-cheese compared to how he was in the beginning of the year. Ryan’s journey towards managing himself will be an ongoing journey, but he has made HUGE improvements. All 3 students have made huge shifts in their focussing key competency, but also in their reading level (particularly Kian and Paul). 

15. Write an overall evaluation of your intervention in terms of the causal chain you had theorised. i.e. To what extent was the intervention successful in changing factors such as teaching? To what extent were those changes in teaching effective in changing patterns of student learning?
I think the focus on key competencies was hugely successful, but there are many other factors to consider as well. For example, a lot of Paul’s success around his key competency (participating and contributing) was impacted by his level of known English words and confidence using them. Had I tried to push him in this way last year when he first arrived, it wouldn’t have worked at all. He had to be ready enough, confident enough to try, and have enough English to participate in the first place. As for Kian and Ryan, (managing self) they had to be in a place where they as individuals recognised that this was a need worth addressing. If I had just tried to change them on my own, nothing would have happened. They both needed to see for themselves why it was important and be willing to try the things I suggested. As I have said throughout all these questions, my inquiry was very complex and therefore hard to explain the causal chain. It was not as simple as I did x-therefore Y, sometimes things worked and sometimes they didn’t. It depended on many things including child readiness, mood, confidence, experience, time/place/context etc. 

16. Write a reflection on your own professional learning through this inquiry cycle
A major thing I have learnt to consider this year (that had previously not been as issue for me) is the appropriateness of the content of an inquiry, for the context it is being shared in. What I mean by that is that I found it incredibly difficult to share a lot of what happened for my students, particularly Ryan, due to privacy/confidentiality for himself, his family, other agencies involved etc. It made it very difficult to report what was actually happening for him, and some of the biggest changes for him I couldn’t talk about. If this inquiry was only being shared in-school, I could have shared slightly more information. However since it was cluster-wide and made public via my blog, I was limited by what I could say and what was appropriate to share. If I was to do a CoL inquiry again, I wouldn’t choose to do something as personal as this because this aspect made it very difficult. Having a group of students and doing something not as personal, such as a focus on reading or maths learning development, would have been easier to report on. 
I have learnt a lot about myself - I knew that I was ready and able to challenge myself to do academic readings, to try things out, to be prepared to fail, etc. I have learnt that children need to be ready for the inquiry, and be part of it. It is not something with ‘to’ them, rather ‘with’ them. 

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Manaiakalani Writing Moderation - 8th November 2018

Link to slideshow.

Things to consider while marking...
How do I mark a script that seems off topic?
The topic outlined on the prompt (for example, ‘being a good friend’) is intended as a springboard for writing, rather than a tightly defined focus. Take this into account when scoring the ‘ideas’ element: ideas can be loosely related to the topic and still be considered relevant.

How do I mark a script that seems to be off purpose?
The purpose for the writing (to explain, persuade, narrate, describe or recount) is the focus of the ‘structure and language’ element. It is not the focus of any other element. If the student has been asked to describe a photograph of two dogs playing on the beach, but actually narrates a story about a dog, this will be reflected in the category score for ‘structure and language’.

Our moderation of a given text.


Should there be a R0 for the rubric?
Yes, for -
Ideas - 0
S/L - 1 (no, because R1 says 'or absent' which means R0).
Org - 0
Vocab - 0
S/S - 0
Punct - 1 (no, because R1 says 'little or no punctuation' which means R0).
Spelling - 0

- if there are ALL 1's, they should go into E-asttle.
- if there are any number of 0's, they should go into the year 1-3 Manaiakalani spreadsheet.

Friday, 2 November 2018

CoL - End of Inquiry - Student Voice (Term 4, Week 3).

This week I wanted to get some student voice around the changes achieved by my inquiry. Ryan was away (for an extended period of time), so I could only interview Kian and Paul. 

How have you changed since you started at this school?

Paul - How have you changed since you started at this school?
Good - cause I can talk to my friends.
I can read the hard books - I can spell the word and try to say it.
I have more friends then last year - when people talk to me I can understand them
I am more happy and confident then last year (He then listed 2 people who were his friends last year, and then about 20 who are his friends now, names removed for privacy).
I like school more now than last year. I do more stuff - road patrol, PE teams, helping with milk, Fruit monitor.

"Last year when you asked me a question, i would just be quiet because I didn’t even know. Now when you ask me, I answer."
"Last year i was too scared to say something."
"I was scared people will talk about me, like tease me, like I can’t speak English properly"

Kian - How have you changed since you started at this school?
I'm way less naughty,
I’m trying to not be naughty
I learnt to just walk away.
I'm happy that people think good things of me (rather than people including teachers only thinking of him as a 'naughty' kid).
"Nan told me she was proud of me for trying to stop being naughty"

My thoughts - I was so delighted that in their own way, by themselves, each boy could recognise how they had changed. For Paul especially, he is a completely different person now than he was last year. He is confident, out-going, and involved in everything that happens in the classroom and school. He is recognised by others (students and teachers) for the kind gestures he makes and how he goes out of his way to interact with, be friends with, help and defend other students. Kian could see in himself, like myself and many others do, that he is "way less naughty" as he puts it. In my words, he is managing himself. He even mentioned a strategy that has helped him be "less naughty", and that was "I learnt to just walk away". I also loved that he mentioned how his nan was proud of him, as I have told him many times as well. He sees the change in himself, and it makes him happy that others see it too.

How has your learning changed this year?

We talked at length here about how they are in two reading groups - one group where we read level appropriate colour wheel books, and the other, where they are put in mixed ability groups and expected to listen/follow along with a Level 3 text and participate in the discussion about the text. 

Is being in the mixed group helpful for your reading learning?
Paul - "Yeah, if there’s words you don’t know so they can read it and help you."
"I just stop and listen and follow the words”
Kian - "Sometimes, sometimes they talk too much and its hard for us to talk."
“sometimes I get lost but then I just listen and find the word and then I can do it again”
Paul - "Might learn faster” if we do both the mixed group and the other group.

My thoughts - Both boys could about how the two reading groups are very different, but both boys could see that both groups had value. They knew how to be a part of the more complex group, “sometimes I get lost but then I just listen and find the word and then I can do it again”. They both know they have moved up reading levels and could tell me what level they were at now. Their confidence to participate in the mixed-ability group has grown hugely, and although they usually can't read the entire text (particularly as fast as the rest of the group reads it), they know they can listen and follow along and still talk about it afterwards. None of the other group members (not Kian and Paul, the other members from the class) ever say anything bad about these two not being able to read it, but accept what they offer and include them the best they can into the conversation. In fact sometimes other members request me to put Kian or Paul in their group.
At first I found it a bit disappointing that the two boys only talked about their reading, but upon reflection I found that this was the biggest area of change for them, and the area where they get the most 1:1 or small group attention, as their needs vs. the rest of the class are much greater in reading than in other learning areas (E.g. in maths, Paul can mostly keep up with the regular classroom targeted at Level 3 of the curriculum).

How have I helped you this year?
Kian - "taught me how to read properly, teaching me not to cause fights in the classroom, not to swear in class, telling me to move away from L*** so I have to do the work (believe in me)."

Paul - "how to spell, tell me to take books home and read it, sound out the words and spell it, telling us how to say it properly (not ‘do the fruit’, ‘we are going to deliver the fruit’)"

My thoughts - again, at first I was a little disappointed with their answers as they only really talked about reading. I felt I had helped them with so much more than just reading, but they could only see that one thing.. I thought about it more later and realised that for both of them, being able to read and knowing "how to spell", how to "sound out the words" and "say it properly" was the biggest thing holding them both back from successfully participating in classroom norms, particularly for Paul with his ESOL background. From my point of view, helping them with that one thing (essentially, teaching them words/how to read) was for them, the gateway that opened up all the other avenues of learning that occurred this year.
For Kian, having the confidence to read and participate in learning helped grow his confidence in himself, he stopped telling himself he was dumb, and he began to take risks and try new things. He believed in himself. He wanted to do better and be better. And he did.
For Paul, as he mentioned in the first question, last year he didn't have the words to express himself. Now he does. For him as well, having the words helped him gain confidence to then be able to participate and contribute, to relate to others, to build friendships, to talk in group discussions, to talk to me, to think critically, to be a leader and a good friend.
At the end of the day, teaching these two words/how to read, gave them the tools to achieve everything else.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

CoL Meeting - October 18th 2018

New Zealand separated from Gondwana around 65 million years ago. Due to the geographical isolation and a lack of ground-dwelling predators, our birds evolved unique characteristics. Flight was not required to escape predators, so birds such as the kiwk, takehe, and (now extinct) moa adapted to these conditions by developing a large body size and loss of flight. 

How to read this...
- identifying complex meaning-carrying vocabulary
- extracting key ideas/concepts/notions/knowledge parts
- grammatical analysis
With that all together, what are the meaning-making demands??

things to think about
- kids might know the words, but they know them in a specific context, are they transferring the meaning of that word into this new context?


Kids get a specific idea of what 'reading' is, and quite often that is reading the whole text QUICKLY, and being better at reading is being at a higher level. They often don't want to use visuals, stop and ask questions, stop and think, etc. We need to change their idea of what reading is..

Friday, 28 September 2018

CoL Update (Term 3, Week 10)

This week was our Ako Evening, where students get to share what they have learnt throughout the term. Our inquiry was around natural disasters.

Each student in the class (additional needs or not..) is expected to make something ("create") to share on the night. 

Kian and Paul immediately formed groups with their classmates and began creating. Ryan chose to work on his own, but still completed his creation. 

Then on the day, the had to present to their classmates/teachers, and after school, to their families. 

Ryan presenting the tsunami artwork to our DP. 

Paul and some of his group members showing their volcano.

Kian and his buddies tsunami.

Paul presenting to his schoolmates.

Paul presenting Kian's work to a teacher (Yes, he presented SOMEBODY ELSE'S work, just because he wanted to/could, and did a great job of it too!). 

Ryan presenting the artwork to some junior students.

Ryan then decided it was too noisy inside and wanted to be the greeter. Fair enough!

Again, Paul presenting a 3rd 'creation' (he didn't make this, but presented it with confidence to our guests). 

It was SO AWESOME to see all 3 boys get involved in the learning and sharing. I was very impressed that Ryan identified it was getting too much for him, and came up with his own solution as to how he could be involved, but remove himself a little. Managing self anyone?
Kian completed his work and presented it with pride to his family member that came in the afternoon. He could explain his tsunami, what causes them etc in his own words with confidence. 
Paul and his group made their volcano and could present it. What blew me away was that Paul presented at least 3 other groups creations to guests. He knew the information in his head and had the confidence to just walk over and start talking about tsunamis/volcanoes/earthquakes/etc. He definitely is participating and contributing! 

Friday, 21 September 2018

CoL Update (Term 3, Week 9)

This week I started testing Paul and Kian again on PM Benchmark/PROBE.

End Term 3
Kian6 - 7 YRSLevel 15
PaulLevel 24
V**Level 23

Paul and V have moved up to silver and Kian has moved up to Level 15 (his last test was level 12!). Kian has been at this level before but slid backwards over the school holidays. I really need to maintain his daily reading to keep him here, I don't want him to slip backwards again as he and I both work so hard to move up levels. 

Ryan didn't pass the PROBE I gave him so I need to retest him.

Paul's story -
On Monday 17th September 2018 room 7 did a special activity called Yoga challenge. 

Miss Ashley told us to get into buddies. My buddy was Timote. Miss Ashley showed us photos then we have to copy it .The first one was easy because you just have to sit down and hold hands and lean back. The next one you have to stand up and put your one leg to the front and put your other leg at the side and use your arm to make a heart .

Look at that introduction! It has who, when and what in it. Then in his first paragraph, the ideas are in order, he remembered full stops and capita letters for names by himself, he tried to explain what he was doing and you can kind of figure it out. Great!

Kian's story -
when I got to school in the morning I came up to the classroom and I hanged my bag up on the hook and then I went over to Ms Ashley and gave my notice to her and then we did the role and then we had to move the chairs and tables away so then we had a broom to do yoga.

My favourite one was when we had to lean on each other my hardest one was when we had to put our legs on the ground and that other person had to put their head on my legs and  then we got to the last one which was that one that I just sent that was hard all the rest of them was a little bit easier for me but I did not like them that matcha cause I was a bit hard.“Are you ready?”

I reminded him to try and put dialogue (talking) in his story, and he has just put it at the end. That's okay, he tried. Again, the ideas are in order and there are mostly capital letters and full stops in the right place. As mentioned previously, using voice typing is amazing for him but sometimes he doesn't pick up the mistakes in it (e.g. 'we had a broom' instead of 'we had room'). Still need to work on checking.

This week we also did fun activities that the boys could be a part of. It was Paul's first experience with VR this week. At first he was a little apprehensive, especially after watching his friends scream and revolt when it was their turn to watch. He gave it a go and then as a class we wrote about what we saw. 
Kian is managing himself so well that others in the school are starting to notice and comment on it. His name never comes up in the staffroom or meetings like it used to, and he never gets in trouble. When I talked to him about it, he mentioned that I had said to him 'if you are good, then you won't get into trouble with Miss ****'. I don't know why that one time stuck, and the other thousand times I have said that to him didn't, but he is doing so well. 
During learning time he asks people to be his buddy and usually asks for my help when he gets stuck (yes, even that is a breakthrough). 

Saturday, 15 September 2018

CoL Update (Term 3, Week 8)

As a class we have been really focusing on writing and what good writers do, explaining and modelling the planning stage, how to write good introductions for recounts, and how to check your work after you have written as well.

Here are some samples of the students writing that I AM SO PROUD OF! 

Paul - Remember that Paul is an ESOL student who has been in New Zealand for little over 1 calendar year. These stories he writes by himself either by typing, or using voice typing. He learnt how to voice type from Kian who uses it 100% of the time.

Paul's recount about the museum - 
On Wednesday 12th of September 2018 room 5, 6, 7 and 8 from Tamaki Primary School went to the museum. We went to the museum because we learn about natural disasters.

First we did the roll and Miss Ashley say to us “choose your own groups”. Then we went to the hall and Mrs Fepuleai told us if there's something inside you're not allowed to touch and keep your feet mouth and hands to yourself .

Then we went to the bus. When we were at the museum we have morning tea then we went inside then we put our bag away back away. The man come and told us the rules.

Then we went to the volcano room and we saw some volcano rocks. Then we went to a room and we watch a video. The room was shaking then the light was going off. It was noisy because the children was in there screaming and we just stay at the volcano room. Then we went back in the elevator and we had lunch and played games and we went to the bus and we came back to Tamaki Primary at 1.30. We arrived at 2pm.

Paul's recount about Tongan language week- 
“Yay! It’s wednesday 5th of september 2018, it’s tongan language week I think it’s gonna be the best day ever because this my first time in my life playing, Tongan games.

Tolo pato
The game that i played was the Tolo pato the goal that i have to do is to dodge the ball, if you get hit from the ball im out if i'm out  i have to until the game finish. When i played this game i was playing with my friend Havea and Leon
“I asked Havea what game is this”
“Havea said it’s dodgeball”
When i was playing i was so confused because their were to side were the three taggers.

Fusi Maea
It is just like tiger war The game works you get to team the other team is going to be your rivals.We had a countdown from 3 2 1 they started pulling it was Dyzon, George and me in one team and lopi, sonny and saia.It was almost a draw and the rope was so stretching that it felt like we were pulling someone body apart.

Kian - for context, Kian uses voice typing to record his ideas. He is incredibly slow at typing and hand writing so he gets frustrated and/or takes so long to record one idea he has forgotten the rest of his story by then. Using voice typing has afforded him to write ALL his ideas down. Instead of writing 1 sentence of his own ideas, he can write 1 page. I highly recommend voice typing, particularly for building confidence in writing.
Voice typing is amazing, however we are still working on editing the writing after he has voice typed it. Sometimes it has recorded a wrong word and sometimes he talks so fast it misses words out.

Kian's recount about making a tent at school -
I told Paula to push the metal pole into the hole and he did it and then I did the next one and then we put up the tent. We were almost done and then we put that cover over and we pigs on it and then put the blue pollen and then we finished that one. When you finish putting up the tent we then the tent with only box and Mr rusty right about what we did and how we put it up. I did most of the tent because everyone else was playing inside the tent and me Paula and Isaiah were doing the tent as I help me put the poles in and Paula we put over the second half of the tent. I like putting up the tent because it's a really good thing cuz you are learning how to put up a tent and other people are showing you how to put up a tent. I break into because it's fun and it's really good cuz other people can learn how to make a tent. I did the most stuff on the team because everyone else was playing in the tent and me and Isaia we're doing the most work.

Kian's Tongan language week recount -

On Wednesday the 5th of September we did Tongan gamesAnd this is at Tamaki Primary School I was in the tug of war and I lost but in the next round I won and then I went to the next game which is called the sack race and I came second and then I didn't play anymore games and I just went on the Park.

Ryan - Ryan doesn't usually write about what everybody else is writing about, even if it is a recount about something we all just experienced together. I am happy for him to write about whatever he wants, as long as he writes something. When he writes, he usually listens to music as he claims this helps him concentrate. I have tried many times to get him to write without the music, and it just does not happen. So, music it is. I would rather he listened to music and did some work, then didn't listen to music and did nothing.

Ryan's story - The true heart

On 4 april on a tuesday 2007 i slowly walked to the bakery for a tea when suddenly saw a bright light across my table, a beautiful women with a hat, a book and a star shaped phone, i was shy to go over and talk to her but i was in barasat to do it.
I was just rubbing my eyes then she disappeared in the distance away. When i stood up i ran over to that table and she literally left her book there.
I lift up the book and there was her phone, i was wondering where she has went.
I pressed a button and a alarm went off so iv checked what itis.
She was going to the subway to catch a train, i ran and ran and ran and saw that bright light again so i looked around but there she is,
Just walked to her and gave her book and and phone then she looked up and said
“Your the guy that was across my table at the bakery”
“yes it's me” i replied to her
“so you have chased me this whole time, that's sweet, thanks.”
I had to say something to you, when i first saw your blue eyes you felt special to me, you shine like a thousand sapphires in the sky. Your like a diamond on my hand and there's one thing missing,
(i love you)
She hugs me and gives me a fast kiss before she hopped on the train.

...The end...

Overall comments
Can we just appreciate how good all 3 of their introductions are? I taught them that a good introduction should have what, who, when, where, why and how. If you go back and look at each story, you can see them trying to include these things. I am also so impressed that they are attempting to use dialogue, attempting (sometimes successfully) to use paragraphs. For Paul he still needs a lot of support to construct his story and sort of 'get the words' into his head before he can write them down but that is part of his participation and contribution, that he shares his ideas with others and makes an orally planned story before getting to the writing part. Kian uses voice typing which is amazing and has grown his confidence so much!. As I said earlier, we still need to work on the editing part but that's okay. He is using digital affordances to help him manage himself and his own learning, so its a win from me. Ryan doing any writing at all is a huge win, because in order to do so he needs to be in a good place and be able to manage himself. In his writing you can see dialogue (used correctly when there are 2+ speakers) and even some language features. Very impressed with all three boys!