Thursday, 6 August 2020

PB4L - reviewing the triangle

I have wanted to do this session with my staff for sooo long, but we never had the time during staff meetings. 

In the holidays we had an hour session (the school also had no wi-fi at the time), which meant we had to do something paper-based. 

Finally my chance! 

Firstly I asked teachers to draw the three-tiered triangle, and write in whatever they knew about PB4L, wherever they thought it went. 
Some new teachers barely knew about the triangle, let alone the information that went in the triangle, but that was okay. 
Teachers who have been working with PB4L for a few years knew a bit more.

After about ten minutes, I shared my giant blank triangle and asked people to share with the group any piece of information they knew about, and where they thought it went. 

Slowly but surely, people started sharing information they knew and I filled in the giant triangle as we went. With each piece of information (E.g. Tier 1 works for 80% of kids), I would add on to the thought and further explain (E.g. yes it does, but also you need 80% buy in from the adults for PB4L to work in your school). 

We continued sharing and discussion, sharing and discussing, until we got to this triangle!
For a non-educator, non-PB4L person this might not mean anything or make sense - but for us as a school, it was a lot! 

Every staff member either learnt lots of new information (mostly the beginning teachers), or were able to make connections with different pieces of information they kinda knew about but hadn't connected together (mostly experienced teachers). 

For a lot of staff, there were things we do in our school they never realised were PB4L. We were able to teach/revise a lot of little things as well (that normally wouldn't get covered in a standard PB4L Meeting), such as WHO is involved with each level, WHO is responsible for supervising/implementing each level. 

We also could review how students shouldn't be labeled as "a Tier 2 student" or "Tier 3 student", but rather they are "showing Tier 2 behaviours in X context". 

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

PB4L Achievements 2019-2020

I have been the PB4L Team Leader at my school since Jan 2019. That's a year and a half... 
So what have we achieved in this time? And where to next?

- High SET score
- BoQ done for the first time
- EBS done for the first time
- myself and Lou attended PB4L conference in 2019
- yellow posters redone
- staff handbook created
- student handbook created - to be used for newcomers club.
- school wide matrix renewed/updated annually
- Termly data reported every term. 
- Team member of the week - prizes by Rhonda.
- first TIPS completed at Tamaki
- house leaders elected by student nomination.
- restorative practise trainings with Lou
- PB4L wall created in school office

- house leaders elected by student nomination - set up routines for collecting/counting tokens, lunchtime sport etc.
- Officially moved to Tier 2 - access to $10,000 grant to use for PB4L purposes.
- Tier 2 team set up and started training with Linda
- having a teacher aide on the PB4L team in 2020 for the first time
- PB4L wall redone/updated 

- Team member of the week - prizes, certificates to the winner each week

- Ashley and Lou both cluster coaches in 2020 
- Termly data reported every term. Annual comparisons (2019-2020) done and shared with staff at beginning of year. 
- resources shared - sparklers, well-being resources during/after lockdown, etc. 
- Digital Badge Ed 
- Tier 1 team was supposed to attend PB4L conference (paid for out of PB4L budget) - however conference was cancelled due to COVID-19
- acknowledgements for certificate and badges for the first time

- PB4L during lockdown (t shirt challenge, movie challenge)

- new house points signage

- changed school values
School values in 2019
- Rangimarie
- Tukumarie
- Ako
- Whanaungatanga
- Manaakitanga

School values in 2020
- Ako
- Whanaungatanga
- Manaakitanga
- Mana Tangata
- Kaitiakitanga

 Teachers were also given support from Whaea Lee about what each of these mean in Maori context, to support and extend teachers understanding of what these words mean.

- permanent signage

Where to next? (Aim: by end of 2020).
 - finish staff/PB4l handbook/student handbook, get these printed by the end of Term 3. 
- school value displays at front of school and by Tripoli road. 
- ensure budget is set aside for 2021 (Tier 1 team to all attend PB4L conference)

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Things to celebrate during lockdown learning

During this lockdown period, my planning has had to get a little creative to stay interesting and interactive for students. After nearly 8 weeks of video-call and email contact only with my kids, I'm glad to say the relationship I have with students is doing well. Some of them I see and talk to for at least 3 hours everyday, and some I haven't spoken to at all. That's just the way it is.. 

There has been a lot to celebrate. 
My students have blogged more than ever before. 
This is partly due to the fact things I would have preferred to do in a book (especially maths), are now being done online. Time that would have been spent doing more tactile or physical things (such as art, PE, programmes running within the school etc), are now being filled with digital-based learning. Another reason is because I have broken my planning up into more bite-sized pieces (so less of a mental load for students), so these can be blogged bit by bit rather than one big thing at the end of the project. 

They have made some really cool CREATE tasks. 
For various lessons, students have had to make things. Not all the kids make it every time, some never make anything. But the things I am getting back, are really awesome. 

One student's pancake tutorial (was related to an instructional writing task)

Same task - different child.

Same task, different child again.

For their technology project, they were asked to make something 'steampunk' inspired. 
One kid made a rocket-pack out of stuff she found at home.

For reading, we have been looking at various texts related to WW1 (prompted by ANZAC day of course). After learning about trenches/tunnels/no man's land/aerial attacks/ceasefires etc, one child, completely unprompted, made his own version of the Western Front in a game he likes to play. He built trenches, put up blockades in no man's land, put in tanks etc. He even tried to build tunnels underneath no man's land, but was limited by the games formatting so couldn't finish this. 
I was blown away, and as a class we spent ages playing Combat in his Western Front arena. 

Some students, via online-learning, have 100% attendance and 100% work completion. 
Which is crazy, considering there is no way for me to make them to any of it. If they choose not to come online that day, I can't do anything about it. I can't magically turn their computer on and make them talk to me. I can't make them complete the task, blog it and share their blog in the submission form. They are just doing that on their own. It's been awesome.

We have found ways to help each other out and make it work.
Where normally, I would have drawn a picture on the whiteboard or sat down next to a student and written something on their maths book, we have had to get creative. 
A lot of the time, it looked like me working out the problem on a piece of paper, then holding up that piece up paper to my laptop camera for the kid to see how to solve it.. not ideal but it worked. Just took a long time.. 
Later I figured out how to share an online-whiteboard with the kids so they could work together to draw/whatever to solve a hard problem. This evolved further into having individual whiteboards for certain kids, because kid A wouldn't stop drawing on kids B's work, or maybe kid C was 5 questions ahead of kids A and B and couldn't concentrate with the others talking. 
Having individual whiteboards worked really well for the kids - gave them space and time to work things out, but was really hard for me to manage (trying to be on 10 whiteboards at the same time, all the kids at different points solving different questions). 
But, it was better than nothing. 

Friday, 6 September 2019

DMIC Lessons Week 8

This week we had two lessons - one on Tuesday and the other on Wednesday, where both groups (each group is half the class) solved  the same problem on each day.

I mixed up the groupings so they were very mixed and students were grouped with people they aren't normally with. While the first group solved the problem, the first group worked independently on skills-based basic facts drills/practising, and then they swapped. Not following the DMIC protocol, I didn't get the first group to share back before inviting the second group down. So the first group solved it (didn't share back), then the second group solved the problem, then ALL the children sat together and we took turns to present together.
I was really pleased with how this maths went this week, as it got more complex each day and most of the class was able to grasp the big ideas that were being presented to them.

My personal goal was to facilitate more discussion/practise with the small group before they got up to present, so that their presentation went better and I didn't have to intervene while they presented.
On Tuesday, only one group presented and then I facilitated the second headphones price with the whole class (this was due to time constraints).

On Wednesday, a different group shared each of the four 'shops' price solutions then I lead a discussion about how percentages/fractions are the same (half is 50%, quarter 25%, etc) and students could understand what I was talking about.

Overall I was really pleased with how changing the groups, and only sharing back once at the end (when both halves of the class solved the same problem). I found the discussion was a lot easier because we weren't limited by the number of kids, kids confidence levels, spoken English ability (or lack of), etc. It ran much smoother.

This was Tuesday's question -
"Miss Ashley is buying a fathers day present for her dad. She looks at two headphones at different shops. The first headphones are $19.99 with 15% off, and the second are $24.99 with 25% off. Which will be cheaper?"

 This was Wednesdays question
Miss Ashley is looking to buy a new TV for her house. She went to different stores, but needs help to figure out which is the best deal. 
The Warehouse has a TV for $199.99 and has ¼  off the price. Noel Leeming has a TV for $199.99 with 20% off. Harvey Norman has one for $229.99 with half off. An online store has a TV for $249.99 with 30% off. 

Which one will be the cheapest and by how much?

Our solving/sharing together..

Finding 10% first, then halving it to get 5%. Then subtracting to get the sale price.

Rounding to the nearest whole number to make it easier for themselves.

Students were able to use place value knowledge to find quarter - they knew quarter of 20 was 5, so they knew that quarter of 200 was 50.

Three lots of 10% makes 30%. Then subtracting to get sale price.

two lots of 10% makes 20%. Then subtracting to get the sale price of $160.

Using place value to find half. 

Difference between most expensive TV and cheapest TV.

Monday, 2 September 2019

PB4L Conference - Takeaways

For teachers/readers of this blog, I understand that reading notes from a conference when you weren't there, usually makes absolutely no sense at all. So here are a few things you can take away and use straight away, without any context..
  1. Read this article about anxiety in children. It is a real, on-going issue with serious consequences for children that affect them daily. We should all be conscious of childhood anxiety and depression. See my notes about it here. 
  2. Sparklers  - pre-made activities to help facilitate social and emotional development of children "Sparklers is a free wellbeing toolkit full of fun and simple activities to help tamariki learn about their own mental health and wellbeing. Sparklers actively teaches tamariki how to manage big emotions, draw upon their strengths, connect with others and be ready for learning."
  3. I didn't get this link from this conference, but I still have the tab open and its awesome, so will share it anyway. Really cool digital art activities.
  4. This image and its explanation are probably the most fundamental mind-shift from this conference. Read more here.

Saturday, 31 August 2019

PB4L Conference - Workshop - "Using PB4L SW to support students who are chronically anxious"

High levels of chronic anxiety among children and young people have been shown to have a detrimental effect on both learning and social behaviour. This workshop looks at the effects of anxiety on students’ neurophysiology, and the role anxiety plays in maintaining challenging behaviour. It will also examine the practical challenges of supporting anxious children in schools and suggest ways in which PB4L School-Wide systems and practices can be used to improve outcomes for these students; to facilitate learning, reduce challenging behaviour and build resilience. FACILITATORS: John Ford and Leah Vennell, PB4L School-Wide Practitioners

What does anxiety look like for students?
- crying
- anger
- sore tummy
- defiance/non-compliance
- work avoidance
- don't want to come to school
- isolating themselves
- self harm

What sets them off? (What are the triggers)
- public speaking
- change of routines
- family expectations and personal expectations
- own self-efficacy
- home life/trauma
These can be historically or contextually driven.

Kids have differing levels of resilience as well...

3 key contentions..
1. NZ has high levels of chronic anxiety
2. Anxiety have impacts on learning and behaviour-  Rewards can be punishments, and punishments can be rewards when you are anxious.
3. Good implementation of PB4L Tier 1 can help reduce anxiety as it is routine driven.

What must the world look like for this to be a rewarding option? (from the anxious child's point of view).

Make things predictable. 
- use visual timetable on whiteboard
- explain to kids if something might change and why
- restate PB4L expectations
- set and follow routines (PE on Monday, assembly every Friday, eat morning tea sitting here etc).

Give kids control (or at least a sense of it)
- give them the opportunity to take a break (hand up if you need a 1 minute break etc).

The dentist example