Friday 16 December 2016

Looking towards 2017

I have been reflecting a lot on my practice, and what I have seen of others throughout the year, and thinking about what I want to do better next year, focus on more etc etc. Here is my list.

Digital stuff
  • Setting up expectations for Chromebook's 
    • even calling it a Chromebook instead of a netbook!
    • showing students explicitly how to label posts on their blog properly the first time they post- and keeping on top of this.
      • only using labels such as tps, year4, year5, year6, writing, reading, maths, inquiry, cybersmart
  • Setting up Chromebook cupboard organisers and expectations from day 1 (consider getting a better way to store them??)
  • Having a better way to keep headphones safe and untangled (Advice welcome!)
  • Explicitly teaching everyday (term 1) how to use GAFE products properly 
  • Set up a system where students must contribute one piece of work each, each week, to the class blog (blog email address!)
  • Where appropriate, set word limits for students for writing tasks. For example (write 100 words about...). This forces them to write more than one sentence and gets them used to thinking/writing in depth. 
General Teacher-y stuff
  • Sticking to my planning/timetable/routine as much as possible - not changing everything, everyday. Obviously some stuff changes sometimes and its out of your control, but I want to have routines.
  • Have days of week in English & Maori on board and use them everyday - let this be a 'norm'.
  • Have class labels set up (e.g. maths, reading) and a routine for a student to set these up on the board everyday for the following day so students know what to expect
  • Have a system or checklist for monitoring how often I check/comment/reblog the students blog posts
  • Play more games in the classroom. Sometimes kids need a brain break and so do teachers.
  • Make sure I get my allotted BT release and CRT - and use it well. 
  • Pick one behaviour management strategy and work with it (for however long it works) - bean jar, earning free time, etc. 
Personal stuff
  • Stick up for myself more - don't let others walk all over me, tell me what to do, make me feel inferior etc.
  • Do what I want. I know my kids, I know what they want/need.
  • Be nicer to myself - its okay to not do school work on the weekend, don't beat yourself up.

Learning Shift 2016

This year has been huge for me, with so many things going on, but the main reason I am even here is for my kids. 
I have spent a lot of time helping Archana with our senior syndicate data, creating graphs and comparisons. 

Together we have made a huge shift with our students. 
Here is the 2016 data for my class.

Year 4 Reading
Well Below71%0.00%-70.59%
For the non-teachers reading this, these statistics are related to National Standards [NS] for year 4. 
As you can see, 0% of our class were at the NS or above it at the beginning of the year. Not one kid.. But not, about than 2/3 of our class are at or above the NS. These students have moved from Well below (note the 71% of our class who were here in March). This is a HUGE shift for our kids.

Year 4 Writing
Well Below47%8.70%-38.36%
Our writing data is very consistent - you can almost track the students who moved from Well Below (March) to Below (Nov), or from Below (March) to At (Nov), or from At (March) to Above (Nov). We have made very good shifts in writing. 

Year 4 Maths
Well Below0%8.70%8.70%
Again for any non-teacher readers, this Well Below goes from 0% to 8.70%. This may seem like a child went backwards, when in fact they just didn't move at all. The marker for NS changes from March to November (as they should have learnt some stuff between these months!) so this child essentially stayed at the same level of achievement instead of moving with it, hence moving from below to well below. The rest of our class did great in maths. 82% of our class was Below (March) and at the end of the year only 17% were. 

Overall this data shows huge shifts in all learning areas.
The main area I personally felt that I want to focus a bit more attention on was moving the At and Above kids even higher.
A lot of emphasis gets placed on Below and Well Below students, and getting them to the norm, and this has been achieved in our class (mostly).
However some of my highest students were always the ones helping others, and did not get as much attention and targeted teaching as the very low students, hence they stayed where they were instead of moving as high as possible.
Other teachers have found a similar thing in their data, so this is a something we have discussed and we already have some ideas about how we can achieve shift for these students as well as the target students.

I am very proud of how hard my students have worked and how much they have shifted. I know I gave planning/teaching my everything this year and I am proud of myself as well.