Friday 27 April 2018

Developing Mathematical Inquiry Community [DMIC]- Staff meeting/PD

NZ maths link - really good video here.
DMIC website

Shift our mindset out of Numeracy Project and stages. Stop blaming the kids for bad data.

Why do we need to do this?
At the end of year 8, 26% of Maori and 11% of Pasifika are achieving the curriculum standard.

If I've taught them I did my bit. But did they actually learn it?

Thursday 26 April 2018

Meeting with Donna

Meeting with Donna (Across schools leader for Sommerville)
Advice for special needs students

  • Collate data - (ABCs) Antecedents, behaviours, consequences...keep detailed data.
  • Look for patterns - Share with Donna
  • Give students who are charged or wired from home to have something to do before going to class (getting their engine ready)
  • Key competencies are these students biggest level of learning at the moment.
  • Students often don’t know the language for what they’re feeling.  Give students time to identify what they’re feeling and work with them to find a solution.
  • Class discussion around what we can do as individuals in the class to help the student/s with special needs.
  • Allocate time every week (perhaps on a Monday) to PB4L and key competencies - identifying feelings/emotions and ways to deal with them, identifying characteristics to manage our feelings and behaviours e.g: tolerance, acceptance, inclusivity, patience
  • Celebrate the small successes - differentiate expectations e.g: 10 minutes where a student manages himself without disruption, or 10 minutes where a students completes a certain amount of work...etc
  • Visual assistance for routines - eg: timetables - teaches students what comes next and allows time for them to mentally prepare. It also can be used to teach when things don’t go to plan by changing the image/word when changes occur.
  • Make sure you have a conversation with students around the timetable discussing any changes that may be happening.
  • “Not available” - (circle with a red line through it)use of terminology as opposed to ‘No’, just means that you can’t have that now but it will be available to you later.
  • ADHD - kinesthetic strategies: brain break - use them as reward for begin on task.  
    • Vibrating toys from the $2 shop.
    • Squiggy toys
  • Create a work/brainbreak chart showing students what work they have to do to earn a brain break.
  • Create a check sheet of all the things students like to do during brain breaks and students choose what they’d like to do.  Give them an amount of time they can take for they’re break and use a timer to track.
  • Noise reducing headset helps in blocking out sound during learning time.
  • All behaviour is a communication. When a student acts out - stop, take a breath and try to figure out what the student is trying to tell me.
  • Review mindfulness - setting a positive safe classroom environment.  Ensure students are comfortable in saying they don’t know how to do something, rather than not try something because they ‘think’ it’s too hard.  Have strategies on the wall around the room giving ways they can help themselves in their learning e.g: ask 2 friends, give it a go and ask for help, make a start.
  • Check students understanding of the names of equipment in the room e.g: vivid/marker/sharpie, card/paper…
  • Donna’s professional blog -
  • Get onto the Sue Larkie mailing list - available on her blog:-)...has great information and strategies to add to your tool kit.
Recommended Websites/Reading/Resources:

Thursday 19 April 2018

UoA New Associate Teacher training

Today I went to a training meeting at the University of Auckland about how to be a good associate teacher. I'm excited to be getting a student teacher this term!

My notes - 
The most important stuff to do with your student teacher
1.    read the brief
2.    modelling and explaining by thinking aloud – making the implicit explicit. Explaining how you got that to happen (e.g. routines)

How will you ensure that your own planning clearly reflects children’s different learning needs (academic, personal and social)?
·      Meeting with SENCO/principal to discuss how children’s needs are met
·      Discussing IBP/IEPs, why they are necessary
How will you provide evidence of and access to,  your longer and shorter term planning?
·      Sharing docs with them (view only)/photocopies.
What evidence of differentiated planning (groups and individuals) will you practice/demonstrate for your student teacher?
·      Getting students to change the tumble/group box – explaining why you are changing it and what is informing your decision making
·      Modelling the think aloud of your decision making process for your student teacher (e.g. I want you to move to the front of the mat because…)
·      Explaining – this is why I am doing this, this is how it connects to my planning and assessments etc.
How will you share aspects of your planning and preparation for teaching and learning with your student teaching?
·      Think alouds.
When will you discuss the planning process with your student teacher?
·      Giving them a timeline – 24hrs, a week beforehand etc. Make sure you check in.
·      Show them BT planning so they know how detailed it should be.
·      Be tough.
·      Follow school expectations.
What is your understanding of the key elements that should be evident in effective teaching practice?
How will you help your student teacher develop effective teacher practice?
How will the student teacher know that their teaching has been effective?
·      Did the kids learn anything?
·      If they didn’t and it was a unsuccessful lesson, can they themselves say how to make it better?
How will you promote and support your student teacher in planning, teaching and assessment (across a range of learning areas) with individual, multiple groups and whole class situations?
·      Do the basics first – get to know the teacher, get to know the kids before jumping into planning/teacher. However there might not be time for them…
·      SHOW them how to do assessments, even if it’s not in your schedule. Explain the purpose of it, why your school does that certain assessment and what happens with the data. Show them how it connects to the curriculum, long term planning etc.
·      Discuss if you have ability groups or mixed groups and WHY.
·      Learn how to group effectively for ability groups. Get good at that before going to mixed grouping etc.
·      Show them how to make an OTJ.
·      Any reflection should cause a change in practice. ‘Why am I behaving in this way’, ‘What is the impact’, ‘What can I change’.

Tuesday 17 April 2018

Presenting at EdTechTeam - GAFE conference 2018

This year I presented at the EdTechTeam - GAFE conference. I presented about the same topic as I did last year, in fact using the same presentation/Google Drawing (of course I updated it!).

I found that I didn't prepare much as I had confidence in myself that I knew the content of my presentation inside and out. When it came time to present, I started confidently and my audience of approx 30-35 people were really engaged, asked really good questions and all said they learnt something at the end, so yay! 

It is definitely worth presenting at this conference as 1) I get to share my knowledge and 2) it means I get to go for free and learn off others. 
I highly recommend it to other teachers for next year!

EdTechTeam - GAFE conference 2018 Day 2

Before they keynote even started...

Read more here - 

Keynote 1 - Once upon our time

What is the climax of my story? What is my conflict? Where will I end up?

At the end of the day, our job is about learning. We need to innovate. It is our job. 
Enemies of innovation - fear, time, curriculum. 
Our weapons - vision, community, stories.

There are people who watch things happen, people who make things happen, and people who say 'oh what happened?'. Which one will you be?

Session 1 - Rethinking the way you teach: Planning for the learner not the learning

After speaking at length about how amazing the NZ curriculum is, he pointed this out...
The NZ curriculum is split into 3 parts - values, key comps and learning areas. They take up about 16-17 pages EACH in the curriculum document. Yet, you can either download the entire curriculum, or the learning areas. In fact, the learning areas in 3 different ways. But you can't get the values or key comps on their own.. so in fact, are they equal? Apparently not...

Concept-based curriculum and instruction from EDtalks on Vimeo.

Are you teaching WHAT, WHO or WHY?

Behaviour vs. Skills - which one are you born with and which do you develop? Which therefore should be the teachers focus?
How do these relate to content knowledge?

Why do we only ever plan for C -
When we plan we get out the curriculum documents... we look only at learning areas. Sometimes we put key competencies in to 'check a box' but is not the driver of learning decisions. 

Challenge  - go through your planning and highlight using 3 colours, any skill, any behaviour, or any content knowledge. Are they equal?
 Bring up a piece of planning - my example here. There is ZERO key competencies, values, skills and behaviours. Only content... So what is being valued?

Are we planning for vision? The NZC vision? What about school vision? 

Are we planning for...?
  • Checks personal comprehension for instruction and material. Requests further information if needed. Tells the teacher what they don't understand
  • Seeks reasons for aspects of the work at hand.
  • Plans a general strategy before starting.
  • Anticipates and predicts possible outcomes.
  • Checks teacher's work for errors; offers corrections.
  • Offers or seeks links between: different activities and ideas; different topics or subjects; schoolwork and personal life
  • Searches for weaknesses in their own understandings; checks the consistency of their explanations across different situations.
  • Suggests new activities and alternative procedures.
  • Challenges the text or an answer the teacher sanctions as correct.
  • Offers ideas, new insights and alternative explanation
  • Justifies opinions.
  • Reacts and refers to comments of other students.

From: The Project for Enhancing Effective Learning (PEEL)

Session 2 - Once Upon Our Time - Digital Storytelling with Heart

Link to slideshow

Session 7 - Sharpen the Axe