Friday 22 June 2018

CoL update (Term 2, Week 8)

Ryan - managing self

Ryan is working really hard to be a leader for the Kapa Haka group. At first he didn't want to go, but after the first few sessions he was hooked. With his new strategy, he able to stay focused for long periods of time, particularly in Kapa Haka when there is no netbook or other things to distract him. He comes back from Kapa Haka and practices his chant, and shows a streak of passion that I haven't seen before. He loves it. The other students in the class acknowledge him for being a good leader and he loves the praise he gets from them.

Kian - managing self
Paul - relating to others/participating and contributing.

For Kian and Paul, I reintroduced a daily reading goal which they have used before. I designed it last year. It is loosely based on the Daily 5, but a bit more mature and independently based. Students take their piece of paper, as below, select a buddy to help them, and complete their reading tasks for the day. They have to read 2 stories to their buddies, get their buddy to read 2 stories to them, and practice some spelling words (high frequency words). This is both beneficial for their learning, as they are getting targeted reading and spelling practice, AND their social independence. They must choose a buddy who will actually help them, not just play around. 99% of the time they do this really well, and get lots of reading done each day. Some days I choose the books for them, (because they might not be choosing challenging books), or sometimes they choose themselves.

We also updated our vocab flash card game with words from the new books they got this week.

volunteer sloppy escalator supermarket unlike grinned harness puppies trainer Fortnite balloon treasure piece frankfurters skipped summer winter autumn spring seaweed unusual holiday sea seagull stranded picnic swimming scooping giant trench Matariki celebrate Aotearoa weave feathers seafood kaimoana beautiful chocolate forest Pukeko burrow Kiwi squawk lick poured weigh nervously Karearea ferns lonely driftwood whitebait down because

Friday 15 June 2018

CoL update (Term 2 Week 7)

Ryan - managing self

Ryan has been very settled thanks to his new strategy implementation and has shown small changes in his behaviour and learning, such as: being able to keep his voice level appropriate for the classroom; keeping hands and feet to himself; being able to focus for longer periods of time and enduring/attempting learning challenges for 5-10 minutes. He has shown, in many, small ways, huge change over the past week. Communication with his RTLBs is on-going and he had an IEP meeting this week as well, targeting his learning goals and next steps.
On Tuesday he asked if he could go to one of the junior classes, and after agreeing he could go if he stayed and completed maths first (which he did), he was very welcome in the junior classroom. I checked on him to see if all was well and managed to grab this photo.

He had a group of young students sitting in a circle watching him as he instructed them on "how to count". He even had counters out to use. It was so sweet to see him working so well with the younger students, but amazing that he was leading them in actual learning. He was focused, prepared and loved handing out tokens to his little students once his lesson was over. The teacher of the class he was in reported he did an awesome job and she would happily have him back.
This is just one example of how he can be very calm and focused for long periods of time.

Kian  - managing self

After being away for a week, Kian was able to manage himself inside the classroom well. I was quite proud of him when as part of a DMIC maths lesson, he got up and tried his best to help explain how his group had gotten their answer. Although he needed help in the end, it was awesome to see him managing himself to a level where he could actively participate in group tasks.

Paul - relating to others/participating and contributing.

Paul is getting more and more confident in group situations and it is awesome to see how far he has come. He has really stepped up in the past few weeks in terms of leading learning. He wants to be the one who draws/explains/shows/helps etc. He is learning how to be part of a group and is building skills such as taking turns, negotiating, helping somebody else explain if they get stuck etc. He confidently speaks to the class when presenting from the front of the room as well.

Paul is still loving being in a proper reading group, although I still require him to read books at his own level during school and at home to practice his decoding and comprehension skills. The reading groups have changed (post-testing) and he was a little upset that his friend wasn't in the group anymore, but he has since made new friends and will be okay. In this context he is again practising how to be part of a group (i.e. taking turns, agreeing with people, replying to something they say) and is gaining confidence in doing so. 

Tuesday 12 June 2018

CoL update (Term 2 Week 6)

Ryan - managing self
Ryan is really trying his best to challenge himself, even when he doens't like the thing in front of him. We were lucky to have the opportunity go to on a bouncy castle on Friday morning. At first, Ryan didn't want to go on at all and stood to one side as his classmates took their turns. I personally thought it might be a sensory thing, or the noise of the air blower/pump thing, but I didn't push him at all. After ten minutes or so, he started moving closer and closer and eventually took his first turn.. and loved it! He came up to me and said he changed his mind and he wanted to go on now. Good on him!



Another highlight has been how involved he is during inquiry time. He often wants to do inquiry instead of reading/writing/maths, and mostly I let him because he is doing some learning. He has learnt about the moon and took the oreo activity very seriously. He traces pictures of the planets and can explain what is in his picture in his own words which shows that he does really understand the content.

Kian - managing self
Kian was away all of this week.

Paul - relating to others/participating and contributing
Paul is doing really really well. He is loving being in a reading group with his friends. He is actively involved in the group discussion and adds value to the conversation about the text. Although the actual texts are above his reading ability, he listens and follows along when the rest of the group reads aloud so he gets the understanding orally. A highlight was Paul going around the class and offering to help his classmates with a particular learning task. For one of the first times, he was the helper, not the helped. His confidence has really grown when working in groups. DMIC maths has definitely aided this confidence growth as he has a role to lead in.

DMIC lesson today - Students explaining their thinking.

As we progress with DMIC, the students are getting more and more confident in the way they present to each other about how they got their answers.
Today our question was
"Two groups of friends are sharing chocolate bars. Each group wants to share the chocolate bars fairly so every person gets the same amount and no chocolate remains.In the first group of friends, four students receive three chocolate bars. How much chocolate did each person get in the first group?In the second group of friends, eight students are given six chocolate bars. How much chocolate did each person get? Which group of students got more chocolate?"

Students worked in groups of 3 or 4 (4 per group is the norm, but some students were away) to solve their problem.

 Group 2's explanation 


The two halves of the class then swapped. The second half of the class had the same question.

I loved the discussion we had about all the groups different answers. 
One group had 3/4 and 6/8 (but didn't realise those are the same thing), the second group had 3/4 and 1/2+1/4, and the third group had 3/4 and 6/4. We spent a while going through each answer and trying to connect them to each other... 
Explaining that 3/4 and 6/8 are the same thing..

Explaining how 1/2 and 1/4 is actually the same as 3/4.

Term 1 - Term 2 learning shift


Expected shift (6 months progress in 6 months)
Term 1 Term 2
KBF 5 - 6 YRSF 5.5 - 6.5 YRS
RBIDF 7.5 - 8.5 YRSF 8 - 9 YRS
RBITF 7.5 - 8.5 YRSF 8 - 9 YRS
MBF 7.5 - 8.5 YRSF 8 - 9 YRS
TFF 10.5 - 11.5 YRSF 11 - 12 YRS
LFF 7.5 - 8.5 YRSF 8 - 9 YRS
FHF 7.5 - 8.5 YRSF 8 - 9 YRS
DLF 9 - 10 YRSF 9.5 - 10.5 YRS
HOF 10.5 - 11.5 YRSF 11 - 12 YRS
DPF 10.5 - 11.5 YRSF 11 - 12 YRS
PPF 5.5 - 6.5 YRSF 6 - 7 YRS
SLPF 11 - 12 YRSF 11.5 - 12.5 YRS
 This many kids (12/26 = 46%) making the expected shift is awesome. I am delighted to see particular students, such as KB, RBID and PP in this group (who are ESOL/high learning needs). I feel I have developed a good programme for my high needs students in reading, and to see them make huge shifts like this is worth every bit of effort. 
The three students in orange were identifed as my target students. I am delighted they have made progress. 

No shiftTerm 1 Term 2
AFF 7.5 - 8.5 YRSF 7.5 - 8.5 YRS
SMF 7.5 - 8.5 YRSF 7.5 - 8.5 YRS
MRF 8.5 - 9.5 YRSF 8.5 - 9.5 YRS
HTF 9 - 10 YRSF 9 - 10 YRS
LUF 8.5 - 9.5 YRSF 8.5 - 9.5 YRS
KZF 9 - 10 YRSF 9 - 10 YRS
WTF 8.5 - 9.5 YRSF 8.5 - 9.5 YRS
ITF 8.5 - 9.5 YRSF 8.5 - 9.5 YRS
For me, having this many students make no shift is really really concerning. What have I been doing? Is there something in the 7.5-9.5 age range that is difficult to shift that I have not addressed? Reflecting on who these students are, I recognised a few (i.e. over half) 'cool girls', who are the ones in groups who are 'too cool' to participate and sit there sulking. Maybe I should group them together, then they might actually read and participate? Maybe the selection of texts is not appropriate for their maturity levels.. Food for thought. 
The students in orange are also 'target students'. They were identified as target students because of their low achievement in the first place, now they have not made any shifts.. Is there maybe something else happening for these students?

Greater than expected shift (more than 6 months shift in 6 months)
Term 1 Term 2
HSMF 9 - 10 YRSF 11 - 12 YRS2 years shift
STF 9 - 10 YRSF 11 - 12 YRS2 years shift
LLPF 7.5 - 8.5 YRSF 8.5 - 9.5 YRS1 year shift
MLF 7.5 - 8.5 YRSF 8.5 - 9.5 YRS1 year shift
VBF 8.5 - 9.5 YRSF 9.5 - 10.5 YRS1 year shift
TDF 8 - 9 YRSF 9 - 10 YRS1 year shift
I am stoked with these results. Two students in particular, HSM, ST and ML I was so surprised by. At the same time, I shouldn't be surprised as these two are the most actively involved in their reading group, making deep connections and developing complex understandings of what they read. TD was also a surprise, as he is usually disengaged/doesn't participate in reading groups. I think what hooked him in this term was starting off with Literacy Circles where he was in an all-boys group, reading a "boys" book (Diary of a whimpy kid). I really want to do literacy circles again later in the year, and I will keep him in a boy-only group as this seems to keep him engaged and motivated. 

Overall Reading Reflection

I think overall my reading shifts are good. Although I'm very concerned about the group who didn't shift at 7.5-9.5, others made huge progress which should be celebrated. The other thing that has changed is the students attitude towards reading, and their own reading ability. Those who routinely say "I can't read" and now giving it a try and know who they can work well with. I think another thing that made a difference was changing the content of what we are reading to keep it challenging and interesting. For example, we read chapter books (Literacy Circles) for two weeks, have done many weeks using Digital reading (linked with inquiry) and then some school journals as well. When we do school journals in groups, we do one page per day rather than reading the whole story once and moving on. It provides much better opportunity for understanding new words, making connections, and facilitates much better discussion about and around the text.


Key - yellow shows one level shift upwards, orange means more than one level shifted upwards. Students whose initials are pink are the target students for maths. 

Gloss OverallGloss - Add/SubGloss - Mult/Div
Gloss - Prop/Ratio

Target students - WT, SM, AF and PP have made some positive shift. I put this 100% down to building their place value knowledge. We spent the whole of term 1 on place value and building place value knowledge and this has hugely benefitted the whole class. Sadly FH and KB have not shifted between Term 1 and Term 2. I think they definitely have developed their understandings, just maybe not enough for it to show up on this one test. 
Class as a whole - I am quite proud of how quickly the students have build upon their place value knowledge and can use it in different ways. They are more comfortable and confident and naming their strategy (I.e I used place value so I ....). Once this place value knowledge was in place, I could extend them by teaching them how to use algorithm correctly (I hate when they say "I carried the one..", no you didn't, you "exchanged 10 ones for 1 ten") and also introducing decimal numbers. Although for some of the lower students this is a bit too abstract, they can understand some of the place value surrounding the numbers. 
DMIC - DMIC maths can be really good and provides opportunity for lots of student-led discussion about the problem. I love the social skills DMIC encourages (E.g. problem solving, negotiating, assigning roles within a group, holding each other accountable)

Overall Maths reflection

I think it was quite difficult for students to change from 100% strategy teaching to 100% DMIC teaching, and hence we had some bumps along the way. A challenge I found when I started GLOSSing the students, was that they had forgotten a lot of the strategies I had taught them in Term 1 and they were able to confidently do in Term 1. I understand that there maybe needs to be a balance, and to try to find that balance I have tried changing the independent tasks to more strategy based problems, rather than problems similar to what the group has solved. I don't know yet if this is a good choice or not, but I am trying it and we will see.

Overall Writing reflection

I am hesitant to share writing shift, as the two test that were done measure two different genres of writing (Term 1 was recounts and Term 2 explanation texts). 
Overall, I feel really proud of the way I taught writing this term. 
Last term I felt a little lazy, just doing activities then telling students to write about what we did. I didn't give a lot of 1:1 feedback or specific teachings about features of writing or what good writers do. 
I really tried to focus this term on myself teaching writing better - explaining things, multiple opportunities to learn, less 1:1 writing and more buddy/group/class writing. 
My reflection of one week of this type of teaching can be found here. 
Marking the students writing samples/tests, I can really see they have absorbed the information I taught them about explanation texts and can produce a really good text by themselves. 

Friday 8 June 2018

Observations by my first student teacher!

I have had the pleasure of hosting a 2nd year student teacher and she has done a few awesome observations of my practice.

I have written comments on them to support her learning and further explain certain things.

Observation 1 - DMIC maths structure
Observation 2 - Writing
Observation 3 - Writing
Observation 4 - PB4L/setting up students to walk around the school.
Observation 5 - Maths mentoring session with Don
Observation 6 - Maths lesson - decimals

Friday 1 June 2018

CoL update (Term 2, Week 5)

This week was A LOT of testing. It takes a lot of brain power to sit through an hours test everyday, but all 3 did really well. We also had buddy time this week. Kian and Paul love buddy time as they get to work and hang out with the little kids, however it is overwhelming for Ryan to be in a small room with that many people and that much noise so he tends to remove himself from the situation. 

Kian  - managing self
I was impressed with Kian's writing sample/test from this week. He uses voice typing to record his ideas as it works better for him. This is what he wrote - 
"Water pollution.
If soaps run down your car and goes inside to the drain and that comes out of the Jane you know where is upper end up in the sea and it kills the fish and then when we go fishing we can't eat any fish because the fish has been poisonous and we don't want to hear poisonous we want to stay healthy.
Did you know when you smoke a the NZ the factories and Bill her hotels and motorbikes and Shops.
If there is too much pollution the world could crack.
If there is too many rubbish in the sea that animals in the sea could die and then when we go fishing we won't be able to catch some fish because the fisheries will be dead because of us not putting our plastic bags and rubbish in the bin.
We can use home bags and school bags but not plastic bags because they can rip when you carry big stuff so you can be you you can reuse school bags in there and you can fit more you can fit big stuff in there and now.
When you go shopping make sure you bring your home bags and then you can put big stuff in it and more stuff in it instead of using plastic bags cause when you go again heavy stuff I can rap so bring your home bag and then you don't have to feel stressed when it rips in there ok.
Holmberg Subway you better than plastic bags because you can carry a big and heavy stuff and you can fit more stuff in there so bring your home bag don't use it past the bag plastic bags can rip and you can't fit them much stuff into unless you have heaps of blaster bass but we don't want heaps of plastic bags we want our home bags.

when you chuck away clothes and toys and blasting stuff you can reuse and when you go to the junkyard you can find stuff and we use it and that if you work there you can like get some toys and bring it home kids and get clothes for them you can get heaps of stuff and the junk out and can we use it.
Is trash with into the sea and the sea creatures eat it or they would die and that would not be good good then there would be no sea creatures and we couldn't like catch fish all that and we won't be able to eat it anymore so there would be no more seafood that would be so sad because we wouldn't be able to have seafood any more so who should check our rubbish in the bin and then I'll get taken to the dump and then people that work there might grab the toys in that like it did it fully broken they can take them home and we use them and to pretty packed place with Weber so you can check out Blastoise clothes I'm school bags heaps of broken stuff and paper pipes broken pipes a broken doors and broken glass.
You can't recycle plastic bags.
When you leave rubbish on the ground it can get washed away in the rain into the drain and then it will lead out to the ocean and then fishies my eat it and that would be not good.
Can you recycle cars because I don't know so I'm just going to say when you recycle cars they get crushed the pieces but you can not reuse them but they'll be flattened from this machine in a question and take them out and then you had to leave them on the you would have to stick them up."

For him, this is awesome. He even put a break in the middle where he changed topics. He has learnt so much and can show he knows it.

Paul and Ryan
Paul and Ryan were in the same reading group this week (I have changed the reading groups again...) and both tried really hard to participate. Paul couldn't read the text independently, but listened as a friend read it aloud. Ryan is able to read at this level independently. 
They both could talk about the story, which was about rockets and how they have changed over time.
They then went away and completed their follow up task. Awesome! 
Ryan has actively participated in group situations very few times, but when he does he's very active. Paul is still learning how to be part of a group, but tries his best.