Monday 30 July 2018

Teaching with high expectations

Today we had a staff meeting run by Michelle about high expectations. 
Firstly we watched this video - 

then we had to sort pieces of paper into two groups - what we expect of (or do towards) low and high achieving students.

Left - low achieving. 
Right - high achieving. 
The middle pile - both.

These are the ones myself and my buddy didn't like/agree with/didn't want to put into the graph. I personally had an issue with "demand more or less work or effort of..." because the expectation of work for my very low and very high students are completely different. With students like that, you aren't comparing oranges and oranges, even oranges and apples. You are comparing oranges and bread. Completely incomparable. The work itself is a different task, different curriculum level, often requiring different skills and different amount of times to complete. In terms of effort, the high achieving student can do something well with a minimal amount of effort. In comparison, the low achieving student could do something that takes less time, but for them, 50% more effort. 

We talked a lot about how our own experiences, especially our home-life and schooling influence how we teach. For example, I had a high-trust model at home, and was given trust (instead of being doubted and questioned) and hence I rose to that trust and continued to earn it. Hence, I tend to give my students A LOT of choices and opportunities where they are trusted to do a job/make a choice, and I expect them to rise to the trust as I did. So far, it has worked really well and I have very independent, trustworthy students. 

Thursday 26 July 2018

CoL meeting - 26th July 2018

Our job is not to tell, but to influence with good reflective practice.

Term 3 is the best term - no testing, no report writing.
we need to
- deliver the curriculum really well
- make sure its visible
- have high expectations

We are letting kids 'dumb down' their own language. 
- When kids don't understand what to do, the learning, or they misbehave, how do we speak to them? how do we speak to them when it matters? Do we speak to them in the 'language of success' or in 'dumbed down' English?
- We should be treating our children, no matter their age, like when they are learning languages for the first term (E.g. 0-5 year olds). Don't reprimand them all the time, just rephrase it and say it back to them in the correct way.
- We are forgetting their heritage and roots; expectations of White Sunday and other cultural oracy. They CAN do it, but we aren't expecting them too. 
- Build into planning that vocab needs to be revisited.

Challenge - 
literacy planning should be designed to have as many experiences of reading/writing/listening/speaking/thinking/viewing or presenting. 
Colouring does none of these. 
High value activity that do this. 

Link to Rebecca's slideshow

So it worked for Jimmy, but not for Rosie? Yes, we can think about

DON'T ONLY THINK ABOUT - why did the dolphins end up in a different place?
THINK ABOUT - What will cause learning under the water?

*students need to listen and respond to each other, not just have parallel conversations*

What am I going to refine?
I need to do more frequent, small format data collection E.g. timing how long and often Ryan sits in a reading group, how long he stays on task, how many times Paul will say something in reading group. 

Wednesday 25 July 2018

CoL Update (Term 3, Week 1)

Ryan - managing self

Ryan has been on-task for longer and longer periods of time since he started a new strategy. He has participated in group discussions for guided reading a few times and will actually read the text along with his group which is a huge improvement. His learning definitely is improving now that he can sit and stay focused for longer periods. To help him manage himself, we have continued doing brain breaks. At the moment, these usually involve him eating at non-eating times (e.g. having morning tea at 10am, then again at 11am), or going for walks. Ryan has a lot of other things going on for him other than his learning goals, so he is doing extremely well at the moment.

Kian - managing self

Kian got glasses at the end of Term 2, and we are starting to get used to wearing them. I was nervous he wouldn't want to wear them at all (because of his not wanting to wear hearing aids) but he was okay about it because Ryan also got glasses. When he saw that nobody laughed at or teased Ryan, he was happy to wear them himself. He says he can see way better so I am hopeful it will really impact his reading.
A highlight this week was when Kian answered a DMIC maths question in a way nobody else did - counting in halves. I got him up to present his strategy and he could explain it and model it using his fingers. I was so proud that he had thought of it by himself, and understood it well enough to explain it to the half-class. He is trying really hard and his learning is definitely looking up.
I was also very impressed on Tuesday when he was struggling to do the maths we were doing as a class, so asked if he could work on his STEPS instead. Of course I agreed. I thought it was awesome that he recognised he was starting to feel down and loose motivation, and wanted to do something that he knew he could feel successful at instead. Good on him!

Paul - relating to others/participating and contributing.

Paul has been quiet since the holidays and hasn't actively participated in groups as much this week. I have challenged all 3 of these boys to read a chapter book in literacy circles. For Paul and Kian, this is quite the academic challenge. On Monday Paul read along where he could when another group member was reading aloud. On Tuesday, I read it to him and he just listened. I think his confidence in reading has gone down a bit because I am challenging him with more complex texts. To build it back up, I will read his levelled books with him as well as encouraging him to stay in his group.

CoL update (Term 2, Week 9)

Ryan - managing self

One of the things Ryan is working on (as stated in his IEP) is him writing more consistently. Rather than writing 2 pages once a fortnight, his goal is to write 3 times a week, aiming for at least 2 paragraphs.
This week he has achieved that goal. They are all different topics, but were relevant to what he was doing that day.

Story 1 - the magicians elephant
"There was a nice, accurate 11 year old boy that was named Peter in a small village called Ansvill.
The small boy walked a long way when suddenly he stopped at a bright rose red tent.
The little boy said .“Should I go inside”the boy said.

Then he walked slowly across to the tent.He stared at everyone, he looked lonely, shy, afraid and nervous. Peter was terrified and shy to go in the tent. He was lost and he had no one to live with. He was staring at the tent like a picture. Nothing could help cause he can't do this anymore so he felt like he was losing all the faith in the lord so his tears were starting to pour."

Story 2- Saturn summary
"The day Saturday is also named after him Saturn has been observed in the night sky. Galileo was the first to observe with a telescope in 1610. Even if saturn was not discovered it will be out there."

Story 3 -
"The funnel web spider

The funnel web is the most scariest and deadliest most spider in our southern hemisphere.

Its fangs is about 1 centimeters its per size. The funnel web hides in its tunnel till it pray trase by for a nasty treat.

A drop of a feneam could kill a person within seconds."

He is making an effort to do more maths, as we are doing fractions and that is something he is not confident with. I am finding that he doesn't want to do it, I'll make him do one or two problems, he realises he does understand it, then is happy to continue by himself. It's as if he has this wall up that I need to tear down every-time something new is introduced. So far, this has worked so all good.

Kian - managing self
This week Kian got new glasses, I am not sure how this will go as I have to force him to wear his hearing aids and he is absolutely sure that people will tease him, even though nobody even notices. I hope that because Ryan and Kian both are getting glasses at the same time, that they will both wear them. There is a third student who needs them as well. Kian is challenging himself to read the same books as Paul, which are a little out of his reach. I admire him for trying, even though he isn't quite there yet!. I need to work on how to get Kian engaged in maths, as when we do whole class or half class stuff, often it is too difficult for him. At the same time, he won't do stuff by himself. So I either need to have a group taken out just so he will do it, or ?? Idk.. Food for thought.

Paul - relating to others/participating and contributing.

Paul as well has been challenging himself to read harder texts. He has loved being in a reading group for the past few weeks and although sometimes can't read the text independently, can listen to others read and follow along enough to get the main ideas. Being in a group with his friends has really changed the way he participates, because he isn't the fastest/smartest one now, so needs to really think and work hard. He can feel safe to say whatever he thinks because the group is made of his close friends, who he knows won't tease him for his broken English or if he is a little off track.

I want to keep him in reading groups, but still need to get him reading at his own level and above.

Friday 20 July 2018

DMIC PD - 20th July 2018

Communication and Participation Framework

Introducing the five practices

Academically productive talk: supporting students' learning in mathematics

Things Room 7 is doing well

  • individual responsibility and assigning roles within groups. Everyone helps or takes turns to explain their thinking and answer questions.
  • mixed groups mostly work well, students make new friends and collaborate actively.
  • launching the problem - talking about the problem, talk about ways to solve, then getting the pen when they agree on one way to solve.
  • everyone is trying to participate - even very low students who maybe don't fully understand the explanation ask questions so they participate in some way..

Things for Room 7 to work on 

  • have students examine their explanation, predict the questions they will be asked and prepare explanations - accepting that only sharing the first bit of their explanation is still a explanation even if they don't get to the answer.
  • asking questions because you actually need to know the answer, not for the sake of it.
  • explaining section by section and stopping at each question to ask audience if they have questions.
  • teacher questioning - not giving answering the question within the question. not helping too much.
When writing questions
  • Students need to be exposed to all structures of questions E.g. 
    • 5+?=12
    • 12-5=?
    • ?+5=12
    • 12-7=?

Friday 6 July 2018

CoL update (Term 2, Week 10)

Ryan - managing self

This doesn't hurt him or anyone else so I don't reprimand him for doing this. He needs a bit of a break and that is his way of getting it. Sometimes he does it because the class is too bright/loud as well.
Ryan has been doing more work in the past few weeks than ever before.
I sent him with his maths book to our team leader and DP so they could praise him (after I had) for his hard work. One of his goals in his IEP is for him to try new forms of maths (other than addition in algorithm) so this is amazing for him. He doesn't like to copy the questions off the board, but I think that is because the whiteboard reflects a lot of the sunshine so it's too bright for him to look at. So I write the questions down for him, and he will answer them. His converting improper to proper fractions was cool because he could explain what he was doing and what his drawing meant, this showed he really understood it.

is doing so much learning because he can manage himself so much better now.
He also brought in his new glasses this week and has no qualms about wearing them so hopefully that will make a positive difference as well.

This week has been good overall for Ryan. I can tell he is getting tired so some quirks that I haven't seen in a while are reemerging, such as hiding under tables/making forts.

Kian - managing self

Kian struggles with working in groups. However, with the help of 3 wonderful students, he was able to present a display at Ako Evening. He was able to read off a script I helped him write (in his own words) which said -

"Hello my name is Kian and my inquiry was about the Earth. I learnt that the Earth has everything we need which is oxygen, food, and water. Earth is the 3rd planet from the sun and we only have one moon. Earth is in the goldilocks zone which means it’s not too hot or too cold. Earth and Venus are the same size. Earth’s coldest spot is Antarctica."

He was able to talk about the Earth in his own words which showed he had truly learnt something and understood it completely.

Paul - relating to others/participating and contributing

Paul works well in groups but often doesn't have a lot to contribute as he doesn't have the same level of understanding of the content, as the rest of his group. They know he shares what he can so don't begrudge him for it.

Paul was able to prepare and present a display about the sun for Ako evening. He could talk about the sun in his own words and read off the script they had prepared as well. He even went and got a book from the library about the sun and talked about it using the pictures to help him explain.

I would really like Paul to be able to admit he doesn't know or can't do something, and ask for help, rather than sit pretending he does. I want to him to be okay with asking questions to help him understand something.