Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Kootuitui Data 2017 - Park Estate School Analayis of Data

Kootuitui Data 2017 - Park Estate School Analayis of Data.

We looked at the Data collected by Wolf fisher. We discussed how the data connected to what we are actually doing in our school and what we want to be happening in our school...

My thoughts and goals for next year....

Teacher created texts: Perhaps not using only slides. I want my students to be looking at many texts and gathering information for a purpose. At the moment, there is a focus on a teach created slide and them answering specific teacher-generated questions.

Teaching our students to become digital citizens- Giving them resources to build critical literacy skills. (e.g.  using logic or reasoning, identifying more or less trustworthy sources). 

Feedback for students- Wanting to move more towards generative feedback opposed to evaluative feedback which I am guilty of doing often. Next year I am wanting to use learning goals that are evaluated one-on-one with students every few weeks to allow more learning discussions to take place.

Mathematical skills - Through an inquiry. ( DLO- for students to use their skills in Maths) Link to inquiry real life example. Rich discussions - explaining our thinking and solving real-life problems.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Observation of ELL strategies

Alida came into my class yesterday and modeled to me how to implement some oral language lessons to help some of my ELL students and the whole class. The first activity was running dictation. Students were in groups and had one scribe, each child had a turn to run to the fence look at the word and run back to tell the scribe. It was a great example of bumping up students vocabulary and helping students remember difficult spelling words- some students who weren't sure how to spell the whole word just remembered chunks. Everyone had a go and it was great to see the children learning new vocabulary in a fun way. The next activity was around extending vocabulary. Students had one word on a piece of paper ' gobbling' and they had to use a thesaurus to find other words that meant the same as that word. This was amazing to see such an extension of students vocab. I can see how this could work in my class before any piece of writing. Students often will use words that are familiar to them 'we had fun' but getting them to experiment and explore other words will only extend their vocabulary. Overall a great lesson for ELL strategies and watching Alida model them made it easier for me to see how to use them in my own classroom.

So what? 
Once a week we are going to do these oral language activities and I should see a shift in their writing vocabulary. I will comment on this reflection in a month and see if I have noticed any change in their vocabulary. 

Friday, 10 November 2017

Teaching Fractions

Today lesson on fractions was interesting. It was challenging for the students in the group and they found this confronting. Many students in my class have been struggling with fractions and moving into more challenging fraction concepts. 

I am learning to find fractions of lengths, including seeing when a fraction is greater than one.

Diagnostic Snapshot Ask the students questions such as: • “How much chocolate will each person get if we share five chocolate bars with four people?” • 

I started by using materials (colored paper) and we had a go at cutting the paper into equal parts and seeing if we could work out how much chocolate each person would get. I also used whiteboards and students could manipulate the fractions more and if they changed their mind they could rub out what they did and try again. One student in my class found using the materials very successful- she seemed to click, with being able to manipulate the paper 

So what?
This weekend I'm going to look into Book 7: Teaching fractions, decimals, and percentages to become more familiar with how to teach a high level of fractions. 

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Teaching as Inquiry - Literacy

Inquiry Goal/ Problem-
My student's ideas in Writing and Reading at times are limited and lack critically thinking/ depth in their responses and ideas. Students need work on their oral language to enhance their critical thinking in reading and their responses in writing.

Week 3 - Oral language Task. - Links to Writing and Reading.
Students are going to individually take notes about birds. ( WALT- take notes and gather important information). This was scaffolded to my target learners. This was successful, students started to develop deeper thinking questions about birds and the learning.

Next steps:
Students will get into groups of four and discuss each of their findings. While one person talks the others will record ideas and take notes. ( I will be using the Shenna Cameron and Louise Dempsey 2016 Oral language Book) I will model this before the lesson and use a timer for each person to talk. I am hoping to see students talking about their notes and becoming more familiar with the topic and vocabulary which will help as they move towards a deeper level of thinking. The students will be in mixed ability groups which should provide support for lower learners.

Other opportunities to promote oral language and critically thinking:
-Question Dice - To allow for critical questions to support the student's inquiry.
- Say it square

For example:
You are ….Say why …
You are ….Name 3 …
You are ….What did …?
You are ….How did … feel …?
You are ….Explain how …
You are ….Who was …?
You are ….In your opinion …
You are …. Talk about
You are …. Describe ….

HPS School Action Plan

This year I have been working with Health-promoting Schools to collect whanau and community data to create an action plan for our school. Yesterday I met with my coordinator from HPS and discussed our action plan for 2018.

In July we completed a community survey and had an 83% completion rate. The data showed three key areas that we could improve.

1. Room for school to improve school management of communication with parents ie  bigger focus on reporting bad behavior rather than good behavior and how they report student progress

2. Room for school to improve curriculum/learning in the school so that it is relevant to students builds on what students already know and do well and offers a variety of high-quality learning experiences  

3. Students who have challenging home circumstance are not excluded from participating in learning opportunities.

Our action plan for next year is going to be around Communication with Parents (Rubric number 4 L2) . 

15% of our families disagreed with the question 'When my child joined the school, I worked with school staff to plan ways to support my child to feel settled.' 60 % agree with this statement but there is room for improvement. Our goal is to get this to 80 - 85% by the end of 2018. ( We will re-complete the survey to compare the data in July 2018). 

25% of our families disagreed with the question 'The school regularly contacts me to share my childs'  60 % agree with this statement. We also want to get this up to 80 - 85%. 

After analyzing the data we decided that a focus on 'Staff responsibilities and providing an educationally powerful relationship between families and teacher. This would be key to reaching our goal of a 80-85% positive response in our next community survey. 

Possible action plans to reach our goal 

Create a system where parents are updated after their student joins PES  (Could be a brief statement about how their first week went and any assessment data teachers have completed) - It is key not to make more work for teachers. But most teachers, when new students start will complete assessments to work out where the student is academically, this with a statement home will put us in good stead to building positive relationships with whanau. New entrants teachers are already communicating with parents when students first join the school. 

Increasing blogger & seesaw Interaction-  Next term we could possibly have a blogger day every week. I would monitor blog comments and keep a record to track parent interaction. Could host another 'blog sharing afternoon' with families or teaching families how to comment on blogs. We will try to build on our plan already within blog commenting and measure success and progress. 

Monday, 23 October 2017

Writing Lesson

Writing: Describing a scene. 
Model: School Journal Part 1 No 5 2007. The alien under the stairs.
WALT- Use language features to make our writing more effective. 
Success Criteria: 
- Alliteration 

Students identified what they thought was interesting in the model. - They have their reader hats on. 

All students managed to identify something in the text they thought was a language feature or descriptive language. 

Getting students to talk to a buddy and explain why they highlighted what they did encourages students to think about why they choose that particular sentence or word. This helps students discover what they need to be including in their writing and why it is important. (Allows the co-construction of the success criteria to be very clear) 

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Term 4 Classroom Culture

Last term was an extremely challenging term with students behavior in my classroom, and the school. Although my classroom was heavily influenced by PB4L lessons, I needed more. This term as a school we are going to be teaching the 'Kia Kaha' programme. This programme along with the PB4L strategies a the d lesson should help develop a more effective and caring classroom environment. 

Key points for Term 4 

Learning- Is stimulating for students- texts and topics allow for student engagement and participation 

Kia Kaha will focus on developing students ability to show empathy, understand how others might feel and prevent bullying. 

Reading texts/ Inquiry- Will focus on big ideas and themes around social skills. (Friendship, caring for others managing selves). 

Positive reinforcement through the house points. Perhaps winning house gets to choose an activity for the whole class at the end of the week. 

Class structure and routines will be kept the same to ensure that students know the expectations and routines.

Focusing on a restorative practice. Using the restorative practice script below to help encourage classroom problem solving

Circle time to address issues/ problems that students anonymously put into our kia kaha box- Will also help build a strong classroom culture. We are all in this together  

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Observation Reading

WALT- Identify the main idea/theme of the story
Remember to:

  • Must put myself in the author’s place
  • Examine the words and phrases (the details) for clues to what is important
  • Ask questions about what in my experience the clues combined seem to say about what is valued
  • Decide what the main idea is by saying “If I had written this and said things this way what would that say about what I thought was important?”

SJ P2 N4 2008 - 5 Dollars

Shared learning intention with students
Explained what a theme was using the example of Little Red Riding Hood. 

Buddy- What do you think the message or the theme is for the text 5 dollars. Write down what you think. 
Students shared back with the group- Many offered up ' Telling the truth, stealing is not okay' 
Anna bumped up the idea by suggesting that all their ideas fit under the theme of honesty.

We do 
Now how do we know this theme is about honesty. We need to look for clues. Anna records down clues on the modeling book- this is the start of co-constructing the success criteria.
Anna models a clue from the text - What is this clue telling us? Share together
Do you agree or disagree- Why or why not- Getting Students to justify.
What does that clue make you think?

Constructed the success criteria. The task was to find another clue in the text and think about how you know it's a clue about the main idea or theme.

You do
Students completed this a returned to share. They shared with a buddy and Anna listened. It was clear that some students had achieved the success criteria.

Tomorrow I'm going to have a go at doing this lesson with a 3 new members of the group. I will record myself and upload the lesson for other teachers in the school to work.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

PB4L Goals

Yesterday we had a school PB4L meeting. We had a look at everyone's classroom rules and then we compared ourselves against a PB4L classroom checklist. It was clear that having a PB4L matrix/ class rules that have specific areas or scenarios is key. I have 9 key areas/ times of the day where we have set rules ( E.g in the morning we need to wait till 8.30, come in and put the chairs down, unplug the Chromebooks... Etc) This helps the classroom run smoothly as students know exactly what to do at any given time of the day. 

I have just changed my classroom as I have 27 students and they are getting bigger so it has become hard/ impossible for them to sit and fit on the mat area. I have removed the mat area and created more room for tables. We created a PB4L poster this morning and rules for when we come into school. 
Starting the day:
1. Come inside and get your Chromebook
2. Choose a seat where you are going to be the best learner and stay on task 
3. Chromebook closed and waiting for the Roll and Miss Spies' Instructions. 

My goal is to help other teachers in the school create PB4L matrices that have clear expectations and allow for desirable classroom behaviors. The first step is to create clear rules and then teach and reteach the desired behavior and expectations to the students. If this is done consistently there is immediate success. 

Personal PB4L Goals:

Demonstrate calm, consistent, brief, immediate and respectful error corrections using professional teaching tone and demeanor.

Use a variety of strategies to increase student opportunities to respond (examples: turn and talk, guided notes, response cards).

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Sentence Starters for Reading Comprehension Stratgies.

Sentence Starters for Reading Comprehension Strategies

·      Activating prior knowledge
Based on what I already know I think.....
The illustrations tell me ..... about the text.
I am not sure what ..... means. I think that I will.....
This section does not make sense to me. Maybe I could think about......
I predict ...... because....
Based on the illustrations, I predict.....
This picture makes me think that.... therefore....
I wonder why, where, when, how, if, who...?
What is the author trying to tell me......
      Making connections
This reminds me of......
I think these ideas connect together because...
I have read another book that reminds me of ....
In my mind I can see....
I can imagine ......
I already know that.... so I think.....
I think that..... because .....
I think what is really going on is....
So far I know....
In my own words the story is about....
The main idea in this story is......

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Reading Target Student

My target student for reading has made huge progress this year. He has made accelerated progress moving from Level 17 to Level 21 in two terms. My goal now is to get him to the Year 4 standard in the next 15 weeks. After talking about my target student in our monitoring meeting yesterday, I recognized hat I have a gap in my knowledge on how to effectively teach the strategy of inferring. My focus for my target student has previously been around decoding a text and using some simple comprehension skills. Now moving towards the Year 4 Standard there is a larger focus on comprehension and thinking critically about the text. I went back and re-visited the 'Effective Literacy Practice Years 1-4' text. ( Pgs 131- 133 explored ways to build comprehension strategies). 

Key ideas: 
Ask inferential questions 
Pause when I want students to notice something or draw out clues in the text. 
Prompt students to make connections between different parts of the text 
Ask students why they arrived at a particular conclusion 
Ensure readers have opportunities to meet challenges in texts 
Give feedback when students use a particular strategy to solve a problem.

Building Comphrehension Strategies ( Use goals they could include;) 
- Identifying the sequence of the facts in a piece. 
- Describing the use of a certain kind of language in a text 
- Explaining how parts of a story or procedural text relate to each other 
- Describe how characters develop in a text 
- Identify authors intention. 
- Identifying the purpose of the text and its structure of from 

So what? 
With my target student, I'm going to encourage my student to identify, describe and explain a range of different responses to questions. I am going to pre-write my inferential questions before the guided reading session and make them explicit and focused to ensure my target student continues to make accelerated progress. I will record my Guided reading session and upload it next week. 

Monday, 21 August 2017

How to use a "Say it grid" ....

Today Alida came into my class and modelled to me how to use a 'Say It' grid. I had used it before but after watching Alida, I realised that I wasn't using it to its full potential. 

I created the sentences on the grid and made it 4 by 4. 
Alida started by reading out the questions as a whole class, making sure all students understood the new vocabulary (Siren, enclosure).  Alida modelled to students how to respond to the questions and use the connective 'because'. She prompted students when they gave an answer to use the word 'because' to explain why something happened or why they gave that reason. Straight away I noticed the vocabulary the students were using and how Alida used prompting strategies and think alouds to help students extend their thinking and the sentences they are using. Alida recorded vocabulary that she wanted the students to use in their writing. (E.g Inappropriate, trouble, zookeeper, rules, mauled, well fed, habitat, respect, protect, disturb) . Overall my observation of Alida was a success and I managed to take new strategies to help me bump up my lower learners with their writing. 

So what? Say it grids are an important tool to increase students vocabulary and understanding about a given topic, to help students form correct sentences using unfamiliar connectives or sentence structure ( Compound or complex sentences) To focus ideas for writing. 

Friday, 18 August 2017

Writing Inquiry

This week we took part in PAC observations. My focus was around looking at my 'buddy check' system and seeing if students have a clear understanding of the expectations. I felt my observed lesson went well and it allowed me to see that there were gaps in what I thought my students knew. After watching my video and recording what I felt went well, I felt like my focuses were around;

  • making specific links between learners’ use of strategies and their experience of success; encourages students to make and discuss such links
  • Rich conversations include student-generated questions and dialogue.

During my PAC meeting with our literacy facilitator and senior management, we looked at my focus being around my Scuess Criteria and making sure that I connect it with what students know and an experience they have just had- This will help increase their understanding of expectations and their knowledge around the skill they have just learned. It will allow students to be set up for success. I am going to make my buddy check workshop is specific and teach it to my target group. I am going to move away from a star and wish as my students don't need that framework and it is confusing them. I will encourage students to hold their own books when buddy checking to make sure the ownership is kept with the writer.

So what?

The next few weeks I am going to continue buulding a succinct writing progamme where all my students are consantly self assessing against the success criteria.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Middle Management

This term my goal is going to be around coaching and supporting other staff members in the school. I sometimes find it hard when 'helping' or supporting others that I take over and do too much- Preventing them from learning how to do something independently. Michelle recommended  
'5 (good) talk about' (Datnow & Park 2015) and 'The Secret to Great Coaching' 

What I took from the readings:

Data informed decisions are key 
(Conversations about data include healthy disagreement, conversations about data engender trust rather than suspicion, take a solution- oriented approach, there is an expected accomplishment) 

When playing the role of a coach you don't need to always be the expert.
Encourage staff to inquiry instead of giving them the answer. (This was interesting to me as our literacy facilitator talks about going into the 'pit' where we problem solves to gain a deeper understanding of a problem. This could be useful in my classroom as a teacher and as more role model within middle management 


So what?
Our monitoring meetings are an example where we use data and evidence to inform our next steps and discuss target students tracking across the year. Meetings take place every week. I always assumed that senior management ran the meetings, this was a misconception and Michelle explained to me that they are conversations where everyone is involved and offers suggestions. This week in the meeting I am going to offer more suggestions and take a proactive role in the meeting. 

How close do you think the student is to the expected National Standard?
What are you doing differently for the target student?
Why do you think that worked/didn't work?

I am also going to try and promote other teachers by directing my questions to the staff as a whole opposed to just Senior Management. This will hopefully move our meetings towards a collaborative task where everyone is responsible for every student.  

Friday, 4 August 2017

Digital Classroom goals and term focus

The first half of this year I have been focusing on shifting my classroom to an online platform. My goals were; 
To create a website where students can access all their learning
Give students opportunities to use their device to complete their work 
Use only modeling books to promote rewindable learning. 

This term my students are now using their Chromebooks for all their learning and have no problems finding learning OR using docs, slides or drawings. My new focus will be;
On using multi modes of media for my Reading and Writing group. 
To give my students opportunities to explore challenging texts. 
To start recording lessons for students to rewatch/ students who are away can watch it. (Also could benefit other teachers). 

Below is an example of my writing page and how I upload images of my modeling book to help students refer back to lessons and to check their success criteria. The last few days I have been seeing how many times students refer back to this page and the majority of students are using it. I have started allowing students to use a shared document during my writing workshops to complete a learning task. This is helping with engagement and also meaning my groups aren't all trying to write on one modeling book. It is working well!