Friday, 23 June 2017

Intensive Session 8

Todays session started by talking about empowerment. Dorothy discussed the idea that a digital device is not just a tool it should be used to empower students. It made me think about empowerment in my classroom. I thought about the choices I give by students and how I could give their more choice to empower them to drive their own learning. This connects well with my goals around inquiry learning which I am going to be focusing on over the next few weeks and into Term 3.  I want my students to be able to choose what they want to learn and how they want to present their learning. I also want to move into more of a facilitator role opposed to a directive role. I am going to be doing this by using an inquiry model to help direct myself and my students; as a result, students will be empowered through their ability to choose their learning focus. 

Empowerment is learner centered, future focused and personalized- which all tie in with Inquiry learning. 

New Google Sites. I also had a go at looking at the new Google sites. Although it had many limitations, it was user-friendly and easy to create. I made this site below in less than an hour. 

Writing Professional Development

Over the last year, our school has been receiving professional development around writing from Team Solutions. Our facilitator Anna meets with us twice a term and works with us to improve our writing program and teaching. 

My Teaching as inquiry this term has been around 'allowing for targeted independent learning that will result in my student's academic learning to increase”. I have focused on what my students are doing away from workshops during their independent writing time (Last years results showed that my targeted workshops had shown an increase in student achievement - with a large increase of students meeting the National Standard compared to that of the year prior- so I wanted, to start a new focus).

Last year I saw improvement in my writing program through the following;
  • Gaining student engagement through; Langauge experiences,  Curriculum Integration and students ideas.
  • Having a close link between Reading and Writing - Allowing both curriculum areas to drive each other.
  • Modeling Books (Have learning intentions, success criteria that have been coconstructed, and an annotated example)
  • Following a lesson plan of - I do, we do, you do.
  • Focusing on specific learning needs (Gap analysis)

I have been working on Questioning (to extend thinking away from teacher lessons), using an Annotated modeling book that has the appropriate learning intentions, success criteria, and annotated example, buddy checking and using Individual goals to consolidating learning.

After my PAC conversation with Anna, I saw that I need more of a focus and to tighten up my Modelling Books and the buddy check system. I am wanting to display my learning intention on the board and have students names underneath them so students know what their focus is for the week. I am going to strengthen my buddy feedback system by teaching 4 strong writers how to effectively give feedback to their pairs- This will allow me to activate pairs as learning resources. They will then slowly model to other students how to give that effective feedback. I will be videoing the students doing this to ensure that it is at a high standard and that it is actually effective, the videos will allow me to gather more feedback and areas I may need to focus on around the buddy check system. I will revisit this reflection next term to check in on my progress.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Class Sites and Digital Intensive Session Seven

We have been discussing class sites and what makes a 'great site'. The class site within Manaiakalani and outreach schools is used for students to assess their learning. In today's digital classroom it is extremely important that learning is visible, accessible and rewindable. As a group, we came up with key ideas that we believe make a great site not only for students but whanau and other teachers within the community.

What makes a great site?

User Experience
Using space effectively
Keep it looking basic, not busy
Following conventional layout rules e.g. white spaces
Commonality- Reading/Writing/Maths

Interconnected pages
Engaging (resources)
Learning is easy to find
Main elements are obvious- landing page has important info

After reflecting on my class site, I can see some improvements that I could make now and for my class site next year.  Ensuring that I use individual drawings would mean that each click would not result in a new page opening. ( This is a problem at the moment, as students end up with 5-8 pages open as they navigate through the website to find their learning). I believe that I have created an easy to use, class site that allows all my learners to access their learning and understand what is expected this has been done through consistency, pictures to help lower learners and logical placement of pages/ learning. This term my goal was around rewindable learning and using digital modeling books. Below is an example of my student's task aligned with the modeling book giving them examples of how to complete the task if they get stuck. My Maths and Reading modeling books I find are effective and helpful; My writing page will be my focus next term as I find it hard to layout the learning/ tasks on the page. My writing program has fluid groups so it needs to sit on one page for all students to access (sometimes they have similar tasks, other times there will be 3-4 groups running who have different learning intentions: I find that hard to show online in a way that makes sense for me and my students). 

Friday, 2 June 2017

Cybersmart and Google Sites

Manaiakalani Session Five

Fiona Grant came in and talked about the concept of 'Cybersmart' within the Manaiakalani program. It is important to empower out students and elevate positive actions when teaching them about being cyber smart. The Kawa of Care motto "Right place at the right time" has been a focus in my classroom and it actually made me think about my response when students are on the wrong tasks- a reminder of the "right place at the right time" response may allow for a more positive interaction. We also talked allowing students to have access to Multimodal Learning (Writing, video, animation, Infographic, comic, podcast, Audio). We looked at the image below and discussed the benefits of using the four different types of text to cater to the needs of all students and allow them to be challenged and think deeper. I have already been thinking about my Reading Programme and have been wondering how to allow my students to go deeper into the text. Using "say it grids" could add to my bank of activities to accelerate my students. Below is my site I created today, I tried to use multimodal texts and different types of texts in relation to the image below.