Monday, 10 December 2018

Science PD 2018 - Looking Back

This year has been a full on year with our science PD. I had used science in my class in previous years to drive my literacy programme and motivate my students to write. This year Susan worked with us to develop a kete of ideas to draw upon. She also grew my skills in questioning students and getting them to make connections. 

" The ice melted" - Why did the ice melt? What do you already know that you could connect with?

I learned how to connect the cross-cutting concepts with big ideas in Science. One of my best science lessons was my Squid Dissection. I was lucky enough to film it for my class on air site. ( Link below) 

Monday, 26 November 2018

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

MIT Tool - Reflecting

What research/evidence are you using to back up what you are doing? 

I am using the research from Auckland University, with their developing in digital worlds- The project started in 2014 and will be completed by September 2018. 

The research aims to answer three questions about cognitive and social development in digital environments:
How does participation in the digital world influence children’s cognitive and social development?
What skills, knowledge, and capabilities do children need to manage, engage and benefit from participating in the digital world?
How can family, educators and society effectively support children’s involvement in the digital world? 

Are the students engaging differently using the tool? 

My students are not engaging with the tool as such. As the tool is designed for teachers and parents. The students are engaging in the Argumentation boards- It is helping them to gain more critical thinking skills. I find that students of all abilities can enter into the learning and are able to take the learning to their own level. The teacher is then able to 'push' those who can be extended. 

What hypotheses have you formed about likely barriers or your teaching actions to accelerate learning? 

The tool breaks down the barriers that teachers have thinking they don’t know how to do it, or where to start. The board examples and videos give teachers basic tools to just have a go. 

Have you noticed any anomalies in how it is/not working? Is it the same for everyone - or some? Why might that be? 

My whole senior school have been using argumentation boards as a way to teach students to think critically, develop skills around self reasoning and take part in critical literacy. Across our classes we have all seen the benefits of using the argumentation boards. We took part in the developing digital worlds research project in both 2014 and in 2018- so it will be interesting to see the comparable data when it is released.

What do you hope to achieve with this tool?

I hope to give teachers a resource that will enable them to have a go at this way of teaching. After modeling to my BT last week how to run an argumentation session she was able to clearly see how to do it, and reflected on some strategies that she would be able to implement in her classroom. 

What KCs will this tool foster?
Thinking- Students are given many opportunities to think critically and deeply about a range of topics. 
Relating to others- Students are required to understand others opinions and relate to them
Using language, symbols, and texts- Students are required to explore a range of texts in order to draw conclusions. 
Managing self - Students have to manage themselves in order to take part in the critical reading and literacy required.  
Participating and contributing- Students are required to participate and contribute within the argumentation boards. 
The tool incorporates all KC. 

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Prepping for Term 4 2018

The last term of the year!! This year has gone so quickly. I have been given so many amazing opportunities this year, which I am so thankful for- I feel my curriculum knowledge has really been extended and challenged! 

Being a part of the MIT programme and Manaiakalani-Google Class on air has been the best thing for my teaching career. Learning through others and reflecting on my own practice has been a huge game changer! From our MIT Hui to our KPMG meetings and our trip to Sydney. I have been reflecting on what an amazing opportunity it has all been. 

I have loved being a mentor teacher this year and really enjoy working with my BT (Who is amazing! - I am very lucky!!) Being a mentor teacher has also helped me think about the best ways to support others and guide them in the teaching as inquiry process. This has been a good experience to add to my middle management kete

SO what?
I have got three more episodes left to film and upload! I have another MIT meeting at KPMG which will help me extend my tool further. (I have more to add to my tool which I will be doing tomorrow).  

I have PD with Susan this term to help extend and refine my teaching in the area of STEM. 

I have seen a shift in my student's achievement and I want that to continue through to the end of Term 4. It will be rewarding to compare the Term 1 and Term 4 student data. 

Reports and testing will be a focus at the start of this term! I had a great turn out for my parent-teacher interviews in the middle of the year so I my goal is to get 100% attendance. 

Continue my goal of integrating Te Reo in the classroom. 

Below are two episodes of my Class on Air that I am really proud of. I feel they encompass what I have been aiming to do with my students. ( Integrating the curriculum effectively and within a real-life context, and allow my students critically literacy opportunities) 

Attack of the Mellinark! 

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Analysing my Science Engagement Survey

The What??

My students all completed a science engagement survey as part of our science PD for the year. 

The results 
100% of students surveyed said they are encouraged to ask questions about what we observe 
100% of students surveyed said they are encouraged to take time to observe something carefully 
Almost all students said we show ideas and patterns using diagrams/ graphs. tables. 

Almost half the students said they were unsure or weren't able to investigate their own questions. 
Half the students were unsure or weren't given opportunities to try out different ways of investigating 

So What?

I can see that my data is reflective of what is happening in my class. We often 'run' out of time to investigate our own questions and then I move on to new science learning in the next session. This has made me think I need to slow down and give students more time to investigate and try out different ways of investigating or solving problems. Perhaps revisiting or reflecting upon science learning we have already done is key. 

Monday, 17 September 2018

Apprasial Goal


Professional Standard 1 - Connecting current professional learning and considering how this will look in the context of Te Tiriti (partnership, participation, and protection). Reflecting on teaching Reo.

Continue to work with MIT cluster and within school management and colleagues to keep up the high standards you have set for yourself.

Specific Action 
Blog reflections specifically addressing the needs of Māori learners. Evidence of Reo teaching (explicit and interwoven) Consideration of Tikanga within the class. 

What have I achieved so far? 

I have been busy this year with my MIT inquiry, class on air, mentoring and teaching full time. I am currently thinly spread across my responsibilities. These last few weeks and next term I am focusing on my Reo in the classroom. Already throughout the year I have timetabled weekly Te Reo teaching which is explicit, although at times I struggle to interweave Te Reo throughout the day - this is due to my lack of knowledge. 

My class discussed the need for posters around the room to help us with our Te Reo ( Which we put up last week). Sally has given me the book 'Maori at Home' which is an everyday guide to learning the Maori language. Each day I am aiming to incorporate a new word or phrase into the classroom. We have started playing games in Te Reo ( With the help of a fluent student in my class). We have also discussed the relationship of the the tuakana - teina ( TKI information) in our science learning with the junior classroom. 

A question to ponder: What does tikanga look like in Ruma 4?

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Dr Cynthia Greenleaf - Developing in Digital Worlds

Developing in Digital Worlds with Cynthia Greenleaf!!

Setting Discussion Norms 

  • It is important to set discussion norms in your classroom. "How we support each other in the classroom" - Can co-construct with your class.
  • Changeable 
  • Can be added to over time. 
Those who do the reading, thinking and talking are the ones doing the learning. 

How do we get a dialogic argumentation? 
Allow students to engaged in texts that pose different ideas. Allow students to engage in discussions where they have to justify their ideas.

Slip or Trip Example:

Discuss in small groups.
Find evidence explain its importance.

Skill: Make a claim, can find evidence, can't link the two with critically reasoning.

Go Meta! - Metacognitive, go meta with our relationships

Refine our norm! - What supports collaborative argumentation? (Positive rules)

Think about online discussions? Students are in a world where they can talk online in many different forums. Are we allowing students to have opportunities to negotiate social norms?

Online forums create distances between those interacting and talking - we are unable to read facial cues and gestures.

Next Steps for myself:
What about another point of view? How could you use the point to support your argument?

Selective Bias -
Argumentation writing- Show all perspectives, weigh them up and then come to a conclusion.

Getting students to be comfortable with the 'unsolved' with wonderings. No right or wrong answer

Provocation/ Picture Idea!

Once a week where students have to respond and contest their beliefs. Could upload to the class blog. Students could write their response??- Do with Sally!

Could review their conversations 'go meta' or 'analyze evidence'.

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

MIT Tool Development

Today has been a day of reviewing and developing my tool. This has been one of the most successful days working on my tool. As I progressed it made more and more sense and came together.

I have extended the content from only having board examples and question prompts. Below is my website layout. The website is yet to go live as I want to get a few more videos up.

The What? The why? The how? and about me.
I am going to add pictures of students to this page as it is not very visually appealing.

Page 2 
The Boards- Examples of boards with links to make a copy. At the bottom of this page is a google form that other teachers can submit their boards onto the site. 

Page 3:  Question Prompt- This page has question prompts that link to videos of the students using them. ( Still, need to get that video footage). Michelle ( My principal suggested a link so that teachers can access these prompts to save onto their drive or print) 

Page 4: Example of what argumentation looks like in my classroom. I have One example but will be filming more as part of my class on air that I can use too. 

Page 5: Students Blog Example- This will have links to students blogs showing their argumentation boards. A way for teachers to see the ways my students have shared their learning and thinking. 

Page 6: Creating your own board. This page has links to website and search engines that I use to find my text content. It also has a checklist with ideas to think about when designing your own boards. 

Monday, 20 August 2018

MIT - Clarelle's Blog Post on my Tool

Below is Clarelle's Blog post about my tool, see her Blog Post here.

Today the MIT teachers had another wonderful day at KPMG. As part of our day we explored our inquiry projects and talked about our next steps for amplifying these inquiries.

Rebecca's inquiry focuses on increasing critical literacy in her classroom through argumentation. She has also been using a range of prompts to support critical and inclusive discussion in her classroom.  

Her tool focuses on sharing the prompts and the discussion boards that she has used to provoke critical thinking.

Some of the collective feedback for Rebecca was to provide more description of how teachers can effectively engage students in using the discussion boards. We also suggested that she adding an about this tool page to provide more support for the users of her resource.

MIT Tool Feedback - Zac

Movie Making

Zac presented his Tool on our MIT day out at KPMG. Zac's tool is an interactive website that is all about 'movie making' as a means to improve student achievement in writing.  Zacs site has four main sections; How to videos, Film techniques, Teaching strategies, Graphics & Images. Each section has examples and videos made by the students in his class. Zac's site has a great flow- making it easy for teachers and students to use.

The tool is a one-stop site for everything movie making- from storyboarding, to editing using iMovie. It is a great place to learn more or to start out!!

Next Steps:
- State on the site that the students have created the videos.
- Give more information on how he manages the students and what he does as the teacher when they are filming.

MIT KPMG Session 3

KPMG Session Three

Feedback/ Next Steps:

-Includes mini lesson Plans with each argumentation board
- 'About this site' -blurb + short video. ( The why? Whats the deal with argumentation boards and critical literacy?)
-Site flow: The site will be in three parts.
Part One- Argumentation Boards + teacher notes.
Part Two - Prompts - Each question prompt will have a link with a short video showing how students use that particular prompt. 

Thursday, 16 August 2018

MIT Tool

As the end of the year creeps up, I have been thinking about my 'Tool' for my MIT Inquiry. This year I have explored multiple options and ideas- each with its own advantages and disadvantages. I have to constantly take myself back to my problem; Student achievement in literacy. As my students have begun making accelerated progress I have reflected on the what? and how? What has made this shift and how has it helped them. I have changed many aspects of my literacy programme this year to suit the needs of my learners. The biggest change has been the use of argumentation boards to prompt critical literacy, critical reasoning and evaluating texts at a deeper level, and also my pedagogy has developed through my developing digital worlds PD.

My tool idea has been to create a resource bank of Argumentation Boards- to allow other teachers to use the resources that are already made. Sometimes the problem for teachers to give it a go is they don't know where to start. So I am wanting to have a place where the can view and copy our argumentation boards. 

- How will the site update? How can I ensure that it is added too?
- How can I ask other teachers for their resources to add to it?
- Should I include reflections on each argumentation board... What worked? 
- Could I add question cards as a resource? 

Friday, 10 August 2018

Science PD Term 3 and Science Observation

Staff Meeting Points:

  • Use interest/ engagement to strengthen and go deeper.
  • Changing their identity so they become competent.
  • CrossCuts make the knowledge coherent.
We talked about how Identity, Interest, Contextual strands, crosscutting concepts, and science and engineering practices integrate to build strong scientific knowledge and lessons. 

I talked about how my squid dissection lesson focused on the living world. We carried out an investigation and collected data using our five senses. We used the crosscutting concept of function and systems to discuss how the squid's internal systems are suited for is habitat. 

This week Susan came into our classes to model more science lessons. She did a water-based science experience, a static experience and then with my class she did  "Can we heat water in a paper cup".

Susan discussed the science field we would be working in; chemistry and physics.  (Using this vocabulary from a young age was important to help students make connections within science). She started with a story about the droughts in Australia. (Vocabulary: Agriculture, emergency, water needed for life, livestock, problem)

Discussion of Apparatus: ( Talked about the structure and function of each tool that we would be using, students drew each tool and labeled it  )

  • Thermometer 
  • Meth Burner 
  • Gauze Mat 
  • Tri-pod 
  • Beaker 

- Students drew a diagram that represented the creation of heat. ( Discussed this is a symbolic representation for heat- it is standardized)

Students set up their heat source. They had a beaker of ice cold water- they took the starting temperature. They then poured water into a small paper cup (Muffin case). They lit the meth burner alight and then watched the water in the paper cup start to steam and bubble. They retook the temperature and recorded it.

PMI - What happened? Questions? Thoughts?
Recap of key vocab.

So what ? 

For me, the biggest take away was how Susan constantly stated and went back to the key vocabulary. At the end of the lesson, the students were using that vocabulary to describe different parts of the experience. Instead of saying 'I used the pointy thing' They were saying ' I used the thermometer to measure the temperature of the water'. This is the most important aspect of the lesson and I think would extend my students thinking and how they discuss science.

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

MIT Half way point

As term three has started I am currently at my halfway point for my MIT Inquiry. I have spent the first half of the year researching and trialing the best ways to effectively teach literacy. After comparing my Asstle data from the start of the year to the end of term 2 there was a shift in my students progress. This shift I believe was due to; reciprocal reading practices being implemented, and the use of argumentation strategies.

Consistent Gaps
Find, select and retrieve information
Make inferences
Respond using understandings and information
Skim and Scan for information
Knowledge of Vocabulary
Identification and understanding of main ideas.

The tool I am wanting to design is a website which will be a resource bank with examples of argumentation boards- to help other teachers develop the skills to use argumentation strategies. I will spend this term focusing on developing this tool, to benefit not only the teachers but the students.

Monday, 9 July 2018

The Power of Possibility - Cultivating a growth mindset in YOUR classroom

The Power of Possibility - Cultivating a growth mindset in YOUR classroom.- Lindsey Wesner 

What is a growth mindset? The power of 'yet', using our failures to move forward.
failure is an opportunity to grow

Strategies for a Growth Mindset

  • Design Tasks
  • Teacher Mindset
  • Student Mindset 
  • Language of possibility 
  • Praise and Award 
  • Assessment and feedback
Task Design 
How do I create a task and make sure that it is cultivating a growth mindset?

  1. Clear instructions - set up for success 
  2. Not a ‘recipe’- Giving students choices, ‘openness’, not one route to success 
  3. High expectations- 
  4. Differentiated Pace - Moving away from ‘faster is better’, how are we phrasing deadlines?
  5. Real-world relevance- getting students ready for the ‘real’ world/ real problems.
  6. Critical thinking required
  7. Opportunity for reflection- build it into a task design. 
  8. Choice of product/ output - 
  9. Audience - a Wider audience
  10. Choice of topic/focus - Choose the challenging focus
  11. Extension and enrichment - Ninja task/ ninja belt
  12. Cooperation - multiple perspectives/ challenges our mindset 
  13. Scaffolding
  14. Value process over product. 
  15. Divergence over convergence - Follow passions/ inquiry
  16. Assessment methodology- Have to know what success looks like. Co-constructed S.C.
  17. Goal creation
  • Google forms Differentiated Learning - Build a form that helps to scaffold for students depending on their answers.
  • Choice boards- Give students OPTIONS. Give students opportunities to demonstrate their understanding.  
  • Google maps- Map things add notes/links etc 
  • Draft back extension- Playback of how students completed a task. gives your data/ summary of how much each student has done. Moving away from the product to process.
Part Two

Assessment and Feedback 

Why are we doing assessment?
Assessment FOR learning 
Using the suggesting mode 
Students need to engage with each comment 
Kaizena- allows voice comments on docs!

Austins butterfly 
Peer assessment 
Google Form- Create a rubric 

Assessing the progress 
GROWTH of Learning
Version history - Name the version- First draft / improved/ feedback from Jimmy/ My best work right now.


Questions over a comment. Questions promote cognitively. 
- Ask students questions and get them to respond with a short video. Formative feedback.
What did you find hard about the task?
How did you work well as a group?
How did you solve this question? (Maths) 
What do you think the answer is? (Could do for our which one doesn't belong). 
Speeches- Looking at different techniques of a speech. 

Praise and Award 

What are we praising? 
Growth Mindset theory- Praise effort and strategy 

Ed Tech Summit - Day One

Jessie Lubinsky- Capes not required 
Key Note Speaker

20% time- giving students time to follow a project they are interested in. Allows students to follow their passions.

Jessie's school created a fund, where students could apply for money through an innovation fund. The framework of the projects was around 'Improve the school community'.

1. Following their passion
2. Celebrate their Stars - (Daniel Kish Story) "Running into a pole is a rag, but never being allowed to run into a pole is a disaster"- using echolocation to ride a bike. Focus on allowing students to celebrate what they have - give them opportunities to do anything. Project Unicorn (10-year-old girl with one arm created a glitter shooter. "You cant be sad if you're covered in glitter".
3. Honour Individuality -Help students navigate challenges.

Next Steps:
Brainstorm how could we improve our school's environment?
Get ideas from the kids- allow them to follow their projects during their 20% time.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Observation of Reciprocal Reading

Today I went and observed Dani and a reciprocal reading group. 

What I noticed: 
Dani encouraged the student to ask questions to each other opposed to her
Encouraging them to google unknown words or answers to questions they have. 

The Boss 
The Predictor 
The Clarifier 
The Questioner 
The Summarise 

The boss sits at the top of the table. The teacher sits as part of the group. This was a big take away for me as I am trying to move away from being the center- and I think where I choose to sit is an important aspect. 

The students did a great job of asking questions and answering them. My students are currently writing down questions but I wonder if they should just ask each other. My focus is to get the students to think about the text- maybe there isn't much point getting them to write it down??

It was great for me to see what year 7/8 students are doing so that I can see the next steps for some of my students. I went away thinking I need to play more of a guiding role as opposed to being at the center of my reciprocal reading groups. I am finding it hard to juggle proving teaching and also letting them think for themselves and run the session. Dani had the balance perfect! 

Also as students used a strategy it is important to name the strategy. Dani told the students when they used different reading strategies- This would be extremely beneficial to my students so that they actually know and understand what strategies they are using.

This, with my argumentation focus, would help me create a strong reading programme for the rest of the year! And will hopefully see some accelerated progress :)  

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Digital Worlds Session Four

Modeling and explicitly teaching the strategies to answer a multi-choice test

Reflection on making critical reading visible -
-We talked about how our students only read half the answers when doing multi-choice, they just click keywords they see without checking.

We talked about using comprehension short text, multichoice to develop these skills.

Disturbing students thinking
Choose an opposing
Organise prompt cards/signs
Get the students to argue with each other. This prevents the T:S:T response. We are wanting more S:S talking.

Get them to find a text to find out.
Look at the texts- this will tell you a lot about their searching skills
Take the texts (They gave to you) and make an argumentation board.
Get them talking use prompts

THEN Go Meta! (Reflect about what you are thinking/ metacognitive)

Next Steps: Fake News Inquiry Enactment
Idea for next class on-air episode.