Monday, 21 May 2018

MIT - KPMG Session Two

KPMG Session Two 

Whats working? Students Reading Results are shifting.

Whats not? The tool- I have created a framework to use in reading but feel like I have reinvented the wheel. What I have created is nothing new.

What do I need help with? The framework and getting outside my box. Seeing what other clusters and schools are doing in Reading.

PD- Sheena Cameron Reading comp- Are using her posters to drive my framework thinking.
What questions do I want to ask?

What impact do I have on my learners? Why we believe what we believe? 
Student agency
Intrically motivated- believing in them- giving them opportunities to take risks/giving things a go.
Relationship building
Respect and empathy key

New Learning
Figure out who? who else?

Link with Class on Air- Record students doing it?
Maybe one teaching it and another one showing
Film the ants.

360 Degrees- Youtube Videos - Writing Prompts Perspectives.

Catalyst - Core Education
TEAM MEMBER:  Rebecca (critical thinking in reading

Lots of new learning - but finding that she needs to be careful on who she talks to.  And wanting to get out there and visit new ones.

Trialing lots of new things

Feels that it is important to get out of her bubble and go wider and deeper - critical thinking in reading is very important.


Where did you get the idea that critical thinking  in reading was the way to go - data showed disengagement

This lead to a change in thinking from stem based to reading based as this is where the problem really was. - learning circles creates discussions that will help them.  Trialed sentence starters to help scaffold - They still need this so they can experience success.

Research-engaged with - needing to find this - looked at clusters data feedback and looking at literacy - people are having the same problems

Research on reciprocal reading would help.  Dani - also Rebecca Jenson - wide and deep text reading.
Also Angela Moala

What might will this mean to students - kids keen, need scaffolding - Fight over roles (good) - them becoming the leaders of their learning - not revolving around the teacher - increase mana no matter what role they take.  - Will look at visiting Danny who is doing this reciprocal reading to build

Have you looked at the models you use to teach?  Are you explicit? - Not consistently  - This can be an area for a big change if you are modeling how it can be done.  Co-constructing and what it looks like for them.  Struggling with time out of class to ensure that this consistently.

How are we going to learn more about the changes you are making - making blog posts - so far I have been surface but need to go deeper - take some time to focus.

My Who? 
- Sally
- Dani- Point England
- Jacinta (Wolf Fisher) Digital world PD - Literacy focus.

The students 
-E ( ESOL)
-Ta (ESOL)

Class On Air 2018 What's That?


Throughout the year I will be updating my Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir site with links to my planning, resources, reflections, videos of my teaching, and links to the learners work on their blogs. There are 10 Manaiakalani teachers from various schools and levels for you to check out.

Direct Instruction
The learning intention for this lesson was to use our senses to describe a substance.  Students were given two substances (baking soda and malt vinegar) in pairs, they had to use their 5 senses to describe the substance and collect data to help them figure out what the substances were. They also observed how the substances interacted together and why. 
The video shows the class instruction, and then two groups working on the experiment. 

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Science Observation with Susan


Purpose for the lesson: Watch video of ants, Critique whether this method ( video)  of communicating facts is successful.

Particular aspect of the lesson (of my practice) that I want to focus on: Questions. Making connections with kids idea

Ants: Super Soldiers

This clip provides lots of facts about ants in a narrative form that is filled with “combat” vocabulary. Take the time to watch and note vocab before you show to students.

Embark- begin (a course of action).

Chemical warfare

Infiltrated - enter or gain access to (an organization, place, etc.) surreptitiously and gradually, especially in order to acquire secret information.


military precision - very organized, professional

underground bunkers

Intelligence gathering

Reconnaissance missions- to obtain information by visual observation or other detection methods, about the activities and resources of an enemy or potential enemy, or about the meteorologic, hydrographic, or geographic characteristics of a particular area.


1. Watch through. Students note facts at the end of the viewing. Count facts and put a number in a circle. Allow some time for discussion.

Who has a fact?
Who else got that one?

2. Students can critique whether this method of communicating facts is successful.
What do you think about how the presenter gave us facts?
Was this helpful or not? WHY?

WALT- Evaluate ( Judge something)
I agree with that because…
A better solution would be….

3. Go deeper with Notice Think Wonder as a framework. Watch again.

What happens when they hear a fact they have already noted?
Do they add more facts to their knowledge bang re: ants? Do they make connections to other facts?

After viewing the clips have a discussion about the different approaches used by the makers of the clips. They might like to use some of the techniques when making their own presentations.

Filmed with an army approach- links to super soldiers.

So what?

Susan helped the students make connections with the behavior of ants and soldiers. Explaining that humans may have learned from them. She encouraged the students to go outside and find ants. Reflecting on this. Was it easy? How could we make it easier? What could we use to draw the ants to one place? The focus made connections to a range of key competencies as well as looking at critical literacy. Were the filmmaker's choices effective? or helpful? What technology did they use to assist them? We discuss small cameras and connected this with hospitals and operations were they use small cameras. My takeaways from the observation were; that I need to see more widely- and make connections across the curriculum and that my students had some great observations and wonderings- I need to draw on that and extend them.


How to design learning for all students 


Engagement- Provide an environment that is supportive of all students 
Representation- How we present the information in different ways 
Action and Expression- Learn, create, share. 

Technology- Google tools/ site- 
Instructions not too much on one slide
Adding audio
Using videos
Rewindable learning. 
Visual prompts 

Differentiated thinking 
-Fix the students 

UDL thinking: 
Design from the edges 
Being inclusive 
Giving them options of tasks to choose from 

7 Principles of Learning 
The principles are identified as:
  1. Learners at the center
  2. The social nature of learning
  3. Emotions are integral to learning
  4. Recognising individual differences
  5. Stretching all students
  6. Assessment for learning
  7. Building horizontal connections 

So what? 

After the course, I thought that a lot of my practice does have the UDL principles underpinning it. The course allowed me to see that a lot of what myself and sally are already doing is UDL and is allowing all students to be included. One take away from the course was that I should plan from the edges of my class and give more options or avenues for students to take when learning. An inquiry learning focus helps students get more choices and allows me as the teacher to offer many different ways to complete the inquiry. At times I find it easier to differentiate the learning to meet the needs of my students but this has its implications. Next week I am going to plan with a UDL hat on. 

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Analysing Target Students Data

I have got three target students that I am focusing on for my MIT inquiry and my TAI ( within my school). My inquiry is around how I can increase critical thinking in literacy. I completed an asttle Reading test on my class to look at the gaps in their learning. 

The gaps for target students: 
  • 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. 
So what? What is going to help?

I have created a 'bookmark' to support a Critical Reading approach for the students to use while Reading. The bookmark provides a thinking framework for the students. With a focus on predicting, self-monitoring, questioning and summarising. This reciprocal reading/ critical reading approach will hopefully provide students with a supportive framework. Then I can build on these important strategies in my reading sessions. The next few weeks I will ensure they know how to use the framework effectively and are discussing their ideas within their groups. 

What knowledge do I need to know? 

  • The links between Oral language and Reading. - Will find readings to support my learning. 
  • Using Universal Design for Learning - This could help with my Reading Programme (I am going to a UDL course today). 

Check Box on Google Sheets

Yesterday a colleague (Sally) showed me the amazing new feature on google sheets- Checkboxes! This will help me keep track of what tasks my students have completed during the week in a simple way. 

Monday, 30 April 2018

Call Back Day


On our call back day, we had a day with Susan Heeps. This was an expansion of our science teaching and understanding. 

Importance of introducing scientific practices/ vocabulary during the day. 

Classifying things to help us understand it. 

Looking at the relationships between different things.

Students page - Shows their thinking. Get them to share- this will help them explore their own thinking and giving them agency. 

All things in the natural world that have a structure have a purpose. '

'Parking some ideas' - there are many ideas and concepts - Sometimes you need to park ideas and focus and go deeper with one particular idea or learning area.

Austin Butterfly - 

Science Lesson Ideas:

1.Exploration of different objects- Compare and contrast ( Introduce- Venn Diagrams, focused observation, inferencing) Shells, bones, rocks.

2. Cartesian Diver 

3. Classifying shells 
Sort specimens/ shells into groups/ categories. 
Look at others. Post it note questions you have. Group or students share, photo on TV - talk to the picture. Develops key competencies, building science knowledge - classifying, communicating your thinking, thinking and inferring.  How can you convey to others the categories you created. Recognising patterns, protect sample set.

4. Candles 

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Term 12018 Reflection

Term 1 

1. Using a Checklist 
This year I have adjusted my checklist process. When students have completed work they add it to a checklist- I comment on it and color the cell so students know what to do next. Green means it is ready to blog. Orange means there is a comment and feedforward, yellow means I can access it. This is making students more accountable. I found this easier than using teacher dashboard because I can see all the students and their work due this week at a glance. 

Next steps: Monitoring my select student's next term who are not getting work done. Giving them two options for the day. Do this then you can do this. Check in with them after every block. 

2. Science
The science learning this year has been fantastic. I have completed about 10 science-based lessons from Susan's bank of lessons. My students are now starting to use their science books in the sessions and their 'me' pages are becoming more developed with their ideas and thinking opposed to pictures or nothing at the start. 
Next steps- Use the question cards during EVERY lesson. Focus on 1-2 a lesson as we work our way through Students will become familiar with critical thinking and the sentence starters help them form sentences.

3. Digital Modelling Books
This term I used a digital modeling book and had documents where students worked collaboratively on. This was extremly effective- The students loved it and they used other students work to support/ help their learning and understanding. I noticed that It worked best in small groups 6-8. I also need to make sure I change the editing rights after the lesson so students can go back and deleted others work. This term I really want to try and use them more. I managed to use it once a week BUT this isn't reflective of how often I taught writing- I need to update the modeling book after every session and ensure students are using it.
Next step: teach students where it is- Constantly refer to it. Get students to look at it when they are stuck.

M.I.T Moonshot

This week I have been thinking about my moonshot inquiry. During my last KPMG session, I changed my focus from STEM to Reading. This was because my student's achievement was low in ALL academic areas- My group and I discussed that If they could read at a higher level this would benefit other curriculum areas. 

My new inquiry is 'How can I increase critical thinking in Reading?' 

The tool I want to look into creating would be a framework or a rubric that would help my year 5-6 students think critically about what they are reading. 

What I want to look into to help me with this? 
- Blooms taxonomy 
- Comprehension strategies (Effective literacy practices) 
- Sheena Cameron strategies and framework. 

Connecting my Inquiry to the design thinking process 
After looking at Rebecca Jenson's Manaiakalani Inquiry slide I can see that I am planning, trying and innovating. The design thinking framework is helping me create prototypes to support my problem. 

I am in the process of organizing an observation of another Year 5-6 class at a Manaiakalani School. This will help me think about the level of year 5-6 and compare it to what my students are doing.- this will furthermore support my inquiry. 

Monday, 16 April 2018

Class On Air Term 1 Reflection

This term I have been working with Manaiakalani and Google taking part in Manaiakalani google class on air. The experience has been allowed me to reflect on my practice and notice what I am actually doing when I am teaching. I think how we think a lesson goes to how it actually goes watching it back differs. I learned that at times I miss key teaching moments as I am distracted by other students - Working in smaller groups helps minimize this as it is hard to know what 28 students are all thinking and what they are gaining from the lesson. My lessons have had a science/ technology type focus. Science is one of my weaker curriculum areas as I don't have much experience teaching it. This term we have been given P.D by Susan heeps, this has helped me immensely. Next term I am going to focus on Literacy and reading. My inquiry this year is how can I increase critical thinking in Reading- so the knowledge and skills that I develop in my inquiry can add to my class on air episodes. 

So what next term?

- Camera angles (Light reflection- blackout class windows to ensure that the quality of the footage is easy to see) 
- Sound- Use the plugin mic and my phone ( ensure the phone is facing the speaker) 
- Create: What are students going to create next term to demonstrate their understanding and learning?
- Will observe at another school. See what other year 5-6 students are doing. 
- How are we using the digital tools to enhance our learning ( Modelling book, working collaboratively on docs) 
-  Look at Bloom's taxonomy, Reading comprehensions.
- Smaller groups (Science was a whole class and was great when starting out my science journey but now I need to target specific needs). 
- Key learning and teaching focus- develop critical thinking.
- Making cross the curriculum connections. 

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Science PD

Susan discussed the importance of planned talk. It needs to be specific to be effective. 
Need the talk to drive the learning as you don't want the kids to just be doing an activity (which is what I think is happening in my class currently). 

Points for Reading as a Staff: 
Accountable talk - Question Cards- (Getting more Student to Student talk) 

Managing Talk through grouping- Mixed ability grouping is the most effective, can group students through interests of languages. (Some need for ability grouping) 

Managing Time- Show them a clock, how did we tell time in the past?

Cultural Diversity and managing Linguistics-  Adaptability of learners (Example; text messages being restrictive originally- students created a 'txt' language to fit more characters into their text messages) 

Setting Clear Expectations- Self-check/ 

Managing to speak, listening, writing, reading- Oral language is KEY to critical thinking. Explicitly showing them 'how' to talk. 

Knowing your learners- How important this is.

Science Task:

Susan taught us how to get our students to think critically and ask more questions during science sessions. We looked at discussion questions. We each choose two and then completed the learning task with that question in mind. This was helpful as it focused our thinking and we could think deeper about our question.

Next steps:
I'm going to print out question cards and use them in my next science lesson. 

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

MIT at KPMG Session One

After looking at my MIT moonshot and questioning my thinking I have decided to change my inquiry.
Working with Justine (a Corporate Citizen at KPMG) and thinking what is my actual problem?
I discovered that my actual problem is low student achievement- I then thought what is going to
be the best solution to my problem. After thinking about all the possible solutions we arrived at
the conclusion that focusing on CRITICAL THINKING within reading (I decided to choose reading
instead of the STEM as my students have two curriculum levels to 'catch up' too. We talked about
reading underpinning most curriculum areas at level 3 as students need to be able to access other
parts of the curriculum through reading. This seemed the most logical place to start if I focus on
critical thinking in reading it will 'spill' into my other curriculum areas too.

Problem: Students are not working at Level 3 of the New Zealand Curriculum
Possible Solution/ Focus: Students need to be able to think critically, a framework will help them do this
and will give them a consistent structure to respond to texts in a critical manner.
Possible Tool: Critical thinking framework for READING. Including all the comprehension strategies that
will allow students to think critically about the text. Students will use the framework to self-assess AND
peer assess.

What will help me develop my tool? Bloom's taxonomy, NZC, Literacy learning progressions, Duffy sheet,
Sheena cameron reading comprehension strategies.

Digital Technologies that will help me?
Site page with links to each comprehension strategy. How to? With a lesson example or teacher model? Videos?

Framework- a basic structure underlying a system, concept, or text.
Critical Thinking- the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment.
Problem Solving- the process of finding solutions to difficult or complex issues.

Straight out of the curriculum
"During these two years, students continue to develop their accuracy and fluency as readers of a variety of texts.
They increase their level of control and independence in selecting strategies for using texts to support their
learning. By the end of year 6, students are required to read longer texts more quickly and to select appropriate
strategies for different reading purposes more effectively than students in year 5.

When students at this level read, respond to, and think critically about texts, they will :
-Understand how they select from and use their repertoire of comprehension strategies, which include: making
connections between their prior knowledge and the concrete examples in a text in order to understand abstract
ideas in the text.
-Locating and summarising ideas (e.g., by skimming or scanning, by identifying key words, topic sentences,
and key questions, or by using subheadings).
- Drawing on several related items of information in order to infer ideas and information that are not directly
stated in the text.
-Evaluating and integrating ideas and information across a small range of texts;

Friday, 23 March 2018

M.I.T Inquiry Term 1

After our M.I.T Hui, I re-looked at my student data and gathered more information. The new data that I gathered was interesting and has made me rethink my inquiry focus. My focus was originally on engagement and critical thinking. My student voice data showed that my students are engaged in the learning and motivated. This has been a shift from the end of last year. So in the first 7 weeks this term I have already engaged this group of learners (Which is sometimes half the challenge). So I can now focus on the critical thinking and problem-solving. Possible next focus steps: 

- Universal design for learning 
- Blooms taxonomy 
- Learner-based discussions with a focus on deeper level questioning. 
-Rewindable learning
-Reflection on practice
-My knowledge of STEM needs to be upskilled.
-How I can integrate STEM throughout the day?

-Rich tasks- STEM- prompts problem-solving

The STEM element of my inquiry has had a strong science focus this term. Students are enjoying the science experiences and have started asking questionings on their own. The next step will be thinking deeply about these questions and then find the answers. I want the students to drive their own learning and inquiries so they can become lifelong learners. 

Below is data gathered in Week 5-6 of Term 1 2018 

PAT Maths 2017
PAT reading Comp
Asttle Writing
8 / 41 Staine 2
10 / 35 Staine 3
11 / 41Staine 3
11 / 35 Staine 3
12 / 41 / Staine 3
12 / 35 Staine 3

Manaiakalani- Google Classon Air - Reflection

Over the last two weeks, I have filmed two lessons for Manaiakalani- Google Classon Air. The experience has been challenging and enjoyable. It is still a challenge to get the footage and the sound during the lesson and to capture those 'ahh huh' moments. It is a great learning experience to watch back the footage and episodes for myself from a teacher perspective- I often think- I should've asked it differently, I should've made a connection there etc. We also watch back the videos as a class and look at ways we can improve. My inquiry goal is looking at critical thinking and problem solving and how to enhance this through questioning. 

So what? 
After reading 'Content-Area Conversations: How to Plan Discussion-Based Lessons for Diverse Language Learners by Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and Carol Rothenberg. I have gathered some next steps that will help me promote more discussion based lessons. The key things that I noticed missing from my science lesson is that the discussions and questions are surface level discussions, and although I have improved with my questioning around noticing I still want to get my students thinking at a deeper level and I am wanting my students to be able to compare and contrast ideas, ask questions, and describe phenomena in science. (This will then benefit other curriculum areas). 

The reading highlighted the need for different types of talk and discussion and how to prompt students to do so. Below is a language learning poster. I am going to use this to base my questioning and the language I want to students to use. I will put it up in the class and refer to it often when modeling my own language in science. 

Figure 5.1. Language of Learning Poster

Language objective
What is it?
What does it sound like?
To instruct
Giving directions
"The first step is …"
"Next …"
"The last part is …"
To inquire
Asking questions
Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?
"What do you think?"
To test
Deciding if something makes sense
"I still have a question about …"
"What I learned is …"
To describe
Telling about something
Use descriptive words and details
To compare and contrast
Showing how two things are alike and different
"Here is something they both have in common …"
"These are different from each other because …"
To explain
Giving examples
"This is an example of …"
"This is important because …"
To analyze
Discussing the parts of a bigger idea
"The parts of this include …"
"We can make a diagram of this."
To hypothesize
Making a prediction based on what is known
"I can predict that …"
"I believe that _________ will happen because …"
"What might happen if …?"
To deduce
Drawing a conclusion or arriving at an answer
"The answer is because …"
To evaluate
Judging something
"I agree with this because …"
"I disagree because …"
"I recommend that …"
"A better solution would be …"
"The factors that are most important are …"