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.

Science PD

Lesson Idea: The sun is a star! 

Put your thumb up if you know what is the closest star to earth?
What is it?

Why would we not think that the sun is a star?
When do we see the stars?

Video clip showing 'surface of the sun'
Looked at the different colors of the sun- this was different from their experience of the sun.
What does the sun look like in places around the world?- It can be filtered through distance, air pollution, filters e.t.c

Susan explained this links nicely with our Matariki learning. Try and make links and connections to help students see that learning is continuous.
Teacher support material

**Sun is gas and plasma.
**Sun is now plasma 'superheated gas'.

Making connections is key to allowing students to be able to think. They need to see the relationship between things to help them be able to comprehend.

Lifelong learners.

We discussed teaching as a dance between Conformity and chaos. Students need to move between both in order to progress and develop.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Developing Digital Worlds Session Two

Today we had our second session Developing Digital Worlds Session with Jacinta. Below are the main ideas that I took away:

1.  The importance of 'Activating Prior Knowledge'. We discussed how sometimes this is not given enough time or importance. Using what students already know as building blocks is a critical tool.

2. After having a go with an augmentation board. Evaluate what texts the students were on the most, using the screen time section on teacher dashboard. This will give me a good idea of what text types students are using/ compare to the ideas they are coming up with.

3. Checking that sources are credible and reliable. This is something we have been doing in writing when note-taking. We have been giving a note a tick when we see it in another text. This helps us see what information is reliable as we have seen it in multiple texts.

4. Text sets- Possible the most important aspect of a successful argumentation board. Using a range of texts that offer alternative views.

"How many texts will support the principles of argumentation (below) in your subject area? Rationale?
To be able to substantiate, and evaluate, the integration of claims, reasoning and evidence to support rational decision making or belief, while also giving appropriate attention to counterclaims, reasoning and evidence that informs a critically reasoned conclusion."

Prompts for Attending to Overlooked Evidence:

  • What do you make of this (reference data/information)?

  • What else do we need to take into account?

  • Who has another observation that can help us look at the whole picture?

  • Is there anything we’re missing?

  • Who has a different idea?

I have filmed two class on air episodes using a critical literacy approach with an argumentation board. Click here to see Lesson 6. My next lesson will demonstrate the new skills I have taken from my session with Jacinta; Using alternative texts, focus on APK, prompting questions and less teacher talking, more students thinking! 

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Science Observation

Science Observation (Guided exploration) 

Lesson focus: Notice, Think Wonder. What is happening? (Describe) Why is it happening (Explain) 


Task: Observe how substances interact together (Liquid into liquid, solid into liquid) 

Get students to describe equipment. Whats the purpose? (This bumps up vocabulary) 
Students took part in looking how to transfer the liquids between containers. Discussed 'half'. Demonstrated solids and liquids and the shape they take.
Give the students opportunities to describe - this gives them more experience doing it. 
Feed in the vocabulary to give students the ability to communicate. 
Students to have a go. Pour the salt into the water. Observe the reaction (Eye level) 
Discuss what happened? Video this and re-watch to pull apart key ideas. 

Staff Meeting Debrief 

What are cross-cutting concepts- Help students connect ideas from one discipline to another. 

Crosscutting Concepts:
Cause and effect
Structure and function
 Change and Stability
 Matter and Energy

Learning science is best supported when instruction interweaves content and concepts from a variety of fields. 
Science is a way of knowing

Next Steps: 

How can I reinforcement the learning?

Think about how students can communicate their thinking with others in the class. Note as a teacher that one student's response is not a confirmation of the lesson or students knowledge. 

Filming parts of the experiment - Reflect on what they can see. Using a video allows you to pause and discuss different parts of the experiment. It's a great way to gather evidence and collect data. 

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Kootuitui Unconference

Yesterday we had our annual Kootuitui Unconference. As a cluster, we came together and had the opportunity to attend toolkits on what we wanted to learn about. It was a great way to share the expertise we have within the cluster in a relaxed way.

Toolkit One

I attend the drone workshop. The presenter discussed using a drone to teach students how to code. He used the app tinker. It was easy to use and allowed students to control the drone from the app. Unfortunately, the drone didn't connect to the app, so we didn't get to see it take off. 

Toolkit Two
I took a tool on using the new google sites. I came ready with how to embed moving pictures onto your site but the needs of the group were different. I had three people attend with questions about using google sites. This was great as I just was able to sit and assist them and it didn't take much time.

Class walkthroughs

Yesterday we had class walk-throughs in our staff meeting. This was a great way to reflect on our space and how we represent our children in our classrooms. It was great to see how much amazing work is going on in all our classes. This gave us all the opportunity to learn from each other. We talked about how our PB4L teaching and learning is visible. How our classroom culture is reflected in the space and how does the space reflect our school?

What next for me?

Although I have examples/ models for students to use I also need more work created by the students. I start could be even taking pictures of them working in science- This gives them more ownership of the space.

I am lucky that I have such a large classroom- but it does swallow up any wall displays I have and it always looks empty. I am going to try and take some of my posters down and replace with students work.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Developing in Digital Worlds Session One

What is argumentation? To be able to substantiate, and evaluate, the integration of claims, reasoning, and evidence to support rational decision making or belief, while also giving appropriate attention to counterclaims, reasoning, and evidence that informs a critically reasoned conclusion.
(Kuhn, 2015); Common Core State Standards.

The kotuitui data shows low results in: 
  • Critical thinking in literacy 
  • Discussion 
  • Commenting on DLO

We talked about how we can get students to have more discussions. We need to think of their blogs as a continuous learning journey- a process of learning. Other people can comment and give feedback and the students can better their learning. 

(A blog is a place for the draft- Asking parents if they can you engage in their learning- a Critical piece of work opposed to a finished work) 

Argumentation links cognitive with the social. Developing social skills- Key competencies. 

Thinking of my teaching- When I am planning I need to think to myself 'how much critical thinking was required for the student to create their DLO?' Templates confine students to a certain way of thinking.

To do: 
I want to start my argumentation journey with a text looking at the different perspectives that students could have. Discussing why. Starting  my thinking frame with  Should..... ( That way all students to access in argumentation) 

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

Below are notes from the catalyst core education game. Someone was recording what I was saying:
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.