Monday, 11 September 2017

Google Suite - Tips for Efficiency

Dave Winter and I have put together this presentation to help make your use of the Google Suite more efficient. This includes tips like: shortcuts for making a copy of a google doc, Using quick view instead of opening a doc, Shift Z... it is your friend and many others!

Thursday, 10 August 2017

How To: Hapara Teacher Dashboard

A tool that we use daily in Manaiakalani is the Hapara Teacher Dashboard. However, I have become aware that many of our new staff here at Pt England have a very rudimentary working knowledge of Hapara Teacher Dashboard. Through taking a number of toolkits and one-on-one sessions with teachers I have decided to make a screencast so that teachers are able to come back to it. Please feel free to use this with your teams/staff.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

2017 Inquiry: Broadening Extension Maths Learners

How do you effectively broaden the understanding of an extension maths student, particularly number knowledge and the application of this, in a way that is engaging and effective.

In 2017 for my inquiry I have selected the following Manaiakalani Community of Learning achievement challenge:
#4. Increase the achievement of Years 1-10 learners, with a focus on Years 7-10,  in reading, writing and maths, as measured against National Standards and agreed targets.

The teaching as inquiry framework I will be using in 2017 has been specifically co-constructed for Manaiakalani schools using our familiar Learn Create Share structure.
The elements in this framework share close similarities with other models New Zealand teachers use.

I will be labelling my posts as I update my inquiry throughout the year to make the content easy to access.

Label Key:
Learn - Gather Evidence
Create - Make a plan
Share - Publish
Learn - Scan
Create - Try new things
Share - Co-teach
Learn - Identify Trends
Create - Innovate
Share - Model
Learn - Hypothesise
Create - Implement
Share - Guide
Learn - Research
Create - Reflect
Share - Feedback
Learn - Reflect

Share - Reflect

Monday, 20 March 2017

Maths PD with Jo Knox

This year Pt England are under going professional development with Jo Know from the university of Auckland. In this session Jo went over some of the basics, to remind us of how simple and yet complex teaching maths can be!

Some take outs for me were:

  • Knowledge and strategy are equally important. It can be very easy to get into just teaching strategy, or just number. However, without the correct context either of these on their own aren't doing enough for our children.
  • A reminder of what kids do when completing tasks at all of the different levels. This is hugely important to keep at the forefront of your mind when teaching and testing children in maths!
  • Risk taking. If teachers aren't taking risks then children can't either!
Really looking forward to continuing the learning journey with Jo! 

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Teaching as Inquiry - Focus for 2017

Photo Attribution
In 2017 Pt England school’s inquiry focus is Mathematics.  This is in response to the analysis of our own teacher gathered data as well as official data from the Woolf Fisher Research Centre.

My inquiry is going to consist of two different paths. The first of these is helping, supporting and mentoring others to lead their own inquiries as the head of ‘Teaching as Inquiry’ for 2017. This is a huge challenge to undertake, which I am really looking forward to.

The second path is the leading of my own inquiry. Maths for me is something that I really enjoy teaching, so I’m excited about having the opportunity to inquiry into the following idea: How do you effectively broaden the understanding of an extension student while still giving them enough challenge and speed in delivery to keep them engaged?

Whenever I have had to opportunity to teach extension maths children I have always found it hard to keep them excited and engaged. They are mostly looking for the next big challenge…”Teach me something I don’t know yet...Come on hurry up!” When I have done what they have asked, in the name of keeping them engaged, or because of time pressures, I have found that we have moved too fast. Yes they are able to complete most tasks using multiple strategies which are well advanced for their age and stage but they don’t truly have the full understanding or mathematical knowledge of someone at late stage 7, early 8 should have. So this is my challenge!

Keep checking back here as I hope to share some new findings, tips and loads of evidence of better gains in knowledge acquisition and understanding! :)

Monday, 19 September 2016

Term 3 Reflection: Using Text Sets

Term 3 has been all about the creation and use of text sets. Text sets... what are those I hear you ask? This is a group of readings - some compulsory, some not - that's sole purpose is to build student's knowledge around a topic or focus.

For example, see this text set that I setup for one of my reading groups.

I have found that this is incredibly worth while. I have never had as much fun teaching reading as I have this term. I have also seen a remarkable shift in my students understanding and focus of a topic - they have genuinely been excited about it! But more importantly it is making a difference to their two biggest needs: applying knowledge and inferring.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Term 3 - Where to from here?

Image attribution:
During the last two terms I have been focussing my inquiry around what is it that I am doing to bring about a change to my student's learning. The evidence gathered from formative assessments, group teaching and observations was telling me that my students were falling short when trying to apply knowledge from one context to another. Another problem is that my students aren't able to read longer texts, read for a longer time before being distracted or bored and are therefore not as informed about the topic in question as they should be. This then leads to create tasks that are very low in thought. All of this from students who are reading at an age of 10 years to 13 years... Something has to change!

So in other words, I am falling short in teaching these skills to my students!

This term my focus is changing to looking more in depth at this problem. What can I change in my practice to solve this? How can I provide more opportunities to go deeper into a text that is both guided and free form? How can I relate one weeks worth of work to another weeks worth of work in a meaningful and contextualised kind of way?

Lots of questions... heaps to change... lets get started!