Thursday, 20 June 2019

DMIC PD 4 - Part 1:

Today we took part in DMIC PD session 4 (part 1) with Don Biltcliff. Below are some notes of this session - thanks Kiriwai!



Take a leap of faith with problems given to kids, need to believe in what the kids can do - whether they get it right or wrong is not as important  as seeing what the kids can do - step back from pre-teaching

Go for harder problems/to push kids thinking  - this forces kids to use different strategies that may not be evident with ‘easier’ problems

Thinking like a Mathematician - moving past computational aspect of solving maths problems
  • making connections with ideas

If Ss will not grow if always being shown what to do -  Ss benefit if they work on problems that they have not been shown how to solve and need to explain to others their own strategies

Think about your Tasks:
Are the tasks you use:
  • open-ended? require complex problem solving?
  • have multiple entry points? have multiple opportunities for Ss to demonstrate intellectual competence?
  • require positive interdependence (working together)? fostering individual accountability?

Group worthy tasks

Culturally Responsive Tasks

  • Ss should not be grappling with both difficult numbers and unfamiliar contexts
  • should be grappling with difficult numbers/familiar context OR difficult context/more familiar numbers

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Google Spreadsheets: Creating Your Own Formula

There have been a few times now that I have wanted to do something in Google spreadsheets that I know exist in Excel. However, that functionality doesn't exist yet in Google. So my answer....make it yourself.

I have found that there are thousands of people worldwide who are creating cool scripts and formulas to upgrade the functionality and use-ability of Google Spreadsheets - so Google it and find their awesomeness!

Watch the following 'How To' to show you how you can create your own formula for Google Spreadsheets and how I use a particular formular that I love: 'Count Coloured Cells'.

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Google Spreadsheets: Using COUNTA and COUNTIF

There are many times that I need to create a spreadsheet that houses the organisation of school wide events like Fiafia or even a camp. One of these sheets that I create often is a payment sheet to track who has paid, who has handed in their permission/ medical forms and if I have emergency contact details for any child.

What I hate with these types of sheets is not being able to know at a glance - especially when they get large like our year 5&6 camp (around 150 kids) you can't tell easily how many kids you need to follow up. So I use the two formulas to do this for me: COUNTA and COUNTIF.

Check out this screen recording to learn how to do it.

Monday, 6 May 2019

Reading PD: Agility with Sound - Helen Squires

Today in our staff meeting Helen Squires went over Running Record Conventions and what to do next with the information that you get from a Running Record. She also shared with us her expertise using Agility with Sound - created by Betsy Sewell.

Running Records

Clarification around Teacher Told:

A = Appeal
Y = "You Try"
TA = Try Again
Give them 5-10s wait time. If they still aren't sure you can tell them. Mark this word with a T = Teacher told. This will be worth 1 error.

Analysing Errors - MSV

We then worked in pairs to analyse a running record to work out what they did to get things wrong.

Following information comes from: This Reading Mama
1. Meaning (M): Does the reader’s error make sense based on the meaning of the pictures or the story? For example, maybe the child read the word happy instead of glad.

2. Structure/Syntax (S): Does the reader’s error follow the rules of grammar and the structure of sentences in the English language? For example, maybe the child read jumps instead of jumped. In this case, the error may sound right.

3. Visual (V): Is the reader’s error visually similar to the word on the page? For example, the reader may read even instead of every.

Agility with Sound

Children are given a list of words where they have to interact with them. Firstly they highlight any words with 'a' vowel sound or 'u' vowel sound, etc. Then you find out how many they got in a minute. The idea of this is to build their ability to see and hear the correct vowel sounds.

This programme is full of lots of word work! For example - 'GUB': "how do we turn this into Grub?" "Where does the R go?" The idea is to build from one letter up progressing through to building from words.

Friday, 12 April 2019

TOD: Quantities of Quality Text - Jannie van Hees

Today as part of our teacher only day we had Jannie van Hees come and talk to us about the power of words and Quantities of Quality Text. Below are some of my notes and key take aways from this session.

Words have Power - Quantities of Quality Text: 
Both spoken and reading/writing text. More books means that there is going to be more:
  • contexts
  • concept knowledge
  • vocabulary - language that won't otherwise be in children's lives
  • conversations that apply to the above are super important - produce thinking and meaning.
  • Language structures

Teachers just repeating back to kids what they have said is no use. This is already what they know, this is not in the 'Gifting Zone'. Quality text that I can't just do on my own.

Children's ability to acquire and use language is astounding! Are we putting children into this zone as much as possible? The goldilocks zone is where we want children - grappling with text. We need to continually teach our children how to use new language.

Are reading groups making the difference for our 'Reading to Learn' children? Are these providing enough text for our children that is dripping with high powered language. Are they also getting multiple chances and goes at this text?

How are we optimising our learning conditions? 
  • Attention to and noticing
    • focus and notice
    • put in the effort
    • fully participate
    • push myself to the edge
    • dig deep for what I already know
    • learn from others
    • I share
    • think and talk; think and read
    • wondering and asking

Use your words and ideas that gift your learners knowledge and words. Are there a tonne of questions and 'raising hands syndrome' happening in our classrooms? 

Say more. Tell more detail.
Use words and ideas that gift your children knowledge and words. Talk the detail! What is the 'gift' that I am giving the children? What is the lense that I am putting the child's mind onto? The children's writing needs to move away from talk language.

SAY: "Because we are adding more detail we know what you mean" 
NOT: "Write this in a more interesting way!"

I am not going to offer a response that they can repeat - I am wanting to develop their vocabulary use. Talk the detail! We want to get our children out of the lazy zone and make them think. Say and use words so your audience really know what you mean.

Sources of language:
  • spoken
  • written
  • variety of contexts
  • loving reading
  • reading together

DMIC PD 3: Complexity of Instruction

Today we took part in DMIC PD session 3 with Don Biltcliff. Below are some of my notes, take aways and epiphanies (hopefully! ).

Complex Instruction
Through DMIC We are only changing how we deliver maths not the maths content - it's a pedagogical change only! It's about creating a different image of what it means to understand a mathematical idea. Can we truly develop ourselves as teachers to create children who are confident in maths even if they believe they aren't 'good' at maths?

Assigned Status & Value
Through the focus of social and academic status - we raise the status of children's mathematical contributions. Affirming them within their own knowledge and understanding. Creating a relationship that is reciprocal but also safe and that our children understand that they are loved. This will always result in children learning and learning with passion and drive.

This builds on the idea that learning is complex, and that learners will make sense of the learning challenge it presents in multiple ways, but only if we step back. But only to a point - we still need to be in control of scaffolding kids, helping to direct the sharing/conversation portion of a lesson, etc.

Anxiety: By giving children the opportunity to know that we are going to ask them for their thinking, they can feel safer that their turn is coming rather than sitting waiting anxiously for their turn and then it never arrives. Could and should we tell them when we are not going to ask them??

Status is local and changes within settings. Often what is seen in the classroom reflect status' seen in society. I wonder if we can help redefine these for a new generation?? Children watch how we interpret things and our actions and wait to see what we value. We need to be more obvious and overt to assign value to children across our classrooms.

Status of children in small groups shape who talks first or who's opinion is listened and used more often. So what does this look like practically in the classroom? How do teachers actually do this?

Equitable Teaching Practices
Jo Boaler - How a Detracked Mathematics Approach Promoted Respect, Responsibility, and High Achievement

  • How do we implement this into our classroom practice?
  • What do our children learn through this?
  • How do we develop this in our classrooms?

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Pt England Ambassadors @ MIT - 2019

Today Garth and I took the 2019 year 6 Ambassadors to MIT. Their job was to present to a group of training teachers and show them how they learn from day to day. These training teachers were blown away by the way our Ambassadors were able to talk about their learning, and do so with such confidence. Some of my reminders/takeaways from their presentation was:

  • our children are hooking into learning because of a real audience
  • they are passionate learners
  • our children are learning in a VERY different way to other learners in other schools
  • if you give our children a stage, they take it with two hands! Our children lifted hugely in their presentation because of the large crowd today and they lifted more when the crowd were responsive
After the Ambassadors' presentation I was then given the opportunity to stay and discuss further the way in which we teach and learn at Pt England school. I was impressed with the openness of the training teachers and the passion with which they talked about teaching and learning. The things that stuck out for them was:
  • why we teach with digital devices (see photo below)
  • why it's important to rewind what we teach
  • the importance of connecting with our children and then connecting them with a real audience
  • have fun!

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Google Drawings: Creating Info-Graphics

I love Google Draw! I think it is one of the most underused google apps in the Google Apps for Education suite.

In the below screencast I will show you how you can use Google draw to create fast and easy to create info-graphics that could be used as a teacher tool or even a follow up task for the children in your class. Check it out and let me know how you use this cool technique in the classroom!

Thursday, 28 March 2019

DFI Presenting: Otaki....Remotely!

Today I had the wonderful pleasure of presenting to our Otaki whanau in the Kapiti Coast. This time I did it as way of a Google Hangout, which was quite the experience! It is a weird feeling talking away to your computer, looking at some faces, hearing nothing but your own voice (because of wearing headphones) and not sure if you're connecting with your audience.

As always I enjoyed working with Vicki and her team. They are an awesome bunch who are passionate about their teachers and learners, who they serve. I am always left so inspired working with these guys and learning from their expertise in Te Reo Māori!

Some key thoughts from this session:
  • what policies and procedures do you need to have place to be able to 'go live' in the classroom
  • what CAN you live stream and what SHOULD you live stream?
  • what should you stream via delayed coverage?

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Google Spreadsheets: Data Analysis Using VLOOKUP

I thought it would be worthwhile reposting this as it relates to what I'm working on this year.
A few years ago as part of my inquiry into teaching I had been looking into ways I could better use assessment to inform my next teaching steps, especially to jump on opportunities sooner. However, when ever I got anywhere near formative data it was spread out across a range of different places -
e-asTTle, NZCER, etc. I needed an easy way to collect this data. Aha! Use a spreadsheet someone told me. However this meant doing hours of copy and paste from other spreadsheets to then have it collated in mine!

This lead me to look at using some of the features of spreadsheets. By using a simple VLOOKUP formula I have been able to set up each sheet to go looking for data for me. There is no more need to copy and paste a whole lot of information anymore!

Check out the below screencast of me explaining the setup of a spreadsheet and how this has streamlined my data gathering and analysis.

DFI Presenting: Northland

Today I went to the beautiful paradise of Taipa in the Bay of Islands to help Kerry with the Northland Digital Fluency Intensive. I travel up to this part of the country often to holiday with my family in Coopers Beach - so this was a very nice change to the normality of Auckland!

Kerry is doing an awesome job leading this DFI course and is very blessed to have Vanessa working with her to deliver content. I thought that they worked well as a team.

I had the pleasure of not only delivering the deep dive into How To: Live Stream but also to present the Manaiakalani connect portion of the day - Create: Manaiakalani Pedagogy for DFI 2019. A couple of key points and ideas that struck a cord with the teachers in Taipa were:
  1. It's all about the hook - a significant driver for engagement has been the intentional use of modern technologies to enable creativity.
  2. We want out children to be creators of content - not just stealing/borrowing work that has been made from the internet.
  3. This quote was hugely impactful and was a perfect conversation starter: “Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results.” John Dewey
  4. Site, Sound & Motion: how can we better use this as a teacher tool to help our children engage with learning?
  5. If our children create they can then share...and by sharing they are now connecting with a real audience who can learn from the post, comment and help develop the thinking of our children.

Click photo to see entire Create Presentation.
Attribution: Dorothy Burt & Manaiakalani Team

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Google Apps for Education - Tips for Efficiency

In light of what I'm trying to achieve with my blog this year I thought that I would repost a presentation that I created with Dave Winter. This presentation to help make your use of the Google Suite more efficient.
Tips include:

  • Shortcuts for making a copy of a google doc
  • Using quick view instead of opening a doc
  • Shift Z... it is your friend
  • Create a shortcut to search drive
  • Create table of contents....then a document outline
  • Many others!

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

My Inquiry for 2019 - Digital Literacy

How to use digital affordances to stream line my work flow as a teacher.

Here at Pt England School we talk a lot about making use of the affordances that the technology that we have at our fingertips provides us to better enhance the learning for our kids. Our challenge always is to make sure we are designing learning in such a way that would be impossible when only using pencil and paper. In other words how far can we push out the waka?

I think we do a good job of this. Our teachers work hard on this and are always developing new and improved ways to deliver and teach content to their children in exciting ways that is taking full advantage of the technology at their disposal. However, I wonder if in their own work that they are missing out on some key advantages that come with being digital.

Are teachers fully making use of the affordances that technology offers in their day to day work? This could include data gathering and analysis, planning, organising of their calendars, use of Google apps, etc.

This year I want to inquire into 'How to use digital affordances to stream line my work flow as a teacher'. I would love for my blog to be a place where I can share ideas for stream lining a teacher's work flow by introducing and teaching new or improved ways of doing things - digitally.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Pt England School Vision for 2019 - Russell Burt

This is where we're heading and what we're focusing on this year:

Russell shared what the major focus of 2019 is going to be for us this year. Some key statements or ideas that stuck out to me from what Russell shared this morning was:

  • We need excellence for every child from every walk of life. Every kid deserves the best no matter their past or present. This starts with me!
  • We mustn't reach only for equity but liberation!
  • We get the teaching and learning right when we:
    • deliver the curriculum REALLY well
    • use 'Learn, Create, Share'
    • visible
    • high expectations
  • What does our planning look like? Is it good enough to produce equity of excellence
    • creative integration in planning for learning
  • Cultural responsiveness - is this happening in my day to day at PES?
  • What do we need to standardise?