Friday, 6 November 2020

Manaiakalani Secondary Schools Connect Presentation

Manaiakalani provides opportunities for Secondary School teachers in our wider cluster to share the awesome things happening in our schools.  Our kaupapa was how to engage students through digital technologies in Social Sciences.   

My presentation talked about how we connected and collaborated with my students and their whanau during Covids level 3 and 4 or ‘lockdown’ as we loosely call it.  I tried to add rewindable clips to the presentation to help clarify some of what we got up to.  I was a bit nervous but once I got going, I think I was o.k.

The recording will be out soon.

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

The ease of using MIRO for planning in Senior Sos

My level 3's have been using MIRO as part of the assessment.  They need to collaborate on a campaign of Social Actions which meant planning and discussing how to run the campaign.  I asked a few students who were working on a MIRO what their thoughts were on the platform.  Here is the interview below (please turn it up as the sound isn’t great).

Monday, 7 September 2020

Using the PAT reading data to find interventions

After our PLD with literacy expert Mele Suipi-Latu, I set about applying our discussions to my inquiry on finding data that related to the learning needs of my year 9 Social Studies class.  

On the NZCER PAT site I found my class and found the item report on the test questions that were assigned different text types. 

I then noticed that 3 of the text types were relevant to Social Studies:

  • Explanation (Questions 7 - 10)
  • Report (Questions 21 - 25)
  • Persuasive (Questions 37 - 42)
I then had a look at a few of the questions and found that for each question, the report showed for each question, what each student had selected.  The interesting thing was that it showed it highlighted certain students this way: 

The key showed that based on student's overall result

  • has high expectancy to correctly answer this question
  • was not expected to correctly answer this question
  • was not expected to incorrectly answer this question

Then I noticed that out of the 3 text types, persuasive language had the lowest percentage of questions correctly answered.

Why persuasive writing and language is important in social studies:

This text type can be incorporated into the talanoa as a debate topic and current issues when you have to argue why your perspective should be believed.  

Politicians use persuasive writing and language, advertisers and media people.

On closer examination of the questions, I found that question 38 ‘what is the main reason…’ only 21.4% of students got it right, question 40 only 17.9% could answer ‘according to the author, why…’, question 41, what is the main argument the author is trying to make only 21.4% got it right and question 42 ‘Which statement makes the strongest attempt to appeal to the reader's emotions?, 32.1% got it correct.

The last column above compares us to the national norm and it highlights which question in particular students struggled with.

What’s next?

Discuss the steps more purposefully with my department.

At the bottom of the report, I clicked on ‘more resources’.

Looking at the Recycling is Essential (level 5)

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Understanding STAR and PAT data PLD

One of our school goals is to raise student reading and writing literacy levels in our junior school by the time they get to the end of year 10.  As a department, we have developed some good strategies to engage students in their learning but on reflection, we identified the need to find more effective ways to support our junior students better.  

One of the aspects that we use to know our learners is data.  Students are tested at the start of the year and again at the end and between both tests, we try our best to shift student achievement.  But just knowing the results of their tests is not enough as it limits the depth of the support that we could offer to each student who have different learning needs.  To understand how to interpret the data better and use if more effectively, I asked Mele Suipi-Latu if she could take my department through some PLD to share her learnings and research with us in order to better understand what data is important to know, what it means and how to create some actionable steps.

Below is the recording of our PLD and the powerpoint used for the presentation.

As a department we will sit down with the data and brainstorm ways we can utilise it better in our planning for teaching.  Our goal is to ensure we design differentiated tasks to suit the learners but also challenge them to shift in their achievement.  Watch this space!

Friday, 28 August 2020

"I would like to thank my laptop"

At 10.46am today, my laptop was lagging.  Here's why:

This laptop helped me connect with my students and keep my job alive as a teacher.

This laptop helped me help a colleague understand how to do something better while we waited for our students to come to online class.

This laptop helped me entertain 3 grandkids whilst my daughter was working.

Today this laptop was my best friend. Thanks buddy. You rock.

Monday, 24 August 2020

Making the learning rewindable for my year 9's

This lockdown has given me the chance to really look at how I am presenting my teaching and learning to an global online audience.  During lockdown, there are students who will come to class religiously, there are others who will pop in from time to time and then there are others that I would not see until we are physically back at school.  The importance of providing rewindable lessons for both those on and offline is imperative.

For my year 9's, I decided to first work on my teaching site. We are studying the Pacific at the moment and I created a simple front page with each lesson provided on the right. 
I decided that I wanted to have a really basic template which had LEARN, CREATE, SHARE and NEXT STEPS as a format for each lesson.  This would be a generic teaching site for all year 9's.

Next I needed to create a more specific rewindable learning site for my class with recorded lessons taken during online lessons.  Here, I would have short edited video's that students can review and reflect on related to my teaching site as well as examples of student work.  I would hope that kids who can't come to class would use these links in their own time to catch up on their learning. 
I like to press the record button when I have a hangout or an online lesson.  Not because I enjoy the sound of my own voice but because I know that many of my students will miss out some important learning and it would take the hassle out of having to repeat myself again in class.  I like the fact that usually in an online class there is an audience and they can tell me if they don't understand something or need help with any of the learning.  I will try to continue to create my lessons this way even when we are out of lockdown 3 and will check with my year 9 class online whether any of them have utilised my sites.

Saturday, 22 August 2020

Connecting with Whanau in an online google hangout

One of our challenges from lockdown one was that we didn’t get a chance to connect with whanau as much as we wanted to.  This time round, we were more prepared for what to expect and wanted to connect with our whanau and families as soon as we could to see how they were doing and to share how their child's learning would continue online.  We choose the Akomanga Kaihanga class to enable this to happen and invited whanau to a google hangout earlier this week.  

We called our hui the 'Whanau Talanoa' with the main purpose to connect and hear from our kids, staff and families how lockdown learning has been for them.  Our facilitator was our DP Russell Dunn and our support staff were Whaea Kata, Karen Ferguson, Karl Bailey, Jannie Van Hees, Jay Malholtra and myself.  We had different areas to cover all linked to keeping our students and families informed about online teaching and learning.  

After Russell welcomed our attendees, one of our students Saia, led us in a karakia.  I then thanked families for their participation and feedback from our Showcase evening held recently.  I shared some of the blogposts from the students that talked about their learnings.

Russell then shared how important it was to for our students to make connections with their learning, review what they had learnt and to keep in touch through email all whilst taking care of their wellbeing.  Whaea Kata then shared that in her Health class, students were learning about gratitude.

Danielle, Siaosi and Cherry-Anne from the class then shared what they had learnt.

The classes graphics teacher Karen, then shared what the class had been up to with regard to creating a graphic novel.  She shared how students can access their learning site and where to find the resources they needed to complete their tasks set.

To give whanau a heads up as to what to expect for the rest of the year, I shared a simplified version of the year plan.  This then led into a short talanoa where parents had the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings before our closing karakia.
It was really lovely to engage with our whanau and parents.  It felt we were invited into their homes for a cup of tea and there was no stress or expectation to engage.  As a staff team, it was exciting to be connected with our students and their families online and to be able to share how learning happened in an online classroom.  During the talanoa, families shared their challenges and rewards and were thankful for the opportunity to connect.  This hui has definitely been a highlight of my lockdown to date and I look forward to connecting with our whanau more in the future.

Manaiakalani Secondary Schools Connect Presentation

Manaiakalani provides opportunities for Secondary School teachers in our wider cluster to share the awesome things happening in our schools....