Monday, 27 April 2020

TAI2020 WFRC #4: Collecting evidence and data

Inquiry task #4: 

My task is to begin to collect evidence and data and come to the next session ready to share your preliminary findings about the nature and extent of the student challenge i.e. using your baseline student data and evidencexpert observations.

DATA: I have looked and attempted to analyse PAT and e-asttle writing data to see what the gaps and strengths were of the learners in the class.  This will help me identifying who the students and what strategies I need to support their learning.

VIDEO evidence of groups collaborating: Before the lockdown, I had gathered lots of video observations and made teacher observations of students as they planned and worked in their project groups.

As I get to the know the students, I am able to identify what capabilities they have and those they lack.  I am also able to link their capabilities to the data I have collected.  

Teacher discussions and observations of the students in our classroom by an expert:  I have had a number of meetings with Dr Jannie about her observations of the dynamics of the class and she has provided me with some good next steps as to where to next with my inquiry.

Still to add to this blogpost are the following pieces of evidence: 
Baseline writing data:  I will be sharing blog posts that the students' have written as an initial writing task as the first time point and will discuss with Dr Jannie how to analyse the information well.

Student voice (survey and focus groups):  I have sent out a survey recently that will provide feedback as to their thoughts of collaborative learning.

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Online Teaching and Learning #3: Week 2, Term 2: Making the new 'normal'

This week has been the first full week of online teaching for our us and looking back, I've found it's been easier and easier to get used.  Going into a hangout has been a joy and when students join in, I get a buzz and feel excited to connect with them.

On Monday, I had my year 9’s.  I decided to have a break from project work until I could sort out how to do group work online properly.  We started with a Kahoot to warm the class up and it was awesome to see one of our mums jump on and give it a go!
Mum joins in and even wins a round or two!
During a double period with my year 12’s I could see that I wasn’t getting the same consistent kids as last week so I decided to record myself going through the internal assessment with the help of the kids who did come to class as a live audience.  It was helpful to have a few kids on so they could let me know if I was going to fast or if there was something they need clarification on.  I could see this being useful in the long run for those kids who weren’t able to get online at it during lockdown.  

Week 2 was a good week to get settled and into some sort of routine. I enjoyed catching up with my department both in our own meetings and in their classes.  It’s nice to know that we are sharing this new journey together.  Bring on week 3!

Sunday, 19 April 2020

Online Teaching and Learning #2: Week 1, Term 2: New term, new learnings

I’ve had a really chilled 2 week holiday and although I have enjoyed the time with my bubble, I was really looking forward to reconnecting with my students.
My First Department meeting
Our holiday was cut a little short when we had a department meeting Easter Tuesday to help us prepare for the term.  After a productive start, I thought it would be cool to record a short fun video for our students from us.  Of course we didn’t take into account turning mikes off and the video lagging and as it was still a new thing to do, we ended up making a classic bloopers video to show our grandkids!

Teaching online highlights
Wednesday the 15th April was our first official day back and I started the day periods 1 & 2 with my 9’s in a double period, 9KMe.  We had 20 students on at one stage which was great.  My non-contact periods 3 & 4 were spent supporting a member of my team in sorting out his calendar issues and then I popped into 4 other classes who were all in a hangout with at least one student.  It was really cool to see my team interacting with their kids.  Period 5, I had year 13’s and 17 students showed up in the hangout which was awesome.  I finished the day checking in on a year 10 class Sos which had about 4 students in it.  We talked about how the'd been whilst on holiday in their bubbles.  They were excited to be talking to their classmates in the hangout.

Thursday saw more meetings and my double year 13’s.  I actually bought a whiteboard before the lockdown and used it to keep our learning goals in view behind me for kids to refer to when needed.  Because the 13's were working independently on a number of different social issues, we decided to stagger when they would attend class to 20 minute slots.  I put it into the chat and allowed students to jump in and out of the hangout when they needed to.  Friday was much the same.  It was a full on week and by the end of it, I was really happy with how much our kids and staff had connected with each other.  I felt really positive and pretty exhausted!

TAI2020 Analysing Data #1: PAT and E-asttle

One of the important tools that I will use to show progress for my year 9 Inquiry group will be an analysis of their PAT reading comprehension data and their e-asttle data.  There are 27 students in the class, 11 male and 15 female.
The results are shown in the graphs below.

On analysis, it shows that in reading, the girls are slightly higher then the boys where as for writing, the boys are at the lower end compared to the girls.  I want to explore more evidence as to why this could be through the other tools I have previously written about.

Monday, 6 April 2020

TAI2020 WFRC Inquiry task #3: Building an accurate student profile

Inquiry task #3: 

My task is to describe the tools/measures/approaches I plan to use to get a more detailed and accurate profile of students’ learning in relation to that challenge.  I will also try to justify why I chose these approaches and tools.

(Note: Although my hope is to inquire into how teachers collaborate as well as our students, my focus for answering the inquiry questions will focus on the students).

My challenge is to see if implementing the strategies involved in the ‘Talanoa’ will help my learners to collaborate better in their project based groups.  I feel that by doing this it will help my learners to make accelerated shifts across the board in reading and writing.

Raising the literacy levels for our junior school in reading and writing is a focus across all curriculum areas.  Is it key to preparing our students for the challenges of NCEA in the senior school. I would like to if the Talanoa could be used as a tool to enhance learning.  My efforts in the past have not been entirely successful in incorporating the Talanoa, as my focus has been raising the achievement in writing for my learners and Talanoa became lost in translation.  My idea is to equip students with the tools to talk their learning by using well-researched strategies, in a hope that it would support their literacy learning better and provide positive outcomes for the learners.

Planning changes:
  • I am conscious of the fact that we have a non-teacher driving the course.  My plan is meet with Karl more regularly to plan ahead to ensure that we are on track with the projects vision as well as meeting the achievement objectives of the junior school Social Studies programme.
  • I need to identify which skills students need in preparation for asttle and PAT tests but also to meet the curriculum standards.
  • I need to check the Literacy learning progressions and figure out which ones will benefit students not just in Social Studies but across the curriculum.
    • It describes the specific literacy knowledge, skills, and attitudes that students draw on in order to meet the reading and writing demands of the curriculum. Teachers need to ensure that their students develop the literacy expertise that will enable them to engage with the curriculum at increasing levels of complexity and with increasing independence. As students progress through schooling, they need to be able to read and write increasingly complex texts and to engage with increasingly complex tasks.
  • I need to regularly meet with all the teachers and team involved with the class to ensure the groups targets are met and any concerns are raised before my teaching the class again.
  • I need to develop a centralised ‘dropbox’ for strategies, tips and tools that each of the teachers have found worked/didn’t work. 
Instructional changes:
  • I need to understand that my theory of the teacher at the front of the class is to be used only when needed.
  • I need to ensure that I spend equal amounts of time with each group to ensure their projects are heard.  
  • I need to provide opportunities for students to co-design the lesson and teach other students skills that are needing reinforcement.
  • I need to provide differentiated activities and tasks to suit the varied learning needs in the class.
Data:  PAT/E-asttle
  • I want to analyse the students’ results to help me profile their learning abilities and understand where the strengths and gaps are.  
Student voice
  • I want to regularly have a number of students provide one on one feedback.  This could be done by creating a student council.
  • I want to send out a student voice survey to identify what is going well and what we need to work on.
Colleague/Literacy expert observations
  • I want to meet with Dr Jannie at least fortnightly to help me manage my inquiry better.  I tended to drift off at the end of 2019 and failed to complete my evaluation properly and I don’t want that to happen again this year.
  • I would like an expert to observe the interactions between the teaching team and the students as well as the project groups themselves.
COL teachers expertise
  • I hope to meet with the other COL teachers at our school to see how they are going and share highlights and lowlights.  This creates a sense of colleguiality around our inquiries.
  • I plan to utilise the learnings that Nicola Wells found in her comprehensive Inquiry last year around raising the reading levels of her year 9 class.  It is a robust inquiry that has some key insights that I feel are valuable to understanding the complexities of reading for our learners. 

(I’d like to acknowledge Robyn Anderson’s blog posts on her TAI2020. They are written with such clarity and have helped me scaffold my own blog posts.  Thank you Robyn!)

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