Saturday, December 20, 2014

End of year reflection (2014)

One of my goals this year: 'Educating Life-long Learners'

Reflecting on My opinion:
I was able to build good relationships with my learners and had build their confidence and skills to ensure their learning is successful, enjoyable, meaningful and lifelong.

Reflecting on: My aim this year?
Learners were motivated to be active, engaged and connected learners for life, whilst getting them to use and apply the NZC Key Competencies and any other resources available to them through KidsedchatNZQuadblogging Aotearoa and 'Pass the Blog'.

Reflecting on: How will I do this?
1.  Learners were educated on how to make choices, how to think and learn
3.  Each learner were valued for what they do well (using weekly assembly awards)
4.  Learners knew they matter

With my 'Teaching as Inquiry (Maths)' my main question was: "How can I accelerate the progress of my focus group of students to where they should be in relation to the National standards?" and My Inquiry became about: "How can I support these students to show and explain their thinking?"

  • What impact has my teaching had on my students? -> After introducing a concept, I encouraged student recording. Outcome:  Students were happily engaged in maths activities and considered it to be "their favourite time of the day".
  • How do I know, what is the evidence? (Assessment/Student feedback - feed forward/Observations) -> Outcome:  Evidence about it here
  • What do I need to do next? -> I provided students with the opportunity to [independently] explore and experiment further. -> Outcome:  Students created their own problems. See some examples here
Taking everything in consideration (as well as positive feedback from classroom observations), I feel confident that this inquiry was completed successfully.

I have also completed reflections on my eFellow14 inquiry, Reading Recovery training, uLearn14 experience and TeachMeetNZ presentation.

~ "Working hard becomes a habit, a serious kind of fun. You get self-satisfaction from pushing yourself to the limit, knowing that all the effort is going to pay off." - Mary Lou Retton ~

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Reading Recovery - a year in reflection

I have always been keen to try out new things to enhance my learning and improve my teaching, but when I learned that I will be involved in training as a Reading Recovery Teacher this year, I was almost struck with fear. However, that fear was quickly laid to rest when I experienced the specialist guidance, incredible support and positive feedback from our tutor, Wendy.  As a group, we fitted in well with each other and we were able to discuss many aspects of our teaching and training together. 

My thoughts, reflections and general comments on this year:
  • The training course give me insight into how children read and write and I realised that many children who have managed to learn almost all letters and sounds and to read and write several words still cannot read the simplest text.  To successfully read texts children must divide their attention between meaning and other sources of information and make decisions in the same way that mature readers do, but within their limited repertoire of knowledge.
  • I became aware that I've changed my teaching to focus on strategies to enable children to use efficient strategies to get meaning from texts as they read for meaning as this increased their ability to use print as cues and phonological cues to generate, confirm or alter their responses.

What aspect of the course did I find most challenging?
  • What? Making sure I use & complete the right forms at the right time (Observation Survey excluded). Why? Everything was new and there are multiple forms to be completed for different aspects in the programme.

My biggest highlight and lowlight:
  • Highlight: The problem-solving that the children did as they pursue meaning through the reading and writing of whole texts that built the store of words and word-parts that they can identify and recall.  To experience how proud the children are of their progress and how their self-confidence has grown.

Feeling grateful to have received this positive feedback from a parent:

Lowlight:  Slow progress/acceleration and limited support from home for some children.

Thank you Wendy (our Tutor), Gayle, Angela, Karen, Robyn, Haylee, Sharon and Heather for a wonderful year of learning and laughs!  We have worked hard and although we felt unsure at times, it was great to experience how we've started to believe in ourselves and how we have grown in confidence. Yay, we've made it!

Our Celebration lunch and last get together as a group....

~ "The capacity to learn is a gift; The ability to learn is a skill; The willingness to learn is a choice" - Brian Herbert ~