Saturday, February 28, 2015

Teaching Inquiry (Writing)

This teaching inquiry will see me working collaboratively with another teacher.

The main question for us is: "How can we accelerate the progress of our group of students to where they should be in relation to the National standards?"  Using some initial data and knowledge of our students, we were able to establish a baseline and direction.

Focusing Inquiry questions:
  • What assessment information do we have?
  • What are our students' strengths?
  • What are our students' learning needs?
Our Inquiry: "How can we support students to learn/know alphabet names and sounds, which leads them to build words and ultimately putting words into sentences?"

Teaching Inquiry questions:
  • What instructional strategies will we use to help students achieve?
  • What resources will we need?
  • How will we differentiate to meet student needs?
  • How will we encourage student ownership of their learning?
  • What personal learning do we need to undertake? (Research/Readings/Support from others/Professional Development/Observations/videos)
  • Encourage student recording: Whiteboard, Student books, iPad - voice/ video, Student blogs, Shared Writing book
  • Relevant problems
  • Using materials: Flashcards, Class Wiki (ILP), Practice letter names & sounds
  • Providing challenge: Students relate writing to a picture
  • Learning buddy work: Share their writing/ story with a buddy
  • Questioning: provide thinking time

Our Learning Inquiry will look at:
  • What impact has our teaching had on our students?
  • How do we know, what is the evidence? (Assessment/Student feedback - feed forward/Observations)
  • What do we need to do next?
  • What changes could we implement?

Reflection: (To be elaborated on in due course)
See outcome in Teaching Inquiry (Writing) Reflection

"Success doesn't happen overnight. Keep you eyes on the prize and don't look back." 
- Erin Andrews ~

Saturday, February 21, 2015

"Kick-starting Learning in Term 1"

Annemarie confirmed the venue for our annual EducampRotovegas and I've had the e-Learning Smackdown slides and Sign-up form sorted long before schools started back for 2015.  We were ready and was looking forward to welcome educators to Rotorua.

Then we received this tweet from Network for Learning

and a blog entry by Andy Schick

Thank you N4L for recognizing teachers in this way!

We had a great turnout, the room was packed and it was wonderful to see so many newbies present.  The Smackdown did not disappoint, with a huge range of ideas and resources being shared.  

My Storify tells the story of the day, as it happened in the Twitter feed.

A warm thank you to all of the attendees! 

~ "To the world you may be 'just' a teacher, but to your students you are a HERO" 
- Unknown ~

Friday, February 13, 2015

'RTC Ready'

Connected Rotorua had a great start to the year with Shaun sharing his knowledge on how to manage evidence for the Registered Teacher Criteria.

He shared these Registered Teacher Criteria (RTC) Reference Sites

Shaun has been using Google Slides to collect evidence for his RTC. I've used his Google Slides since 2012 and personally find this to be a valuable tool [to use] to collect my evidence. It is also easy to hyperlink particular posts from my blog, which I tag (label) with the RTC.
Two other examples of how blog posts are tagged (labelled) with RTC are from Shaun & Annemarie.

There is also a template in Google Sites, created by Leigh Hynes to use. Watch this video on how to find this template.

More RTC Templates

And then last, but not least using SOLO Rubrics by Pam Hook to self assess RTC.

~ "If you have a candle, the light won't glow any dimmer if I light yours off of mine."
- Steven Tyler ~

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Quadblogging success

Four classes and four teachers thoroughly enjoyed our quad in 2014!  We all agreed that we've made some great connections with each other and our classes.  As such, we've decided that we would like to keep in touch with each other in 2015.
Therefore we will continue our Quadblogging together in 2015 and have decided not to sign up for new quads.
The classess involved are:

Thank you to Barbs (creator of Quadblogging Aorearoa) for this great opportunity to be part of a blogging community in New Zealand Aotearoa.

PS. If you are still wondering if you should get involved, all I can say is "Go for it, your students will thank you for this opportunity!" 
Enjoy your Quadblogging journey. 

~ "Success is not final, failure is not fatal:  it is the courage to continue that counts." 
- Winston Churchill ~

Friday, February 6, 2015

Connecting with students - First week reflection

Our new school year started on an optimistic note.  We welcomed two new staff members and there is a positive atmosphere in our wonderful school.

It was fabulous to see how some of our students came running to their classes after their arrival.  They were happy and chatty. Another highlight for me was the chance to talk to parents/ caregivers and whānau.

One of my priorities for the first week back (although only three days of school), was to make connections with all students in the learning environment.  Activities for the first week back was planned and selected with the aim to collect student voice, to look for patterns of behaviour at different times and in different situations and to determine each student's strengths.  I became aware of different verbal and non-verbal behaviours, which will enable me to plan and cater for individual needs.  

We established "our GUIDE for a Happy and Successful Environment" (just some 'fancy' words for our Class goals/rules) which we tied in with some of our school's Virtues.  

As a group we also practiced saying our karakia during appropriate times [of the day] and I enjoyed seeing my students' happy and excited faces when involved in these activities.

Next week will see us establishing our Learning Buddy system among many other learning opportunities. 

~ "One hundred years from now... it will not matter what job I had, or what kind of car I drove, or how much money was in my bank account, but that I made the difference in the life of a child" - Unknown ~