Sunday, December 24, 2017

2017 Recap - Maths Inquiry

Wow! I learned a lot about my teaching and how these amazing children learn this year.  My one thing I got out of this year was how important knowledge is for our kids, and how often you as a teacher we need to focus on their knowledge.  So I didn't teach strategies to the kids as much they came up with a lot of their own amazing ways of solving problems with the knowledge that they had!
What an amazing year of learning!


Monday, October 23, 2017

Term 4 Inquiry - What next?

This term i'll be focusing on shifting these kids into/through stage 5.  I'll focus on repetition and looking at the specific vocabulary used during maths time.  My kids have been working really hard and when they have been tested I will keep you posted!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Term 3 Inquiry - Where are we headed?

For those who are following my inquiry, this term i'm focusing more directly on how I can make the shift from stage 4 into stage 5 to my priority children.  I will be trying different ways of pushing these kids into stage 5.  Stay tuned to see if it works!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Maths PD - Rich Activities

Today we were very lucky to have Jo Knox come and present to us.  She talked about how open ended questions can be so much more effective than just a closed question.  She used an awesome example, she showed us her hand that was photocopied and blown up on A3 paper and said to us that we needed to tell her how tall the 'giant' was.  We then needed to use multiple different strategies and the conversations that we were having were very rich.  In the end we were able to measure our own hand and our height.  We then found the ratio and were able to apply this to the giants hand, which gave us his height.

This is something in my teaching that I don't do enough of, giving students open ended questions that they need to spend some time on.  This has definitely made me realise after doing this activity that sometimes a very basic activity like this can be so effective.  The conversation will be rich, and giving the children the opportunity to struggle at something and have to make lots of errors before they get the answer right can be very effective.

Incorporating different strands of maths can be very powerful, during this one activity we used measurement, multiplication, division, and addition.   Being able to use real life questions so they're able to comprehend the question and a reason for solving the problem is also very important.

This was such a great session, and I took so much out of this PD, thanks heaps Jo!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Maths Inquiry - Term 2 - How's it going? The data...

After a long term I have recapped and looked back at my inquiry and where my students are, what's working, what's not.  Kahoot is so much fun, have a go! The knowledge that we are working on is helping, we just need to now incorporate it into the strategies we are learning in class.  I will be now looking at different ways of getting students through the add/sub strand of stage 4..  Any suggestions? Please comment and let me know.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Reflection - Digital Intensive

Today is our last day on our Digital Intensive Course.  We have learned so much and I have connected with so many colleagues in our cluster and around the wider Auckland.  This morning I sat my Google Certified Educator Level 1 Exam and passed.  This wouldn't have been possible if it wasn't for Dorothy, James and the team who helped make this possible for me.

I now hope to better my understanding even further around Google tools and in the near future will sit my Level 2 Certificate.  What an amazing opportunity for myself as I look to my future as a young teacher.  I would definitely advise anyone that gets the opportunity to do this course, not only does it enhance your skills and show all the different tools you are able to use, it connects you with other teachers in our cluster.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Trip to Pt England - Sites

Today we started off with a brief korero around what we had done in our classes this week.   We then went into Pt England School to watch Pat Snedden receive his Queens award.  We are so lucky to have Pat help us, not just our cluster, but all of our children as they strive to succeed.  Our school sung a waiata for Pat and his wife and then performed a very emotional haka.

Soon after we were off back to the Manaiakalani headquarters.  We talked more about sites and got a chance to critique each others sites, it got heated..  It was a great opportunity to let people know what looked amazing and what needed changing, this turned into great discussion.  I needed to have a look at how many fonts I had on my site, as you should only have 2.

We then talked about a database that Angela Moala has created for Multimodal reading.  We then discussed if something could be made for iPad teachers, Dorothy then created a Google Sheet and teachers have already started adding their activities to this shared google sheet.  I think this is such a wonderful idea, but it did get me thinking...

If we have a database for Multi text reading for chrome books, why can't we have a database for Maths Activities?  Above is the google sheet for the explain everything maths data base.  If we were able to share our resources and use our colleagues resources not just in our cluster but around NZ, it would be such an amazing overall resource.  If you were to write a one sentence description about what your activity was focused on and what stage it was targeted for, the other teachers would instantly know if it was something that would want to use or not.  If multiple people got behind this, it would be amazing.  Anyway, something to sleep on..

Thanks once again to Dorothy and James for making this day happen, we are all continuously learning so many different things that are helping our teaching every week.  

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Visible Learning - Google Sites

Today we talked about making learning visible.  We discussed all the different audiences that we have.  When our children are asked the simple question "How was school? What did you learn today", instead of answering with "nothing mum" or "I can't remember" parents can say "show me what you learned today".  Having our learning made visible makes it easier not just for our children but for our whanau as well, they are able to connect with their children and have discussions around the learning they're doing in class that week.  Our class site is easy to access and whanau are able to see exactly what their child is learning about each week.

We were very lucky to have Mr Matt Goodwin come and run a session on HTML and how you can use image mapping.  We had a main image which we sized to fit the page.  We then went into pixlr and were able to find the co-ordinates for the different parts of the image.  The awesome feature image mapping has is that it doesn't open new tabs, it stays on the same website.  Have a go!

I will use image mapping on my class site with different images, it has already given me great ideas of how I can modify my site this year and different ideas for creating my site for next year for my children.  This is the site I made today.

Thank you to Dorothy, James and Matt for sharing all their knowledge around making learning visible and using HTML on sites.

Relection - 8/7

This week we had a very busy week.  I was able to lead our team meeting about Kahoot, I showed the teachers in our team how I use Kahoot for Maths knowledge.  We discussed how it can be such an amazing asset to your teaching because of the engagement and the competition it brings to the students.  My students absolutely love it and we do it twice a week, the children get so excited for 'Kahoot Day'.   Other teachers in our team are doing this in their classroom as well now, they have also had success with the engagement and fun that it brings to the children.

We also had the opportunity of doing a Google Hangout with my Dad.  One of my reading groups were reading a book about changing a tyre, and my Dad is a mechanic.  My Dad was able to do a Google Hangout and show the children how to change a tyre, he took them through a step by step way of what tools you need to use, then how to do it.  The kids were amazed that the tyre could come off that fast.  The children then had questions that they were able to ask him and it went really well.  It was an awesome experience for the children and my Dad!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Cyber Smart & Google Sites

Today we had Fiona come in and talk about being Cyber Smart.  What does it mean to be Cyber Smart, what should the children be posting on their blogs?  Fiona talked about the Cyber Smart curriculum and how we need to implement this in our classrooms.  We discussed now that we are all working in digital schools how we each have digital footprints and how you can find these.  We also talked about analytics with sites.  I often show my children who's been looking at our site and they're amazed that people from Canada, America, and Samoa view our class site.

After this we then looked at the basics around sites, we created our own site which you can see below.  We talked about inserting youtube videos and how to embed them properly by changing the size of the video.  We used a 3 column site, next week we will look more into using HTML and using tables.  Today I found a site that makes it a lot easier to get the right size embedded youtube videos on your site, have a go!

We had another amazing day with lots of amazing new ideas to incorporate into our teaching this week.  Big thanks again to Dorothy and Fiona for sharing all these amazing ideas with us.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Share - Using Chromebooks

Today we focused on using a range of different devices, we used iPads, Chromebooks, and our mac books.  We discussed things that had worked in our class this week and what hadn't.  I used Kahoot multiple times this week.  My children loved it, we used it for whole class Maths Knowledge.  This ties in with my own inquiry into my teaching.  I had great engagement in this activity and will continue using it in my classroom.

We discussed the 'Share' out of 'Learn, Create, Share'.  There are so many different ways students are able to share their learning.  We can show it to a classmate, class, principal, whanau, our community and then we can share it with the world via our blogs.

We did the Digital Dig together, which is a resource made by Fiona Grant & Rachel Mackinlay.  This resource is amazing, it shows children shortcuts on their Chromebook and how to use basic and more advanced tools on their device.  I learned how I can show my students all of these shortcuts, by using this poster that I created.
By using this with my students it will gift them so much knowledge about their Chromebooks and how to use them much more efficiently.

We then made a screencastify about some of our own student's blogs.  We discussed our children's blogs, how many views they had, what was there most popular post?  Why do they get so many views?

Today was another amazing day, we learned so many helpful things that will my assist my teaching.  One thing that I learned how to do that will help my students is to be able to Screencastify.  I didn't know how to get my students to do this on their Chromebook.  So I will now be able to get them to explain their learning on their device and post it on their blog for their whanau and others to see.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Digital Intensive - Hangouts & Gmail

Today we looked at several different resources.  Our focus today was based on creativity, we discussed the 'CREATE' out of the 'Learn, Create, Share' Model.  We talked about 'empowerment' and how we can get our children to engage in their learning, we then discussed how we can get the children motivated.

We then looked at all the extras that Gmail can offer us.  You can use different filters to put separate emails in different folders.  I was able to make a folder for all the Blog Posts I get so I am able to look at them all at the same time in another folder.  We then went on and looked at Calendars and how you can organize your schedule.  Google Calendars provides the opportunity to share meetings with colleagues whilst sharing documents during the meeting also.  I was able to add several of my colleague's calendars to my calendar.

We then looked at Google Hangouts, how are these useful for teachers and our children?  You are able to have a discussion with anyone around the world at any given time.  You are also able to share documents and chat through Hangouts.  We had a discussion about a child's blog post.  You can see Norah's blog here.  We discussed what 'Create' can look like in the classroom.  We unpacked an activity and talked about the disadvantages this activity had and what was good about it.  This is our Google Hangout below.

I look forward to using Hangouts in the classroom and with other colleagues.  This will also give my children the opportunity to talk to professionals about different topic interests.  Thanks again to Dorothy and James for all of this amazing Professional Development we are getting.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Inquiry Maths - Term 2

Throughout the holidays and this term, I have been thinking about my inquiry.  I was starting to confuse myself, more than help.

There were other needs much greater in the classroom then this for me.  I was unsure of the road map and how it was going to help me. So I thought about looking at teaching place value knowledge to my students. This is a huge need for a majority of my students. I think by doing this not only will it help my students excel, but will better their understanding and fill the gaps in the learning that need to be filled.

To start this, I will observe different teachers throughout my school. I will try group work and whole class work to see what suits my children the best. Teaching place value knowledge is not a strength I have, therefore my students don't get this in their daily learning as much as they should. Buy bettering myself at teaching place value knowledge I won't only become a better teacher but this will also benefit my students.  I believe that if students do not have a very good understanding of place value knowledge, they will struggle to progress in maths. By doing this I hope that I will fill these gaps and give the students what they need to succeed in maths.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Digital Intensive - Forms & Sheets

Today we had our second Digital Intensive Session.  Today we focused on Google Forms and Google Sheets.  We met and discussed what we would be going over today.

We went over Google Forms and made several forms for our colleagues to fill out.  This was awesome as I was able to understand how I could assist my students and use Google forms in the classroom.  One way that I found would be very helpful is by making a Pick a Path (Form linked).  I will use this in my writing program that will give the students a story line, we will discuss vocabulary that can be used, then they can write the paths that they took in the Pick a Path story.

Click on the link here to do my pick a path story.

I learned about a website called Kahoot, where you are able to do a visible quiz with your whole class.  I'm going to personally do this for Maths Knowledge in my class, I think this will be a fun interactive way to teach Maths Knowledge in the classroom.

This was an amazing day and I learned lots of ideas that will enhance my teaching.  Thank you to Dorothy and James for making this happen.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Digital Intensive - Google Docs and Drive

I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to attend the Digital Intensive course every Friday in Term 2.  We will be looking at lots of different tools we can use to enhance our teaching.  

Today we focused on Google Docs, Google Drive and we looked at Hapara Teacher Dashboard. 
Did you know that you are able to comment on a students' piece of writing via Talk & Comment.  Rather than typing out your message to the student you are able to voice record a message that they are able to listen to on their learning device.  You are also able to use this tool to leave instructions on a document to make the learning rewindable.  

The John Davies Word Cloud is an online app which you can use several different ways, it takes the keywords out of a piece of text and makes them bigger than the rest of the words. (Photo on the left).  We looked at several extensions and add-ons that we can use to assist our teaching for eg. Grammarly, Easy Accents, Select & Speak and Docutube etc.

We then looked at Hapara - Teacher Dashboard and how we can better our knowledge and understanding around the site.  I teach in a Modern Learning Environment where we have 60 children and 2 teachers, today I learned that I am able to create groups for students to be put in to make it easier when having different learning groups during the day. 

There are some tools that work really well for the students, ourselves and then there are several tools that work for both the children and myself.  Below you'll see a Venn Diagram of these tools.      

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Maths Inquiry 2017

This year my focus for my inquiry is around Maths, I will be looking into how assessment and the understanding of the stages of maths can help me to teach and meet the needs of my students.

We will look at add/sub to see where my students are at and work out what they need to achieve to advance to the next level.  There is a big gap in the students learning based around fractions.

Firstly I'll be having discussions with senior members of staff and getting PD around Maths teaching to support my inquiry.  I will be letting the students know what they need to achieve to progress through to the next stage to give them responsibility of their own learning.

I will be working with the maths progressions a lot this year and seeing how I can use this to assist the students learning in my classroom.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Inquiry 2017

“How can I accelerate maths achievement by focusing on Maths knowledge with groups working below national standard?”

The Manaiakalani Community of Learning is working together on this task using the expertise existing in of our community of learning.

In 2017 for my inquiry I have selected the following CoL achievement challenge 

#4. Increase the achievement of Years 1-10 learners, with a focus on Years 7-10,  in reading, writing and maths, as measured against National Standards and agreed targets.

The teaching as inquiry framework I will be using in 2017 has been specifically co-constructed for Manaiakalani schools using our familiar Learn Create Share structure.
The elements in this framework share close similarities with other models New Zealand teachers use.

I will be labelling my posts as I update my inquiry throughout the year to make the content easy to access.

Label Key:

Learn - Gather Evidence
Create - Make a plan
Share - Publish
Learn - Scan
Create - Try new things
Share - Co-teach
Learn - Identify Trends
Create - Innovate
Share - Model
Learn - Hypothesise
Create - Implement
Share - Guide
Learn - Research
Create - Reflect
Share - Feedback
Learn - Reflect

Share - Reflect