Saturday, March 3, 2018

Zoo Reading Lesson - Class On Air

Throughout the year I will be updating my Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir site with links to my planning, resources, reflections, videos of my teaching, and links to the learners work on their blogs. There are 10 Manaiakalani teachers from various schools and levels for you to check out. It's 21st century window into our classrooms. 
Check out the whole ClassOnAir site here.

Here's  a preview of my latest lesson.

Direct Instruction
The learning intention for this lesson was to make connections with prior knowledge and share our own opinions. The video shows a reading lesson where the learners are focusing on whether animals should be in zoos or not. We then are lucky enough to speak to a zoo keeper and ask him some questions.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Weekend away in Kuatonu - My Inquiry

This weekend we were extremely luck to go away for a few nights and look in depth into our inquiries and realise exactly what we're doing.  I went into this weekend with a few ideas on what I wanted to do for my inquiry and now I have so many different ideas thanks to the MIT crew.

We arrived late Thursday night where we were able to have a nice relaxing evening getting to know each other, followed by a few very funny team building activities on Friday morning.

We were then able to get stuck in, my goodness I didn't realise how much my inquiry was going to change!  We did an activity where we put everyone who we thought would support us in our inquiry down on an A3 piece of paper, and my goodness there are a lot!  I'm incredibly blessed to have such an amazing team around me who will be able to help me take on this inquiry.

We then looked at the big 'WHY', why choose this inquiry, why will this help our children.  Our original inquiry idea was challenged.  This was incredibly helpful as it got us looking into the 'nitty gritty' of our inquiry.  I ended up turning my inquiry question around as I found it was only focusing on one way that I could engage students in writing.  My question has now become 'How can I engage and give learners ownership of their writing to increase achievement?'

We then critiqued each others inquiries and gave ideas on where we think we need to improve (seen above).  I needed more hard evidence/data supporting my ideas.  So I need to go back to the drawing board, and get the data and the evidence of why I decided to inquire into this part of my practise after all.

This was an amazing weekend away just focusing on my inquiry, I learned lots and was able to apply my new learning to my inquiry that I have decided to take on this year.

'How can I engage and give learners ownership of their writing to increase achievement?'

Thanks heaps to Dorothy, Anne, Jenny and Russell for making this weekend happen!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

2018 - What's happening? What's new?

This year I've been extremely lucky and have landed 2 extra positions, one being Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir, and Manaiakalani Innovative Teachers (MIT).  This year I will be inquiring into my writing practise and will be looking into how making movies can engage children in writing.  I will get students to write the scripts and to film the movies themselves I hope by doing this students will be more engaged and will have more ownership over there writing.

I'm very luck to be teaching in a shared space with 2 amazing teachers, we are teaching collaboratively and between us we have 79 year 3&4 children.  I'm extremely excited to learn and teach alongside these 2 amazing teachers.

This year I will be sharing my journey on my blog, so please comment and give me feedback, or ask any questions.

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!