Tuesday, 9 July 2019

EdTeach Summit Day Two

Image result for New Ideas I came into todays sessions very excited and eager to learn again. We started the day off with a session from Kim Pollishuke which was incredible. Her session was titled Lets build an elevator to the moon. This session was very powerful as it showed that there are no limits in what we are teaching our learners and we should be empowering our learners to feel the same and that their ideas and aspirations should have no limits. This session inspired me as a classroom teacher to show my learners that their learning it limitless as well as what they can achieve which is something that I will definitely being taking back to my classroom.  I want my learners to be encouraged and excited about their learning and know that they possibilities for their education and what they can learn is what they make of it. I learnt how to use many tools in this session to engage my learners and make them feel excited and empowered. 

The next session that I went to was one of Kim Pollishuke's as well. This session was titled DocAppender for Descriptive Feedback Organization. In this session we learnt how to use Google Forms in order to be able to write continued feedback about our learners after sessions or observing them in the classroom. I think this is going to be an extremely useful tool that I am going to be able to use in my classroom. During this session as I my inquiry is around reading I created a from that I can fill in for my learners around literacy and the gains that they are making. After this session I reflected on how we could use this tool in our maths sessions for my team to track progress. I have worked on a basic template which I am very excited to share with my team when I get back to Auckland. 

The second session was one in which I presented again with Hannah West. This was on how to set up a new google site for beginners. This was a smaller turn out but it was great to see a handful of people from the session that we had taken yesterday. In this session we focused more on the create part as gave the people in our session the chance to create a site with the opportunity to ask questions and have support from myself and Hannah. This session again went really well and was nice to be able to share our own knowledge with others. 

The last session that I went to was with Kim Pollishuke and this was titled Putting Stories on the Map. This session appealed to me as reading is my focus and I wanted some extra tools to help it become engaging and exciting. This session was great as I have been using google my maps in the classroom with my learners which showed that it is a great tool to use. This session showed me some new ways of using this tool and how I could use this to locate each learners culture in one single map that everyone could have access to. I also learnt about many new great map tools that can bring reading to life for my learners. 

Today again opened my eyes to the number of tools that I can bring into my classroom and share with my learners as well as my colleagues. I have learnt so much in these last two days which I cannot wait to share with others when I get back. I am so grateful and thankful for this experience and cannot wait for term three to being. I hope that I have inspired others as much as I have been inspired over this conference.   

Monday, 8 July 2019

EdTeach Summit Day One


undefinedMy first day left me feeling excited and ready for what next term has to offer. I learnt so much as I also found that many of the things I am doing are working and I hope to continue this in the terms to follow.

Today was our first day at the EdTech Summit in Sydney. Already in one day my eyes have been opened to other possibilities in my classroom as well as having the affirmation that some of the things I am already using are working. To start the day off we had play ground sessions which were short 10 minute sessions where we were able to see some of the incredible tools that we could be using in our classroom. The sessions that I attended were:



  • Coding for K2-using Beebots - Sharon Cooper
    In this session we were able to experiment with Beebots and how we could use these in our classroom. Coming from a term of using coding with my students this was a great session to see how I could use this coding in real life situations with my learners. This is showing how the coding that they are using is happening with a tangible tool.
  • Simple AR (Augmented Reality) in the palm of your hand - Lorinda Ferry
    This session not only showed the wonder of the cube that we can use but also the incredible tools that are available on Google which can be used with a phone or an iPad. My takeaway from this session was the ability for learners to be able to use iPads in the classroom to show creatures such as sharks in their own reality. Something which I know many of my learners would enjoy.
  • Maths Makerspace - Fiona Thomas 
    As maths has been a new learning step for us as a school using DMiC in our classrooms this session was very helpful with how to make follow up tasks and activities engaging and hands on for our learners. The tool that we use here in one that I could see working in my classroom and have the potential for my learners to solidify knowledge with a hands on experiences. 
After the playground sessions we went right into the 90 minute sessions which opened my eyes to many more possibilities but also showed that what I am using in the classroom is not only working for my learners but is something that many educators around the world are suggesting to be used in the classroom. The first session that I attended was digital storytelling. 

Digital storytelling tools to support diverse range of learners - Fiona Thomas 

In this session we were introduced to a number of different tools that we can use in the classroom to engage learners in literacy. This session was one which made me feel a sense of what I am doing in my classroom is working and some other elements that I could add in. I have been using text to type in my classroom for my literacy program which I think has been working well and this was a tool that was suggested in this session. There are a number of tools that I will be using from this session around language and vocabulary from this session so watch this space as I will update about this as I trial these in my classroom. 

Scratch 3.0 "Make some noise" - Dave Winter

We have been using scratch in our team this term and it was a fairly new tool for me to be using in my classroom. I had already learnt so much about how to teach this for my learners and I am still very eager to learn more which is why I chose this session. Dave's session opened my eyes to even more possibilities with using scratch. Many of my learners love creating music and sound effects which I had no idea was possible on scratch. This session was great as we were able to create our own scratch dance offs and music to go with our scratch games or sprites. This is definitely something I will be using in my classroom.
Image result for cogs in brain
The last session of the day was one in which myself and Hannah West presented together. Our session was tips and trick for new google sites. I felt that this session went really well and we had a great turn our of people. The great part about the session was that people were engaging and asking questions which was what we were hoping for. We touched on our school and showed all of the things that our learners were doing in the classroom and everyone was very interested and excited to see what our learners are achieving.

This gave me a chance to reflect that what we are doing is working and that giving our learners the opportunity to learn, create and share is incredible and adds so much value to our learners and what they are achieving. It made me feel very blessed and thankful to be apart of such an amazing group of schools with an incredible support system. 

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Term 2 Check in

Term 2 Data 

This term we had testing and reports and I was able to use running records to see how my learners were getting on and to see if the things we have been doing in class have been working. With the testing I found that all of my learners managed to pass one reading level and most made progress of 0.5 - 1 year in reading. This was huge for some of my learners who have not made much shift in reading. 

What did I find out?
From completing these running records I found out that there are two main areas that need work in order for my learners to progress. One of the big things was vocabulary what I am finding is that they are able to read these words from sounding out and looking at blends but they are unsure of what these words mean. Another main thing that needs work is inferring as well as applied knowledge. These will be the focus of what we will be working in order to continue to raise reading achievement. 


What is working?
  • Screencastify:
    • Still really engaged with this activity and listening to themselves reading. 
  • Listening to the story again:
    • Listening to the story after we have read to look out for those new words and see how they are pronounced. Gives reading mileage as well.
  • Reading tumble:
    • Having a reading tumble in place so that each of the students knows what they are supposed to be doing and when. 
  • Assigned seats:
    • Having a set place to sit and complete work is helping with focus and completing work. 

    Where to next?


    • Focus on vocabulary:
      • Spelling lists every week.
      • Silent reading every day.
      • Vocabulary tasks every week as part of guided reading.
      • Spelling practice part of the reading tumble
    • Reading activities:
      • Screencastify (continue on with this)
      • Follow up activities that require the students to create and use the text they have read to answer questions and find information. 
      • Recording some of the stories that we have read that aren't available on TKI - maybe have students reading these. 
    • Link to inquiry:
      • Information fact sheets - needing to look up new vocabulary
      • Front load vocabulary and have this accessible on the wall.
    MIT where to?


    Over the school holidays I am going to be creating a tool for this group of readers as a space where they can find all of the things that they need to work on. I am still not 100% sure what this will look like but will be something that is beneficial for my learners and will help engage my readers and also at the same time help to boost reading achievement. So again watch this space!

    Sunday, 26 May 2019

    Term 2 Inquiry Update

    This term has been one of trial and error and trying to figure out the best way to use digital tools in the classroom with reading. This term is report time so I am currently underway with completing running records. Hopefully this data will show some shift so watch this space as I will update this as soon as I have all of this data.

    Text to type:
    Text to type has been working with some of my learners with their reading. I found learners were able to find the words they had said incorrectly while they were reading however they weren't really doing much with this after. This is still something that I will continue to use in the classroom throughout the year as an extra activity. I liked the idea of the students going away and reading the text again and being accountable for this reading. I wanted something along these lines that would also be something they could revisit so I decided to try something else.

    What is the something else?
    I decided to try and use screencastify and record themselves reading the story or article again after they were reading with me and their group. Along with this they needed to listen to themselves reading while following along with the journal that they had read. The results so far have been fantastic. They students are very engaged and loving this activity, they are also loving the ability to listen to themselves back. I have been using this for a few weeks now and have very engaged readers in my classroom. This idea has evolved over the weeks as I reflected how it was presented to my students and this might have been too much. They were having to reflect what their reading was like which was a challenge so what I have changed it to is answering a few questions about how they thought that they read. There are examples of this in the slide deck below. One is a completed screencastify recording and the other is a completed text to type presentation.



    Where to next?
    I want to continue to try and use these types of activities into the reading session. One thing I am trying to start is that the learners are then able to go and listen to the story read by someone else. On TKI many of the newer school journals level 1 and 2 and junior journals have this feature. This allows the students to pick up on the words that they may have got wrong both during our guided time and their time reading and this helps confirm the new words and make sure they are reading them correctly. This is another activity that they are enjoying. This is meaning that the learners are exposed to the text in three different ways and they are always needed to use the journal to follow along. This is something that I will continue to work for the rest of the term and into next term. Other work ons are to complete my site where the students can have access and these extra activities. I would like to have this ready for my learners to be working on by the end of this term. So watch this space!

    Sunday, 31 March 2019

    Term 1 Update

    This term has been one of trial and error to see what is going to work and what might not work so well in my class. I have been bouncing ideas off some of my colleagues and have worked out where I would like to go next. I would like to observe a reading support session to see what my students are experiencing to try and compliment this incredible experience for my learners back in the classroom. While I was looking at my next steps for my inquiry and my learners I decided to have a look at the running record data for my 7-9 year old readers over the last 3 years. I found that some of them have been stuck (for lack of a better word) in the levels for one or more years. This has made me rethink my own teaching and how I focus my guided reading sessions. I have found that just focusing on comprehension for some of these students is not helping with achievement. I need to focus on learning to read as some of my students are still grappling with this concept. 



    My next steps are to trial some of my ideas in the classroom and see if they are successful. I would also like to test these learners with a running record in the next week so that I am able to have further insight into the gaps in learning. I am hoping to have a lot of these ideas in my reading sessions next term and find out what works, what doesn't and what I might need development on. I am excited to see this roll out into action. 

    Monday, 25 March 2019

    KPMG Session 1

    Today we had our first session at KMPG. We were given the opportunity to talk through our ideas and what we have been thinking about our prototypes. It was really great to be able to explain to people what I was trying to achieve and ask for advice on ideas that I have been challenged with over the last month. Straight after the hui when I was back in my classroom I trialed the voice to type tool on google docs. After a guided reading session with some of my reading groups I sent them away to re read their journal article. In stead of just getting the learners to read silently I asked them to read the journal to the voice to type tool. This allowed the learners to see which words they were getting wrong when they were reading and the opportunity to fix those words or work out how they fit into the sentence. It was a great success with student engagement they were very excited to try this out with a number of students asking if they could read to their chromebook every day. I am needing to figure out how to hi-light the words that have been changed because they got the word wrong and I also need to figure out if the chromebook is accurately picking up the words that they are trying to say. This was something that I had the chance to discuss at the session today and have many ideas of how to make this work better in my classroom. During our session today we had the chance to pitch our prototype to the rest of the group and receive feedback on what we need to work on next. This is the original idea that I had drawn up in our session today:


    I received some great feedback today and was challenged on how this is going to work and what acts of intentional teaching I am going to show though this site. This was  great experience as I was able to really think about what I am trying to create and see what others thought of this so far. It has made me rethink about some of the ideas that I am trying to add and has also given me a number of things to try in my class to see if they are going to work and help create the shift that I am trying to achieve in my class. Being challenged on my idea I think will help me to make it better and cater to the needs of my learners. It was a massive learning curve and has given me a great deal to think about. This just leaves the question of:
    Where to next?

    Tuesday, 5 March 2019

    MIT Hui Final Day

    Today started with a bit of reflection about what we are going to be trying to achieve with our inquiry this year. We had a chance to sit down with the idea's of the crazy 8 that we completed yesterday to think about what our first prototype might look like. I started the morning very unsure about where to start with my prototype and what it might look like. I began to contemplate all of the advice I was given yesterday and think about how that might sit with my own vision. 


    We were then given the opportunity to work by ourselves and play around with what we might want our prototype to look like. I still had my initial idea in the forefront of my mind but as I began to think about how it might look added in details from what I had discussed with my colleagues yesterday made it sit better and look like a site that would be helpful for what I am trying to achieve. It is a work in progress and I will re visit this over the next few weeks and add and take away from it as I need to. Watch this space!