Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Google Sites - Take One!

Reflection from my week. In the short couple of days before our DFI course this week I have tried to use screencastify in class as well as explain everything with my class.I have used this with my lower literacy group who are still learning english as a way for them to get milage with their reading. One of the tasks that they have to do is record themselves reading the book away from me. So I have made a small start to using some of the new things that I have learnt and will continue to do so over the next week!

This week our group met a few days earlier as there is the Manaiakalani hui on this Friday. Today we got an in depth tour of google sites which was very helpful and let us get our creative hats on! It was really good to see how to work google sites. I am really lucky I work in a shared space and we have a site for our team that was created for us by an expert at making google sites. Matt has taught me along the way how to add things on our site and how they work but it was a great chance today to see why I do it and why Matt has made it the way it is. Toady we got let loose on a google site and got the opportunity to be creative and make it in anyway we like. Because I love the way our class site is set out and how we use boarders I have used this today in making my own site. Below is the site I created which I am really happy with!

We were given the task of reading the story "The Lion and the Mouse" and then brainstorming the amount of activities that we could create from this one text. I worked in a group where we looked at year 4-6 and what ideas we could come up with. At first glance it would seem that it is just a reading activity however it is a really rich book that can be used in so many different ways. My site is show casing the book at one that can be used for literacy in my class. I really enjoyed the opportunity to be able to have a play and muck around with the site and not worrying that I might mess it up (which I have been told is very hard to do anyway) but was still nice to have a chance to play around. I also today learnt about a very valuable tool on blogger called blog lists as a gadget. I have added this to my professional blog and is something that I need to do for my own class on my class blog! That is definitely something I will be going home to do tonight!

Friday, 18 August 2017

Screencastify on a Chromebook

We have had a really busy day of learning today, took my teacher hat off and put my student one on. Not only have I learnt about using ipads and explain everything but also about screencastify. In my class at school we have been looking at positive blog commenting and what we should be posting on others blogs. This has been a great session because I have the ability to see why and how I should teach this in my classroom. The following video is about how to create a quality blog comment on one of my students blogs.

By being able to show how to complete a quality blog it has allowed me to see the importance of it and I hope that it will show the importance to my students as well. I am going to show this post to my class so they can see that I value this as well and is something that I use when commenting on their blogs. It has been really great being able to learn how to use screencastify so that I can use it when trying to explain work that I want to be rewindable and also be able to know the basics to teach my students. I will definitely use this in my class over the next week. I am very excited and can't wait to see how it turns out.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Explain Everything

This week  was my chance to become one of my students and really become familiar with being able to use a Chromebook. I found this very useful and important because it is a tool that my students use every day. I always refer back to the saying that students are not at school to teach the teachers how to use these things so it was defiantly about time that I learnt how to use the devices that each of my students are on so that I am not needing them to teach me!

Before today I knew the basics I knew how to turn it and the ctrl shortcuts for copy, paste and cut but that was as far as my knowledge went. This session has allowed me to see how my students are using their Chromebooks and the opportunity to see some new tools that we can be using on class with our Chromebooks.

Today we also learnt about Explain Everything. This is a term that I have heard all of the time but not something I knew a thing about! It was one of those things where if people were talking about it I would smile and nod and get about my day! But explain everything is amazing, it is definitely something I will be trying to use in my class. I have a couple of students who has just arrived in New Zealand in the last couple of terms so the reading activities on the i-pads will be incredibly helpful for them. Below is a video I have created on an explain everything and what I have learnt and how I can use this in my class.

I am also going to explore over the weekend how to use this in my maths program so that there is the opportunity for rewindable learning. What I have been reflecting on a lot at the moment is how engaged my student's are when they are working independently so I want to use this to be able to make my teaching available when the students need it and be able to look back. I think by using this as a way to record the explanation and show the expatiation will be an incredible tool and asset to my teaching. This will give students the opportunity to come back as many times as they need to hear and understand the concept.

Watch this space I will be exploring this over the next few weeks and will let you know how I get on! I am very excited to see this in action.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Digital Fluency Intensive - Google Hangouts

This week at our digital fluency intensive we have been looking at mail, calendar and hangouts. This has been a very helpful session to see the features that I wasn't already aware of. We had a really great chance to use goggle hangouts with Dorothy over in Australia as a whole group, it was something I had never done before so was something that I will be able to use in the classroom and also at home. 

This week our focus was on creativity with our learners. It is important to make sure that our students have the opportunity to create something however not just creating for the sake of creating. Creativity is an important element in our classrooms for our students to have this opportunity. I have learnt today that not all of our ideas are going to go as planned however there is the opportunity to learn in all of these trials in teaching. 

Later on today we had the chance to be creative ourselves and use google hangouts. We broke into groups of three and had the chance to look at some work from the other teachers in our cluster and see how they had incorporated creativity into their learning. Jocelyn, Kiriwai and I chose an activity that was shared from Room 1 at Ruapotaka school. This activity showed a class that had been given a piece of paper and see if they could make it fly. 

The video above shows our google hangout as a group and what we have learnt about creativity. This has also shown our take on this activity and what we think the teacher has done to create learner agency and creativity. It was really helpful looking at other teachers and schools ideas as they are activities that we can incorporate in our own teaching and learning.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Google Forms and Sheets

Today we learnt about google forms and google sheets, at the beginning of our lesson we had the opportunity to fill out a google form with the place in the world that we had our best holiday. We have then used this information and put in into a google map. I had no idea that this existed so is definitely something that I will be sharing with my students and will be using in the future.

This week I have learnt so many things that will help me with my teaching in a digital school, using these tools that I have to the best of my ability will not only help me but also help my students. The things that I have learnt in google sheets today are definitely something that I can share with my class and use in class with things such as my blog log and other things I make for my class.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Digital Fluency Intensive - At home in a digital world

This term I have the privilege of attending the digital fluency intensive which will be every Friday for Term 3. This week we have been looking at the Manaiakalani Kaupapa and the journey of Manaiakalani. This week I have learned the origins of Manaiakalani and how we are where we are now. I have learnt many new things with google docs and google drive which I will be able to transfer into my teaching. This will allow me to ensure that my students know how to use these correctly and to maximum potential. The Manaiakalani Kaupapa I chose to use for my poster was “at home in a digital world.”

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Inquiry update - Term Two

This term my focus was more specific to my maths teaching and the holes in my students learning. This term we had swimming lessons for the first three weeks of the term which had an impact on our maths lessons not so much with the lack of time for learning but with the routine in our class. The lack of routine and consistency threw my students so at the beginning of week 4 we had to regroup as a class and set out our behaviour guidelines as a class. Behaviour management became a focus this week but because I had established this in Term 1 it didn't take as long to get back to normality. I used my behaviour management strategies from last term to get the class back on track which gave me the ability to look at the gaps in the students learning.

The gaps that I found with my learners was their place value knowledge, especially when we were looking at place value past the decimal point. In my first inquiry meeting Russell gave me some great ideas in how to make this fun and exciting for my students. An activity that we did as a class was using chalk to draw on the ground our arm span, hand span, foot span and our height. Once they had drawn this on the group and then had to use a ruler to measure this. This allowed a fun activity for my students to see decimals in a different environment! I had great results with this and hope to continue this for the rest of the year!