Wednesday, 17 June 2015

HPS Interactive Workshop

On 17th June I was fortunate to attend a workshop to learn about "How to significantly improve outcomes for Maori, Pasifika and minoritised students in our school community. This workshop was led by two  motivating and thought-provoking facilitators: Laurayne Tafa and Clayton Wikaira. The aim of this workshop was to support your thinking around the issues, challenge and confront current practices and explanations, while providing researched responses.
We looked at a key question: "How can we improve student engagement in driving their own learning and improving academic outcomes?" In school community groups we worked together on a puzzle of practice to gain clarity on our school's current engagement priorities and practices. How do we as school's get student and community engagement in learning and academic achievement? What works and why it works.Together with teaching professionals from other local schools we sorted our ideas about community/ whanau/ student engagement into a needs/strengths/challenges/opportunities format. It was interesting to see that many of  the needs and challenges were similar  across schools.
Key Ideas to come from this activity were: Do the activities/strategies we put into place as a school to get whanau and community engagement really achieve that goal. We need to get parent's voice/ feedback i.e. after parent interviews have designated staff to ask parents questions such as 'What were you hoping to get out of the interview? How did you find it?  Schools need to do some critical reflection about what community activities they organise- what is the learning /purpose behind it, will it achieve what we want it to or are we doing this activity because its what the school has always done? From 'Ka Hikitea'- voices are critical and catalysts for change- ask students and parents the  right questions. Give parents the clear and specific information so they can understand what they need to do to support their child with their next steps in learning.
From the latest research and findings by Russell Bishop (Te Kotahitanga and Culture Counts): What makes the biggest difference- Relationship and high pedagogical knowledge! The teacher-pupil relationship and teacher- parent relationship is key. The teacher who cares and nutures, has high expectations, manages the classroom and behaviour, creates spaces for learning to happen and allows for purposeful learning talk.An authentic curriculum for students to relate to and catapault off from.
Have a shared vision of excellence in the classroom and across the school.
Use impact coaches and classroom observation checklist (Te Kotahitanga), co-construction meetings with staff, build teacher's ability to hold professional learning conversations with parents and students, support teaches to upskill with regular focussed PD - use data to inform areas of greatest need, watch video- 'Anjali's story' at staff meeting to discuss how one teacher's shift in teaching philosophy had a big impact on her student's learning and relationships with her students.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Te Reo Maori me ona Tikanga - Staff Workshop Week 3

On Tuesday 5 May  Kiri took  staff meeting to refresh teachers professional knowledge on  the three main second language acquisition methodologies that we should currently be using to teach Te Reo Maori kupu and kiwaha.

We revisited the IRDPX, Sandwich and iPpit methodologies which we  mainly use for kupu/vocab and kiwaha/phrase teaching.  These are based on Ellis' Principles of formulaic language, input, practice and output. We also revisited the 11 Principles of Instructed Second Language Acquisition (Ellis Erlam Sakui 2) and linked these theoretical principles with the above methodologies.
We also discussed the Te Reo Maori me ona Tikanga committee's plan for our Matariki Celebration in Week 9, 18th June and a brief overview for Maori Language Week in week 2 of Term 3. The theme for Maori Language week is Nga matua/ Whangaihia te Reo Maori ki nga Matua- To support parents to whangai/ foster the Maori Language with their tamariki.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Health Promoting Schools Cluster Meeting

As Leaders of the HPS(Health Promoting Schools) team at our school, Whaea Linda and myself attended the Whakatane HPS cluster meeting at Whakatane Hospital conference room on Friday 27th March.  The meeting was led by Carl Cowley and other members of the  HPS school  co-ordinators team.
Number one on the agenda:we  viewed and discussed the 'New and Improved HPS Toolkit' which is the new national school-community health and well-being self-review tool  based on the Ministry's health and wellbeing indicators. The process supports school communities to identify their strengths, and address their health, wellbeing and education priorities. At James Street School the HPS team has used the toolkit and completed the self-review tool using our 2014 findings ,progress indicators, community surveys and staff feedback. We were able to use the completed self-review tool to discuss future focus areas for Health and well-being in our school context and to support other Whakatane school HPS leaders with the process of filling out the self-review tool.
Number two on the agenda:we had an opportunity to log on to the Heart Foundations new free web-based programme for schools. We were introduced to the Lesson Plans and teaching resources available at the different primary/intermediate levels. This is an excellent web-site and of real value to teachers when planning Hauora units. The Unit plans include Te Reo vocab and tikanga as well as links to other curriculum areas. Linda and I thought it would be good if we were able to share this website with teachers back at school during syndicate meetings.
Number three on the agenda: The head public health nurse shared with us about a new skin infection campaign they have started. She shared resources such as posters and phamphlets that are available for schools and to include with school newsletters to inform parents.
Number four on the agenda: The new Regional Obesity Intervention Project. We viewed a video, that had recently screened on T.V,  where a GP outlined the seriousness of the sugar uptake in young chn/teens  and the links to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay. The aims of the new project were discussed and as a group we talked about ways we could help combat this urgent problem in our own school communities such as educating  parents about healthy options for food and drink, making it school policy that students can't bring takeaways/fizzy or energy drinks to school, Educating our students to read the ingredients,sugar content of food and drinks so that they make informed choice about what the purchase to eat and drink.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

House of Science PD

At this week's staff meeting we were fortunate to have Louise and Peter Maple( Green Gauge science) to come and talk about a new science initiative called 'The House of Science'. With the support of REAP and local businesses they have put together 19 science kits, covering a range of topics, that are available for schools to use. There will be a free trial for the rest of this term and from next term there will be a cost to schools to pay for replenishing kit stocks after use. The science kits contain lesson plans and equipment needed to implement with a class of children on such topics as 'Mystery Box- The nature of science' , 'Who Dunnit?- Forensic science' , 'What's the buzz?- Electricity' and others. Louise and Peter showed teachers how the kits work and we got to trial some of the lessons and equipment. They were motivating, hands-on and definitely promoted the use of science skills, knowledge  and attitudes.  The kits issue and return  will be administered by REAP.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Maths Teaching as Inquiry
At staff PD meeting we spent time identifying students in our class that are at risk because they are not meeting expectations for their time at school. We spent valuable time discussing with colleagues priority learning goals for identified students. This was valuable discussion time to identify  progressions and clarify next learning steps for each student.
Here are some good pointers from PD meeting:
Broaden student understanding by providing problems to solve that involve authentic challenges and opportunities to apply knowledge or strategy learnt in new situations.
Use other strands to pose problems that require students to apply number knowlegde
Use bigger numbers in problem solving
Don't waste learning opportunities teaching what they already know
Insist students use most advanced strategies known
Make sure students are extended across the strands and operational domains
Search out e-learning opportunities to practise skills and knowledge
Remember the ALiM resources on NZmaths when planning learning opportunities for at risk students
Fluid grouping enabling students to move groups as need dictates
Be aware of gaps in students knowledge to work on but don't hold them back from using advanced strategies because of this. Plug the gaps and keep them moving on strategy acquisition and problem solving.
Lots of positive reinforcement and feedback specific to task learning that boost confidence and 'I can do it' attitude of students in maths

PD on identifying At Risk Students

PD on identifying AT Risk students–led by Ana.  Professional Knowledge in Practise. Criteria 6-12 Spent time discussing the identification of our At Risk students using data gathered and measuring against National standards. Then began the setting of SMART goals for identified students on individual IEP forms. These goals will inform my focused inquiry for target groups.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Reflections from PLD day using Blogger

Today we had a very informative learning session led by Saunil Hagler on how to set up and use Blogger as a reflective portfolio tool. Lots to learn and  I will need to go away and have a reflection time to play with the myriad of features available. I am sure with the support of my colleagues I will be able to use this tool to reflect on my teaching practise and share with others.

Access to reflections from other Bloggers to today's learning session here