Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Chris Braid writing staff seminar Chris Braid writing staff seminar

Mini Lessons:
They are awesome and can be done at any time and any stage of a unit. Keep short and sharp and kids may use what they have learned in the mini lesson or not. Stay away from lectures!

I have had a go at these with great success! E.g. Headlines, silent letters.


Identify leaning needs from Literacy Progressions:

Lexical Chain: Words that appear in different parts of the text that builds coherency. Rome... capital... city...

Also a pronoun reference: pronouns like 'they, them, it, you... etc.' need to be taught in a mini lesson. For example, tell children to highlight all pronouns then get them to ask themselves who is the 'it' talking about? Is it the Queen's Pajamas?

I need to let my children in term 4 make decisions about the text type that they want to.

Summary: keep looking at the 'By the end of Year 6' page and focus on one per term. Or until I feel confident to use them all together, dynamically and systematically.

Look more at a range of children's work to organise mini lessons around.

Carry on trying to do mini lessons. Keep being cool, and ask a lot of questions.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Technology in Schools - supporting the 'tough kids' (special or not)

This breakout was a tough act to follow as I had just come out of the Music and multimedia breakout, which inspired me heaps!!

In this breakout she turned the lights out, which was good and bad at the same time - easy on the eyes but it put me to sleep! In no time I was yawning! But is was an extremely informative breakout challenging me to break down the walls between Ants and I and completing work. If he is completing the work in a different way (i.e. orally or onto garageband) does he have to write down the work? What good is that doing him? By forcing him to complete work am I forcing him to develop negative feelings towards learning?

So, to put my new learning into practise, I will aim to withdraw my need to get him to complete work in the traditional sense. I have also developed a garageband question track where he answers questions to do with what he is reading/watching etc. In order for this to work however, I need to spend time developing the questions and spend time teaching him how to record his answers.

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The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra

A great website to study the different parts of the orchestra!
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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Comic Life Pics

Just another way to use comic life. Pretty hard aparently but they look amazing!
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Lyn Ross' sharing metaphor... pretty cool.
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Researching the unknown - Linda Lehrke

Late... again.


Brainstorm 20. Choose 5. Find two websites for each. If there is not enough information about your topic, choose a different one.

Google: try to improve your search! Why not try the advanced search option? A potential challenge: come up with a google search that only has one hit.




How do we stop the copy and paste mentality?
The cube, the postcard.

Don't get kids to write a report because they will copy and paste.

The presentation is key in thinking outside of the square.

Going beyond the type writer: using images. Is cutting and pasting google images a big waste of equipment with your computer

Ooh make sure the image is facing towards the text so that it draws the readers attention to it!!

Youtube needs to be watch while typing out the information so that it becomes relevant!

Cool, now having a play on pages

Linda was another confident breakout leader. It was obvious she knew a lot of shit! Wicked! I have learnt a couple of really good, practical ideas also some pedagogical stuff too.

Where to from here? Refine my inquiry action-research plan for kids. Teach specific strategies to my children to organise and refine searches etc. Plan for opportunities to get chn to go further than just regurgitate information.

What teachers want?

What teachers want - Lyn Ross
9 years of her experience with ICT
Easy practical and achievable!
Not sure if I have come to the right breakout! She is telling me that I need to know how to use my laptop... dur!
Yes! Ok, there is a consolidation stage, which is liike my theme for this ulearn. Plan for ICT... tick... Practise ICT... to do...
I am so lucky at Coley STreet school that we r not starting from scratch!
Software: Photo filtre, Shit!! Cool little microphones with USB inputs on the end! Ci-tech "Easy Speak"
Comic Life Pictures (see photos) making pictures using comic life fonts.
Umagin use for blue screen shots then save it as jpeg, cut out background and place it on another photo.
Poll daddy

This was a great breakout and Lyn knows her shit. She is a PC based master so a bit of a problem with mac vs pc. Check out all of the cool stuff on her school's cluster website

Where to from here? Get into planning and using to use ict (life comiclife and or podcasts etc) this term. Keep going with inquiry wall; her thinking is the same as mine (like my inquiry wall!)

Can I use images and video to connect my learners with the content in which I am teaching?
So far, yes I am. I am using heaps of video to try and keep my learners interested.

Get back on the blogspot; garden quote.

Teachers craving attention, feeling undervalued because they are not being told enough that they r doing well so get sharing and feel valued.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Ok Clothes...

Tuesday: Airoplane clothes comfy but styly. Shirt for going out later.

Wednesday: 1st day at ULEARN, jeans and a tee, shirt for later

Thursday: Shorts and a tee, dress pants and shirt for ULEARN Ball.

Friday: Jeans and tee and jersey comfy for plane ride.

Going shopping on Monday to buy new shoes, jeans, undies and a shirt.

Oosh... now I need a suitcase

Monday, September 28, 2009

Will it be a good change?

I did not realise how close change was! Life at Coley Street is going to be so different without JT, I mean, she is so a part of the school! We all need to make sure she has the best time at ULEARN 09 (no doubt she needs any hand in that). But the last two times we clashed heads, so I'll be on my best behaviour!

The whispers and discussions going on behind closed doors is quite funny! Everybody is having secret conversations about their spin on how life at Coley Street is going to be. They also let escape little inside pieces information.

I look forward to finding out who goes where and more importantly, what happens to me and who will be in my team?

So will change be good? We'll soon find out?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A history lesson

23 July 2009

2001 where we all started... well life at Coley Street since Richard began.  It was inspired by the trees on the bank.  Some said that they would never grow; and here in 2009 the trees are a metaphor; a sign; to signal growth and change.

Est. 1967, Decile 2, Full primary, 282 roll, 42% Maori 53% European

Immediate changes

 - Stopped class interchange - teachers to accept responsibility for own classes in all areas;
 - School newsletter;
 - Curriculum Committees;
 - Intro new communication systems - daily notices, weekly courier;
 - Jackets;
 - New appraisal system: personal goals, self reflection;
 - Teacher only days
 - Behavior Management system.

Property Development

 - too many to list!!

2003 first year of ICT cluster
Pre 2003:  kids switched off to learning.
2004: implementation of Oral Assessment Programme
$8005, 000 + 200, 000 = property development.

The Awakening:

Rich, Mark M, and Jan were almost bursting about Inquiry!  Whole staff visit to many schools.

2005: "Foxton Our Place, Our Space" children realised that they were able to reach adults and change things.  The Foxton pool is an example: $100, 000 to $1.2 million.

Looking for a way forward.

Wow, it was cool looking at the history!  It was very interesting and inspiring to see where we've come!  Where to from here?    

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bill Rodgers Download

Coley Street's behaviour management plan is based on Bill Rodger's 'Establishment Phaze' theory. Having worked within the school now for 2 years it was awesome to finally see how and where it has come from.

Unfortunately there was a car accident on the way there and it made us late. This was the perfect opportunity for Bill to show everybody how he deals with late-comers.

Bill's humour, role-plays and cartoon images made him a captavating and engaging, so much so, I forgot to write notes!!

I now plan to communicate 'calmness', avoid asking useless and unhelpful questions that only feed the attention, and expect absolute silence when addressing the class.

I am not out to 'score' over a child, but to teach them. As a teacher, my task is to constatly focus and refocus my students. Because I cannot control what happens to the child outside of school; diet, substance abuse, T.V., internet use, I can danm well affect what happens inside the school. Afterall, as Bill Rodgers said, "you teach children for basically 1/3 of their time" - I believe I can still make a difference. It could be the difference that changes a life forever.

The best part about the day was when Bill told off my principal and team leader :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What about Han Solo?

Here's how I understand Solo:
  1. The Homer: Prestructual - Nice guy but misses the point.
  2. The Bat: Unistructual - You have the bat but you don't have a ball or any other items to play the game.
  3. The Wolverine: Multistructural - Knows about mutants, fights for mutant rights, but is not a mutant.
  4. The Spider Web: Relational - Here's where it gets tricky and sticky, you need to pull things apart, put it in order, look at it closely, compare, contrast, explain and then put them back together again explaining causes, making analogies and relating it to your experience.
  5. The King: Extended Abstract - The Mac-Daddy, El Capitan, Don Corleon, The Godfather - take what you have learnt and apply it to a different situation.  Make something, predict something, imagine and reflect.
There you go, it's a start.

Trevor Bond

This guy was freakin awesome and he really struck a chord with me. It's so wierd how he was there about questioning but I ended up taking away so much about other things. Actually, I did take a bit of everything from him.

The 'pentagon of understanding' that encumpasses all ways of knowing really stuck in my mind the most.  I related it back to my experience of travelling to Guatemala.

Here are the sides (I can't draw them)
  1. Episodic/experience
  2. Factual
  3. Linguistic
  4. Conceptual
  5. Behavioural/skill
My partner is 1/2 Guatemalan and I guess that's where my story begins.  Her mum was born and raised there but left to have all of her children in New Zealand.  I had a distorted 'understanding' of Guatemala based on some facts, behaviours and concepts that I understood at the time.  

However, once travelling there in 2003, I was able to include some experience, linguistic and conceptual knowledge to my increasing fact and behaviour knowledge.

Finally by the end of a 5 month stay in 2005, my understanding of Guatemala was sound as I had developed and combined experience, factual information, Linguistic, Conceptual, and Behaviours and skills knowledge.

This was over about 6 years!  I guess good things take time.

There were so many other points Trevor brought up and it was a fantastic day!  I really enjoyed the sound of his voice; and it was obvious he knew what he was talking about.  

He is someone who I aspire to be.

Friday, January 16, 2009

ULearn 08 Experience

This was my second year visiting ULearn and I was not as gobsmacked as I was last year. Before last year I never really thought about all of the technologies that enhance learning. So I guess that's why it blew me away so much.

I am lucky and thankful to be in a school where future education philosophy and reform is advocated. We are encouraged and supported to use all of the commodies which Ulearn offer. CSS attended Ulearn, I think 3 or 4 times before I joined the team and it was very apparent during my second visit to Ulearn that we had adopted most products.

However, it is fasinating how 1700 teachers can get together and be inspired by the fantastic keynote speakers - this alone is worth the whole experience.  With this and being trapped in a lift for over an hour with 12 other people, ULEARN08 was an experience and a half!

Bring on 09!