Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Jugyou Kenkyuu - Second Teaching Session

A very successful lesson today Rosie - ka pai to mahi!  It was obvious that you had lots of support from the group especially Sonita; who you identified as your 'ear'.  It was nice to see some of my students from last year again.  A great day.  I wonder who's teaching next?  

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Paradise or Oblivion

Wow, this movie is pretty crazy!  And makes you think.  Made by The Venus Project, it questions notions of our society; politics, money, power, war, scarcity, sustainability etc., and how they are not serving everyone in our society nor our planet and everything that lives on it.  The Venus Project aims to set up a resource-based economy, where science and technology are pivotal in providing sustainability and enough resources for everyone on the planet.

I was critical about who was going to do those jobs that somebody has to do?  Like some of the jobs I've had to do when I was younger.  I really liked how education and following passions and interests was central to this society.  Anyway, I like how things make you think and question the status quo.  I don't know if this will ever work - but I think something needs to happen.  Is there any country in the world that isn't in debt?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Anne Giles

Notes with Anne Giles:


Tiki tour around formative practice.
TaTaiako - Maori Competencies

What are the most effective Formative Strategies?

Pedagogy - Diana Pardoe 'Towards Successful Learners'
"Unless kids know what being successful looks like, and feels like we can't get anywhere - they've got to have a positive self efficacy"

Active Learning through Formative Assessment

She talked about Growth Mind set vs. fixed mind set and developing a supportive culture of learning.

Talking Partners: 

  • More than Think-pair-share:

- Talking Partners: can be the same person up to 2 weeks.  Children should sit together on the mat, at their seats etc.  When you have finished ask "hey Sonita what did your buddy think?"
- Works well for Maori
- To articulate their thinking "metacognitive" this takes a while to get the hang of
- Be careful with the ways you respond to the contributions buddies give on the mat: e.g."I never thought of that and it has really made me think, and I like things that make me think" "Interesting" "That's cool, I love hearing things like that" 
- Sometimes it doesn't work; gifted, autistic, disabled, difficult behaviours - they could had a group of 3
Great example of Learning partners for swimming: buddies video their buddies swimming and then co-construct the skills of what they need to do with their arm action, kicking technique.     

  • Powerful tool for self and peer assessment
  • Aims to increase the amount of student voice in the classroom
  • Enables metacognitive discussion
  • Spending time on setting this up is critical to success

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Observations from our first teaching session

The observation of how the children interacted has made me reflect on my own practice.  How well do my children keep conversations about learning on task?  I have not had a lot of experience with teaching Year 2s and it seemed to me they are quite into self, e.g. talking but not necessarily listening to each other or their ideas.  This must be a developmental stage and I need to do some further questioning about when  children transition out of this phase?

Did the focus on roles get in the way of quality conversations about learning?  Did it get in the way of 'going the extra mile?'  The group I was observing knew their roles but they were satisfied in just doing the bare minimum: "I've taken 10 photos" "I'm the presenter" (as she sat there and did not contribute) Collector saying "I've done my job"  Certainly, as the lesson went on, Sonita did a fantastic job at roving and gauging whether the students were on-task. and she stopped them twice to repeat her expectations of the task.  Towards the end, there was much more focus.  

This also brings the question; why couldn't we celebrate the successes of some children being able to blow up a balloon?  This wasn't part of our success criteria but for some of the kids in the the group I was observing - this was a big deal!  If learning is the process of moving from the unknown into the known.  You could argue that this was successful; "The teachable moment."

So I am wondering if the job descriptions need to be unpacked and practiced some more.  Anne Giles talked about 'talking partners' and how it takes time to become effective at it.  Kids need to be shown, through video, what behaviours or skills are effective.  These are then co-constructed and practiced.


The Revised Plan

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Trevor Bond's Questioning

I was asked to have a korero on Trevor Bond's Questioning at today's staff meeting.   I have been to see Trevor twice and he also came to an intensive PD session at Coley Street School, so I was happy to be able to share some of his messages.  I wanted to make sure I designed the presentation so that there was plenty of D&D (discussing and doing).  I find that these are the ways I like to learn.  I wonder what pockets of information people took away from it?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

NZ Music Month Re:Cover Album

Diamond Sutra were also featured on a special NZ Music Month compilation album called RE:COVER.  We covered 'Let it Go' by Weta.  I think it's one of the top 3 tracks on the album :)  Others to check out: 'Jesus, I was Evil' by Built and 'Chains' (Che Fu) by Crash Scan.  The album is a free download so click the picture above and follow the instructions.  

Diamond Sutra's 'Positioning Self' EP Available for digital download

Digital Download:
I have been giving this lots of listening time lately and I've got to say it's something that I'm really proud of!  I have recorded quite a few times in the past and most of the time there is something that you hear post recording that you think "oops" that wasn't supposed to be there or that doesn't sound right!  Friends who had rather 'bendable' arms and actually bought the CD, have said to me that it's one of their favourites.  So if you're out there in internet land, somewhere, click the link and do us a favour and download our awesome sounds.   

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Plan...

Go Sonita!  Love the font and colours - nice job.  Here is our first plan for the Jugyou Kenkyuu inquiry.  Reading over it, it looks like a fun and exciting lesson that is sure to spark a lot of interest and conversation with the kids - looking forward to it.  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Jugyou Kenkyuu Planning Reflection

Today James, Sonita, Rosie, Stephen and I spent the morning together going over the JK form of professional development.

It's a pretty bizarre concept and quite intrusive if you take it as face value - having a room full of teachers critiquing your lesson!  However, after planning the morning together it has turned out to be an exciting concept.

We all planned the perfect lesson, which Sonita is going to teach,  and identified the WALT that her kids were going to learn.  The plan now is for Sonita to do some pre-teaching, then we are going to observe/critique the lesson next Thursday.

I am wondering how well it is going to go?  When we reflect and re-plan the lesson, how much will it change?  Will I be able to assist Sonita anymore in her preparations?

Jugyou Kenkyuu

Some years ago we instigated a series of classroom observations and discussions known as numeracy natters, literacy looks, formative chats…. to name but a few focus areas. Your feedback on what you would like to see more of in 2012, coupled with current literature suggests we need to re-ignite classroom visits with greater purpose. Brief of this trial: Groups of teachers work together to refine individual lessons, jointly planning, executing and then evaluating different instructional strategies for achieving a specific learning objective. This approach will enable teachers to share best practice, learn from each others strengths and weaknesses, and jointly develop and disseminate excellent practice.