Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Interview With A Leader

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For some reason, I compare the scene in “Interview With A Vampire” when Brad Pitt’s character, Louis, turns into a vampire with becoming a leader.  Am I a kid raised by TV or what?

After the deed is done, Tom Cruise’s character states the classic line: “Now look, with your vampire eyes”. For the very first time, Louis begins to see the world around him.  

Flashing back to the interview, Slater asks: “What did you see?”  And Pitt replies, “No words can describe it.... The statue seemed to move but didn’t. The world had changed, yet stayed the same. I was a newborn vampire weeping in the beauty of the night.”

This is very much how I have felt this year.

I see the same things but it's different. I am responsible in "facilitating change" but what does this look like or sound like? Do my, previously forthright, opinions count anymore? Am I having impact?

"Now look, with your leader eyes."

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Carol Leadership Session 4

Great session this afternoon!  I am always very energised afterwards.  Carol always seems to open my mind about possibilities and connections.  The connections I make come from all of my life experience: kids, marriage, work experience, music experience.  And now I turn my focus on facilitating change within my work place.  Gosh, it's new and exciting.

We started our session off with this quote:

The most important space in an #mle is between the teachers ears. #learneragency #edchatnz

I've since tweeted this and it is starting to make the rounds of retweets.  It's such an important quote to have in the fore, as we delve into this time of change.  We discussed that innovative, modern or agentic pedagogy is so crucial because educators will slip back into old school, traditional, or easy habits.

The next discussion was around collaboration.  Some of the interesting points we picked out here were that true collaboration requires educators to be inextricably linked; one cannot function without the other. 

Teachers have to go through a phase of "connecting" in the same way as children need to go through the phase of parallel play. It is a critical stage of development before true collaboration can occur.

Giving feedback as coaching. Being open to feedback. "You are doing some wicked things for maths in terms of agency... You could try these same concepts in writing or reading..."

Drip theory: how many drips does one need to gain momentum into a trickle. 

It doesn't matter whether receivers of feedback take on a practical aspect of this or not because it could be a drip that will later on collect together to become a trickle.

Awareness - facial expression (leaky face), tone (leaky voice), email. 

The Power of Feedback: An anecdote of when my principal, David, came to visit the team in Poutama last year.  He was there to observe and provide feedback in how our collaborative learning space was going.  The feedforward he provided to me specifically was hard to hear... (I could make excuses) but the fact of the matter was, that piece of advice was what I needed to hear at that time. The power of feedback. 

To do: more feedback and feedforward between students.

Here is a video I created to show the above levels of collaboration.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The inquiring classroom: keys to success - Kath Murdoch.

The inquiring classroom: keys to success - Kath Murdoch.

Switching ourselves on as learners today.

Images: how are you feeling right now?  I’m like the panda asleep because Luca woke me up early and I had a bad dream; I was at a party with mob members then I over heard them talking about how they were going to murder us, then I managed to get away but they kidnapped Mia and I was trying to get her back, navigating around a city I’d never been to before.  I had left my cell phone in my jacket and was very cold. 8 images  How would you like to be?  Content and happy.

Characteristics of an effective learner within pd workshops
  • knowing yourself as a learner
  1. Seeks connections between ideas presented and own context
  2. Maintains an open mind - willing to review/change thinking
  3. Willing to participate
  4. Make clear notes for future reference
  5. Ask questions for clarification
  6. Avoids distraction and stay focused 
  7. Offers ideas and suggestions to group
  8. Makes a plan for immediate and future use of new learning
  9. Seeks feedback and suggestions for growth/improvement.

Goal setting: fish bone: head is goal, how you know when you get there are stems on top, stems on bottom are what will get in the way?, what you will look like when you get there is the tail.  

Class shared goals: put your name on the goal that you are going to work on that day/week.  Eg I want to finish what I start.

Goals laminated with starters in a place around the room, so the learner can redo their goals.  Hmm, I do this with their eportfolios weekly reflections.  How real is this for my kids?  How valuable and accessible are these goals to my students once they’ve written them?  Is it just something they have to do?  OR should they be visible and easily changeable so when kids do achieve them, they can make the changes necessary?

KNOW WHO! - quote  how do you learn best? 

“Get on with your learning.”  “Wait time” Ask wait, hear response... wait...

Think Pair Share
See Think Wonder
CSI - colour, symbol, image - inquiry
red for racy, full-on, learning
photo taking action, making a difference

However, do you do this at an end of an inquiry?  WHere is the social action?

3, 2, 1.  Three words to explain the inquiry classroom:
connected, collaborative, social action. - then get with a buddy and come up with only 2 between 2 of you.

CEC - Connect, Extend, Challenge: grow the quality of your practice.  Haha penguin jumping over the rock.  Love the music...  
Connect: DIfferent inquiries (something I connect with)
Extend: use the different inquiries like a rotation throughout the year so that children can experience a range of inquiry styles
Challenge: child independent/ interests 
ECG - emotion, cognition and growth
  • emotion: really big/where to start
  • cognition (knowing): I used to think there was just questions and tasks but now I know that if you can put it into statements which you want kids to know, it becomes much more powerful.  Similar to the statements (big ideas) in science books. 
  • Growth: What do you still need to know? Revisit my teacher inquiry to turn ideas into statements.  This will make my questioning techniques better and I can better extend my questioning techniques.
Inquiry vs an inquiring classroom: 
  • project led or project inquiry:  this is what we are doing but now we need to inquire, what will we need to learn about and do to ....  w hat are we going have to ask and learn about?

  • problem or issue based: what are we going to have to learn about and do to to solve this problem?

  • single subject: what makes a great game?  what makes a great game player?  what makes a great poem?

  • integrated inquiry: how art is used to persuade?  why did we say sorry? - australian government saying sorry to the indigenous people.

  • play-based, student initiated: how do you bath a baby?

  • shared, collaborative

  • individual, interest based inquiries

  • sustained, long term 

  • short term

After brunch:  video clip - schmu bucks?? what not to do.  rewards content, what’s the task? daniel pink TED website motivation: what motivates children?
  1. purpose - know why they are doing something
  2. autonomy - design our classrooms so that students can make decisions about their learning, where, their learning etc.
  3. mastery - seeing and feeling real success.  skills and importance of feedback

Modified goal: I am focused.  The ideas given above are good because it assures me that I am on the right track.  I can almost see the photo of the clear path through the forest towards the light.

Key elements of effective inquiring classroom:
  1. Thinking skills and strategies: building the language of thinking e.g. synthesizing little bit of thinking then bigger thinking then more and more. then putting old thinking and new thinking together.  ask kids where do you do the best thinking?  what is similar and different about tthinking there and at school?  what do we need to change?
  • what a good wondering, but I bet you can do some thinking around that to solve your problem - the what if game:  What do you think?
  • Structure of the task justify, explain, 
  • what kind of thinking do I need to do here?  
  • what do we need to analyse? /synthesis, justify.  Ron Richheart Intellectual Character WHat it is and how to get it?
  • More 1 - 1 and small group rather than whole class:
  1. deliberate focus on process and (with) content - split screen guy claxton 
  • 2-fold: what processes/skills/ are we are learning to be effective inquirers?  and what we are learning about?
  • based on key comps
  • school-wide continuum of inquiry skills.
  • skills for life-long learners: think, communicate, research/investigate, cooperate, manage self.
  1. Curiosity - responding with wonderment and awe
  • worms discovering worms playing: “Bringing the world into your classroom”
  • just do stuff that happens: my butterfly inquiry what are the similarities and differences between moths and butterflies?
  • What gets you passionate?  What makes people passionate?  WHat am I passionate about?
  • tippi - to provoke questions child from africa who was raised by animals.
  • questions build curiosity

Afternoon Session:
bbc: ‘Walk on the wild side’ youtube 

  1. Building students’ repertoire of tools used by researchers in ‘real world’ disciplines.
  • info lit skills
  • researchers; scientists, mytholodysts, paelentologists all have different research skills
  • “once I learn how to use google, isn’t that all the education I really need?”
  • Hawaii story, coming up with questions to ask a person rather than a search engine; understanding of this way was deeper than reading...
  • Kath’s Inquiry Model:
  • Learning to investigate

How can I create an effective and relevant music video about war?  Skills through using skype; how can we conduct a good interview to get information?  Wars: how and why have they changed over time?  What would it be like to live somewhere else?

How can I create an effective and relevant music video about how NZ changes.  SKills using camera to take a photo everyday.  Stop motion video.   

  1. keep it conceptual
  • bigger picture stuff: social responsibility, environmental sustainability, hauora, physical world. 
  • Make things that you want kids to understand turn them into statememnts e.g. the position of planet earth in relation to the sun is the reason why earth is inhabitible, the

  1. Revise, reflect, review, return...
  • this needs to be regular time 
Levels of understanding:
Never heard of it.  Heard of it but don’t get it.  Yes I understand it.  Yes I can teach someone else about it. 

Success for Schools?