Thursday, November 19, 2015

Looking ahead for 2016

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 3 years?

My children are at Russell Street for the next 3 - 5 years, therefore I will see me here!

As for my future aspirations, I am on a cross roads... Do I continue to lead change about ILE / Learner Agency / Collaborative Teaching & Learning from the classroom, as a classroom teacher?    Or do I facilitate change as a leader or as a facilitator working for Core or similar?  If I continue from the class, there are still so many ways in which I am innovating my craft; planning, teaching, instructions, systems, delivering, assessment, rubrics - I am still gaining mastery over these strategies.  If I was to lead this vision out of the classroom would I fall short of the necessary time needed to gain this mastery? If I lead change as a facilitator, would I miss out on working with children who I know need positive male role models in their lives?  There is my predicament.

What would help you achieve these goals?
- Being immersed with leadership conversations
- Having opportunities to talk about and share my vision about leaner agency
- Being able to develop my theory of action with others
- Having challenging conversations
- Mentoring others


Monday, November 2, 2015

Maths Pedagogy Evaluation, 2015

Maths Pedagogy Evaluation (Video)


Dinah advises, that prior to her next visit, it would be very useful for us to examine our own practice against the RSS maths pedagogy doc.  She wants us to use this doc (now and in the future) as a reflection tool. With this in mind, when she was last here, we agreed to the following:

  • Record an instructional lesson with a group of students, preferably your ‘target group’.

  • Reflect on the RSS Maths pedagogy document. To what degree were these elements present in my planning and teaching?

Crickey! There's nothing more cringing than watching yourself teach. But how powerful is it to witness the imperfections. I really wanted to set up this teaching experiment as 'real' as possible. Not only to analyse my teaching of maths but also to see how well am I using concepts of learner agency?  

So I chose real kids to teach (not just the best kids who would say the right thing), I didn't tell anyone and I didn't hide off in a quiet room somewhere. I had behaviour issues, people walking in, computer complications, management issues... I was definitely feeling the pressure.

The beginning is hard to watch because we are just settling in. But as the lesson gets underway, we all start to relax. This is a quite interesting as the children I take for maths all struggle to manage transitions. How can I help support these learners when doing this?

In terms of the lesson, I didn't have the right tool for the job - there was not enough equipment for the learners to create a picture in their head. I made some adjustments and taught the lesson again to a different group. This time we used place value blocks to show 7 groups of 5 + 4 groups of 3. The picture was there and the flow of the lesson was much better.

In terms of arranging for learning, I have also made some changes to the class set up. Reflecting on this term, working with these learners I have not set them up well enough. I have told them what they can and cannot do and I have not let them have a say in how and why and what (like I usually do). You will read reasons below in my previous reflections, but I need to support these learners more in terms of scaffolding them to plan their learning.

Use a scale of 1-5 to evaluate this.  (1 -very prominent, to a high degree .....5 not at all present).
  1. An ethic of care: 3
  2. Arranging for learning: 3
  3. Building on Students thinking: 3
  4. Worthwhile mathematical tasks: 3
  5. Making connections: 3
  6. Assessment for learning: 3
  7. Mathematical Communication: 3
  8. Mathematical language: 3
  9. Tools and representation: 3
  10. Teacher knowledge: 3

What did I explicitly carry out that reflected these elements? And random babblings...

When exploring collaborative teaching, I have been working with the learners who struggle in mathematics from both Room 6 and 7. This has really challenged me because of the levels of independence the learners display. I have been faced with learners not having the dispositions and grit to stick to a task. It's been really hard.  

I have been exploring working with small groups and having them rotate around games, worksheet activities and devices. There has been some elements that have worked and some that hasn't. There are some habits shown by Room 7 children which I haven't been able to shape. As a result, I feel as though progress has not been as steady.  

Another factor that has contributed to this is only having maths Monday - Wednesday. Hopefully, when athletics has finished we will have some more time up our sleeves. Also we have ukulele practice on Tuesday mornings so this is another interruption.

In all the "it's so hard to me" woe, I have had some break throughs! A group of stage 5 learners are nailing that stage so we have started some stage 6 workshops. My focus learners are full of confidence and skills! I need to keep on keepin' on... the mini gloss... the maintenance... the knowledge... the strategy... the rich tasks. There's the picture, right there.

  • Identify an individual goal for your 2016 development.  

  1. I would like to work on Teacher Knowledge for stages 3-4 for 2016.  I feel confident with the transition from 5 to 6 and 6 to 7 but I am discovering I am not for 3-4 and 4-5.
  2. Another goal that would assist this is working on Tools and Representation because I will need to select the right tool for the right job.