Saturday, 4 September 2021

Online Hui #3

Due to level 4 lockdown in Auckland, it was good to see everyone online after our MIT Cook Island Trip.  

We reflected how everyone is overall, how we were managing during lockdown.

An online activity was working in pairs and retelling our peer what our project is and the project outcome.  We had to set up our own google meets.  Then feedback to the team what your peer is working on.  It was a good exercise as both parties had to listen and interpret to the team what their project is.  

My Project - "Unbox a box" - Supporting a large group of our Year 5 emerging bilingual students who are reading 2+ years below their reading age

What was working?  From the last KPMG and our Cook Island trip, I just started to lay down the process with our reading groups.  Setting up the norms.  Started to look and use Pacific dictionaries for maths as well as literacy. Working on my site.

What wasn’t working?  A lot more challenging not being able to have face to face connect with our learners during lockdown.  Unable to regularly meet with the group to have our learners read the text together.  Most of our target learners are not online engaging through various reasons eg family responsibilities etc.  

What can you do/have you done in Lockdown?  During our remote learning we've been working as a team to ensure our learners are accessing work.  I've been able to touch base and read with a couple of students, however haven't been able to have the same group to follow up task on building vocabulary.  I'm working on building vocabulary work for the selected reading on that day.   Checking that our learners well-being is paramount.

Has lockdown affected your project? Most definitely as with our emerging bilingual students they need more teacher support to guide them with reading and being able to ask questions readily when they're unable to understand.  A good problem to have.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

ToolKits Online - Minecraft for Beginners

 I was quite keen to learn more about Minecraft.  Both male and female students have a growing interest in learning about this platform.  

Louise has given a couple of where to begin when starting out on Minecraft.  Redesigning homes for our learners where is no restriction for our learners to use.  

Minecraft Education Edition - we will need permission from our tech person.  It is free of cost with our learners using our gmail to sign it.  

Foxcraft is a recommended YouTuber for Minecraft.  Check with our tech to download Minecraft on our MacBook Air.  Will definitely have a try soon!  Thanks Louise

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Toolkits Online - Independent Learning - Contracts, Challenges and Stations

Key things to help me organise for independent learning:  

1. Established routines & rules:  Each child is an expert.  Each child needs to learn and practice.  3 before me.  Try and solve the problem without seeing me.

Contracts:  - the student plans and works out what their timetables look like.

- Compulsory tasks that student has to complete.  Deliberate planning to what needs to be done.  

Support students that struggle more - activities to buddy up.  Check-in with target groups regularly.- Meet with those students, go through all the tasks on the task.  I will check that they know what it's about.  The only group that is supported to timetable their work.  The planning is required prior to starting the contract. 

Monitoring:  Uses a data sheet.  Target inquiry group and follow through with learners who are reluctant to finish work.  Uses Hapara to filter websites that are appropriate to the task.   

Success criteria are established at the beginning of the class to ensure the learner will complete each task to a high quality.  The tasks have already been done.  Otherwise, the student can repeat the task again.

Each learner has the same contract.  Check that supports are there for struggling learners.  


Kia orana katoatoa i teia ra manea. Kia Orana, e kia Manuia! 

 A snap shot of our trip to the Cook Islands. 

 Just a huge thank you to Principal Mark Harris from Apii Te Uki Ou and the team who hosted our visitors to explore and experience the Cook Islands - Meitaki Maata! 

Especially huge appreciation to Manaiakalani & CEO Jenny Oxley. 

 Meitaki Maata! Kia Manuia! Ka Kite!

Monday, 23 August 2021

Raro - PechaKucha Presentation

The main part of our trip was to present to a group of professional teachers in the Cook Islands.  A form we used is call 'PechaKucha'. 

 What? "Pikachu??" (Pokemon species .. familiar within my class) 

Did you know that PechaKucha is a form of storytelling, designed to show 20 slides - allows the speaker to fit 20 seconds to speak.  It started in Tokyo in 2003, designed by architects, Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham.   

To prepare for this presentation, we were given a template to help our slides flow in order and sequenced with our narrative.  No videos or giphy were allowed to be used.   However I like this format as it keeps the main thing the main thing.  It was difficult to make changes once you've submitted your slides - however it kept the audience's attention.

I was given positive feedback that evening, I was the only one who started with a Cook Island Mihi form, good use of expression and intonation in my voice.   I froze when I got up on the podium - we were to memorise our speech (eek!).  But overall a great experience especially prepping for our October Hui.

Rarotonga - Cultural responsiveness practice

From this trip, it took me back to a workshop we attended with our guest speaker Dr Rae Siilata. She uses the Va'atele framework (or double hulled canoe) as a metaphor for our leaners experiences navigating through the NZ school system. 

 As professionals, from a cultural responsiveness lense, was to be aware of our own and our learners cultural identity and views. Throughout our trip, observing the learners using storytelling, humour, arts, drama, singing, onhands learning (gardening), mindful of sustainability & environment. 

 Within the MIT cohort, our teachers practice cultural responsiveness with ease - key things that were reinforced on our trip, relationships, learners prior knowledge, learning contextual, space, each learner has a story to share and collaboration.


Sunday, 20 June 2021

T-Shaped literacy skills for Junior

 We've got Dr Rebecca Jesson (from Fisher Woolfe).

To learn about the world, words - you need to read widely.  Wide reading is also one of the key ways that learners develop word knowledge and world knowledge.  This includes multimodal texts.

Practice makes perfect, more practise getting better.

Wide reading (5+ day exposure to text)

- Reading to students: word knowledge, world knowledge

- Shared reading:  Big Book reading, re-read it with a different focus on each day.  Word knowledge, world knowledge, practice

- Buddy reading: Practice, endurance, resilience

- Independent reading: (eg publishing, book box reading, reading the room, poetry, books, learning centres etc .. )

How can we read deepen:

- text sets that complement, contradict that, building understanding over time.  4 different types of text related to the topic.

Part 1: Ways of getting the themes from the books:

1.  Look for the big idea (abstract)

2. Look for what the main character learns

3. Look for change over time in the book.

Who is the main character?

a) Who changes most?  b) Who learns most?  c)Sidekicks - what are their roles?  d)What is the relationship? 

Transferring our knowledge to new experiences: let's think about how the character uses what they learn: *how a lesson is taught and applied. *The in-joke between characters who shared an experience. *What characters know about.

Likeable and unlikeable characters How does a text create characters that we like? don't like it? 

Synthesis treats them like a set.  Higher-order thinking skills require people to bring knowledge from different 

=> Next 'Stuck for a provocation? GO to NZ

Come to the text, thinking - "thought" & cause "provoked" them.  It's about ideas & critical thinking.

When introducing the text:  it's about the 'big idea'.

=> Go back to your modelling book.   Word walls/Word cards/image match etc can't need

=> Did I do this?

1. Look closely at selected passages

2. Carefully choose the important bits to 'get'

3. Analyse passages

4. Build English content knowledge

5. Insist on textual evidence

Monday, 7 June 2021

KPMG Session #2

Walking alongside the Viaduct Dock towards KPMG, always makes me feel like I'm getting ready to get 'super-charged'.  Meeting up with my fellow MITians to hear and share how we're progressing.  

From our last KPMG session, I struggled to have a clear process in my head about how I wanted to tackle my challenge which was "Supporting a large group of our Year 5 emerging bilingual students who are reading 2+ years below their reading age". 

So many great ideas were cast during the Teacher PD last day of Term 1.  However, a few things stood out for me.

What's working?
The continuous korero with senior colleagues and peers to incorporate ideas to develop our learner's comprehension.  Using Robyn Anderson's PD 'Getting the talking in reading', applying the modal verb questioning within our class discussions.  Using lexical chunking with our inquiry and writing.  

What's not? 
As it's taken a while to have a logical picture in my head, I've just started to apply a few of the above things to help me in my class.  Time constraints as well as my brain operating like 'Dial-up' internet.

What's next? 
Being able to start a framework to build their content knowledge and language acquisition, by using specific language focus, looking at the input (static images, signage, moving images, realia, experiences with authentic experience). with output through oral language.  (van Hees, J 2007).

 "Practice makes perfect" is my korero for my teaching & class.  As I've got a clearer image in my head of how this will work, I'm looking forward to the process. 

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Manaiakalani Teacher Professional Development Day

On the last day of term 1, the Manaiakalani cluster held their Ko te Kāhui Ako o Manaiakalani - Teacher Only Day. 

We had an appetizing smorgasbord of amazing workshops and pedagogies for us to choose from.  Our main speaker Dr Rae Si'ilata shared about Translanguaging and Literacies with our emerging bilingual learners.

She shared her experiences as a learner and a professional with challenges and ideas of how we can better engage our learners.  Using the Va'atele Model will guide us on how to better connect and have our learners succeed.

A couple of things struck a chord with me:
1. Finding more texts as windows than mirrors. 
2. Getting the 'talk' going in reading.  (Wonderful workshop from Robyn & Chantel Panmure Bridge School) .  
3.  The value of sharing our own stories, languages, and experiences that connect with the story or content in the book.
4.   Provide students with the opportunity to create using new media - collaborate, making choices in learning, creating and sharing.

Principles to keep in mind when planning:
* Prior knowledge plays an important role
* Comprehension depends on metacognition
* Reading and writing are integrally related
* Learning increases when students collaborate

It's helping me chip at my MIT challenge which is 'Supporting a high group of our Year 5 emerging bilingual students who are reading 2+ years below their reading age'.

By using Robyn Shearer's framework in developing more talk within the classroom.  For learners to work collaboratively together to create more 'mirror' texts that are 'authentic text.  Still thinking through my process .. lol!

Monday, 5 April 2021

Collecting Data - MIT Term 1

"Everyone will have an opinion about what is going on for learners – what we need is to make sure that we have rich sources of evidence to back up our opinions." – Timperly, Kaser & Halbert (2014, p.7)

Gathering, analysis, and sharing of achievement and pastoral data provide the evidence that informs effective inquiries.

Prior to our Kuatonunu Hui, the data I was able to collect was 'running record 2020'.  The graph (left) shows the reading age our learners achieved for term 4 2020.  

The red line shows where they should be at.  There is a gap between where they're at and where they should be.

This graph (right) shows the levels that our learners have achieved for term 4 2020.  However, the red line tells us where they should be by the end of 2021.  

The gap is widening for our lower readers.  Looking through their running records, their decoding is above 96% however the comprehension questions they struggle with, especially inferencing and application questions.  

If we had to break it even further, analyzing their PAT results:

This graph (left) shows the results of our lower quartile of my reading groups,  The PAT reading test asks 3 types of questions (with 6 text types) that is 'retrieval, local inferencing and global inferencing.  

From the graph, we can see instantly that over 50% of our students passed 2 retrieval questions.  Where 1 local and global questions, over 50% have passed this question.  We can also see that 4 questions (3 local and 1 global question) that no one passed it.

This graph (right) displays the results from our Year 4 readers.  We can see that 2 out of 3 retrieval questions were answered over 50%.  The first question was asked, "How long do you soak the peanuts for?"  It was a procedural text.  Still uncertain why 0% of readers got this answer incorrect.  However, only 2 questions were answered correctly by over 50% of the students.  

From this, I am able to see where my class is struggling with the skill of inferring with multiple texts such as narrative, procedural, report, explanation, recount and poem. reports,  inferencing questions (local & global inferencing).  

Where to now ... Will definitely incorporate more different text types in our reading aloud, shared reading and reading groups.  

KPMG Session #1

Prior to our first session at KPMG, I was mulling over our Kuaotunu Hui where my initial challenge is "Our Year 5 emerging bilinguals struggled with reading."  

Immediately after this Hui, Auckland was in Covid-19 level 3 lockdown.  Slowly returning back to level 1 on 12th March.  We nervously were preparing for our Year 5 & 6's annual camp.

With the interruptions we've had, I wasn't able to get a student/whanau voice for my challenge.  However, I was able to speak with a couple of colleagues who gave me insight that may have clouded my focus ... Eeek!!

After today's session, this is the 7th version of my challenge "Supporting a high proportion of our Year 5 emerging bilingual students, who are reading 2+ years below their reading age."

One of our founding MITians Ria Tuala's proposal was 'creating online resources to raise the literacy of Pasifika ESOL students'.  From my crazy 8's, my colleagues indicated to create resources, something similar MITian Amber Wing's product is 'Story-telling' using this resource to build a pro-type. 

The first part of our session was the 3 W's for our project.

What's working?  Still working on my statement and focus.  Support from my team members and other peers.  Looking at research for ESOL and digital.  Reading over previous MITian's project who have similar challenges.

What's not - barriers/road bumps: The majority of my class participate in the 'Agility With Sound' programme that runs in the morning space - doesn't allow me to spend much time with them.  Since our last Hui, we've had Covid-19 lockdown, which has pushed our events (Year 5&6 camp and Fiafia event) out including our testing.  Our class has slowly transitioned back to normal. 

What opportunities do you sense? Continue to interview/consult with external agencies as Mangere Refugee Centre, Marilyn Carroll, Dr Jannie van Hees (Language Minds), Dr Rae Si'liata (Va'atele Framework).  Collecting data.  

During this first session, I was unable to produce a draft prototype as I was still unclear about my challenge.  However, it was insightful listening to my other peers presents their prototype product.  Especially feedback from KPMG representative Justine Todd.   

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Reading PD - Vocab and Wordwork

 My notes from our teacher reading PD:

With reading, there are multiple models that are being used nationwide.

There are two side controversies with reading.   As a body, how do we identify what we need to teach with our learners?

The complexities with reading planning, what do our learners need to be competent readers?

To get there we need to ensure that we know the critical elements:  *An effective reading programme. *An instructional reading lesson. *Focus on the skills and strategies that we need in our kete.

Vocab and word work - how consistent (systematic), explicit and purposeful are we in our planning and teaching.   Not working intentionally with 'words'.  

Butterfly cards, and dictionaries for students to access.  Is the language dripping off the walls?

A book of high-frequency words - students need to 'learn' the words. 

Need word work:  Magenta (DOS - Direction, orientation and sequence).  Can you find the word ____?Make it with magnetic letters 3 times.  The teacher checks they are making the word in the right direction, correct letter orientation and sequence.  If you teaching specific sounds, ensure the books follow the same 'sounds'.  

Red Wordwork - learning how words work.  Take away, add, substitute parts.  Start with the unknown from the text linked to known words.  Can (known word), "Can you find a word that ends like can?"  "Can you make man? .. ran .. "What's this word?" Teacher makes child says .. 

Do we understand graphophonic skills?  

phonics matching letters (graphemes) to sounds (phonemes) and blending sounds together to read words.

Chunking (morphology) breaking words into parts.  This may be based on affixes (prefixes or suffixes) syllables or known parts.  eg.  un/help/ful

Analogy recognising similar words and parts of words.  For example, using knowledge of the word look to read shook.

How systematic are we in our teaching of them?

What does the learner need phonological skill as well as narrative (does the story work with the student?) Does it give them the skills that they need?  Why are the students stuck?  What do they need