Sunday, 22 May 2022

Analysing Writing Data - what can I do?

It's that time of the year ... Report Writing! 

Today during our staff meeting we've been looking through Edpotential - a new platform to accessing data from Manaiakalani Cluster right through to our team 4 data.   This is our e-asTTle writing graph. 

From this data - as a team we looked at the following questions:

1. Can you see any trend/s we can be confident about?
  • A general trend towards the norm, but not quite matching as high. MELAA had a huge shift up - what caused this? Who are the students? 
  • Asian students are tracking above the norm
  • Y5-Y6 Maori were below the PES norm and Pasifika data, but in Y6-7 they were above 

2. What do you think is going on?

  • Summer drop off

  • Focusing more heavily on writing when testing comes around, but not throughout the year

  • Differences sometimes affected by students in the cohort

  • Some of our bright students left at the end of the year e.g. Izyn, Israel Te Maro, Izzy and Isaiah etc

  • During lockdown - most students did not select or do the writing task. Mostly focused on the reading and maths tasks. 

3. What are the most obvious challenges inhibiting our children’s progress? (stick to things we can control or make a difference to)

  • Spelling

  • Building specific vocabulary

  • Punctuation - basics e.g. capital letters, full stops, commas, speech marks

  • Organisation - clear orientation, body of text with events, conclusion. Linking ideas between and within paragraphs

4. What can we do that we are actually in charge of?

  • Analyse data trends in PAT, STAR & easTTle data - where are the gaps?

  • Start explanation writing sooner (or other genres) to support shift to that genre in Year 7

  • Offering more opportunity for writing in class - particularly tasks which focus on engagement to encourage more buy-in from hesitant students

Using Tanya Mundy's MIT 'create writers' this has guided me to build their skills.

Since analysing my class data for this year, I've started this week for writing to include more 'basic' skills to help with how to use Capital letters. With nouns - what is a noun and why we need it to construct a simple sentence. 

As a warm up, we will be using 'Pobble 365' for 10 minutes, applying a skill in their writing eg: using speech marks, punctuation, organisation etc ... Will look at different genre's of writing to build our learner's repertoire writing. Watch this space - to see our learner's progress!

Monday, 21 March 2022

Post Covid - Inquiry 2022

Returning back to the classroom has caused mixed emotions fulled with anxieties as well as anticipation with both myself and our learners.  One thing I've noticed with this group of learners, is the cultural richness and capital they bring to our space.  However are a-lot more 'shyer' students.  
Not 100% sure if it's due to unfamiliar surroundings, beginning of the year or establishing the relationships of 'tauira' (both teacher and learner) or maybe the restrictions of covid.   

With Post covid it has caused our 'masks' to stay on (nose to chin), social distancing and almost silence within our classroom.  However to develop our learners to attain key elements of 21st Century skills: to be 'critical thinkers', 'collaborate with others', 'creative flair, problem solving' and clear communicators (AJ Rotherham, DT Willingham - American Educator, 2010).

Referring to the OECD "Ten Principles for Effective and Equitable Educational Recovery from COVID" it describes the recovery ecosystem:  the centre is the student with their families.  Our teachers play an instrumental part for our learners to achieve academic success.

As a professional educator how can I recover/develop towards effective & equitable education:

-  provide targeted support to meet student's learning, social and emotional needs
- co-design a robust digital learning infrastructure with teachers and stakeholders
- Encourage a collaborative culture of innovation
- Learning from national and international evidence. (OECD 2021).


Thursday, 28 October 2021

MIT Hui Wananga 2021

Talofa lava!  Can't believe it, it finally arrived .. MIT Hui Wananga 2021! 

From applying for MIT to presenting in front of a live online audience .. nerve-racking!  Throughout the year, the whole inquiry process was thought-provoking & enriching especially as a Junior teacher. Unpacking the challenges we face in our classroom to the multiple solutions sought after, that best fits our learners. 

Even prior to presenting our pre-recorded video, upon reflection there were few key elements that I missed.  In saying that, long term I'm looking forward to post-MIT how to grow our emerging bilingual students to succeed in all areas of learning.  It won't be an easy feat but will try! 

  "E sui faiga ae tumau fa'avae" translates to "The form changes, but the underlying principles remain".

During the Hui, this Samoan proverb protrudes, as we live an evolving world given our perspectives, approaches & PCK alters still the foundation remains.  From the talanoa from Sir Pat Snedden, Dr Rebecca Jesson's & team, how do we give skills when they learn how to apply tomorrow and when we're not there.

Faafetai, faafetai, faafetai lava to Dorothy & Matthew through their mentorship & leadership & patience, through our MIT journey.  Jenny Oxley & team for behind the scenes, administering this to make it happen (& Uncle Bill).  

To our MIT cohort 2021 - "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has" quote by Margaret Mead.  History-makers!


Thursday, 30 September 2021

Hui Fono Regional Workshop: Vā

During the holidays, I attended an online workshop facilitated by ACE  titled "Vā".  

This workshop was presented by Aiono Manu Faaea, who looked at the concept of vā (relationship / relational space).  She described 'Va Tapuia - sacred spaces' as follows:

  1. Separate by things (eg: va i moana, va i maunga, va i vao) 
  2. Space between people 
  3. Hostile space.

It was confronting to hear similar stories to my own experiences of how our Pasifika people have had to navigate without cultural awareness.  

In education, our Pasifika document 'Tapasa' it highlights 'Le va' (the space in between) in relationship and relatedness.

So how does this relate to my teaching practice?  The following questions from the Tapasa document stood out for me: 

  • What is my approach for encouraging Pacific learners to share their understanding of the va and its significance in social environments and/or spiritual settings?
  • How do I create space for my learners to ensure balanced reciprocity of giving and taking?
  • In what ways do I protect and preserve sacred space for Pacific learners in my school environment?

“There is a Samoan saying, ‘O le ala I le pule, o le tautua – the pathway to leadership is through service’.  

I'm currently part of MIT cohort investigating "How do I support a large group of our Year 5 Emerging bilingual students who are reading 2+ years below their reading age?"   

From this I'm able to think more clearer how can allow my learners to share their understanding, create a space for our learners to ensure balanced reciprocity of giving and taking.  As well as protect and preserve.  

My next steps is how do i bring familiarity/ traditional customs for our Emerging bilingual students to 'translanguage' with in building their reading?  Still thinking ...    

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!