Thursday, 23 February 2017

Teacher Inquiry 2017

This year, our school wide inquiry focus is maths. I was so pleased when I found out we would be focussing on maths this year, as this is the curriculum area I need the most work on!

This term there are two main areas that I would like to focus on. Firstly, I'd like to identify the 'holes' in my personal maths teaching as well as the holes and patterns in my focus group's summative data. My focus group this year are students whose OTJ's for maths are 'below'.  My goal is to tackle these learning holes so that I can help my focus group shift from below to at.

After analysing the room 13 maths data from last year,  I realised that I became confident in teaching add/sub, however spent less time teaching mult/div and fractions because I didn't realise that these were areas that my students were struggling with. I also had the tendency to go deeper into add/sub because that was an area that I felt stronger in. These are some holes in my own teaching that I can see right now, which, I hope to change straight away.

This week, I will begin by gloss testing my focus group of 8 'below' students. I will look out for any patterns amongst the group  - such as concepts or strategies that they are all stuck on. I will also identify area in maths they need the most work on (add/sub, mult/div or fraction/ratio). I will then use the Gloss data to make a plan well ahead of time so that I can cover the key 'learning holes'.

After speaking to my team leader, I came to the realisation that I may need to just strip everything back and focus on one strategy with my group for a long time. I have the tendency to introduce a new concept or strategy but spend a very limited time practicing it. It could simply be one strategy or concept that this group missed out on a long time ago that needs to be solidified before they can understand other concepts. Solidifying just one strategy could be enough to move this group up to 'at'.

Other steps I plan to take are:
  • PD in teaching mult/div and fractions. I need to do research as well as ask colleagues for help with these areas
  • Using materials more often for follow up activities rather than only being on devices - or just to get creative! I realise that this will really help with engagement for mult/div and fractions.
I look forward to sharing my inquiry journey this year. I will keep you posted!

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Welcome to 2017

I can't believe we've already been back at school for an entire month. Time flies so quickly, especially when so many new things are happening around you! That's right, this year has been an exciting year of change.

Last year, I began my teaching journey in a year 4 class with 28 students. Throughout the year I was always so intrigued by the shared spaces in our school, so when the opportunity came up to teach in one, I was stoked!

This year, I am teaching in a modern learning environment along side two other teachers - Matt and Kelsey. We now have about 100 energetic, bustling students in our space! Some people may think that's crazy, but I'm absolutely loving it. There have definitely been some challenges so far whilst I've been adjusting to a different type of learning environment. For example, getting to know so many more students (as we have different classes for maths and literacy) and learning how to engage my class whilst there are other things happening in the same space. However, I'm not at all stressed about these things as I know that everything happens in time and I now have so many more opportunities to learn from my fellow teachers since we share the same students! I am also thrilled as I have a large number of my students from last year who moved from year 4 to 5. It's super helpful as we've already built solid relationships and I've learnt how to engage them in their learning.

We've had a great start to the year and have set some solid routines. Next up, year 5/6 camp! It's going to be awesome.

Part of our shared space - my class (room 6) is in the corner.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Digital Immersion - Term 4

On Friday, we had our final  Manaiakalani Digital Immersion PLG of the year. I have enjoyed attending these PLG's as I've taken away something really useful every time!
The main focus of the day was how multi modal learning opportunities increase student engagement. We had a great discussion about creating multi modal and multi textual experiences for our students as this not only deepens/broadens their understanding of a topic but also allows for students of varying learning styles to connect to the material. After thinking about the learning styles of students in my class, I understood that I cannot always teach something one way and expect every student to click instantly. There are some students in my class that learn best with materials, some with visuals like videos and diagrams and there are a few that learn best when listening to an explanation by the teacher. Thus, creating multi modal/multi textual learning opportunities is a important!

Dorothy and Fiona taught us how to create a website to bring multi modal teaching into the classroom. I chose to base my website on room 13's upcoming science experiment: how to make ice cream! As this will be quite a fun experiment that will teach my class a lot about change, we will dig right in and read about it, watch videos and write about the scientific process. I will put facts, links to online stories/articles, images, recipes, videos, instructions, key words and activities on this website. I will also link the audio tracks from any School Journals/Junior Journals that feature ice cream.

I am really looking forward to putting the website to use in weeks 4 & 5. Here is a screenshot of it below! I'm looking forward to sharing the website with you once it is completed, hopefully it could be a useful tool for others!

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Room 13's New Blog

Room 13 has a new blog. This is a place where you can see some of the awesome learning and fun that goes on in my class! Each week I will showcase a different student's work and let you in on some of the events that happen at Pt England School.
Check out our blog at

Friday, 5 August 2016

Learn, Create, SHARE

Today at the Manaiakalani Digital Immersion day, Dorothy Burt led a discussion on the SHARE element of Manaiakalani's Learn, Create, Share pedagogy.  I got a lot out of today's PLG as I learnt how much of an affect that sharing can have on a student's self esteem and motivation in their learning. It is important for students to share their work with their peers as this gives them the opportunity to see each other's ideas and encourage one another. At Pt. England School, every single student has their own blog in which they use to share their work with a global audience. Teachers also blog to share their professional learning journey. 

What I loved the most about today was learning how empowered students feel when they get to share their work with a large audience. To this day I am still getting my head around how amazing it is that primary school aged children get to share their thoughts and creativity with thousands of people around the world. By having their work visible to parents, teachers, friends and others across the globe, they are given the opportunity to receive feedback and encouragement from so many more people than just their own teacher! 

As part of the day, we learnt how to make infographics to show a blog's statistics. I chose to use a programme called Canva to show the data from Leilani's blog - a student from room 13. As you can see in the infographic above, Leilani has viewers from as far as Germany and U.S.A!