More reflection….less action…. Happiness and the Hobsonville Habits

reflection

As we come towards the end of another year, it is a time to slow and reflect…
Educators around the country will acknowledge the fact that sometimes you are so heads down, bum up that you need to ensure you come up for air, breathe and learn from all that is going on around you. A time for reflection before action again in the new year. I find it good to try this while things are still fresh. Hence this post…

This year I have been working on a teaching inquiry that has looked at making learning visible in HPE. Working on a project collaboratively with Alex Smith and her crew from Rutherford, alongside Anne McKay and Kylie Thompson from Unitec and Margot Bowes from the university of Auckland. There has been some tutuing with this and we have manged to pull out data to analyse and use as baseline data for exploring positive student outcomes for our priority learners. Here is a presentation that shows some of the tools and strategies we have used, student voice and data we have pulled. However, this is a separate blogpost to come….

So why am I writing this post then???
I have recognised that I am missing a major aspect in my teaching inquiry. While positive student outcomes are what I always come back to in reflecting on what we are doing and why? I am missing a part of what we are doing at HPSS that I am passionate about. Yes we want academic excellence, but where is the personal excellence that underpins what we are doing here. If you have read my posts before you will know that we have the “Hobsonville Habits” that we teach explicitly to and try to make visible to our akonga.

Hobsonville habits

I talked to this earlier in my leadership inquiry…In a world where knowledge is ever changing and easily accessible, shifts are occurring in the way teaching and learning occurs. Many talk of developing dispositions, working learning muscles, learning to learn, key competencies, capabilities, metacognition, making learning visible and more…

What I am recognising now is that while I have explored supporting learning coaches around their coaching of the dispositional curriculum and how they are supporting our learners around this. That I have not actually inquired into how this is impacting on positive student outcomes.

When a Year 9 boy is reflecting on their learning like this, you know that there is something special developing…

To development in his reflections for the second semester…

Semester 2 Overlook

My Being:
I have learnt over not just this semester but the first one is that school isn’t just about scores and test but also how you have to work others and it’s about getting along with your peers and teachers because in a real life situation such as work you aren’t going to be judge on how smart you are at maths and you aren’t going to be given multi choice tests about maths but you will need skills such as communication and other social and interpersonal skills.

My personal achievements have been to be able to work more independently without help from teachers and I have achieved this, it’s just I need some guidance such as this blog post here. I’m doing it independently but there are guidelines to help me so I stay on the right topic. Another achievement is that my grades improve which in some aspects of learning like science and technology they have but in reading and maths I got the same scores as my mid-term e-asttle test and I even when down in some aspects of reading like language features but I did go up in other aspects such as my understanding of the text.

I have been inspired by a lot of things, some of the main things being art and design. Because of my dream to be a graphic designer, seeing all these different pieces of art and design work just wants inspires me to follow that dream. For example when I saw what the students did last year for big projects and how they created those banners, I thought it was really cool how we can do art and design but it is also helping out the community and when I got a chance to do it my self I took it up immediately.

When people like Johnny (a school/public speaker) came in it gave me a real good understanding of how other people and teenagers think and the situations they go through and now I have a better understanding of why some people do things and also I have better understanding of things that seem cool but can really harmful because they can say it in a way that everybody can relate to. So now that I can understand why people act the way they do I can find a way to help or at least try to help if its a bad situation.

This semester I have been thinking about my future such as what I want to have as a job and I am working towards that by taking class learning how to use tools for graphic design and I have been In contact with my uncle (works for a web design company) and he has said that he could give me a small job and maybe an internship and the business which I am really excited about to see what the work space is like and how to work in the environment.

My Communities:

My place in the world and how I make a difference, now and in the future. The connections I bring and the connections I make.

One highlight of working in my community is how I have created new friends through working with people I don’t normally work with, it’s not just in the school but outside like the primary I have created new friends and I get along with a few of the primary kids. I also made some friends when the year 8’s came for there orientation day. In my classes I have had to work with people I don’t really get along with but I have been forced to get along with them and now we are sort of friends. Being able to get out of the class and help out people from all around the community really brings out what this school means and how we are extremely community based.

Manaakitanga: I have shown Manaakitanga by respecting other equipment by using my own stuff and not relying on others to from equipment, for example at the start of the semester I would always forget my maths book and would have to use pages out of my friends book but now I have been more purposeful and have just kept my book in my bag so I don’t need to use anyone else’s.

Whenua: I have shown Whenua in my big project because it has been all about sustainability and they way I am showing it is by creating movies and documentaries about the topic “sustainability”. For one activity we did, we went to the city and filmed things like cars, buildings and rubbish to show that even though New Zealand is considered “Green”, Its really not and we are creating lots of pollution and rubbish.

Whanaungatanga: I have shown Whanaungatanga when I have had to help out at the primary and teach LC4 how to play a certain sport, my crew and to teach a group how to play tee ball, different skills used in tee ball and how to practice those skills and incorporate these skills into a game of tee ball. I have also shown it in big projects as I had to work with Flynn and Jack, two people I had never worked with before, and we ended up working really well together and we came up with some good ideas for documentaries and then put those ideas into action.

My Learning:

This semester I have learnt a lot from things like why chemical reactions happen and why they split the way they do, things about geometry and angles and other areas in maths, in maths I have also done some Pythagoras theorems and other level 5 stuff. In technology I have expanded my knowledge on prototyping and creating a brief for a product. I have also learnt skills on Adobe Illustrator as a lot of web and graphic designers use this tool and if I am going to peruse my goal of becoming a graphic designer than it is a good skill to learn. Those are just some of the things I have learnt but a highlight of this semester has been that in my e-asttle reading test in some aspects I have progressed and achieved level 6 beginner which is at year 10/11 knowledge. Another thing I have done really well in was science and how I have been doing a little bit of year 11 science work independently, one example of this was when I stayed back after class and asked about why the chemical worked the way they did and Cindy, my science teacher, explained what was going on with the quickeze and why when added to the hydroelectric acid it lower the Ph level. She also explained why the chemicals bonded they way they did. I have enjoyed the class Lunchbox because I have learnt lots of skills that I wanted to know like how to design a product and brief as well as more complicated maths techniques and I have expanded my maths knowledge. They way I learn best is either by myself with no distractions and that way I am complete focused on completing the task or the other way is in a group doing each thing to make a whole but working together to make it get done quicker, for me there is no in between otherwise I would get distracted. I feel more confident about speaking in front others because of my class ABBS, in ABBS we have to go to the primary school and teach sports there and most of the time I have been the leader. This has boosted my confidence at talking in front of others.

Habits

Three habits that I showed this year are Resourcefulness, Contribution and Reflective.

My first habit Resourceful, means to use the materials/situation that are provided to come up with a solution to a problem. Some examples of me using this habit are when I have been able to sort out conflicts between friends such as when there was a bit of misunderstanding and one of my friends and I got into a fight but we talked it out and found out that we were thinking abut two complete different things. Another way I have shown this habit stepping outside my comfort zone and worked with people I don’t normally work with and I have shown this by in big projects working with Flynn and Jack who I wouldn’t normally get along with but we worked well together and it was a lot of fun working with and I got to know them better. This habit has helped me to make to best discussions in a unexpected situation and has also helped me make new friendships and I has made me more confident to try new things. My next steps in using this habit are to use the skills I have acquired to help me in everyday life and take it with me into everything I do.

My second habit is Contribution. This means to help in anyway possible and give things a go. Some examples of me using this habit are when I helped out at the primary school for my class A Brief Skill Session. For this class we have to help one of the primary school classes learn some sports such as tee-ball, football, touch, etc. This helped because it got me out and being contributive with the primary school, and in big projects working together as a group with people I haven’t worked with before to create documentaries about sustainability and this was good because I learnt who to be contributive in an environment in not used to. This habit has helped me to understand the needs of others and how to give things ago even when I’m not used to the environment or the activity that is happening. My next steps in using this habit are to contribute more in day to day life and getting out and helping out when the opportunity arises.

My third habit is Reflective. This means to look back at what you have done in the past and use that to make better choices in the future. Some examples of me using this habit are when I do most school work like in my spin “PROD” and in this spin we learn to create a product with the laser cutter using Adobe Illustrator. The way I used my prior knowledge on this was that I already knew a lot of skills in Photoshop and because the two are both made by Adobe the tools worked very similarly I pick up on how to use it really fast. Another way I was reflective was when we went to the city to film for my big project I already knew my way around the city and suggested where some good spots to film would be and in my smaller group of Jack, Flynn and I, I kinda took charge and worked as the navigator. This habit has helped me to draw from my prior knowledge to help me when needed for example don’t jump over fences because there could be a sharp pole in the ground. My next steps in using this habit are to before I do anything, it be a test, sports or just having fun always think about what happened last time and what the consequences are going to be.

BUT…. what do we value when we talk about positive student outcomes… it is more than academic…it is the personal excellence we talk of. However, do we revert to the curriculum and SOLO levels to see whether the outcomes are having a positive influence? Why would we do that? Well it is easily measurable quantitative data. So how can we measure success in other ways. This has been the difficulty of tracking habits. Not measuring them as you don’t become “extended-abstract” in being “resilient”- a habit. Speaking from personal experience, there will be times in your life, in your year, in your weeks and in your days, when you will be more resilient than others. Times when you will need strategies to do this, develop strategies to do this and learn along the way. What is important is that you recognise when you are doing this, recognise what you did and what you need to do in the future. Again this is something we are working on.

We have explored teaching explicitly in hubs to the habits, however, this is sometimes out of context, so I know that I need to embed the habits in everything we do, in reflections in class, in “speaking learnish” in all aspects of what we do. Catching the habits in action, or the need for the habits to be enacted.

So alongside reflecting against the habits, making explicit the habits, collecting evidence of the habits in action, setting goals where habits need to underpin the success of these goals, what else can we measure? Why do we need to??

I am going to go to a personal level here…I am lucky enough to have shifted my older girl to the Hobsonville Point Primary School. Who are part of us and we are part of them. We have a reciprocal relationship and powerful partnership we are developing all of the time. We are two schools with one vision. Sitting in in my girls IEM last week, I am blown away by the how lucky I am to have a girl who can lead her own IEM, talk to her learning, set her own goals, talk about her own dispositions and drive her own learning… She is being empowered in a way that I can not believe… However, do you know what I really care about? Is it the curriculum level? Is it that she has met National Standards? Is it that she can do her basic facts????? No I care that she is HAPPY!!! I know that most parents would agree, but I am serious, this is all I really care about. Her hauora, wellbeing and happiness… So…. yes I am going to continue to inquire into making learning visible…but what is my shift. I am going to add a second inquiry into the mix next year. It is going to involve qualitative data not quantitative data and it is going to be along the lines of…

How might the Hobsonville Habits support happiness and in turn positive student outcomes?

happiness

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Everything is nothing with a twist…I am not a non existent teacher who just lets students go!

everything is nothing

Everything is nothing with a twist…

Even after a wonderful performance by the All Blacks this morning, I cannot get out of my mind this article in stuff.co.nz re: modern learning. Riddled with assumptions and possibly fuelled by an agenda to fight MOE changes to classrooms of the future, I feel to stay quiet on the article would be to agree in a passive manner. Here is the article… http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/73042309/Top-schools-give-multi-million-dollar-classrooms-a-fail-grade

I never judge a colleague, a practitioner, a teacher, a learner, by what school they are in. I never make judgements about what might be happening in a persons classroom, how they are helping their learners to grow. I never make judgements about how school communities are trying to ensure positive student outcomes, academically, socially or emotionally. I always assume that no matter where a person in education works, both in and outside/alongside the school community, that they have the best interest of the students at heart.

So… how is it when it comes to modern learning environments that many choose to make assumptions and generalisations about what is occurring. As I said in the title of the blog, I am not a non existent teacher who just lets students go! I feel that I need to stand in support of my colleagues working in a modern learning environment and challenge what has been said.

This is my 20th year in education, I have taught in a variety of decile schools and have seen quality practice in every school I have ever worked in. Passionate colleagues who have the best interest of the students at heart. Teachers who have put the students at the centre and personalised learning for them, working with them and not doing education to them. Personalised learning is not therefore just letting go and letting students go. There is a power shift required. However, this is nothing new, this has come in educational theory for years…see this old post on going old school in a new school. https://sallyhart72.wordpress.com/2013/10/20/going-old-school-at-a-new-school/

Colleagues at HPSS are shifting education for sure, however, they are excellent practitioners, who are differentiating and connecting learning more than I have ever seen before. As I say, not to take away from any other school or setting as I believe there is good practice everywhere. Yes we allow students to explore, make sense, focus and more… (aspects of our learning design model, that allows for cohesion in the language of learning across the school) see post by Steve on this in more depth… https://stevemouldey.wordpress.com/2015/02/22/empowering-language/

Teachers are getting also to deep learning at school rather than just surface. Teachers are working to make learning visible and meaningful to their learners. https://sallyhart72.wordpress.com/2015/05/30/what-are-we-really-learning-making-learning-visible/

Oh of course a teacher in a MLE is going to say these sorts of things…they must not believe in assessment, they will never get in the league tables, do we care about that? No. Do we care about positive student outcomes? For sure! What are those? Now this is something up for debate? Who decides what positive student outcomes are “we do!” our school, our community, our learners, our whānau.

I believe that I have a good handle of curriculum, assessment and pedagogy, here is a link to my MEd (1st class honours) http://researchcommons.waikato.ac.nz/handle/10289/8984 show off putting that here! No proving that there is depth and an understanding of education to be challenging the view points put forward in the article. Also working as National Assessment Moderator for NZQA for 5 years, I also have a reasonably good handle of what is required to achieve success as is currently measured. We are looking to shift things and transform things in our context. However, we are well aware of constraints and work to see these in different ways, how can we collect naturally occurring evidence? How can we align curriculum, assessment and pedagogy and ensure that assessment is not the main driver?

It is not a dichotomy… modern learning vs traditional learning. Maybe it can be seen more as a dialectical relationship for your Marxists out there. Where hegemony and counter-hegemony work against each other to create a new hegemony. Where things do need a radical shift, but not to throw out the old, but to truly re-vision what success in education is and can be? It does not have to be a dichotomy…

dichotomy

I want to paint a picture…I am currently teaching collaboratively in a module with Tanya, who has many years under her belt as a Mathematician, she is an amazing practitioner differentiating more than she has ever done before. Working hard to put her students at the centre and achieving not only depth in learning, but also extending her learners more than she has ever before. Yes it is in a MLE, however, she is pushing herself as a practitioner more than she has ever done before, scaffolding and supporting along the way, not just letting go…however, that will come more as the students move further along the school pathway. She is also connecting with HPE, who would have thought that! Here is a write up on that module and the awesome social action taking place within it by @Sarvnazz http://attitudelive.com/blog/sarvnaz-taherian/opinion-exploring-disabilities-gain-empathy

Then we have https://twitter.com/CbwynnWynn our awesome SCT (specialist classroom teacher) who supports SCT across the region, has been an advisor and also a National Assessment Moderator for Biology. An amazing practitioner in any setting. She always has the student at the centre, more than any other practitioner I know, she always has, no matter where she has taught, she personalises learning constantly. However, she too scaffolds, supports, differentiates all the way. She is responsive to the learners and listens to their voice. This is good practice whatever school you are in.

I could go through all my colleagues at school and give you a brief on them and their teaching and learning programmes in their classes in the same manner. They are awesome practitioners, constantly inquiring into their own practice striving for positive student outcomes. I could have also done this when I taught at Onehunga High School, Takapuna Grammar School, St Cuthbert’s College and in London. Why, because I always see the best in my colleagues, I don’t run down other schools for what they are doing, I don’t see education as competition, I see it as collaboration to get the best for akonga/students across the nation. For allowing schools to work in their context in their way, with their communities, akonga/students, whānau to work out the best way to achieve “positive student outcomes” in line with their vision. If we are all working towards the same goal only then… Everything is nothing with a twist…

engage through powerful partnerships ….contribute confidently and responsibly in our changing world…

Engage through powerful partnerships ….Contribute confidently and responsibly in our changing world…
Parts of our vision and not just rhetoric…

I truly believe that we are making a difference more than ever before. Many people are talking about MLE (modern, learning environments) rather than about the pedagogy. Here at HPSS, the thing that is apparent when you come into our school as an outsider is that it is all about the pedagogy, not just the environment.

I would like to focus in on the above two aspects of our school vision. In the past I have gathered anecdotal evidence on what “taking action” looks like in the context of PE in schools. My take on things is it is often just to meet the requirements of a standard. Often not really underpinned by the underlying concepts in the NZC. These underlying concepts are..

Hauora – a Māori philosophy of well-being that includes the dimensions taha wairua, taha hinengaro, taha tinana, and taha whānau, each one influencing and supporting the others.

Attitudes and values – a positive, responsible attitude on the part of students to their own well-being; respect, care, and concern for other people and the environment; and a sense of social justice.

The socio-ecological perspective – a way of viewing and understanding the interrelationships that exist between the individual, others, and society.

Health promotion – a process that helps to develop and maintain supportive physical and emotional environments and that involves students in personal and collective action.

Also often with a token relationship with Strand D of the HPE curriculum.

“Healthy communities and environments, in which students contribute to healthy communities and environments by taking responsible and critical action”.

As the National Moderator for 5 years for PE I saw a lot of work on taking action where it was often a one off event where it was difficult to reflect and act in an ongoing manner as would be expected by taking action models such as the action competence process (Tasker 2009)…

Action-competence-learning-process

Action competence learning process

The action competence learning process is a process for engaging in health promotion. It provides a framework that enables students to take individual or collective action. The term “action competence” means the development of those competencies (understandings and skills) that enable students to take critical action. The issue selected for action should be one that students have chosen so that it has meaning and relevance for them. Issues will emerge out of the themes or contexts that are currently being studied. (TKI-HPE online)

At HPSS our students are only year 9 and 10, so we are not being driven by assessment to take action, rather by a belief and vision that involves…engaging through powerful partnerships ….contributing confidently and responsibly in our changing world…
Well I really want to reflect on the amazing impact that the akonga/students in our module MATHH is making for the akonga/students from Arohanui (the special needs school on site here at HPSS).

In this module we are working towards the following…
Modification and Equality for Arohanui Through the Hobsonville Habits (MATHH)

We will work closely with Arohanui in this module. We will explore how disabilities can effect peoples participation in physical activity. You will make sense of this by experiencing how it feels to have a variety of disabilities. You will innovate games, activities, equipment, space and rules by using and developing your knowledge of geometry and measurement. You will explore the specific needs of the students in Arohanui to allow you to transform participation for them. In all aspects of this module you will do this through the Hobsonville Habits.

Our learning objectives are..

To TEST by applying concepts from measurement and geometry to model physical education equipment and activities to transform participation by Arohanui students.

To REFINE physical activity and sport for Arohanui students by transforming games, activities, equipment, space and rules.

Along the way students have taken individual and collective action within this module and are taking action every week for two terms in an on-going way including reflection and action…

Students got to know their learners…
Gina's google drawing

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Libby Arohanui questions

They plan in an ongoing manner, where there is individual responsibility for stations but collective action…

Week 3 Stations For Arohanui Students

Hurdles - Stations For Arohanui Students

Copy of Stations For Arohanui Students

(Katherine and Rebecca) Stations For Arohanui Students

There is also on-going reflection and action about individuals that learners have worked with…
Copy of Copy of Arohanui Reflection

Petra - Arohanui Reflection

As well as personal reflections on the disabilities that they are experiencing through their own practical PE and how modifications are required from here, gaining understanding and empathy for others…
Inclusion for all

Pictures speak louder than words so here are the crew taking action…
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In conclusion, taking action does not need to be token, assessment driven or one off experiences… it can be meaningful, authentic and truly make a difference and the highlight of my year to date is seeing these kids (both HPSS and Arohanui) developing the powerful partnerships we talk of and allowing our learners to be fulfilling the school vision of…contributing confidently and responsibly in our changing world…alongside showing our Hobsonville Habits in action, including, being compassionate, contributive, purposeful and resourceful.

Doing things differently is not always easy!

Doing things differently is not always easy!

Coming back to the kaupapa! Things are pretty busy on the ground. Many different aspects to our model, how to have cohesion, develop capability and support. It is all a balancing act as a leader… Today I got the coaches to reflect back on our initial kaupapa doc and key parts to our role. Here is the two docs…

HPSS Kaupapa of the Learning Hub

The Learning Hub

A Learning Hub is a small group within a Learning Community. Each Learning Hub has a Learning Coach. They are central to the school’s goal to empower learners by “Innovating through personalising learning, Engaging through powerful partnerships, and inspiring through deep challenge and inquiry .

When the school is at full capacity, students will remain with the same Learning Hub for their time at school. This is so they will get to understand and know each other and their Learning Coach well. In the first few establishment years there will be some shifts due to growing groups. However, this will always be done by involving students and their families.

The Learning Coach is to act as the academic and pastoral mentor for each of their students. In this way, the Learning Hub is a support system for the learner and is a bit like an extended family. Within this system every student has an adult in the school who cares about him or her deeply.

The Learning Hub is a time for students to be exposed to a wide range of ideas, interests, skills and experiences which support their learning. During Learning Hub time students develop skills around learning to learn, and the habits to be successful inquirers and self-directed learners.

The Role of the Learning Coach

The Learning Coach has the opportunity to be a teacher of learning and to radically change the entire schooling experience for their students. An important role of the Learning Coach is to create a caring, intellectually stimulating and well-organised Learning Hub.

The Learning Coach is responsible for guiding each one of their students through their learning journey. The Learning Coach works with students to identify passions and link their interests and needs to their learning. Learners negotiate their LearnPath (personalised learning programme) with their Coach to ensure that what they are learning is relevant to them.

The Learning Coach supports learners to reach academic and personal excellence by supporting them to set learning goals, constantly revisiting them and revising them and to seek ways of supporting each learner to enjoy the success of achieving their goals. The Coach also works with learners to track their learning journey, to discuss learning issues and find solutions, provide pastoral care, provide guidance for life beyond school and build on learners’ capacities to take responsibility for their learning.

and……

There was a lot of reflection by the coaches in my community, concerns over one on one time and how to facilitate this without just giving busy work, also still the difficulty of being in a new role and developing things on the ground. Finding a balance between time for developing capability and making things explicit, between teaching something separately or catching it in action -eg our habits and dispositions…How much is in the moment and how do we learn as we develop our understanding, it won’t just happen, we need to take the time…

To support but not too much, to build their capability…the interesting thing is that I made the shift from resourcing all to us all building our capability as coaches, by dividing up and sharing our resources around the habits and my-learning. In the reflections today hubs were coming back to wanting to do more on learning to learn and specific processes such as goal setting, how to skim and scan etc…

So…..it is all about balance, while returning to our kaupapa, a shift away from support the coaches, to actually WHY hubs!!!!

It was not long enough for our meeting so I need to revisit further… after the meeting I clarified our discussions with this email…

Kia ora all, just while it is fresh in our minds, I feel like we rushed past it this morning.

It was good to have time to reflect on hubs and coaching this morning. Thank you all for your honest reflections on things. As you are aware, it is a new role to all, that we are working on refining and developing as time goes on.

Hubs are an extremely important part of what we do with the learners/akonga here at HPSS.

I am also aware that there are a lot of parts to the model, these are parts that were co-contsructed early on in the process of the school as being important for developing the whole learner, their being, what they give to the community and how they go about learning in a time where knowledge is ever changing and readily accessible.

The way forward…

1. My learning is your responsibility as a hub coach…you had some very important feedback re this and learning to learn and what the kids need… it is finding a balance of this just in time teaching and supporting each other and growing our capabilities to talk about and recognise the habits in action, across all aspects of the school…as Martin said “capturing it as it happens”. The balance though is that we are all developing our understanding around this and it is different to anything we have done ever before.
So you decide what is best for your learners on a Monday, is it focusing on a habit, is it goal setting? Is it different things for different learners???

2. My communities is a time to draw on whanaungatanga in action etc… this does require what we have done with a bit of up front teaching of what this means… we can then as Jill said, use the students as teachers “Tuakana Teina” in action, try not to worry about the terms, however, I don’t think we should shy away from using aspects of Te Reo with our learners, even if it is new for us.

3. My-being is structured I realise (it took a while!!) But it should not be seen as something we are doing to learners….when you work with the learners on these activities, we are recognising their stresses, their worries, this truly is about knowing the learner.

This morning was not to stress you out about what you are not doing well, in the scheme of things it was mainly the one on one that came up as an issue. We can develop our skills in doing this better…but we must hold tight with the good things you are doing as coaches, that you do know your learners, that you know how to support good learning and that we are all developing in this role.

I believe you are all doing an amazing job and we can continue to refine and tweak to become even more awesome hub coaches. Remember also what we build now in our learners, they will be able to support younger learners later on.

Keep up the good work.

Sal

Where to now…. for me to rethink how I support, with the kaupapa always in mind, what do the akonga/ learners need, not what do the coaches need and how can I support the coaches to provide that….

Even though I have not been the best about the coaching with Suzanne, I often have reflective conversations with a mentor of mine at school here (guru and SCT Cindy), it is hard yakka on the ground leading in an environment where everything is so new, Cindy used the metaphor of trying to cut your way through the bush and making new paths with what you are doing, while it could be easy to revert back to what you know, sitting in your subject silo, doing what you have always done, we must hold strong to the why??? Keep coming back to why we are doing what we are doing.

It is about the akonga…

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SOLO

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Process over outcomes…Making learning visible in multiple ways….via blogging -teachers, learners, comments and authenticity

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Learning Outcomes-Right and Wrong

I love this image on technology and the “right and wrong learning outcomes”. For me this is an extremely important consideration for teaching and learning. Yes technology is shifting faster than ever before, yes we must engage ourselves and our learners in use of technology, e-learning, blended learning, whatever we may call it. Yes we must ensure equality for all, all learners need access to devices of some sort. BUT…… we need to think about all this with a pedagogical hat on!! Why comes first? What is the intended outcome? What are we wanting to learn? Why will this tool allow this? Not just a tool for the sake of a tool.

Therefore to blog or not to blog is not the question!

Why to blog????

There is multiple reasons that I believe that a blog can be a powerful tool for learning…

Firstly I believe that a blog allows gathering of naturally occurring evidence of learning, where the process of learning is gathered over time. Where the growth in the learning journey is visible to all. By all I mean, the learner, the teacher, the whānau and society.

Secondly, the learning is more authentic. This is due to the fact that the blog is out there for the world to see, to interact with and therefore the learning is augmented.

Thirdly, blogging allows for timely feedback to occur. Feedback from teachers, peers, whānau and other nodes on the network (Castells, 2000b). I have been giving feedback to my learners today in our integrated English and PE module. Feedback/feed- forward, where I hope I am making the learning more visible. Where I add value, challenge thinking and help shift the learners on their level of thinking.
here are some examples of feedback/feed-forward that I hope will add value for my learners.

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In addition, I believe that a blog is a great way to document and catch the learning journey in a better way than many other modes. I believe that it allows for a way to capture formative data about learning without the high stakes of a final summative assessment. I therefore believe it allows for the true alignment of curriculum, assessment and pedagogy and disables the potential for assessment to be the main driver.

In integrated learning, it is enabling a natural connection between PE and English. The learning is occurring, in, through and about movement (Arnold, 1979). There is a holistic focus between the doing and the learning. We are looking at socio-critical aspects such as gender, socio-economics and more and the influence of these on participation and competence in sport and physical activity. We are taking the critical aspects of this even further. We are using this content and using a blog as tool to capture this learning and understanding. The mode of the blog is being used as a tool to develop the learners writing ability for English. A hook in for those who love either PE or English or both. A hook into another learning area where it may not occur and a great way to connect their learning.

Here are some pictures of our module in action…
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To support the blog and make the learning even more visible, we have rubrics developed at school, that allow us to give specific feedback and feed-forward on where learners are at and where to next. The module is “Do we get what we are given?”, we are exploring nature vs nurture. We have a SOLO rubric for each level of PE and here is an example for level 5. We use the AO’s from the NZC to drive this and SOLO to show the level of thinking.

Here is the English rubric on writing, so that both curriculum areas have their own specific criteria to feedback on, even though teaching and learning is integrated.

We are practicing what we are preaching and both Ros and I https://plus.google.com/+RosMacEachern/posts are bloggers of what we are up to. We are also using a class blog as a platform for our teaching and learning programme, ensuring learners can access this at any time/just in time…
here is a link to our blog http://getgiven.blogspot.co.nz/

If you are reading this you may like to check out some of our learners blogs, so that they can get your voice as well, this will help us to make the learning even more authentic.

Finally, another great reason to blog, for us and our learners is sharing, sharing the range of different contexts, teaching and learning programmes, and ways of doing things that are out there, to keep being creative with the spaces between curriculum, assessment and pedagogy and not being stuck in doing things the way we have always done them. At the end of this we are looking for our learners to transform beliefs and societal understandings for others and what better way to do this than by sharing their journey with others and asking for them to be a part of it…

Watch this space as in my next blog I will talk to our cool module we have at the moment, integrating Maths and PE. Where students are integrating their understanding of measurement in maths with modifying activities for inclusion with our special needs unit (Arohanui) at school. A true reflection of our Hobsonville Habits in action.

Arnold, P. (1979). Meaning in movement, sport and physical education. London: Heinemann.
Castells, M. (2000b). The rise of the network society (2nd ed.). U.S.: Blackwell Publishing.

Highlighting Habits and Developing Dispositions…Leadership Inquiry…

In a world where knowledge is ever changing and easily accessible, shifts are occurring in the way teaching and learning occurs. Many talk of developing dispositions, working learning muscles, learning to learn, key competencies, capabilities, metacognition, making learning visible and more…However, while I am in full agreement with this shift in focus, I am also aware that this is an area that will not just occur, that need to be thoughtfully planned for, scaffolded and made explicit to the learner. Not just done to the learner and not just assumed that if you think you are developing dispositions that it will happen. Do the learners recognise what they are developing, can they highlight strengths and weaknesses, where they are at and where to next? If these aspects of learning are not explicit, who holds the power in learning? Also if as a learner I do not recognise these dispositions in action, how can I transfer their use to other contexts, situations and learning. Here at HPSS we have our Hobsonville Habits, this is our dispositional curriculum based on the Key Competencies and developed in conjunction with our school community, (learners and whānau). Based on what dispositions our community wanted to see developed to allow learners positive outcomes in education and life. Allowing them to “flounder intelligently” (Guy Claxton) in our ever changing world. Hobsonville habits

How these habits are being developed is an on-going process, that is changing over time, with a recognition that we do need to make these more explicit with our learners. This means that as coaches of our Hubs and teachers of our Learning Modules, we are in an on-going process of reflection and action of how can we do this better? How might we make these clearer? How can we develop these and not just see them as inherent in who we are? That we can change, develop and earn more than just content knowledge in education and work towards our goal of “Personal Excellence” as well as “Academic Excellence”. For me as a Learning Team Leader at school, this is something that I believe I have not supported my community on enough. For us as educators at HPSS, there is many new aspects to how we are doing things around here. Due to this it can be full on at times on the ground with your head in many spaces. If you follow the blogs of others at HPSS, you may be aware of those aspects. If you follow Sarah you will know about project learning here at HPSS https://twitter.com/hpssprojects Also our shift to collaboratively taught, cross curricular modules Steve explains these better than I could as a member of the SLL team https://stevemouldey.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/personalised-learning-at-hpss/#more-610 We are also reporting on learning in a very different manner here which Heemi explains in his posts on reporting and assessment https://heemimcdonald.wordpress.com/2015/06/04/school-reporting-whats-to-keep-secret/ So with many different aspects to the school curriculum at HPSS, I believe I need to better support my coaches in how we develop and make explicit the dispositional curriculum at HPSS. This does not mean that I believe that dispositions sit siloed in hubs and with coaches, more that if I help to build capability at a hub level, then I can support my coaches in transferring this to their teaching and learning in other aspects of the curriculum at HPSS. In contrast to sitting siloed I believe that we need to be making this clear, every day, capturing dispositions in action, “speaking learnish” as Guy Claxton would say and acknowledging when these dispositions are used, need to be used, or need to be developed. Due to this I am on a journey as a leader and have made the focus of my leadership inquiry for NAPP on helping to support the dispositional curriculum and the capability of my coaches to help make this explicit with their learners across HPSS. To do this I would take targetted action in my community-Waiarohia. To do this I needed starting data. My data is two fold, looking at my leadership strengths and weaknesses and also at my coaches perceptions of their capability in using the dispositional curriculum. Here is the starting data that I gathered, so that I can measure qualitatively the journey that we all take, including mine as a leader and my coaches as dispositional curriculum leaders. I gathered the responses from my coaches in an anonymous google form and this is a summary of the data…

What do you consider to be Sally’s strengths as the leader of Waiarohia? And why do you think that? Give examples where you can… Sally has many leadership qualities that she exercises in her work as W leader. For example Sally is purposeful in her work with students and staff. To be purposeful you need to spend time thinking about, analysing and planning for the purpose of what you do.Sally is always well planned in her work and has thought about where it might take people. Another great leadership quality of Sally’s is her enthusiasm for her work. This enthusiasm takes others along with her. She is also confident enough to take risks in what she does with teachers and try new ideas and new things eg planning the multifaceted Hub time programme. Sally also realises she needs to be responsive to people thoughts and feelings. She listens carefully in meetings and negotiates well through sometimes tricky situations. She is willing to change tack too if the feedback warrants it. This to me says she is very knowledgable in how to work closely with and lead a team of thinking adults to get the best out of them. As if this were not enough Sally also has the impact/outcomes on the students…in all her work with staff it always comes back to what is going to be best for student learning. Sally is also committed to doing things well and refining until it works well. Sally cares about the people she works with and develops good relationships with them….they are then happy to work with and for her and go the extra …. Passionate – You are clearly passionate about the learning that takes place in our community which is evident in your language and the activities you plan, particularly around the dispositional curriculum. This is a strength because it drives the team to participate, engage, and support the dispositions within our community. Collaborative leadership – You demonstrate a highly collaborative model of leadership which encompasses the views of all team members. This allows each member to be heard and feel valued even if they do not agree with the outcome or decision taken. Approachable/Supportive – You are always prepared to listen to, and consider different points of view. On a personal level you are also extremely supportive which makes for a supportive working environment within our community team. Knowledgeable – You know what is going on and always up to date with current discussion topics. As a result, you are confident with what is happening at any given time. This is reassuring as a team member. Her ability to support us as hub coaches around activities were are strengths do not lie (Hauroa). That is where her passions lies developing growth and understanding for the students. Very organised. Always has resources and ideas at the ready to help us and makes sure we know what we’re doing. Willing to listen to any feedback – always asks for opinions (even if no one has any!) Is keen to give support and has good ideas about how to do this. It always feels like Sally is on our side.

What do you consider to be things Sally could do better as a leader of Waiarohia? And why do you think that? Give examples where you can… ?? Have confidence in your ability as a leader. You are doing a fantastic job! You lead a positive, supportive team which reflects your leadership style. I can’t think of anything to improve on, sorry. I will try to think of something.

How confident am I in coaching learners in my hub, the dispositional curriculum- Hobsonville Habits? and why do you feel this way? I think I’m okay with it, but sometimes struggle with coming up with specific examples of what some of the habits look like in relation to “my learning’ e.g. adventurous. I have a vague idea of what adventurous learning might look like, but find it difficult to give specific examples of what students might do to be adventurous in their learning. I am confident in some aspects…growing in confidence and learning all the time. I feel this way because it is still new and we are all learning about it. I am not overly confident with the dispositional curriculum or habits because it is not something I have taught to any great extent in the past. I feel I have only a superficial understanding of this content myself. Hmmm to be honest I feel like I am walking in the dark sometimes I feel like I understand the direction of where we should be going but than other times I feel lost. When it comes to the Habits – it is hard from myself to explain in different contexts as one students might see it differently than the next student. Somewhat confident – I think I could do better in this. I’m not confident that my hub are thinking about and using the Habits apart from when we explicitly talk about them. I get this feeling from evidencing habits in the Learner Narrative – it feels like the kids are making stuff up on the spot rather than thinking about using the habits throughout the week.

How can Sally support my learning to better coach the learners in my hub the dispositional curriculum? The materials and activities you have provided are very helpful. Additional PD on dispositional curriculum and habits and how they impact learning would give greater depth to these activities. Keep on listening to your people…..keep on co-constructing the pathway through while keeping your eye on the goal…you are good at this (it is a hard thing to do but you do it well!) It would be great if we had some resources for talking about the operation of the habits in their learning. For example, videos or students in class or encountering difficult work and how they are using the habits or might better use the habits. Students seem to have difficulty relating the habits to their daily lives at school. Maybe suggest activities which students can use to gather evidence for habits? We could make that evidence gathering more explicit in extended hub but stress that it is not sufficient. How to scaffold the breakdowns of habits to students? Perhaps having learning conversations prompters ???

Is there any other ideas, thoughts, feed forward, feedback that you think would be useful to Sally in embarking on an inquiry into leading the dispositional curriculum and how it is coached/supported? Demonstrate how the dispositional curriculum and habits are integral to learning and not merely tacked on as an extra. This will make it more relevant to staff and therefore students. Awesome Miss. Love to hear how all this is going along the way. Making it easier to find all the information that Lea and LTL have placed….I struggle to find it – maybe it is the system we have created. Perhaps a more centralised system for tracking habits in a public way (like a star chart or something, rather than the Learner Narrative) to support getting in the habit of gathering evidence for the habits.

So while my coaches gave positive feedback about my processes of leadership, I also critically reflected on how they are feeling about the dispositional curriculum and see this as an issue in my leadership, that I have not supported them enough and that I need to take steps with my leadership to do so. There has been two parts to this journey so far and I have shifted my thinking on this after some reading and learning. As a community we have been working to make the habits visible with activities such as…

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Each term we have had a focus on one or two habits that we dig deeper with. To start off with on this journey I started to develop resources and create activities to make the habits more visible, to use and share with the coaches. Coaches take turns at leading activities which focus on these habits and we try to consolidate this with greater focus on one or two. Cindy, Cairan, Jill, Martin, Tanya and Leoni have lead some awesome activities that have been carefully thought through and linked to the habits… To help support further, I have tried to develop some more activities. First of all I tried to scaffold the habits a bit further, using some of the work of Guy Claxton on building learning power https://magic.piktochart.com/output/5007410-hobsonville-habits-taken-furth The link takes you to an online version of this..

Hobsonville Habits Taken Further Copy

I have also tried a number of activities to make the habits more explicit in different contexts… Where learners developed thinking on habits such as… and this…

Petra and Emily - Habits of the Athletes (1) and Connor Seb

Also activities such as this, which was sparked by Bryce a member of staff who epitomises the Hobsonville Habits through his life journey, provoking the learners linking Habits to Hauora…

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I consider myself to be a servant leader and in doing this I often go about doing what I am asking others to do and trying to “awhi” and support this in others. What I have realised part way through this process is this does not always lead to “sustainable leadership”. So I realised when I read “Coaching Leadership” a book by Jan Robertson that I was not always building capability in my coaches, if the leadership of the dispositional curriculum is to become more sustainable, then I need buy in and ownership by all my coaches as leaders. So aspects such as us taking turns to develop the habits in our community do build capability, by me developing resources to give to my coaches, I am not. So I believe I need to find a balance of developing and supporting ideas, which my coaches have asked for, but also allowing them to lead alongside me and develop their own capability in using the dispositional curriculum. Here are some snippets from Jan’s Book that show what sparked my reflections.

image copy image_1 image_2 image_3 So after reading this, I shifted my inquiry, I asked my coaches, who wanted to be involved in a coaching group, where we work together to develop and collaborate around leading the dispositional curriculum. There was no imperative to do so, all of my coaches have agreed to be a part of this. While I had already started developing activities, we have shifted to all coaches taking two habits each to develop my learning activities for their hubs next term. Coaches will lead these with their own hubs and will reflect and refine after leading these. We will all share our process, refinements and thinking as well as supporting resources. This will enable all to be a part of the development, while also sharing the workload of doing this. I will also gather feedback and voice in coaching conversations about how this has supported or otherwise coaches next term. In finding a balance and not transferring everything to coaches and still supporting others, as we have IEM’s coming up where the learners are to reflect on “my-being, my learning, my communities and my habits” and this is a source of unease for some coaches, I have developed some scaffolds to support learners in thinking about these… Here is the IEM doc as developed by the LTL’s and Lea.. Here are some supporting scaffolds I have developed… Thinking about Habits and Goals Thinking about my being Thinking about my communities Thinking about My Learning Anyway, this is a very long blog post, however it is important for my leadership inquiry that I keep a record of my process and journey of leadership and learning, there is still a lot more to come, I hope this journey will help me build my leadership skills and also build the capability and leadership of others, while also helping to embed our dispositional curriculum in a sustainable way….

What are we really learning? Making Learning Visible..

What is the focus for educators around the country? Is it what are we teaching? Or is it what are students/akonga learning? What is the difference? Well I assume many educators out there could clearly articulate what the difference is between teaching and learning, however, how are they measuring it? Is it based on what I teach students learn? Is there assumptions at play on what has been learnt? Or is it deeper than that? Is there data and evidence collected, analysed an acted upon along the way? Are the tools, strategies and learning programmes modified along the way in a responsive way?

I have been lucky to connect up with Margot Bowes (Auckland Uni), Anne McKay and Kylie Thompson (Unitec) and Alex Smith at Rutherford College. Collaboratively, we are embarking on a journey supported by academics to take this to a deeper level. Here is a clip that they used when presenting at an International PE conference in Australia, talking about why we (as a group of Physeders) are interested in this and how it sits in my context at HPSS.

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With the focus this term on Interpersonal Skills in PE, we have looked to see how we can ensure learning is visible along the way. How to capture evidence of where the learners are, while still holding tight to our philosophy of ensuring the learning is “in, through and about movement”, not diminished to just learning theoretically. Also not just a final snapshot of where they are at, but evidence collected in an on-going way over time, valuing the process of learning over just the outcome.

At the start of the term I gathered evidence on where learners were at, with their understanding of interpersonal skills as well as introducing how we would focus on these and apply and develop this understanding over the term. Development of both understanding of and application of interpersonal skills is imperative. This means that in the learning programme, there must be the opportunity to show these in action and we have done this using a variety of contexts, sports, team activities, group challenges and more..Here are a few samples of some of the evidence gathered…
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With the focus on the impacts that interpersonal skills can have on a team, we set about using on-going evaluations of sessions. Where learners think of what they have just taken part in and reflect on specific examples of their use of interpersonal skills and how this impacts on their team/group and how they know this. These have developed along the way showing the growth in their understanding of interpersonal skills in action…Here are a few examples of these reflections…
Week 5 Interpersonal skills Annie Wang

Week 3 Interpersonal skills Kiara Padayatchi

Week 3 Interpersonal skills Annie Wang

Week 2 Interpersonal skills Annie Wang

We have developed SOLO rubrics for levels 4, 5 and 6 of the curriculum for Interpersonal skills, so that I can clearly articulate exactly where learners are sitting and what their next steps are to move up curriculum levels and SOLO levels, here is an example of one of the rubrics…

Part way through I captured another snapshot of where learners were at by using socrative, here is a sample…Student_Greenhalgh, Amanda_15_05_2015__12_19_interpersonalskillsandme

Using both the data in the socrative, the describe++ sheets (evaluation sheets above) and the evidence of where the learners are at practically, learners have been given very specific midway feedback on where they are at in terms of both curriculum level and SOLO level within this. Here is a snapshot of this data…Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 5.24.05 pm

Since then, as giving specific examples within reflections was a next step for many learners. I needed to shift again what strategies I was using to make this clearer for learners. I set up for students to take part in a peer assessment, where peers captured specific examples for their partner as it was happening in action, students then used this feedback to deepen their own reflections on what they are doing in action. Here is a blank copy, which learners did on hard copy, I will post at the end of the term..Peer Assessment Interpersonal Skills

In addition I have given students a learning reflection using De Bono’s 6 thinking hats to reflect on their learning in an explicit way…Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 5.20.50 pm

Cindy that I am co-teaching with has added another level to this as, I am co-teaching with a scientist, who has made the use of interpersonal skills explicit in aspects she is working with here is an example of her doing so as well, allowing natural connections to arise within our different contexts…

This is only half way through the inquiry, however, from the many different tools, tasks and strategies that I have been trying to use to make learning visible, I feel the students/akonga have a very clear understanding of where they are at and what their next steps are. Towards the end of the inquiry, I will capture student voice on the process of learning that has taken place and make a final analysis of the intended and actual outcomes.