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…

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

tramping

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…

and

and

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.

Movie on 13-04-15 at 5.08 pm from Sally Hart on Vimeo.

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.

Well you mucked that up, how are you going to make things clearer?

Being a reflective practitioner, I have an on-going inner monologue going on, always thinking what did I do wrong there? How could I do that better? What was an alternative? How can I deepen their learning more? How can I make learning more visible? Well you mucked up there, how are you going to make things clearer?…

Is this a bad thing? Is being an over analyser an issue? Maybe, maybe not….

Maybe, just maybe, this puts you in the state of on-going learning? Not being a knower, but always looking to learn from mistakes to help learners with their own learning. To ensure you make the difference you believe you can make. High expectations for your learners and yourself.

Here is a few examples of this in recent teaching and learning…Here are the modules for me for the first semester (Term one/Term two different Key Concepts)

Key Concept Term One: Culture and Diversity
Key Concept Term two: Relationships

In SLM 1 for Year 9’s with Science and PE.

It’s all about the T’s: Timelines, timescales and team talks

Description Term One: We will explore different stages of life and development, from young to old, involving ecosytems and physical activity. This will include a couple of off-site activities, involving powerful partnerships.
Learning objectives:
Share understanding of physical activity over stages of life, by teaching others.
To explore ecosystems by considering life processes, situations and factors that change over time.

Description Term Two: We will be looking at the impact that human activity has had on our environment over time. In addition we will work in group and team situations. We will explore how we might optimise impact on team performance.
Learning objectives:
To test interpersonal skills by implementing strategies to impact on the functioning of a team. To make sense of chemistry by connecting human impact on our environment over time.

In SLM 2 for Year 10’s also with Science and PE

E² around the world-ecosystems and exercise around the world

Description Term One: In this module you will explore and make sense of the characteristics of all living things and biological ecosystems, choosing one from a country of your choice. In addition you will explore societal influences on participation in physical activity, sports, games and incidental exercise in different cultures and share by teaching others a game/activity from your chosen country.
Learning objectives:
Explore and make-sense of cultures around the world by showing an understanding of ecosystems and exercise. To share by teaching others a game/activity from the chosen country.

Description Term Two: You will investigate how human activities change the chemistry of the environment and as a result impact on the biology of ecosystems. In addition you will take part in games, sports and physical activity and attempt to improve the functioning of groups/teams.
Learning objectives:
Refine our interpersonal skills to impact on the effective functioning of a group/team.
To make sense of chemistry by exploring the impact of humans on an ecosystem.

That is the background, time for my learning and muck ups….

With the Year 9’s, I explored barriers and enablers as influences on physical activity as well as benefits and risks of exercise.

First of all I started off with what they know already…
IMG_3922 (1)IMG_3920

I used hexagons that I made on http://pamhook.com/solo-apps/hexagon-generator/ here are the docs…
Getting them to go deeper, with barriers, enablers, benefits and risks…
Asking them to group them through negotiation and justification with each other…
IMG_3935IMG_3926

From here I asked students to link the hexagons further into subgroups and annotate their justifications on the sheet…this is where I lost them, even though they had had great conversations in their sorting, they did not know what I meant by justify…I tried to reword this several times and still think I lost them…anyway the session ended, so I need to go back to this… @AndreaHenson_nz had a great chat afterwards about not making assumptions about what Year 9’s can do and supporting and scaffolding to ensure learning occurs. They need more scaffolding, it is not that they could not justify, they just did not understand what I was asking. I am going to focus in more by using this…
barriers (1)
This will support and scaffold and build their justifications to allow for greater coherence in their PEEL paragraphs.

Here is a collage of the group in action exploring play and ecosystems at the local park…
ecosystems

With my year 10’s we are exploring barriers and enablers, with a focus on physical activity from around the world. Again I started with what they know…

Here is a picture of them exploring Maori Myths and legends through dance..also using the scaffold that I learnt was required to justify links, through my year 9’s.

barrier

I organised a collaborative task that all members of the group would have input into, each with a role and responsibility for the groups learning. To be followed by the generation of a PEEL paragraph/s answering this…

There are barriers and enablers that influence physical activity around the world. How might we use this understanding to increase physical activity for self and society?

Here is a blank copy of the task and rubric…pan down to see whole task..

Anyway, students went off and worked in groups, I thought I had scaffolded this well, but I did find myself clarifying things to the learners and some had harder aspects than others, the cultural norms part was tricky. Also there were a couple that did not pull their weight in their groups learning. So the positives are there was collaboration and most were engaged and contributing. With 53 learners in the class there were a couple that did not and that was where it was great to have the lovely @CbwynnWynn on hand to support. So in my head most benefited from the collaborative work, but the couple that did not had an impact on their group. I allowed students to select their own groups and I tend to mix this up, sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t, perhaps on reflection I could have been more purposeful in my selection.

I look forward to their PEEL paragraphs and @CbwynnWynn had a great idea to get the learners to give peer feedback against a SOLO rubric for PEEL and a chance to refine from this as well as my feedback, to allow step ups in learning to occur…watch this space for how they all go.
So yes I have mucked up, been unclear, assumed… but using that to modify and support and scaffold in an on-going way is a must for deeper learning….

Something truly special is brewing here….

Whakataukī

E kore au e ngaro, he kākano i ruia mai i Rangiātea.
I will never be lost, for I am a seed sown in Rangiātea.

To search a little further, I believe this whakatauki to have a real tie into the first week at Hobsonville Point Secondary School. Once again I am left awe of our community and the partnerships we have continue to nurture between our school, Hobsonville Point Primary school and the wider community and whānau.
I will develop this further, however, it is important to look at aspects of the metaphor used within this whakatauki.

He Kākano
“Kākano means “seed”. The concept of He Kākano conveys growth, development, and expansion. Even before a seed is planted or nourished, it has inherent promise — the capability to take root, develop, grow, and blossom. A person, like a seed, is inextricably linked to generations who have gone and are yet to come. He Kākano comes from somewhere, it belongs to someone or something, and it cannot be isolated or detached from those connections. It has both history and potential. He Kākano reminds us of the opportunity we have in schools to make new beginnings, to plant, to nurture, to cherish, to realise potential, to grow and enhance that which is. He Kākano is a symbol of productivity and the promise of success through learning and achievement”. (TKI Whakatauki)

This makes me think clearly of what we are nurturing in our akonga within our community. From our relationships and whanaungatanga that we are developing working on in our on-going journey as a school. See past reflections on whanaungatanga here… https://sallyhart72.wordpress.com/2014/04/27/whanau-connections-what-how-why-so-what-now-what-the-importance-of-whanaungatanga-at-hpss/
I will talk more specifically to our Waitangi celebrations below. After a couple of weeks of inducting new staff and starting to introduce akonga to our school, through getting to know the learner development in hubs and communities, I feel another level of community developing within our schools. Both affirming and exciting as we the next steps on our journey as a new school. Akonga/ learners in this sense is wider than just the students. We are all on a learning journey as staff and Whānau as well.

Ruia
“Ruia means to plant, to sow, or to establish a foundation from which to develop. As the name of these leadership resources, Ruia represents the stepping stones, building blocks, or foundations that contribute to realising a seed’s potential. Individually, the parts of Ruia are valuable. Together, they form a strong platform upon which to grow future successful practice.
Ruia earths the seed – He Kākano – so that it can be nourished with time and energy. Ruia is the link between potential and realisation. It sets the direction for development, travelling forward to Rangiātea and from it as well. Rangiātea is the start and finish, depicting the cyclical nature of growth and development, the links and connections, and the enduring strength of relationships and location”. (TKI Whakatauki)

We are planting those seeds and releasing their true potential. We had a stream running in twitter #HPSWaitangi, which I will draw from. Through the day there were inspiring action shots, engaging activities showing the powerful partnerships in action between the two schools and whānau. However, for me the most moving of them all, was when I got home last night and our Principal had tweeted two tweets. It was wider than just Waitangi day and reflective of the whole week. Here are the two special tweets…

These were a true reflection of the difference we are making with learners, this is a testament to the vision, values that have developed and come back to, this is affirming for all involved, this is after one week!! This is why (selfish here) I am one lucky teacher to be a part of this.

Rangiātea
“Rangiātea is the origin of Māori migration. It represents the wider world, a place to put theory into practice and observe others who do the same. Rangiātea marks the start and the end of the journey of potential – He Kākano – as well as arrival at the point of opportunity to realise it – Ruia.
Rangiātea as the name for a collection of case studies provides location and context. It represents an opportunity to examine the way in which ideas, concepts, and tools can be applied and how the tools developed in Ruia to tend He Kākano manifest in the real world”. (TKI Whakatauki)

We are not at that arrival point, I think you are actually never there, as life is an ongoing journey and so is learning, however there are many points along the way that you need to take stock, recognise and celebrate that something truly special is brewing here….

Here are some other tweets to show you the special community I am a part of…

I am not the only one on the staff feeling the “love” of our school, which has been triggered by our first week and Waitangi as the final highlight of this. Steve has written a great post on powerful partnerships that show his inspiration around the day… https://stevemouldey.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/powerful-partnerships-in-action/ Sometimes on the ground you are so involved in your workshops and activities, it is not until you get a chance to sit back and see what all have experienced and to hear my daughters explanation of her awesome day, that you see the full extent and impact of it all.

We are sharing and communicating through our blogs, not only to show you what we have experienced, but to show you potential for the way things should be. Sarah and Sharon did the most amazing job of bringing things together. Our akonga did an amazing job of working together to run workshops, learn and celebrate the powerful partnerships at the fore of our vision and values. I love that I have moved my older girl to the primary. She is thriving and I feel lucky that she too gets to be a part of this. For her seed to be planted and nurtured as she works along the way to her final destination…

Resourceful

About time! Overdue reflections and where to now…

Well it has been a while….Term 2 has been a very busy time and I have neglected my blog…something had to give though! (Submitting thesis tomorrow!!)

In the world of HPSS we are very busy as all educators are. However, in a climate attempting to truly personalise learning, working in a responsive environment, connecting learning, it can get a bit crazy. In a good way though, we are connecting learning not only through the development and implementation of our teaching and learning programme, but also in our collaborative teaching and planning.

I have several reflections I would like to make about the teaching and learning I was involved in last term.

In the big module I was involved in-

The Master behind the chef.

M.A.S.T.E.R –
“Mountains
Arithmetic
Science
Through food
Exploration and
Rotorua”-which actually turned out to be Rangitoto!

Big Concept: Space and Place

Threshold concepts: Measurement, ratios, decimals and percentages, fit for purpose, rocks, soil, volcanoes, tectonic plates, water, nature of science

Skills: Accurate measuring and estimation, carrying out scientific and mathematics investigations, involving, concepts, knowledge, nature and practice, design skills.

Learning areas: Science, Maths, Food Tech
LDM focus: Explore, focus, generate

Learning Objectives:
Explore by deconstructing the processes and different perspectives in the nature of science.
Focus by synthesising knowledge of maths and science through food.
Generate through inquiry showing “what enables the MASTER behind the chef”?

Reflections:
As I had a mathematics hat on in this module I had some interesting thoughts as I reflected on this in an ongoing way across the module..

The module started off with a bang with a couple of great ideas instigated by awesome @McGhiePete . Starting with what learners bring with them around food experiences. Creating stories of food experiences to hook them into the module. This was followed closely by the core sampling that you may have seen if you follow any of us on twitter…this felt like such a meaningful activity, the kids were engaged and in their reflections at the end of the term this was a highlight for many…

core 1

core 2

From here over the term we worked on ways to integrate mathematics and science through food. At times I did feel bit like the third wheel. For mathematics I found it easy to integrate the learning with either food or science. However, at time it felt hard to integrate the three easily. Science shifted to the fore a little more naturally and the science hat was held by well known, Miss edchatnz @MissDtheTeacher
It made me question whether possibly two is company, three is a crowd in terms of integration? Something to ponder further this term as I am in a big module again. It could be it was just the three learning areas for that particular concept was a harder fit at the time.

In this module as we had 60 learners, from session three on I grouped learners so that I could run a differentiated programme for the mathematics. On reflection I think I did this in the wrong manner. Due to the large array of abilities I grouped according to ability, something I never like to do. I reverted to this with such larger numbers in the module. In hindsight I wish I had made differentiated tasks still, but mixed ability groups for supporting and extension to occur. I feel I really extended the top group who moved right up to use of trigonometry using clinometres around the school (which they loved!!) However, I feel like I did not extend the lower to middle groups. My colleague Cindy who I consider a guru, talked to me about how even the lower ability groups could still get to use the equipment, work with others, even if the trigonometry was beyond them. When I am involved in a mathematics module again I will definitely do things in a different manner. There were many other great parts to the module and I loved seeing the outcomes of the kids inquiry, where they showed their understanding of mathematics and science gained across the module through food. There were types of rocks, volcanic processes, types of volcanoes etc… all shown through food.

Thought in Sport:

Exploring the power of the mind in a variety of sports and literature.

Big Concept: Space and Place

Threshold concepts: Physical Activity, Making meaning, Communication

Skills: Critical Thinking, Evaluation, Paragraph Writing using PEE structure, motor skill learning

Learning areas: PE, English

LDM focus: Explore, Test, Reflect

Learning Objectives:
To explore by investigating ‘Thought in Sport’ in a variety of contexts.
To test the potential of your mind by applying a range of strategies to improve performance.
To reflect on the effectiveness of your performance improvement.

Reflections:
I feel like these two learning areas married up well in this module, where I worked with Lisa. Through the contexts of sport and physical activity we explored the power of the mind. With a specific focus on being collaborative, resilient, adventurous and purposeful. All aspects of either our Hobsonville habits or our school values. here is an example of the type of reflection the learners did.

-Thought in Sport--Reflective thinking Copy (1)

Here is a snapshot of a learner reflection…

Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 11.56.40 AM

We also looked at aspects such as goal setting and being purposeful, see here…

https://www.haikudeck.com/purposeful-education-presentation-r45XWQq1gI

Highlights for me in this module were the fact I really feel like we hooked in the learners who love sport, into the focus on English and paragraph writing. Their reflections and the shift in their learning were obvious. Lisa also hooked the learners in by allowing learners to select their own sport person and use their biographies in contexts they were interested. These biographies were used alongside their own experiences for relevant and meaningful reflections. Adventure based learning activities were experienced, tramping in the Waitakere ranges, pushing them in fitness contexts etc… but always reflecting on the habits and the mind…In terms of improvement, I would just say more time, to develop their learning more, working on a term basis, I would like a bit more time with the learners to take things even deeper.

tramping

NOW IT IS TIME FOR TERM 3!! Where to from here?

Once again I am in a Big Learning Module with awesome @rosmaceachern and super Sarah @hpssprojects this time…

It’s not all about me

This module has a focus on good citizenship and involves students critically reflecting on personal and social responsibilities within the context of sport, leadership and government. Students will learn how to be effective and powerful communicators.

Big Concept: Citizenship

Threshold concepts:
Interpersonal Skills
Citizenship
Rights and Responsibilities
Making Meaning
Creating Meaning

Skills: interpersonal skills, resource interpretation, paragraph/essay writing, oral language skills, communication skills

Learning areas: Social Science, English, PE

LDM focus: Reflect, Make Sense, Share

Learning Objectives:
To critically reflect and act on personal and social responsibility for self and others through the context of sport.
To make sense of the concept “rights and responsibilities” by comparing political systems and their influence on society.
To share understanding of citizenship concepts and oral language features by presenting an oral text.

We start on Monday and already in our collaborative planning I can feel some natural links arising, where contexts and knowledge will be connected, meaningful and authentic… Yeah to another term of exploring connections in learning.

Also in a small module…

Just do it! and analyse it!

Big Concept: Citizenship

Threshold concepts: Evaluating and Critical Thinking. Personal and Social Responsibility

Skills: Analysing data through O.S.E.M and communicate findings. Interpersonal skills

Learning areas: Mathematics and PE

LDM focus: Test and Generate

Learning Objectives:
To be able to generate explicit findings from data.
Test by applying personal and social responsibility to sporting situations and seek feedback from others on this

We started this the other day with some front loading before getting into the practical context. With students co-constructing what personal and social responsibility is.

p and s 1

Also students made their first reflection on personal and social responsibility, see here…

p and s 2

Here is the example of Hellisons..

Personal and social responsibility

The focus from here is to gather data through the practical over time. their own data on personal and social responsibility that they will analyse, with a statistics focus within the module alongside the data that they produce through learning in sporting contexts…

Anyway, I am excited about exploring the new connections in learning this term. I am also excited that we have developed SOLO rubrics upfront this time to look at assessment for learning over time and the shift in learning, rather than assessment of learning at the end. We continue to reflect and shift where needed, with our processes and at times it can be full on. However, this is to be expected when you are doing things in such a different way to what has been done in Secondary Education before. I hope we can continue to innovate, engage and inspire our learners and I promise not to leave the next blog so long next time, so that ponderings and reflections are out of control 😉