Thursday, 22 October 2015
Tuesday, 20 October 2015
Some of the ideas that were contributed from the group include:My learners are struggling to remember blends (letter combinations which make a sound eg ch or st) are holding learners back in reading & writing. What sort of independent activities can I create on the iPad to assist learners with practicing these.
- Start off with shorter blends or ones most frequently used first
- Use sound bites that learners can press & hear what the blend/word is
- Chunk the blend and the remaining part of the word and have pictures so learners can put the whole word together (include sound bites)
- Break up words and re-create (with pictures and cues)
- Flash card type activity - beat the clock - repetitive
- Work on blend families eg play/plays/playing/played which also will work on word endings
- Use song - link to You Tube clips focusing on that blend
With these great ideas in mind, tonight I have created an Explain Everything project as a starting point focusing on the "st", "gr" and "ch" blends. Each project has a short video clip (song) about the blend and then activities using the above ideas. Some screen shots from the first project are included below. As always, the plan is to test this first project before creating others - watch this space.
|Title Slide - used as a visual on my reading rotation board|
|create "gr" words|
|create "st" words|
|Putting it all together - match the picture with the beginning sound|
Monday, 19 October 2015
Day 2 began with another thought provoking Keynote delivered by Ann Lieberman entitled "What do we know about Teaching Leadership, and what's to gain?" Ann told us that "we are great storytellers in teaching" and her story described the National Writing project she was involved in (in the United States). Ann described teaching leadership as:
- A way of organising learning
- A way of understanding connections between knowledge and practice
- A way of learning skills and abilities to nurture a community among peers
- A way of negotiating the tensions between privacy and community
- Classroom environment
- Teacher technique
- Listening skills
- The Power of Language
"Children who laugh more ... learn more." - Dr David Sousa
I particularly liked the way that Paula referred to camera angles with her class - snails view, possum view, birds view etc and intend to create visuals to support this with next years class. As Paula stated, having learners know how to take really good photos to document their learning early on, sets them up for success throughout their learning journey.
After a great "On the High Seas" ULearn dinner it was back for the final day of learning. Today's first session for me was the joint presentation by the "Manaiakalani Innovative Teachers (MIT)" allowing a small peak into the great innovations they've been developing this year. The inquiries of all the MIT teachers can be explored here.
Following the presentation of my second session, the final Keynote was Pat Sneddon, chairman of the Manaiakalani Trust. No matter how many times I hear Pat speak he's always totally inspiring and the entire audience was spellbound by his story. For those unfamiliar with the Manaiakalani story, this video, created by some Pt England learners was shown during Pat's keynote. This website also documents the Manaiakalani story.
Edit: Pat's full presentation is available to view here
Monday, 12 October 2015
Despite our session being scheduled at the venue furtherest from the Sky City, we had a great attendance and having two presenters enabled us to provide guidance as teachers explored the app. We'd created a presentation to quickly scaffold the tools and give specific examples to some of the activities we've created in our classrooms. Our presentation was supported by a Google Site (which includes our presentation) with resources for the session which is available publicly to be explored.
Thursday, 8 October 2015
As I reflect on Term 3 of my second year of teaching, I look back on the goals I had for this term and think about how far I've come with each of them:
- Complete my research dissertation - so close - just some formatting and a little tweaking to go - this mountain has definitely been conquered and I can definitely say the effort has been worth it - its been inspiring to research the practice of other teachers and I know my own practice has improved as I embrace the ideas of others - #collaboration
- Transition to using Class Dojo for class management - I found this was not as effective with my learners this year as it was last year. I feel the special needs learners I have in my class respond better to a more visual reward system of putting a sticker on their chart. I think perhaps the ability for them to always see at any time their progress has more influence?
- Continue to innovate with the iPads - this term I've focused on the use of sound bites more than ever as a way of allowing my learners to repeat or re-listen to my instructions. We still unpack the activity at the teaching table, but I find particularly on the bigger projects, learners will forget what an instruction is - the sound bites have definitely made a difference in the "what do I do on this slide Mrs Belt" visits to my teaching table!
- My Inquiry Journey - as part of our ongoing school wide professional development I've really enjoyed continually exploring my practice and sharing this with a group of like-minded individuals from my school. The end of term presentation feedback session was particularly inspiring and motivating and I found myself wanting to hear back from everyone (which of course time doesn't permit). I'm looking forward to continuing this journey next term.
- Sharing with others outside of Manaiakalani - I had two opportunities this term (the most recent being ULearn15) and I continue to be motivated by both blogging and these presentations - its great that others are interested in what I have to say and I hope what I share has value to other educators - I love my job and am so enthusiastic about working in a digital learning environment which embraces and allows innovation
- Explain Everything reading projects - I have been particularly pleased with how engaged my learners have been with the additional reading Explain Everything activities this term and how they allow each learner to revisit their text on a second day. I definitely feel this is more purposeful for learners on days when I'm unable to see them at the teaching table and plan to continue with this into Term 4
- My research dissertation - this has been an inspiring journey and I've grown as a teacher as a result of observing and analysing the practice of others. As I dot the final i's and cross the final t's before calling it complete I know at times completing it has been a hard road (particularly with balancing a family) but its definitely been a highlight of my year and I know its opened my eyes to even more possibilities.
- My Manaiakalani Film Festival movie - I can't say any more, but watch this space in mid November!
- The amazing team of teachers I work with - to be in such a collaborative, caring and sharing environment makes even the hardest challenges seem easier. I feel extremely lucky to be surrounded by experienced teachers who are happy to share ideas and resources so willingly. Having this amazing resource to ask advice of has made my journey so much easier and I'm extremely thankful for their willingness and collaborative nature!
- Behaviour management continues to be a challenge in the classroom, and just when I think I have made progress, more curve balls come along to tip the scales again. Thanks to some great ideas from teachers in my team I have some great new ideas to implement in Term 4 (star of the day, whole class reward) as a way to motivate some special learners in my class and assist me in managing their special behaviours.
- Time - it was interesting that during yesterday's ULearn Keynote "time" featured as the one thing most teachers wanted more of! Without the additional pressure of my Research Dissertation next term I'm hoping to have a little more 'downtime' and more time to spend creating and innovating (and some exercise too!)
Term Four is a busy term (I remember that from last year) but I still have some goals which are amazingly close to completion:
- Implement the ideas from colleagues for behaviour management with my learners to ensure a more settled learning environment and make the most of this term for accelerating learning
- Complete the requirements to become a Fully Registered Teacher
- Complete my Honours degree
Wednesday, 7 October 2015
I really enjoyed the opportunity to share my learning journey to date with conference participants at ULearn15. After being inspired earlier in the day with the opening Keynote and breakout sessions, I was glad of the time and effort I'd put into my own presentation. I still find it amazing that I get so much enjoyment out of sharing with others, and despite not being a fan of public speaking in the past have embraced the Learn, Create, SHARE mantel of Manaiakalani and continue to get immense satisfaction through sharing my journey.
— Marnel van der Spuy (@1MvdS) October 7, 2015
— Marnel van der Spuy (@1MvdS) October 7, 2015
- creative (student owned, knowledge creators)
- adaptive (collaborative)
- permeable (partnerships with the community, online, blended, regional, global)
- dynamic (messy, noisy, tailored, eg take it apart Tuesday)
- Fear and inertia - change cannot happen without taking risks
- Anchors - attaching us to ‘time, space and subject’ and "holding us to a world that no longer exists"
- Silos - standing in the way of connectivity