Thursday, 6 July 2017

'Explain Ready' with OTJ's.

Year 7 & 8 had a busy end to the term with their technology expo, gloss and running records, parent interviews and more! In the space of reporting to parents it is necessary to be 'explain ready' with various pieces of data and knowledge in the area of maths. Maths was our selected curriculum focus for our parent interviews. Some parents found this odd as in the past 2 years we have reported as home class and literacy teachers. Given the lower numbers of parents who attended most ended up visiting both their child's literacy AND maths teachers. So it was a win win situation!

 In reporting about maths this prompted me to look very closely at what the students understood to be their strengths and weaknesses. Further to this to offer my advice as to what needs to happen next in their learning. Regardless of my ability in this teaching area parents hold us - the teacher - in a high position of authority and knowledge.   Being well prepared with explanations of OTJ and next steps are a priority when reporting to both parents and students.

 My target group findings after gloss in May: 
1. A common theme for students in my target group is the need to develop skills to interpret word problems. To understand what the question is actually asking in terms of mathematical operations and the sequence in which to work the task out. An example of word problem that stumped students in this target group: 24 pegs, 2 pegs used to hang out 1 piece of clothing. How many pieces of clothing can you hang out? Approximately 2/3 of group were stumped. When I did the work of interpreting this to the equation '24 ÷ 2 = ?' students immediately answered correctly '12'.

 2. Secondly there was an obvious need to develop their basic knowledge around ratios and proportions. This stood out as the lower strand in the gloss test.

These are two areas I will target with the group in the new term as well as their home learning for the week.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

I can understand IKAN's

Update!  In my most recent post I shared my:
Next steps for my inquiry: CREATE rubric and templates that support the following:
1. Carry out the 'SECOND' step as outlined in Jo's presentation
2. Plot results out of Spidergraph
3. Implement activities that prompt reflection on data
4. Decide WITH student what our next steps are in learning in the number strand
5. Implement support this choice in follow up activities and home learning

I have completed step 1 where my all my students were given the opportunity to sit the IKAN differently to how I have administered it.  Most steps being those that Jo in our staff PD outlined.  I have also completed step 4, students have published this on their blogs.


  • Students sat in their maths groups
  • All with own chromebook and earphones
  • Went through the IKAN test twice over
  • Marked own test with teacher and group
  • Circling those answers that were 'silly mistakes'.  This meaning mistakes that were made in the haste of test setting.  They could see what they did wrong and could prove themselves by answering a similar problem.
  • Scoring the stages and various domains
  • Blog post results and their own reflections that explained this different process and how they felt they performed using this new process
Students have made improvements overall.  Place value has not shifted as much as I had hoped for.   It has improved for approximately half of my class - the other half achieving stage 4 at the highest which still means no progress for a some students.   Target group as displayed: 6 same level, 4 shifted upwards.    
Identify the problem:  This statement stumps majority of my class: 'How many tens are in all of the number 782?  Answer 78 or 78.2.  Students answer '8'.   I can see that my lack in variety of questioning and activities of 'All of the number'.  Time to create a task that will help embed this!!  Look below for a draft of this.

The shift in attitude and 'can do' attitude has increased positively in students feeling more ownership over their learning, conversations with each other about how they made the mistake through to how to correct have been evident when marking in our small groups.  

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Creativity Embeds Learning

 Dorothy Burt led us through our staff meeting Monday May 29th. I was privileged to be part of this presentation along with other colleagues who have been using 'Creativity to embed Learning' over some years now. Sight, sound and motion were intentionally used to help students to have depth to their learning. Learning that would stick and stay! Please look through the below presentation as it covers a range of practices and beliefs we've carried out here at PES. They work! Thank you Dorothy for another inspiring session. Many good reminders of things we need to maintain and those we need to improve.

On  a personal and professional note there are some basics that classroom teachers need to put in place.   Basic structures to maintain so students have equitable access to tools that enhance and support their creativity.
1. A roster that works in rotations within class hours that has every child have access to the devices where animation, paint programs and iMovie can be accessed
2. A clear task and rubric to guide the students creation
3. A checkpoint weekly to show progress, give praise and prompts
4. An absolute doing away with the 'Creative' devices - (Apple flatscreens in our place) being used as a reward.  They are NOT - they are part of the everyday learning activities.
5. SHARE:  a showcasing of creative work on media such as PENN (School TV news network), class and individual blog, team/class viewing.
6. Feedback: Give students the chance to give feedback and reflect

Part of my teaching practice finds me role playing, singing, moving and rhyming to help my learners. This has meant my students have had the chance to reflect this in movies we've made to share our learning.    It's in these creative moments that I have witnessed first hand the embedding of their learning.  Embedding that runs deeper and wider where creativity is encouraged and expected.   Engagement high.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Using assessment data for 'Staff' and 'Students'

Professional Development with Jo Knox is a great support to my teaching and students.  AND my COL inquiry even!   This particular workshop looked at using student data to empower the learner.  A good chunk of Jo's presentation broke down steps we go through with assessments such as the IKANS.

You may recall that I have been using the IKANS as a starting point for my data sharing with students.

 I carried my action plan to highlight the strongest and weakest strand from the IKANS with my target students.   A common complaint from us all was 'too fast!'.   Jo shed light on an extended approach to using the IKANS - some of which I'm happy to say I've tried too!

In the above image you will note that FIRST you mark the IKAN, SECOND you show the students the answers.   Allowing them to identify what they think were 'silly mistakes' for themselves.   Students are then allowed to complete these questions and have them marked as correct.

This SECOND part I only carried out partially in showing the students the 'knowledge' they needed to be correct rather than letting them first scan to see what they could get right.    Also note here - we are actually extending the test time - further than the fast screen flashes they experience in test time.

Formative assessment: PAT, IKANS and GLOSS.   How do our students see these results?  Often one piece at a time.  A time I bring them together to date is when I am trying to make an OTJ for upcoming reporting season - mid year summary to prompt my next steps.   Jo suggests to use a 'Spidergraph' (slide 14 in presentation below) to show both GloSS and IKAN.   This in itself will be informative for students and surely motivate them to keep on with their learning sessions.  Empowering students by using their own data.

Next steps for my inquiry: CREATE rubric and templates that support the following:
1. Carry out the 'SECOND' step as outlined in Jo's presentation
2. Plot results out of Spidergraph
3. Implement activities that prompt reflection on data
4. Decide WITH student what our next steps are in learning in the number strand
5. Implement support this choice in follow up activities and home learning

Monday, 10 April 2017

Te Taiao O Tamaki - learning that is ubiquitous and rewindable!

 Te Taiao o Tamaki quad blogging this term has been a highlight for students across our cluster. We are delighted to see names from our school listed in those who were very active in the Te Taiao o Tamaki quadblogging go kids!  In the lead up to this event Dorothy Burt led our staff meeting - focus was 'Ubiquitous Learning is Rewindable'. A good part of this had us focusing on the role our blogs have. It is here that students post about their learning which include artefacts of their collaboration with others and often their very own learning and creating processes. It is here that ubiquitous learning can be rewindable.

 In the presentation embedded above by Dorothy Burt you will find from slides 14 onwards, examples of blog posts where students have not only explained their learning in text but have captured video and voice recordings as evidence of their learning.

 I reflected on this as a teacher of year 7 and 8 students. My students are now in their 4th and 5th year of having their own blogs.   These are some questions we need to keep checking in on as educators of Manaiakalani Tamariki.

  • How do we as a team of teachers keep the students enthused and understanding their success when posting such artefacts of learning? 
  • What am I providing as a teacher to ensure this ubiquitous learning continues? 
  •  Does my planning through to delivery provide opportunities for learning to be captured and rewindable? 
  •  What feedback am I giving once this rewindable learning is posted by the students?
  • Opportunities to go back and 'rewind' their learning - is this time of reflection included enough times to enhance and support the learning journey?
Where to next:
As the team of teachers for year 7 and 8 students we often reflect on the above points.   In our collaboration when planning and delivering it is important to continually check over the components of learn, create and share.  At the end of term 1 we can see clearly that learning that goes through all three - provide experiences and learning opportunities that are rewindable.   The learning is embedded more effectively.

Our specific goal as a team is to continue building the create component of our learning along with ways to give timely feedback to our students further than the dialogue that happens in small group.    Feedback is crucial in motivating our learners, the power of an active audience has been and still is valuable to our tamariki.

We've discussed that in the less public domain of google drive we can give critical feedback.   On our blogs which are public we can give feedback with greater depth about understanding and messages projected through the posts.  This will prompt a more evaluative response from both students and teachers.

Looking forward to our celebration at Te Oro where our tamariki will get to capture and blog about this experience that will be rewindable and reflected upon.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Data - our comparisons from February to April 2017

We've just completed a second round of IKAN tests where we gather a snapshot of the different areas in number.   The students in the target group along with their peers have shown an increase in enthusiasm in learning.  I have noticed an increase in questioning and discussion around what methods they use to problem solve.

In listening to the IKAN's this second time around I picked up again on more learning goals for myself as a teacher.  The terms and phrases I have used have not been as effective as I'd hoped.

Place value was the initial focus for the target group.  However when you observe the data below you will see that it still is the weakest of all areas in number.   There was shift for students - mostly in other areas.

This lack in shift I believe is from not extending the phrases used to support my learners.  For example in the number 789, how many tens are there?  I was accepting '8'.  Whereas the question is actually asking 'How many tens are there in the WHOLE number' which is 78.

My next goal is to be more accurate with my questioning in maths to ensure the correct terminology is used. This will lead me into teaching how to transfer this knowledge of mathematical terminology in problem solving further than place value.

Our team discussions on maths inquiries at Pt England revealed more to me.  I noticed that around the room - especially with place value, there was some inconsistencies too.  A school focus we could well do with is aligning the terminology we use - especially around place value as it is a weakness across the levels.

I am carrying out gloss tests now with this group.  I will share this data here soon.

KEY: blue February IKAN, red April IKAN
Student C made the most progress in all areas - except place value.

You are very welcome to add link in a comment that could support my inquiry of using data to support learners.  I'd love to try out more ideas around 'Place Value Nested', which has been highlighted as something I have overlooked in teaching PV.





Monday, 3 April 2017

I know my results - I know my goal!

End of term
Action plan to date
On completion of our most recent IKAN and PAT maths assessments students have and will be 
1. analysing their personal data (what do the lines, numbers and dots mean?)
*Found with PAT it was challenging to do this as a group as the windows that pop up with explanation of marks.   Doing this as a group was not the way to go. 1-1 conferencing was much better.  Print outs to do whole groups teaching was not effective in that the finer detail was hidden.  

2. can explain their strengths and weaknesses (dialogic and  text/symbols in blog post) 
*Students spent some time looking at a rubric of iKan.  Coaching students into knowing how to use this against their own test paper took a little time.  Completed this with students, needed to set up a clear template to support their reflective post.   

3. learner access any time to individual sets of data to help set learning goal.   Goal is specific for target strand, determined by analysis in step 1.
*Students showed a greater interest in their own learning and progress after highlighting what areas of strength and weakness.   I am confident there has been a shift in engagement and a desire to learn more after making their data accessible with clear learning goals.  Learning goals: I have used this rubric to support our discussions.
4. Updated data: we have just completed another IKAN to capture progress from week 3.  Looking forward to sharing the results with you soon.

Read on for context of the group this inquiry uses.   

Mid term:
Target Group - Priority Learners?
7 children - majority are sitting below the national norm.   2 from 2016 data show to be at.  However small group conferencing and IKAN test it seems that they are sitting below.  The absence in results for IKAN, for 2 due to poor attendance and the other an incorrect filling out of answers.   I hope to test them this week to add their first round of data for 2017.

EthnicityYearOTJ 16Add/SubMult/DivFr/Pr/RaOverallNSFrPVBF
BoyCook Island866E666E654

Through empowering students to analyse and understand their own personal and group data, the students will accelerate their achievement and move into the 'At' and/or 'Above' in the number strand.  (Gloss, PAT and IKAN assessments)

End of term:
Target Group - Priority Learners