Thursday, 16 November 2017

Impact Story: Student access to their assessment data empowers student learning AND teaching!

Glad you've visited my blog to read the impact story behind my 'burst' shared during our 'Burst' session today!
What happened for the learners? 
Empowered learners in the house whoop whoop!!
The group of target learners:
BEFORE inquiry:
  • very quiet 
  • accepted anything that was presented
  • dialogue with each other and teacher minimal in small group time
  • almost no questions asked
  • focus was not on any specific part of maths learning
  • did not have access to assessment results or analysis
  • nervous about sitting tests - lack of confidence

DURING and AFTER inquiry in action:

 What evidence do I have for this? 
Please click on above links I've made to blog posts that show or describe this in action.  Also look at these latest results from our PAT tests.  I have gathered specifically data for the number strand.  (All year we had a close focus on IKAN and part on Gloss)

NS T1 = Number strategy Term 1
NS T4 = Number strategy Term 4
NK T1= Number knowledge Term 1
NK T4= Number knowledge Term 4
A - H: individual students who make up target group.   Where no bar is present this equates to have '0' correct - zero.

Average of results from Term 1 for Number Strategy in PAT test:
NS T1   NS  T4   NK T1  NK T4


**The greatest gain as a group - according to PAT test was in number strategy**  This correlates with the inquiry focus that has been on this strand.   

 What did I do to make this happen? 
There are the normal good practices of classroom teacher that are utilised to support my inquiry.  The looking closely at group work through to independent learning on sites was maintained as per normal Manaiakalani classrooms. 

Points of difference to make it happen:

  • Building a sense of trust between teacher and student, student to student.  This to build up student's sense of self-efficacy when analysis and discussion of data would start.  Student self efficacy and student achievement relate
  • Small group work included 1-2 sessions regularly to simply look at our data from IKAN's and Gloss.  Plotting our results in a graph to show comparative data was hugely motivating for the target learners.  Using colour coding - this seemed to have greater impact that just number comparisons.
  • IKAN tests no longer one screen and one run through.  Now on own device with headphones, with the chance to run through test a second time.  
  • MARKING IKAN, students marked their own test with the opportunity to circle those that were 'silly mistakes' made in the speed of the test.   
  • OPPORTUNITY was continually provided to provide evidence that did 'know' what the question was asking therefore bettering their results when they initiated the conversation and provided evidence to the teacher.
  • EXPLAIN READY, a problem with interpreting what was being asked in word problems became evident in mid-year gloss tests.  An additional practice was now to use 'Screencastify' to explain how we were solving problem.  This was analysed along side what the question was actually asking.   These discussions around interpreting the word problem and our screen cast of solution were carried out in groups for support and learning from our artefacts (screencasts).  It became very clear to students AND teacher what parts if not in whole we were misinterpreting. 

Wonderings about what next
  1. With those remaining from the target group, 6 out of 8 I need to pass onto 2018 teacher the key actions from my inquiry to ensure this acceleration continues.  
  2. More focused planning around other strand areas need to be implemented as most shift was made in the number strand.
  3. Collating data in 2018 from these target students to track further progress
  4. Creating a 'directory' for students to access once they have analysed their assessment data.   The next step AFTER they identify their strengths and weaknesses, especially a directory that supports them outside 9 - 3pm of school hours.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Fractions to decimals: try this out!

This morning we had the privilege of observing Jo Know in action with some of our target group learners. These students are working at standard 6 in maths. This places just below the national standard in maths. Normally a very talkative group they were very quiet. A number of differences for these students
1. New teacher
2. Not in the normal class setting
3. 5 teachers watching their every step
You can see that it was a hard task for our students to relax at first and get into things. Once they did we learned so much! We could see a clear need to develop language and understanding around the focus of session. This was on converting fractions to decimals and vice versa.

Things we can try:
1. Give students the chance to try the following on their own bit of paper, reassure them it's not a matter or right and wrong. It's a matter of trying out any strategy they have.

2. Have students fold paper strip into halves, lable, the same again for quarters then eighths. This seemed straight forward to our students. However once asking to go back to identify now what 3/4 were AFTER paper was folded into eighths, this really threw them. The became indecisive. The prompt for decision making was made when made to use a scissors to quickly cut quarters with a countdown from 5. This action seemed to plant more understanding, some very nervous to decided where to cut!

Here's how it all started:
Teacher could ask the following (to check where students are at)Can you write 0.27One tenth?Three fifths?Five quarters?One tenth as a decimal?0.27 + 0.2 =?

We discovered a number of work ons and were led by Jo to the following the next steps when in class in next with target group:
** Next step going back to improper fractions
Use double number and more line for this.  3/2….the 3 is the ‘COUNT’ of how many halfs.
Lines would be:
  • Whole number line
  • ½ line
  • ¼ line
Materials, push the imaging

Where they can’t work things out...go back to materials then back to imaging

Below is an example of a number line to develop understanding of equivalent fractions and to work with in use of improper fractions.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Preparing for Term 4 - time to reflect

A neat aspect of our blog posts is the use of our labels. This I have used to reflect with in preparation for term 4. Create continues to be a focus we talk about with colleagues, we create and share whether successful or not so.

On clicking on my labels from the 'Create' area we can look at what I've tried out and discovered. It's also very helpful to ensure I start off where I left off!

CReflect - click to see related posts

Focus of most of my reflections have been on my use of language in maths.  In this section key phrases are important for me to be mindful of in my planning.    Being 'explain ready' as a teacher AND student.    This means being prepared with the activities AND language that will promote learning.  When 'Creating' - I am promoting the correct use of mathematical terms and processes to best support my learners.

CTry - click to see related posts

What I have tried is the use of students data to empower learning.  This has proven to be successful in
1. Gaining greater buy in from learners
2. Learners are empowered and feel more in control of their results and data
3. Learners are more reflective when seeing their own data
4. Students are making comparisons and conclusions for themselves around learning and goal setting

CPlan - click to see related posts

The COL staff meeting we led prompted the following thoughts for me.  Am I sharing clear enough steps in my practice here on my blog?  Are they good enough for another teacher to pick up and work from.  If the answer is yes - then my plans are useful as a COL.  Planning for me to date needs to include what key words and phrases I will promote.  What vocab will be best support learners when having to various assessments and working with maths in day to day life.

Labels to be covered more in Create are: innovate and implement.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Staff meeting focus on COL teachers within and across community of learning

Pt England based COL teachers had the opportunity to visit the blogs of COL teachers within and across schools.   It was kicked off by a short presentation by Matt Goodwin outlining the different achievement challenges and COL teachers involved.

In our groups we had the chance to look again at the Manaiakalani model of 'Teaching as Inquiry'.

This model is very similar to that found in the NZ curriculum.   Thanks to Karen Ferguson of Tamaki College who created this graphic for us.  This format helps us to align our learn, create and share.

As a COL teacher myself it was good time to see what we have and haven't provided for collectively as COL teachers at Pt England School.   Below are some points I've made for myself to check over with myself and fellow COL teachers.   Some are already covering these things well!

  • how can we present our data and findings more succinctly?
  • need to ensure that we are presenting the big picture AND the little bits that make it up.  For example what we are actually doing day/week/month/term with our students in our target groups
  • what have we provided for a teacher who wants to try out our ideas and processes in our achievement challenge area?
  • shorten the posts!  Include better detail to support the classroom teacher.
  • labels are great - when used consistently
  • navigating through our blogs helpful or challenging for our audience?
  • what evidence are we sharing to say things are working or not?

Friday, 1 September 2017

Data analysis in action - data to empower learners!

We've completed another round of IKAN's and here are our results for our target group.   I have moved one in and another out of this target group.    My target group are made up of students sitting a level below the national standard in maths.

We carried out the process as explained in previous posts.   Sitting test by going through IKAN twice, on own chromebook and earphones and then our discussion around our new set of results.

Points of difference:
1. Entering data together: 
This time I had the data on the big screen with the group.   I added this months results next to data collected earlier in year in front of the whole group.   Each student shared which stage they were at for the various categories:
a. Number sequence and order
b. Fractions
c. Place Value
d. Basic Facts

2. Colour codes: Green - shift made, orange - same stage, red - back a stage, yellow shifted more than one stage.  Student by student they needed to look at previous data and tell me if it was 'Green, orange, red or yellow'.   All this from the big screen as shown in image above. This meant the students looked closely at the data making comparisons for themselves - some looks of happiness and disappointment.  In reflection all students agreed that it was good useful information to help them.
The adding of colour helped students see more clearly how to track our data as learners and the teacher.

3. Setting the next steps for self: 
From this data analysis students posted on a doc - as shown below of what their problem areas were and how they planned to tackle the learning needed.  You can see some understand the purpose of this workbook others - well I'll need to coach them.   They were directed to say 'How' they were going specifically  try to improve  OR whether they needed help from me.  They attempted this exercise with the answer sheet in hand to see if they could comprehend further their path of error.

We plan to share our own reflective posts soon.  Watch this space!

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Manaiakalani COL teachers share teaching inquiries

What a great afternoon sharing alongside all CoL teachers!   We all presented in a session to showcase our inquiries at the Annual Manaiakalani Hui.  It was great to share our inquiries with a whole range of people.   The audience I shared with were from a range of places:
  • old teachers friends from across the cluster dating back over 10 years!
  • core education representatives
  • members of the Woolf Fisher Research 
  • Manaiakalani Outreach Team
  • new teachers to our cluster
  • members of our Manaiakalani Hackers Team 
A few standout points for me was finding out from colleagues a common goal of having students AND teachers 'Explain Ready'.  Meaning:
a. students are ready to explain how they might solve a problem in maths.  
b. they are able to interpret what a word problem is actually asking
c. the need for educators to be more aligned in the terminology
d. the need think carefully of  the style of questioning and processing we need to promote.  
e. teacher choice of language and modelling will develop mathematical understanding to the point of being able to transfer knowledge and practice into other strands and curriculum areas.

As I shared in my recent post my inquiry falls under achievement challenge #4: 
Increase the achievement of Years 7-10, in reading, writing and maths, as measured against National Standards and agreed targets

Here is the presentation I shared..  I must say it was fun setting up the 3 panelled board - really made me think about what really needed to be shared given the limited space to display.  Thanks to the Manaiakalani team for their leadership in setting up this valuable opportunity for us all.  You are very welcome to visit my professional blog to read and see more.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Preparing and refining - Manaiakalani Hui 2017

Here's sneak peak at one piece from my presentation.  Come along and find out what it's all about!  Friday 25th August, Panmure Yacht Club 2 - 4pm.

Tomorrow we get to share our COL inquiries with the whole Manaiakalani Cluster. This will be taking place at the Panmure Yacht Club. Opportunities to share in such forums prompts to check and look again at the components that make up your teaching inquiry.

The team I am in are targeting the '#4 Achievement Challenge' which reads:
4. Increase the achievement of Years 7-10, in reading, writing and maths, as measured against National Standards and agreed targets.

My focus is specifically maths with a target group of learners who are sitting below the national standard, combination of boys and girls, year 7 and 8.   Our COL team for this particular achievement challenge are going to use the following headings to organise our presentation.
  • What the inquiry is about
  • Hunches
  • Actions taken
  • Successes
  • Failures or setbacks
  • Changes in the learning 
  • Changes in our practice
I'm looking forward to being there the whole day where we will hear from our MIT Spark teachers, our student ambassadors from every school in the cluster, feedback from WF Researchers team and more.    Always a valuable time of learning and reflecting.  Kia Manuia!

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Teacher talk is so important! Being 'explain ready'.

This afternoon was time well spent with Jo Knox and colleagues from year 5 through to 8.   The focus for our group PD was on the teaching and learning of fractions - ratios and proportion.   As the workshop unfolded it highlighted the following

- How we set problems to solve
- How we phrase our prompts and questions
- Which parts of a word problem to we spend time on teaching
- Which parts are redundant - not useful

This links to what I have found in parts of my inquiry.  The teacher's ability to articulate mathematical operations through to problem solving is significant in the learner's ability to advance in maths.   Where a teacher creates tasks effectively, use of correct terminology and mindfulness of scenarios learners may come up with - the thinking process of students is set up with greater stability.  The thinking process taken will prompt a transfer of skills across strands.  

Again I find myself reflecting on my own methods of setting up maths learning.  The language and phrases I use in maths to prompt the solving of various maths problems.   Jo Knox referred to the basics of how we describe fractions - what works and doesn't.   The part that doesn't work - showed thinking processes that were very limited and did not support the transfer of knowledge into other strands.   PD for myself - get explain ready for whatever scenarios students come up with in their efforts to problem solve.

The following are some helpful tips from Jo Knox's session.
  • Some students in ratios use additive - stage 6
  • We want to move into multiplicative
  • ‘Launch’ of question. Ensure all students have access to understand the question. It’s not meant to trip up students. Explain different parts to allow students access to the question.
  • Whatever your problem area. Do a 5 minutes piece with class daily. Maths wall could show the processes you want to teach.  
    • Who can find keywords? etc
    • Where are the key numbers?
    • Redundant? Who can find words that are NOT useful
  • Do exercise to picture what you’re trying to ask WITHOUT numbers. E.g. ‘I have money in this pocket and some in this much do I have’. 
    • Students will understand what operations you’re after BEFORE dealing with the numbers.

Friday, 11 August 2017

COL - my process so far

Let's walk it through:
1. Identify the challenge: acceleration of maths in year 7 - 10
2. HOW?   Empower students by showing them their data 
(Lenva & Jo)
3. Process: 
a. Identify areas of success / difficulty
b. Identify the WHY it was difficult 
c. Learn how to work through this - solve it!
4. Capture evidence of HOW to solve the problem 
5. Share providing evidence AND teach the next student!
Below is an example of student carrying out numbers 6 and 7.  Go here to see more from Hosea.

This week we have been learning to use 'screencastify'.  This was to explore the use of 'Screencastify' to explain how I/we problem solve.

 Can you see how I worked this problem out? Give me feedback if you think there's something else I could have added in my speech or screen capture.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Target group update - data from end of term 2

We've had a series of team meetings this term where we've had the chance to share our data in maths.  Alongside this our 'hunches' as to why behind the results.  As a team we agreed that in our efforts to teach basic fundamentals in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division we didn't branch enough into the 'ratio and proportions' area.  This meant our gloss testing showed a specific weakness in the solving of problems relating to fractions that sits in ratio and proportions.

Also - linking back to previous posts, the only going development needed in students being able to interpret word problems and be 'explain' ready when they do solve them!

Below I have data of my target students as of the end of term 2.

Boy 76E7At
Boy 7E6E6Below
Boy 856Well below
Boy 8E7E7Below
Boy 765Well below
Girl8E7E6Well below

Green movement up - still not accelerated however.  Yellow no movement and red - slipped back.  This is based on gloss testing.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Student efficacy and achievement relate!

1. students see someone like them showing other students their work -  explaining how they solved a problem.

In my research for good practice in raising achievement in maths came across an article titled 'Assessing students’ maths self efficacy and achievement' by LINDA BONNE AND ELLIOT LAWES.

I found this very interesting and it confirmed what I have heard in my Pt England Inquiry group as well as COL within schools group.    Something most if not all teacher believe to be key to engaging students so that we can deal with the detail in teaching and learning.  This being the level of confidence or in this case self efficacy in maths.

What do researchers say self efficacy is?
s.1 Self-efficacy can be thought of as part of the key competency, managing self, which is “associated with self-motivation, a ‘can-do’ attitude, and with students seeing themselves as capable learners” (Ministry of Education, 2007, p. 12). 

One of the leaders in self-efficacy research and theory development, Albert Bandura, described self-efficacy as: people’s judgments of their capabilities to organize and execute courses of action required to attain designated types of performances. It is concerned not with the skills one has but with judgments of what one can do with whatever skills one possesses. (Bandura, 1986, p. 391)

Good practice for effective teachers I believe is the making sure students feel safe and capable of learning in your classroom.  This promoting self efficacy for our students.  When reading further through the article, there was provision of a list of practices that would promote self efficacy.  I believe that using the screencastify app will support point no.1, 3, 6 and 7.   Those points left out I imagine could be catered for in timely feedback from the teacher, student peers and whanau.

 A recent New Zealand study (described in Bonne & Johnston, 2016), based on work by Siegle and McCoach (2007) and Schunk and Hanson (1985), suggested that students’ self-efficacy is likely to be strengthened when: 

1. students see someone like them showing the rest of the class their maths work, or explaining how they solved a problem 
2. students have strategies for coping when learning is difficult, and when they make mistakes or fail 3. students know what their learning goals are, and understand what they need to do to achieve their goals 
4. teachers give students feedback about the progress they are making towards their learning goals, and let them know what they need to do next to help them achieve their goals 
5. teachers encourage students to reflect on the role of effort in their learning, and—when appropriate—prompt students to attribute failure to insufficient effort, and encourage them to try harder and persevere when learning is difficult 
6. students’ attention is drawn to the specific skills they have developed 
7. students are enabled to develop internal standards for evaluating their own outcomes, rather than to rank themselves in comparison to others 
8. if a teacher—or a parent—found maths difficult when they were at school, then rather than commiserate with students, they challenge students to improve their maths—expect them to succeed, and give them the support they need to do so.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Explain ready as students - next steps.

Graeme Aitken: Collaborative Teaching as Inquiry Image from collaborative inquiry presentation given to school leaders at Manaiakalani Hui Term 2.

As the term kicks off I've used this inquiry flow chart to focus myself on what the next part of my inquiry will be. You open the lid with investigation from your hunch, you may find you were right OR close, or maybe - that the issue is something else!

The start of my inquiry?
Using student data WITH students to support achievement in maths. What has unfolded is a careful selection of words and phrases from me as a teacher to model how we interpret our data from formative assessments so far. These being gloss, IKAN test and small group work.

On expecting students to articulate back to me via blog posts and conversations I have picked up that the students were able to identify the strand area of weakness. This was hugely motivational and built confidence in a number of nervous students. However the next problem became obvious. It's the next level of detail we are actually after! So if you say - 'Proportions and Ratios' is the area of weakness in number - what IN proportions and ratios is the problem area. What are the building blocks that lead me into understanding fractions (proportions) and then ratios? Students goal: to be 'Explain Ready'. Using collaborative teaching inquiry model from Graeme Aitken I have come up with the following to guide me through the next steps for my inquiry.
Inquiry that Hannah West shared in our Pt England School inquiry groups.   Thanks Hannah for your great ideas around screencast!    Will show what we come up with soon!

Monday, 17 July 2017

Immersion Assembly Term 3

This week's post comes to us from Angelo who will share with you what our first day of term was like. It's always a special time at PES - first day of any term! Read on!

It was the first day of school the immersion assembly was normal, until the lights turned off and little space ship came flying through the middle of the hall and landed on the center of the stage.
everybody was curious of what's in then suddenly two alien bursted out of nowhere, and started talking, before I could catch my breath on what's happening. Two brave souldier bursted out from hiding and defeated the two aliens with there lightsabers. then they stood up and took a bow lucky it was a act I was ready to run. Mr burt came out and said “give a round of applause for that amazing act”.

Team one played a movie about going to space in a flying car. Then it was time for team two they also played a movie but there movie was a song about space. Team three played a movie about time. Team four played a movie about what planet where gonna live on after the earth. Then the best group team five they sang a song about the moon and solar system.

The most interesting and informative item was team five. they explained how all natural resources were running out and people were going to have to find a new planet. They also explained how we failed to protect and look after earth.

I think team five was the most entertaining because i've never seen my teachers dance like how they did on the day. I also never expected mrs judd's voice to be that amazing but the funny dance moves from mrs tele'a is what made it all stand out.

This term I am looking forward to having lots of fun learning about how the tides affect the tide and also what planet we're gonna live on next. Another task i'm look forward to is how the solar system work and how planet earth effects it.

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.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Screen casts that 'Explains and shows' my understanding

Following on from our staff meeting led by Dorothy Burt we had our own Pt England group inquiry session.  In this session we are invited to share and reflect on progress today with our own individual inquiries.

I will share about the findings of a colleague around the use of capturing screen casts that display a student working through a problem.  In this you will see their working out with a voiceover that is captured at the same time.

The idea I plan to implement with my target group is this very activity of having students capture their explanation of maths problems they tackle.  

Plan of action:
1. Demo working out a problem they find easy using screen capture
2. Demo working out a problem that is challenging for their maths group

I will need to support this process well with helping students to  identify specifically a problem to solve.   Also the skills needed to capture their explanation/working out well so that their example is a clear example of 'Rewindable Learning' for their peer group.

Screencastify - tutorial video

Friday, 16 June 2017

Whanau engagement a big part of solution

Whanau engagement is a fundamental part of student achievement and well being at school.   Our efforts to understand one another is significant in not only engaging students but maintaining the levels of motivation and interest from the students AND their whanau over years of schooling.

Families@PES is what we now call our 'Home school partnership' meetings.  In this post I will refer to the Families@PES night June 14th 2017.  The special focus of this meeting was achievement in maths for all our students.

Toni Nua one of our assistant principals led this evening.  Starting with the good news - any support we can offer as whanau around maths matters!  This was great as there have been some miscommunications over the years of the 'old way' not being good for our students.   Instead - it's another strategy to offer our children.   Greater to this was the fact that we all - teachers, parents and whanau need to 'talk' a lot more!  For example - when we're doing chores around home, travelling to and from shopping trips - there's so much maths talk we could be having.

I had the chance to work with parents of year 7 & 8 parents who attended this night.  I shared my findings after having completed a set of gloss tests with students.   Language is greatly lacking.  Gloss is a test that uses 'Word problems' for students to show their ability in the three following areas:
Addition and Subtraction
Multiplication and Division
Proportions and Ratios

I showed parents an example of a gloss question.  They were very interested and were keen to learn what their children face in an assessment.   I was able to explain with the test in hand the challenge our children have with interpreting word problems.
'Andrea can fit 5 basketballs into one sports bag.  How many bags will Andrea need to store 40 basketballs?'
Some students will become stuck - yet when showing them the number sentence 40÷5= they could say the answer immediately.  So how can we all help?   Heaps and heaps more 'talk'.  Gifting of language to our children is needed.  Research relating to the time some of children enter school show very low word knowledge compared to children the same age in other parts of NZ.  Let's get talking - explaining with our children!

This will be an aspect of the maths I will address with my maths class in the new term.

The evening closed with parents feeling more empowered to support their children and helpful reminders that in the busyness of home life we can plant many more words/phrases and conversations that will better support their children towards achievement in maths.   All parents left with a maths activity pack that was explained and used prior to leaving this evening.

We've since received feedback that it was a useful evening and the packs are a great help!   Another great resource in our whanau to support achievement for our tamariki.

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.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Spiderweb graph - students reaction

Students found this a fun activity - to plot their results from both Gloss and iKan tests.

Feedback: they felt it showed their results in a different way but did not show them anything new.

Our discussions took us again towards looking for more detail around what being say 'level' 4 in 'Add Sub' meant.  

This brought us to look at the national standards poster which outlines what students should know by the end of the year levels.

It was agreed that we needed to look again at our test papers to try and identify where/what we did and didn't understand in the assessments.

As  a teacher this resource of under 'Possible misconceptions' gives a good support to identifying what the problem actually could be.   We will be making use of this resource in the new term where we plan as a team to carry out a pre and post test for measurement and geometry.

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.