Sunday, April 16, 2017

Blogging and Feedback

Once again, I am reminded of the power of the blog and the comments feature. Ranit recently shared a piece of his writing with me. I provided him with some feedback and he responded with this beautiful sentence; well structured and correctly punctuated.

This would not have happened with the traditional pen and paper (could have, but unlikely). I would have had to be in Ranit's class, or he would have had to bring his writing to me.

The other reminder is that quality writing can be developed through commenting on blogs. The children are provided with a scaffold for commenting on blogs and there is clear evidence of this in Ranit's reply to me.

Please structure your comments as follows:
Positive - Something done well
Thoughtful - A sentence to let us know you actually read/watched or listened to what they had to say
Helpful - Give some ideas for next time or Ask a question you want to know more about

Read Simon Scott's (our DP) thoughts regarding blogging.
Simon's blog post

Monday, April 10, 2017

Authentic Learning

Recently Whaea Heather invited me down to Ruma Toru to look at their practise for the official opening of the Hornby Barnardos Pasifika ECE situated on the school site.

While watching the children it struck me that this was a wonderful example of authentic learning;
LEARN: waiata, actions, the background to the ECE and who is attending
CREATE: performance for the opening
SHARE: their performance in front of an authentic audience

On Friday both bilingual classes performed wonderfully in front of 150 dignitaries. The audience thoroughly enjoyed the performance and the children left the room to rousing applause.


What else was happening in this situation? Children's language, culture and identity was being shared, acknowledged and celebrated - culturally responsive practice in action.

This morning I visited the children and congratulated them on their performance. I asked them how they felt after the performance; "surprised we were chosen", "awesome" and "proud."

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Manaiakalani Outreach Convenors/Trust Chairs Meeting

We held our first meeting of the year in the Winterless North at Ohaeawai School on Thursday. We arrived to a wonderful powhiri held in the school hall. The singing and haka were inspiring! Lee and her team were fantastic hosts and the morning tea and lunch were yummy!

For the first time, we had the Trust Chairs attending. This was a wonderful opportunity for principals and chairs to meet and get an understanding of each others' roles. Dorothy Burt the Outreach Education Programme Leader was also in attendance and was able to provide valuable background information also.

Principals discussed

  • data and research - what would  we like Woolf Fisher reports to look like moving forward?
  • sustainability
  • Outreach 2018 possibilities
  • CoLs and Teaching as Inquiry
  • sharing practcie and connecting across clusters
Another great day discussing teaching and learning practice focused on linking evidence to practice in order to accelerate learning outcomes for our children! A day full of Learn Create Share, including a wonderful fundraising idea Mandy shared with us involving a horse or cow! True innovation!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Visible Teaching and Learning

Sky is in Year 3 and started at Hornby Primary at the beginning of the term. Sky is in a digital 1:1 (chromebook) Yr3-4class. For most children, this is the first time they have used a chromebook.

Yesterday she shared her Google slide Mini Country Study on the Phillipines with me. I left a comment and she replied soon after. My initial reaction was - how cool is this! Not so much the wonderful presentation she had done, but that she had responded to a comment on her work.

These are the things that were going around in my head at the time

  • Learn Create Share, not only for Sky but myself. I learned what the Filipino name for pork was and how to say 'thank you'
  • Sky was sharing her knowledge with an authentic audience
  • Sky has created something no one else has ever done
  • Empowerment for the learner
  • Strengthened our relationship - she had a big smile on her face when I went to her room this morning
  • This type of interaction would not have happened in an analogue classroom

This is fantastic - Learn Create Share and the affordances of digital technology is the best thing since sliced bread!! What a great way to end the week and head into the weekend!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Uru Mānuka Manaiakalani Outreach WFRC Feedback

Today Outreach Principals and leaders hosted our Woolf Fisher Research Centre (WFRC) colleagues Aaron and Selena, and Dorothy from Manaiakalani Education Trust (MET).

Aaron and Selena presented our Uru Mānuka 2016 Student Achievement data and its implications for next steps.

The day provided a wonderful forum to focus on student data and the implications for teaching and learning practice that will accelerate student achievement. The data provided clear evidence that we are accelerating student achievement in writing in Years 4, 5, 6 and 7. Our next steps are to identify the teaching and learning practices that are making these significant shifts so all learners across Uru Mānuka can benefit.

Our next meeting will clarify our achievement challenge and how and what we will do to achieve this goal. We have a wealth of data and emerging findings to focus on.


A big thank you once again to the Hornby Working Men's Club for hosting us and supplying us with yummy food!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Professional Learning Groups (PLGs)

Six of the Uru Mānuka Manaiakalani Outreach Schools met this week at the Hornby Working Men's Club after school. Using the 2016 emerging findings from Woolf Fisher Research Centre, teachers chose an area of focus for their Teaching as Inquiry; eg. multi modal, feedback, rewindable learning, visible teaching, ... These are the teacher practices identified by WFRC as having a positive impact on student achievement.

There is good practice happening in all of our schools - Learn Create Share. Our cluster goals are to grow the capacity of all teachers and their understanding of Learn Create Share, provide opportunities to connect and share, strengthen Teaching as Inquiry so that it makes a difference for teachers professional practice and development, and also improve learning outcomes for all of our learners in Uru Mānuka.

Teachers in each group created a shared folder to keep resources in. Over time this will provide a valuable resource for all teachers within the cluster. Groups will meet each term in Week 9. No other meetings have been scheduled for these weeks in order to manage workloads.

We received great feedback about the session and teachers valued the opportunity to connect with others and discuss and share what is happening at various schools. Some have already organised visits to other schools before the next meeting. The afternoon was topped-off with tea/coffee, sandwiches and muffins!

Teachers SHARING

"Excellent professional development initiative and what better way to enhance collaboration across Uru Manuka!!" (Kris, Acting Principal, Sockburn Primary)

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Woolf Fisher Research Centre Feedback (WFRC)

Recently the Uru Mānuka Outreach Principals met with Dr Aaron Wilson, Dr Rebecca Jesson and Selena Meiklejohn-whiu from WFRC for our student questionnaire and classroom observations feedback.

Hornby Primary Student Questionnaire
Students who use a digital device for their learning participated in the questionnaire. The results were very positive, a summary is provided below

Using a digital device and learning in a digital environment
  • has made my learning more interesting
  • has made me a better learner, reader, writer and better at mathematics
  • has made me more independent
  • has helped my family know more about my learning
Classroom Observations
For the first 3 minutes of each interval, the teacher's' teaching actions were noted. For the second 3 minutes of each interval, the digital learning provisions were noted.
What is the teacher doing? What are the students doing? How are digital devices being used to support teaching and learning?

One of our achievement challenges is writing. After analysing the WFRC data we have begun to ask ourselves the following questions and identify if the following may have an impact on achievement:

  • Providing experiences for children
  • Authentic context for writing
  • Individual blogs and blogging
  • Providing feedback on blogs
  • Multi modal approach - single texts/multiple texts
  • Chn accessing a range of texts - are we restricting access? Chn are not reading widely as espoused
  • Teacher dashboard on screen in class
  • Critical questioning - Teaching by foci - why do you think McDonald’s advertise with …?
  • Reduce navigating and organising time
  • Nature of Task s
  • Agentic learning - what do you give freedom over?
  • Engagement - how do we engage chn that leads to improved learning outcomes?

For example, if teachers were to provide authentic learning contexts for children, opportunities for choice and more time to blog and comment on blogs, thus increasing the amount of time children spend writing, could this have a positive impact on achievement?

Below is a summary of a previous WFRC feedback session.

Our next step is to identify common hypotheses as a cluster and develop an action plan.

Lastly, a special thank you to WFRC for this wonderful opportunity. Having access to research and student achievement data is a luxury and also innovative. We have focussed on student data for a long time but have not always explicitly matched teacher practice to the equation - this provides us with a wonderful opportunity to transform our teaching and learning practice in order to make a positive difference for our learners!