Thursday, May 18, 2017

'Spreading the Word' and Sharing

Yesterday we were visited by the Acting Prime Minister Paula Bennett and David Hiatt the National candidate for Wigram.

Talia and Lasa greeted the Minister and escorted her and David to Ruma Toru
(bilingual Yr4-6) where Ricci performed his mihi followed by a class waiata.

The Minister was then informed about their learning and entertained, some of it not neccesarily related to education (thank you Ricci!).

It was a wonderful opportunity for the children to showcase Learn Create Share and the affordances of digital technology in our Hornby setting. A great 45 minutes was had by all!.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Creating to Learn

Today Makaea shared her learning with me. Rūma Toru are investigating and learning about internal organs this term. This week they dissected a lamb's kidney and then created a slideshow to demonstrate and share their learning.

This got me thinking about creativity. Creativity is central to the Learn Create Share pedagogy that we are implementing across Uru Mānuka. Creativity provides opportunities for children to express themselves and produce something unique.

While Makaea was creating she was learning, and then she was able to share her creation and learning on her blog with a worldwide audience.

I loved Makaea's kidney creation and the topic related vocabulary she used to label her creation - checkout the link below.

A great example of how Learn runs through the entire Learn Create Share cycle! Another affordance of digital technology is the video embedded in the slideshow allowed Makaea to go back (rewind) and watch the dissection again if she needed to.


Another one of Mikaea's creations..

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Professional Learning - Growing Capacity

Uru Mānuka Senior Leaders PLG

Today 13 senior leaders from Uru Mānuka schools and our Outreach Faciliator (Mark Maddren) met with Aaron and Cynthia from Woolf Fisher Research Centre to share and discuss our 2016 student achievement data and plans for next steps. Hornby Primary had 3 teachers attending.

This was a great opportunity for our senior leaders to engage with the research and data, and identify the teacher practices that are accelerating student achievement. In the past, principals have attended these feedback sessions, but today senior and middle management were able to connect thus providing a wonderful opportunity to grow capacity across our schools. We want everyone to engage with the likes of Aaron and Cynthia, another way of thinking about this is to compare it to taking everyone to the movies! How often have you heard people commenting on movies and saying, "you have to see it!" Well, we want all of our teachers to hear the important messages from our WFRC colleagues.

 One of the many positive aspects of today's session was that all schools within the cluster have effective pockets of practice occurring within their schools. The challenge for us now is to ensure these practices are spread across the cluster to ensure all of our learners are able to benefit from the affordances of Learn Create Share and digital technology.

Today's session builds on the work of our Professional Learning Groups (PLGs)  Link and provides more evidence to support the emerging findings from WFRC research.

Comments from our 3 attendees
"Great to have the opportunity to reflect on the cluster achievements and discuss our next steps."
"Wonderful to have the 3 of us hear the same messages and collaborate as a cluster."
"Reinforced the importance of feedback (which I already knew), but in particular the transfer of feedback, which I am now going to blog."

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!