Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Thank you Mark and MOP

What a fantastic year we have had. If I think back to where we were at the beginning of the year, and where our teaching and learning practice is now - wow! And this has all been made possible thanks to the Manaiakalani Outreach Programme (MOP), the generosity of the Manaiakalani Education Trust (MET) and the wonderful work of Mark Maddren, our facilitator.
All classes now have their own blog and some teachers have their own personal blog that they are using to record their Learn Create Share journey.
Our Yr4-6 teachers are preparing class sites for next year ready for our focus on visible learning. All teachers have embraced Learn Create Share and are now ready for the next step - visible teaching and learning.
Learn Create Share and digital technology is transforming our practice in the Hornby Cluster. Some of our staff will be attending SOLO workshops in January at Templeton School and we look forward to seeing how this approach could enhance our curriculum delivery.
The other piece of good news is that one of our staff members, Heather Matthews, is a recipient of the 2016 Spark Manaiakalani Innovative Teacher programme. This will provide wonderful professional learning not only for Heather, but Hornby Primary and the Hornby Cluster. Well done Heather!
And finally, we bid farewell to our Cluster Leader, Dick Edmundson, who is off Linwood College to continue the moral imperative he has firmly established here in Hornby. Thank you Dick for your leadership and clear vision - reducing the digital divide and ensuring that all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sight Sound Motion

Last week I attended Ruma Toru's Mangamaunu Marae stay in Kaikoura. On Wednesday we walked the Ohau Waterfall Walk Track to where the seal pups learn to swim in a fresh water pool while their mothers are out in the ocean hunting for food - Link
This was a wonderful authentic learning experience for the children who had done some earlier work on whales. Children where capturing images of the seals playing and swimming on their iPads, cameras and phones. What struck me at the time was this was an wonderful example of Sight Sound Motion which is an important aspect of Learn Create Share. Children were able to record (photos and video) what was happening in front of them and then use this when they return to school the following week.
All children were engaged and motivated which is the foundation for all learning. I look forward to viewing the children's learning on the class blog soon -

Monday, November 2, 2015

Visible Teaching

Today Mark Maddren our Manaiakalani Outreach Facilitator took the staff through a Visible Teaching session. Mark started the session dictating instructions to us where we each had a piece of paper and pencil. Following his instructions, we should have ended up drawing a simple cassette tape. The end products varied greatly, with some people giving up - sorry Mark! The point being, Mark knew what he wanted us to achieve, but all the knowledge was in his head, we could not see it, we could only hear his verbal instructions.

"Teaching should be a very simple, no surprises process - it's the teacher's responsibility to share the process, not students responsibility to 'get inside the teacher's head'.
Should students be trying to understand the teacher or understand the learning? We need a roadmap ... " (Mark Maddren)

"Why can't we just lay the learning pathway out for them and make it easy?" (Dorothy Burt)

Visible teaching empowers learners by providing them with a visible pathway. They are able to see what the learning looks like and sounds like. They are able to revisit it if they are uncertain, or need to clarify the learning intentions. Learners are able to take control of their learning which leads to greater motivation and engagement.

Visible teaching empowers all learners; parents, teachers, colleagues and the wider community.

Google Sites provide the vehicle for visible teaching. "Using the Learn Create Share framework to manage learning in a digital learning environment that is truly visiblethrough Google Sites leading learning, blogging, sharing outcomes and highly effective teaching practice, has enabled this accelerated rate of progress" (Professor Stuart McNaughton, Auckland University, Woolf Fisher Research). Mc Naughton is referring to the progress of students in the Manaiakalani Project.

Learn Create Share, Google Sites and digital technology has the capacity to transform teaching and learning by removing confusion and uncertainty from a learner's perspective. All learners are entitled to know what they are learning, and our role as teachers is to make this process as clear and visible as possible. We now have the tools to do this!

Thanks for a great session Mark!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

ULearn 2015

Four staff members attended the conference in Auckland during the second week of the holidays. They returned to school invigorated and full of ideas they would like to implement in their teaching spaces and school-wide. However, what was very satisfying and reaffirming from my point of view was the fact that Hornby Primary is already embracing and implementing some of the ideas and trends that were shared at the conference.
A very brief summary of the trends and themes shared at last night's staff meeting

  • collaboration
  • innovation
  • creativity
  • open mindset
  • risk taking - making mistakes is ok, it's what we do next that is important, we can learn from mistakes
  • embracing failure - Karen Boyes said that 40% of today's 5 year olds will be self employed and will need to cope with great failures and great successes, therefore, the need for resilience
  • feedback
  • the importance of the learning process, more discussions with children about learning; what did you learn about? how do you learn best? what would you do differently next time?
  • agency - the power to act and take control
  • the critical role of digital technology
I believe our current school vision including our characteristics focus on communicators, participators, critical thinkers and resilience, and Learn Create Share model is preparing our children for an ever changing world and encapsulates much of what was discussed at the ULearn Conference. 
Thank you Alethea, Kate, Heather and Christine.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Learn Create Share In Action

The second Health Leaders' Forum was held 15 September at the Hornby High School Auditorium with 8 schools attending. We are very fortunate to be part of the Health Promotion in Schools Programme which is ably led by Richard Wisnesky. Richard meets with our group each Thursday afternoon and works on health related topics that our leaders then share with the rest of the school.

Our display included things that we do to promote well-being at Hornby, for example; Kiwican, winter sports tournament, Olympia Gym programme for juniors, class fitness programmes and our school values - LEARN.
The group then presented their information and knowledge in text and graphics form on a cardboard display, and they also created a slideshow in Google slides - CREATE.
The display was then shared in a cafe forum with all schools getting a set time to spend at each display. Our children worked in pairs sharing their presentation with each school. The slide presentation can be found at Ruma Toru- SHARE.

I then asked the children what they learned from this experience? 
"To speak clearly and confidently, now I can just get up and speak in front of people without even worrying about it.”
“I have learned to read the ingredients and nutritional information on the back of packets.”
"How to organise our presentation and plans by working together."
“If you listen to others you can get things out of it – for example, one of the schools is now using our electronic mihi idea that we shared at the last forum.”
Hornby Display

Jaleel and Chelsea performing karakia before morning tea

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Key Competencies

Last week I attended the Ministerial Cross Sector Forum at the Hagley Pavillion. Professor Gary Hawke was one of the speakers and something he said struck a cord with me. The key competencies should be the starting point for teaching and learning, we should weave our teaching and learning through the key competencies. At Hornby, our characteristics (key competencies) of communicating, participating, critical thinking and resilience, underpin our school curriculum.
The key competencies are firmly embedded in our approach to Learn Create Share.
The New Zealand Curriculum Key Competencies:

  • thinking
  • using language, symbols and texts
  • managing self
  • relating to others
  • participating and contributing

Monday, August 24, 2015

Dakota Shares Her Learning

In this video Dakota demonstrates and shares her understanding of the 2 times tables using the Explain Everything app. Dakota explains her learning clearly and precisely. Learn Create Share provides children with multiple ways of demonstrating and sharing their learning.
Dakota said producing the video clip was fun because she was able to work with a friend who posed the question (2 x 6 =) for Dakota to explain and solve.

Growth Mindset

Recently I read an article, Watch What's Working: Carol Dweck Talks Growth Mindset (edutopia, September 19, 2014). Link
Schools that help their students succeed, send them that explicit messages:
  • "Your intelligence is something that can and will develop, with effort, good strategies, and support from this school
  • You have a purpose ...
  • You belong here ...
  • We, as your teachers, will set high standards for you, and we will give you what you need to succeed."
Our challenge as teachers, leaders and educators, is to install a growth mindset in all of our students so they are able to reach their full potential. 
Dweck poses a question; "What is the most effective way to increase students' ownership of the work they do in your class ...?"
I believe the direction we are taking at HPS with Learn Create Share, supported by digital technology, has the capacity to  'grow' growth mindsets in all of our learners.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Ako Ngatahi Celebrates

Ako Ngatahi is a Year 4-5 class with 54 children. Miss Kate Weaver and Mr Simon Scott are in their second year of collaborative teaching. They are implementing Learn Create Share supported by chromebooks and iPads.
Today they celebrated 10000 page views on their class blog Ako Ngatahi with a shared lunch and mufti day.
Check out children's learning and see what they have been up to!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Pasifika Fiafia

Last week the Hornby Networked Learning Community held their annual Fiafia at Hornby High School. Five schools and their communities attended; Hornby High, Hornby Primary, St Bernadette's, Gilberthorpe and Sockburn.
The purpose of the evening is the recognise and acknowledge Pasifika academic achievement and/or leadership. Schools also performed and kept the large audience entertained.
Children learned songs, dance and customs prior the the evening and then shared their learning with an authentic audience - a great example of Learn Create Share.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Pupils' Perspective on Learning

Today I met with our Trusted Trekkers. This group of children are our senior leaders in the school and have earned the right through displaying our school values to be recognised as Trusted Trekkers. I was very interested to know what assists their learning. They provided the following responses:
  • working in a group
  • being able to work alone
  • having a quiet space
  • being shown an example
  • hearing it, seeing it (pictures, books)
  • teachers showing us different strategies
  • computers and apps
  • having access to dictionaries
  • knowing a teacher is there to help

It is important that children know what assists their learning, and they also view themselves as active participants in the learning process. This is acknowledged in the NZ Curriculum 'Learning to Learn' principle (p 9); "The curriculum encourages all students to reflect on their own learning processes and to learn how to learn."
The Learn Create Share model provides multiple opportunities to engage and motivate our children as they become active participants in the learning process.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


A fundamental aspect of Learn Create Share is that children are able to share their work with a worldwide audience. The ability to be able to share work is crucial as this provides authenticity; there is a purpose to this activity and learning. When children are able to see the purpose of the learning, they become motivated and engaged, essential elements for learning.
Digital technology and Google Apps provide a wonderful platform for children to share their work and also receive feedback. Today a Year 5 boy told me he had responded to my comment I made on his post on Friday. The boy had a big smile on his face and was happy that someone had responded to his post and recognised the good work he was doing.
Blogger provides children with the platform to share their learning with others. Check out the following links below and see what is happening in Hornby classrooms.
Ako Ngatahi
Ruma Toru
Ruma Wha
Potu o'aoaga

Friday, August 7, 2015

Sharlisa's Christchurch City Gap Filler

For her writing activity Sharlisa chose to write about one of her favourite topics, animals. She selected a variety of pictures and came up with the great idea of a 'gap filler' for the CBD, as there are a lot of gaps since the earthquake!

For my gap filler I am going to have a place where you can pat animals and look at them. There will also be a space where you can learn facts about animals. The animals would come from the and maybe you could adopt some too. At night they would go back to the SPCA. Some animals will have to go in cages or some water tanks and if it's windy or rainy there will be a shelter so no one gets cold and wet.   

By Sharlisa

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

The Hornby Cluster is very fortunate to be working with the Manaiakalani Outreach Programme (MOP). Each week Mark Maddren our MOP facilitator spends 4 hours at school with staff supporting them implement Learn Create Share. Yesterday Mark ran a Toolkit session at Hornby High for all members of the cluster (HNLC) on UDL. This was a relatively new concept to staff, but the philosophy that underpins UDL certainly wasn't.
Classrooms today have learners with very diverse backgrounds, experience and prior knowledge. Our challenge is to meet the needs of ALL our learners. How then to reduce barriers and maximise learning for all of our learners?
The UDL framework works for everyone and has 3 main principles:
1. provide multiple means of representation to present content; multiple media such bas text, graphics, video, ...
2. provide multiple means of actions and expression; options for expressing what they know and choices how to present material. For example, role play, drama, create a video or poster, ...
3. provide multiple means of engagement; offer options and keep their interests.

The UDL framework supports Learn Create Share and staff will be developing their understanding further and implementing curriculum and learning experiences that engage, motivate and meet the needs of all learners at Hornby Primary School. 
I would like to acknowledge the Manaiakalani Education Trust (MET) for their support of the Hornby Cluster as we implement Learn Create Share. Your support is making a significant difference to teaching and learning in the HNLC.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Keisha's task was to write an acrostic poem. First she discussed it with another pupil, then she selected a photo to insert in her work.

Butterflies in your tummy.
You're not going die.
Jelly belly.
Up then down.
May the fun begin.
Inside and out.
Never be afraid.
Go and be brave.

By Kiesha

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Benefits of Technology and Learn Create Share

Last Thursday I commented on Hayden's blog. He had written an article on the BMX World Champs in Belgium using a chromebook. Hayden chose to do this research and writing during 'free writing time' where children could choose their topic. Hayden inserted some photos and wrote a short description for each.
I commented on his blog that evening and posed a question for him - do you know where Belgium is? The next morning Hayden found me before the 8.55am bell and explained precisely where Belgium was!
I asked Hayden why he preferred using the chromebook for writing, here are his responses

  • I don't need to use a pencil
  • If I have trouble with spelling, autocorrect helps me
  • I can use backspace if I make a mistake
  • I can insert photos into my work
You can checkout Hayden's work on the link below

Monday, August 3, 2015

Jacinda's Creative Writing

            The Creature of the Night
The darkness of the night falls on the land. I’m terrified. I hear a scream of fright. I start running for my life.The deafening roar like thunder starts to fade. Finally silence fills the sky.The only sound to be heard is the hoot of the owl and the wind blowing through my hair. I can finally relax and go to sleep.The beautiful sun shines in my eyes and wakes me up but the good moment doesn't last for long.The eyes of my enemy appear in the bushes. I hear another scream in the distance. I think to myself, what have I done ...?   
Nā Jacinda

'The Creature of the Night' is a wonderful example of Learn Create Share. Jacinda is learning to create a mood using a variety of sentences. Jacinda created her piece of writing on her chromebook and will share it on the class blog. Jacinda is very proud of her work!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Learner Agency

Learner agency is a move away from teachers having complete control over the learning process to learners owning more of the process. Derek Wenmouth describes learner agency as having the power to act.
At Hornby this involves children being able to describe what they are learning and what stage/level they are at, for example, "I am at stage 5 for maths and my next step is to understand 2-place decimals." "I am reading at a 9-10 year level and I need to be able to read between the lines and gain a deeper understanding using the clues from the text."
Senior children are leading Learning Conferences and sharing their learning with parents/whanau. Children also have a large input into unit studies; they are able to select activities and choose how they would like to present their information and work.
Our role as teachers is to encourage agentic learning as the evidence clearly shows that when learners have control over their learning, not only are there increased levels of motivation and engagement, positive learning outcomes are more likely to occur.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Learning at HPS will be:

  • authentic - real life learning experiences
  • visible
  • ubiquitous - children learning anywhere, anytime, anyhow
  • connected - make connections across learning areas
  • focused on developing learner agency - the power to act with children taking responsibility for their learning
"The Learn Create Share pedagogy drives toward visible and ubiquitous learning, strong learner agency and connectedness to grow knowledge." (