Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Connected Rotorua Term 2 2017

Cold winter evenings make for small gatherings but at the Connected Rotorua evening we discussed Ngā Pūmanawa e Waru's developing "Effective Future Focused Teaching" mindmap. We then got to reassemble the parts in how we personally envisioned the system of Effective Future Focused Teaching could look like. Always fun playing with ideas.


Maths Parent Evening

As the Mathematics leader at our school, I facilitated an open evening for parents to learn more about how their children learn maths at our school and how they can help at home. I talked to the parents about real life maths, math progressions, and basic facts learning at home (see my slideshow below). Meanwhile the children were engaged in playing the maths games they play in class; we had areas for each team to share with whānau. Afterwards the parents joined the children in the hall where they learned how to play math games; and lots of prizes were given out. A successful evening with lots of positive feedback from parents and staff.








Peer Coaching with NPeW


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Ngā Pūmanawa e Waru have been doing an amazing job at providing our school and district with future focused professional development. Our last few workshops have been focussed on peer coaching and questioning. This ties in nicely with my Maths Leadership course that covered similar areas in workshop 1.

To sum it up; good leadership and peer coaches should be good listeners first!




Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Staff Math Meeting

Today was the second Math staff meeting PD that I have run this year, and although we had to move fast, I believe the staff came out more inspired, informed and with some ideas to take back to their classrooms.

Does your classroom have a Maths Word Wall?
The focus was developing rich Maths classroom environments, with a particular emphasis on Maths vocabulary. I planned the meeting on Google Keep, my new favourite note keeping app. I shared reading via email (and a few paper printouts). And used Padlet (below) to allow staff to shared resources and collaborate during the meeting.

We ended the meeting with a challenge to develop Maths Word Walls and think about how we can further Maths enrich our classroom environments.

Made with Padlet

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Chapter Chat: a reading adventure

Chapter Chat is a group of primary school classrooms who read the same chapters of an assigned book each week. The students get a list of questions to answer that are the main source of conversation in the Twitter group (this discussion format with prearranged questions is the same used with teacher twitter discussion groups). The students also get a range of tasks to choose from to show their comprehension in a creative way. I provided my students with a weekly template of the tasks and questions (you can see last years one here), this was a collaborative document and groups duplicated the question page and made it their own.


Organiser (Stephen Baker) started Chapter Chat to foster a love of books, and as a way to get his kids to connect with others while giving them an authentic audience. As Twitter is a social media platform, every Chapter Chat is an opportunity to discuss and guide students in the many aspects of Digital Citizenship. As well as learning to understand a platform like Twitter, it is an opportunity for my students to practise their quality commenting (positive, helpful and thoughtful) and writing skills. As the Twitter chat id displayed on the class whiteboard we have an ongoing discussion on the comments posted in relation to Digital Citizenship, quality commenting, and writing skills. 

What I enjoy about Chapter Chat as a teacher is that I and my students get to enjoy books at their level, and get an opportunity to discuss it with other students around NZ. While it also provides deeper thinking about the contents of the book with questions for an independent reading task.

So what do the students think? Before deciding on whether to continue Chapter Chat next year I surveyed my students. As you can see from the results
to the left, the majority of my students love it and wish to continue. So we will, and hope to see you there too.

An example of my students comments on Chapter Chat. I used Storify to capture a selection of our class tweets.

Monday, 12 December 2016

My Classroom in 360

Earlier this year I posted a 360 photo of my classroom using Photosynth - the app is no longer available :-(.  However I like to record how my classroom looks at the end of the year because it reflects the learning and wonderful things my class has created over the year. It shows a bit of our personality.

I think my classroom is more vibrant this year with more student work up, mainly because our wonderful caretaker put up hanging wire around my class to help with the lack of wall space. I love it, the students love to see and show of their work on display, and parents enjoy being able to walk around and view the students art and learning. Now it's time to clear the walls for a fresh start next year.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Learning to Teach Online

I am the type of life-long learner who likes to manage their own learning pathway, and so I seek out courses where I can manage both my time and learning context. Coursea is one of my favourite online learning provider because they have a huge range of courses designed by top universities around the world.

This week I completed The Learning to Teach Online (LTTO) MOOC which aimed to develop an understanding of successful online teaching strategies. This multi award winning open educational resource developed by Dr Simon McIntyre and Karin Watson was easy to follow as well as being a good model on online teaching and course design

https://www.coursera.org/account/accomplishments/certificate/TQVFYQ72P87Y