A little about me...

Kia ora!
My name is Juliana Treadwell and I have the privilege of being a part of the MDTA 2016 crew! During my first year of this course I will be a part of an awesome year two/three class at Tamaki Primary School with my highly knowledgeable mentor Sally Barlow. I'm super pumped for this crazy adventure and through this blog I hope you can live and learn vicariously with me and enjoy the experience as much as I am!

Friday, 21 October 2016

"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new" - Socrates

Today we kicked off the day with an intriguing chat based around future focus learning. We focused on what direction technology was going and the effect this would have within our class. We complied a list of new technologies that would have an educational impact, and I was amazed at how close the future seemed.

Virtual reality, Google glasses, smart homes, fridges that order food, biometrics, geocaching, it all seems like classic Futurama, but in reality it so close. One of my favourite recent discoveries is augmented reality (AR). Apps such as Animal 4D, Anatomy 4D, Blippar and Elements 4D take an ordinary piece of paper and brings it to life so you can explore and manipulate different aspects.

The potential for use in the classroom is extraordinary, it makes everything easily accessible. For example if you don't have access to any fluorine or  or sodium, this app allows you to explore both of these elements, what they look like, each elements composition, as well as being able to witness the reaction between them.

One other aspect that we explored deeper is the world of coding. Coding and being able to program is becoming a fundamental skill for our next generation. We gave 'hour of code' a go and played around with the different levels of coding. It's not all HTML and complicated screeds of a foreign language it can be as simple as dragging 'blocks' that have the required code for different commands. I don't have a whole lot of coding experience but within 30 minutes I was able to make my own Star Wars game! This is something I am very keen to start in my classroom next year, if it is going to be so fundamental to society I want my learners to be prepared and capable of understanding this change. I can't wait to see how my students could explore this tool and where their imagination take them. 

Thursday, 6 October 2016

"Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahiengari he toa takimano // my strength is not that of the individual but that of the collective" - Maori proverb

uLearn Breakout One: Kiwi - Iwi

This breakout was a thought provoking start to my uLearn journey, it made me question the way I view hapū, iwi and Marae contribution in our school and classroom. What do I believe their role is? Am I ensuring that there is a connection between school and marae? What should this connection look like? What is the expectation of whānau, tamariki and iwi?

So many questions. However overall I realise this is not something that I have been consciously trying to develop this year and therefore have not created these relationships.  This is something I am very keen to change and the first thing I need to identify is who I am trying to engage with and what I am trying to connect them into.

This cultural landscape tool is the perfect scaffold for starting my journey to connecting with Iwi in our community, I need to discover who I am trying to connect to, about their whenua, reo, waiata, tupuna. There are many things that specific to each individual Iwi and I need to discover these different aspects to be able to cater to them specifically.  The only  way to discover this is to go to the people, ask them what do they want for their tamariki? Engage with their leadership team, who are the people that need to be involved?

Once I start to answer some of these initial questions then I can start to think about how togther we will connect the curriculum to the Iwi. Connecting to marae run programs, connecting to specific Iwi traditions, waiata, dance, haka, legends which can all link back to the curriculum. Being able to make student learning relatable to their lives gives their learning purpose which I believe will maximise students engagement. 

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

"Once she stopped rushing through life, she was amazed how much more life she had time for" - Unknown

The past couple of weeks have taken a rather interesting turn, thanks to a rather hard soccer ball to the head I received my 5th concussion and have been put on strict R&R until I make a full recovery. Taking it easy and being told that I am incapable of doing something is definitely not a strong point of mine, I love being busy and pushing myself to the limit, so to be told I can't do anything but rest didn't go down so well initially. However I have realised that rest was exactly what I needed, rest my body and my mind so my brain can repair is a very important process and I needed to take it seriously if I was going to recover 100%. So I had to push my stubbornness aside and enjoy relaxing, and create mini projects that didn't strain my mind too much. I have been fortunate enough to have strong support from my school, colleagues, MDTA crew and of course my mum that has allowed me to take the time I needed and be in a place where I can recover fully, thanks team!

It's been weird to actually have free time to create a terrarium or go for a walk on the beach where I'm not constantly thinking about all the things I am meant to be doing, or mentally planning for school or assignments. I have even lost the fast paced Auckland walk and slowed right back down, which my friends will not appreciate. 

I guess I have learnt that even when school and uni are so intense, and seem to take over every part of my life, I need to make sure that I take time every now and then to relax and enjoy the ride, make sure I am aware of the big picture thats going on around me. For now, I just can't wait to get back to it, I miss my class and the kids but I know once I'm back that I should be well rested and ready for some serious learning time! Until then I will be working on creating some concrete herb pots and keeping my mind as relaxed as I can, once again thanks to everyone for their support and understanding.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

"In the social age, knowledge is only powerful if you share what you know" - Charlie-Helen Robinson

The idea of recording my thoughts has always been a difficult one, my personal attention span has been a  factor, trying to listen to someone talk and taking notes that manage to stay on topic is quite a struggle. Usually during a lecture or tutorial I have to rely on my memory to retain the information I have been taught, due to the occasional lapse in concentration, This generally ends up with a bunch of empty note books with random words or drawings scattered throughout. 

However today we started looking into the art of Sketchnoting. Taking the main concepts from a lecture, talk or discussion, pulling out key words and sketching diagrams, pictures and arrows to show how the ideas all work together to form the concept on one simple page. This allows you to quickly glance at the page and make connections without needing to scroll back through a hundred pages of traditional notes. 

The sketchnote I tried out today was looking at the concept of SHARE. You can interpret the picture in your own way but the main idea I was trying to portray was the concept of a genuine audience. Learners in your classroom have to be at school, when you tell them to engage and listen to another learners work or project it's not their choice, it is mandatory do to so which creates an unauthentic audience. However with technology as te kūaha (the doorway) you can create an environment where people from all over the word are searching for students learning online and engaging in discussions by their own choice. I believe this creates a authentic, genuine, engaged audience which learners will thrive off sharing with. 

Friday, 1 July 2016

"The more we share, the more we have." - Leonard Nimoy.

Today was a day dedicated to adventuring through other schools in our cluster. An opportunity to observe the learning in a different environments and how they motivate and engage their learners. I spent my time at Point England school in a year one and in a year four/three classroom. Being friday there was a diverse range of activities going on, however there was still plenty of learning to observe. 

One of the most useful things I observed today was in the year one class the teacher had used sound bytes on Explain Everything activities, a short voice over at the top of each page that quickly explained the task. This supported her learners that were not competent readers to still understand the task and what they are required to do. This is something I will look into implementing into my own practice, it can allow my less able readers to be able to rely less on constant teacher support and be able to become independent learners. 

The experiences available to us within our cluster to be able to share ideas, discuss our pedagogy and expand our perspective of learning is invaluable. The conversation we are able to have around practice with such a range of teachers, no matter their years of experience, decile or age of their  class leads us to learn so many new techniques, discuss challenges and collectively work to solve underachievement. 

Friday, 24 June 2016

"It's essential to find out why you think, say and do things... then better yourself." - Sonya Teclai

The process of reflecting can be a eye opening experience. You think you know what you believe and how it effects the way you act, but until you have to articulate your beliefs sometimes you don't fully realise the complexity of your own beliefs. This six month reflection has challenged me to look at my personal philosophy around teaching, how it has developed and if I am staying true to what I believe in my daily teaching. So here it is, I look forward to seeing further personal development and what challenges lay ahead...

Friday, 17 June 2016

"I do not like being in front of a camera." - Kelly Wearstler

This week I have started filming for my 6 month reflection of being a MDTA teacher. Mate what a challenge, attempting to summarise 6 months of hectic learning, challenges and celebrations into a three minute video. There has been so much happening it took almost the whole day just to try to organise my ideas, remembers the ups and the downs, the challenges of juggling teaching, university and digital immersion. Then trying to communicate all this and how it effects my daily teaching practice. 

The challenge was not the ideas, but sitting in front of the camera and trying to seriously communicate what's happening inside my mind. I found it difficult to not get awkward in front of the camera and to attempt to control my facial features. I generally come across as angry when I am thinking so I had to focus strongly on looking relaxed in front of a camera. 

It made me think more about when we ask the students to make videos, generally I am quite flippant about it, "just go film", it's not actually that simple.  A quality film that is well thought through takes time, a few different takes to make sure you have the message set clear. 

Keep posted for the final edit of my six month reflection coming soon....