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, 25 November 2016

"Never stop learning because life never stops teaching" - Unknown.

Today we were set the task of creating a site that could act as a digital Curriculum Vitae. Initially I assumed it was a fairly simple task that would't take too long, however turns out we have done a lot of learning this year!

The learning journey that I have come along this year:

  • A range of apps that I have become competent at using:

  • Google Sites experience:

  • Professional and class blogs: 

  • Movies and animation creation: 

By completing this CV it gave me a chance to reflect upon what I have learnt this year and how much I have developed my digital skills.  I look forward to being able to use these digital skills in my own class next year and continue to develop each of these skills!

Friday, 11 November 2016

"Technology gives the quietest student a voice" - Jerry Blumengarent

Today we had the 9th annual Manaiakalani Film Festival. It ran from 9am-9pm at Silva Park Hoyts, across three theatres including the massive Extreme theatre. As MDTA's our job was to organise each school coming through making sure they made it to the right theatre at the right time. The best part of this job was the fact we got to whichever screening we were helping out with, basically we spent the day running around like crazy then taking a breather to watch some epic movies. 

The Film Fest is a perfect opportunity for the Manaiakalani cluster to show case their "learn, create share" model. The majority of the videos created are student driven and were required to have a component of learning from the New Zealand Curriculum. The share aspect I believe is the most important for this festival, to have a genuine audience and for learner's to see their movies on a massive screen is so exciting and inspiring. The night screening is open to the public and was a complete sell out, family, friends, sponsors and researchers all showed up for a two hour screening of top movies and was completely buzzing.

Another way this festival can be used is to advocate for a cause. These are the videos I found most powerful and completely captured the audience. A couple of the stand out films can be viewed below:

One from Stonefields School about the importance of pronouncing names and words correctly can be seen here:

My personal favourite from Sommerville Special School about the respect for parking for people with a disability. 

You can check out all the videos here, feel free to leave comments on any of the videos, leaners and teachers have put so much effort in so let them know how epic their efforts are! I'm definitely inspired for 2017!


Friday, 4 November 2016

"We don't learn by doing, we learn by reflecting on what we have done" - Unknown

Todays digital immersion session was dedicated to ensuring our PRT site was up to date. We were lucky enough to have Anne Sinclair to support us with the content required for our site. I remember back to the beginning of the year and one of the past MDTA's advising us to not leave it all till the end of the year, just to slowly eat away at it constantly throughout the year. Generally I'm more of the classic last minute person, take time to think things through and then scramble to put it all together with a day to go. However, for once, I actually decided to seriously take on this advice. Each time I have had PRT release I have spent 15-20 minutes just updating minutes, observations, feedback, PTC's ect, and somehow I actually have manage to keep on top of the workload!

One of the main things I think it is most important to remember is to include reflection as well as evidence for the Practising Teacher Criteria. You can include all the evidence you want to show what you are doing, but without saying why, or what has manipulated or changed your thinking the evidence doesn't mean a whole lot.

The aim is to stay on top of my PRT site for the next year or so to make sure it doesn't become huge ordeal when it comes time to get registered! 

Friday, 28 October 2016

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

Google Class OnAir has always been a uncomfortable idea for me, no matter how confident you are as a teacher it must still be intimidating to put your practice fullscreen for the whole world to see. I have always misinterpreted the focus of class OnAir as a way to critique a teachers style and pedagogy, which is mildly scary, especially as a first year teacher.

However after todays MDTA session, I realised the focus is the incorporation of technology in the OnAir episodes as opposed to the actual teacher. I often forget how lucky we are in our cluster that technology is so embedded in what we do that it is often easy to forget that there are other schools that are just starting to incorporate technology into their daily teaching. I now realise the purpose of Class OnAir is to give teachers around New Zealand, and overseas, ideas of how technology can be used to further students thinking. Instead of using technology as a substitution for a text book actually enhancing how we view technology and how it can be used to redefine education and the way we teach our learners.

Although the video is a major aspect of the Class OnAir, it's not the only component, the purpose is to show the whole learning process. Therefore the episodes include detailed teacher notes, planning, reflection and students learning.


Now that I correctly understand the purpose for the Class OnAir, not only do I have much more admiration for the people who are creating the episodes but I can also see the benefits of being a part of a project like this. Therefore over the next couple of weeks I will be starting to plan an episode of my own and ideally by week six I should be able to film and edit. I think this will be a interesting experiment, it requires a lot of self reflection on my teaching and they way I am using technology with my learners. Stay tuned to see how this develops...

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. 

"If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life thinking it is stupid" - Albert Einstein

Today we had the privilege of connecting with the majority of beginning teachers within our cluster. One focus of the day was to  reflect on the year that has been and to share the Manaiakalani vision for the term to come. 

The focus on visible learning brings with it many challenges, but the main one main focus is the incorporation of multi-modal learning.  After doing a quick survey of our group we reinforced what we already knew.. people like learning in many different ways. 

Often as teachers we revert back to the way we enjoy learning or what think is 'the best' way to learn. There was always the classic read the text then show what you have learnt, however the concept of text has adapted due to the advances in technology. Text can now include videos, audio, dance, music, oral, movies, written and images. If we have all these options available why would we simply rely upon one way of teaching? 

Google sites is a good platform to experiment with multi-modal learning, you can embed video, audio, songs, articles, stories, audio books and images that students can select and use a range of texts to develop their learning. I have been using google sites throughout this year with my class, however one aspect that challenged me was the student selected texts. Making sure I am giving students control over their learning not just prescribing a workload. Instead collaborate with students to discuss what types of text they want included and resources they find beneficial. This will give students some control over their learning and make sure they are not being disadvantaged by what I define as 'the best form of text'. 

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.

Friday, 19 August 2016

"We don't have a choice wether we do social media, the question is how well we do it" - Erik Qualman

All I have heard about since the last digital immersion session is Twitter. The chats, discussions, who's following who.... I feel like I may have missed something rather significant. However after getting rather curious I decided to check out what all the fuss was about. 

After scrolling few a few of my fellow MDTA's blogs I found there is a whole new world of twitter I never knew existed. As far as a Professional Learning Networking is concerned twitter can be the perfect platform. There are chats to follow that where you can follow different teachers ideas and plans from around the country as well as join in and get feedback on your ideas. 

As well as being able to connect with like minded people it also gives a chance to see the other side of the coin. People of twitter seem to be very highly opinionated and love sharing their views upon anything. For my own practice this is good to be able to have to justify why I believe what I believe and accept that I view the world differently to other people but also be open to challenging my own thoughts and realise that my ideologies will constantly be changing. 

Outside of Education I have also found that following world events such as the US election an interesting topics to be able to have arguments for both sides of the coin. It definitely challenges my thinking, but the main thing to remember is that Tweets are generally option, not fact. You can't believe everything that pops up on Twitter but it is a great place to reflect and challenge your practice. 

Find me on Twitter here!

Friday, 12 August 2016

"Music is what feelings sound like" - Unknown

Unfortunately due to sickness I was unable to attend todays digital immersion day which was lead by Garage band guru Rob Wiseman from Point England School, however thanks to the practicality of ubiquitous learning I was able to follow along with the session through social media! Though my fellow nine other MDTAs here the top tips I have learnt about Garage Band:

1. Investing in a microphone is key for having clear and consistant sound quality.
2. Background audio can create the atmosphere or break it.
3. Make sure background audio  does not drown out the spoken element.
4. you can import your movie into Garage Band so you can match the backing track to the visual.

Latai's Helpful hints:

With the Film festival coming up in term 4 this is such an crucial aspect to get right, learning  few tricks and tips to make it that much easier is very beneficial! Kia ora team for the long distance lessons! 

Friday, 5 August 2016

"Power is gained by sharing knowledge, not hoarding it" - Unknown.

Today we met with a whole bunch of teachers that are in their first year of teaching in the Manaiaklani cluster. It is always a good opportunity to met and discuss how peoples years are going, and to create a larger network of like minded educators. I love these days to yarn about different innovative things that teacher even from within my own school are developing and testing out. Taking time after these conversations to reflect upon how I could implement a similar idea or how that has challenged my thinking is a critical part of this process. 

Today we discuss the concept of SHARE.  What we share, who we share with and the benefits of sharing our learning. 

I have always found the concept of sharing a difficult one. I like to share a completed finished project. However what I am fast realising that people are actually more interested in the journey as opposed to the pretty final product, especially when it comes to our students learning journey.

One way of sharing information in a easy for all to access way is through info-graphics. It delivers a quick easy message without having to scroll through screeds of writing.

I made this one through Piktochart, which was really simple to navigate and develop what I had in my mind. It is an effective way of overviewing the audience I have collected throughout the world over this year.

I know that personally I will just glance at information or data that it given to me therefore if this data is presented in a way that is easy to interpret at a glance more people will be more inclined to dive deeper.

For my classroom this could be an effective tool to present data for students that struggle reading text. However I would need to explicitly teach how to interpret this designs if the learners had never seen them before.

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....

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

"Make time to celebrate your achievements no matter how big or small." - Unknown

Testing time of the term is once agin upon us. Initially I found it to be a draining time, testing the vast majority of our learners can become quickly uninspiring if you are constantly comparing them to national standards and focusing on 'the gap' between where they are and where they need to be. It's pretty easy to get caught up in the negative "we have a dam long way to go" mindset so instead this time I tried to focus on their results in a new light. 

The child who use to whisper sentences to himself before he would dare read them out loud he now reads confidently and clearly even with a teacher he doesn't normally read with, and at two levels higher. 

Another learner who cold hardly sit still long enough to read a full book, he can now focus enough to attend to every word of a text.

One boy who has been at the same magenta reading level for the past two years has progressed up two reading levels!

One writer at the beggining of the year could hardly write a sentence, he is now writing stories with a beginning middle and end. 

One reader that didn't know their alphabet sounds are now chunking and sounding out blends. 

Another writer who was unable to write basic sight words is now sounding out words like; class, black, sharp, licked. 

Although we could still brand these learners as well below expectation, I'm starting to realise that this is unproductive towards their next learning steps. Of course we are aiming high and ideally we will reach that level, but for this moment let's just celebrate that they are making personal progress. 

Friday, 10 June 2016

"If we teach today as we did yesterday then we rob our children of tomorrow." - John Dewey

Todays digital immersion session has been based around creating a screencast that directs a user how to navigate our class sites. While I was creating this screencast I had to decide my target audience, because how I would teach my students how to use this site is vastly different from how I would teach whānau or a colleague about navigating. With this in mind I decided to focus on a brief description for parents and colleagues on how students use our website during our reading sessions. The screencast shows the process of learning by listening online and discussing the book as a group, creative tasks on Explain Everything that showcase what the students have learnt, as well as a brief description of how students then share their work back to the teacher for feedback then up on the blog for the world to view. 

Upon reflection, making a screencast like this to explain to the students how to use their site most effectively could be an idea. They know the basics on how to get their work but they don't yet use the site independently or to take control of their learning. If I made a video for the learners on how to use the site to guide their learning most effectively maybe this would create more independence and they could be utilising the site to its full potential. 

Friday, 3 June 2016

"I'm always adapting, I'm always learning, I'm always changing." - Anthony Pettis

Todays session we reviewed the Maniakalani on Air initiative. Initially I thought that this programme was a model of how to teach in a Manakalani school. However as Matt explained its more of an insight into how five teachers incorporate the Manaiakalani values and the 1:1 technology available within our cluster.

The entire process from planning, to the raw teaching footage, as well as the student final product of their learning is all available and fully visible for everyone in the word to see. Although a daunting idea of having your personal teaching style under scrutiny it is an amazing idea to be able to share the style of pedagogy of a modern teacher. The emphasis was not that we are a model to copy but we are teaching this way and ideas of how they are adapting to this modern world.

If you want to check out the Manaiakalani Class On Air you can click the link here.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

"Patience is a virtue" - William Langland

Fridays session of digital immersion was test of patience, that's for sure. We learnt how to create a short animation video which sounds awesome but it is a lot more time consuming than I ever imagined. 298 photos, all with only the slightest of movements between each still image, slowly creating a minute long video, fair to say I don't ever think I could be so irritated by a jelly baby refusing to stay still. However aside from feeling highly accomplished by the end of four hours creating my movie I actually learnt a couple of lessons along the way. 

Firstly whether I should ever attempt this type of creation with a year 2&3 class... I believe it could be done, as Anne was saying, kids generally find the easiest way to do things, therefore why not try it out, what's the worst that could happen..

Secondly that in general time, effort and patience does reap rewards. Not simply in relation to creating this animation which was time consuming, at times frustrating and felt like you weren't making any progress, but also in relation to my class. My mentor, Sally, was texting me our learners latest writing tests as I was creating my video. The difference between a class of majority pre 1b level writers at the beggining of the year and the 1p and (even some above) writing she was sending me through a term later, was so exciting! 

Sometimes, like creating an animation, the moves are so small that you hardly notice them, but if you play it altogether then you notice the progression and the overall story that is being told. 

Friday, 20 May 2016

"Creativity is intelligence having fun" - Albert Einstein

Today's digital immersion session was based around using iMovie to produce a short 'day in the life of' movie. I created a day in the life of a room three learner and actually quite enjoyed the whole process. Being able to have the freedom to create what I believed portrayed a snippet of one of our learner's lives was quite a challenge. Editing each clip for maximum quality footage and ensuring that each clip aligned with the sound was quite a struggle but a rewarding procedure once the final product was complete.

Looking ahead this experience and the skills I have gained through todays session will support the creation of our video for the Manaiakalani Film festival coming up next term. I need to make sure that by then my iMovie skills have developed enough to create a quality movie with my class... more practice videos to come I'm sure.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Ma tini ma mano ka rapa te whai (many hands make light work, unity is strength) - unknown.

The first assignment is done! Considering the already hectic life of school, university and digital immersion course, the task of conducting a case study, analysing data, creating a digital tool to accelerate learning and justifying the newly developed tool has create slightly more stress and a lot less sleep in the past couple of weeks. 

However, ideally the lack of sleep has not been in vain, what I have ended up creating is a digital tool to encourage whānau to read with their kids at home. Each time a book is sent home that we have read in guided reading, there will be a short video, like the one above, available online through our class website. The video describes what we are learning about in that book, which of their learning goals this relates to, and examples of questions that parents could ask during the text that helps work towards these goals. It also includes a variety of questions for after reading that can act as prompts for deeper level thinking. 

This will give the parents a purpose for reading at home with their child which will hopefully help to acclerate these three learners reading progress. Another coincidental side effect of this tool is strengthening our home-school partnership through aligning school work with learning at home and encouraging communication between home and school. 

The next section of the assignment is an analysis into the validity of the tool and whether the predicted achievement outcomes have been achieve through implementing this tool.... stay tuned...

Friday, 6 May 2016

"The earth without art is just eh" - Matt McWilliams

Back to uni today! Today we were sent out into our community to take images that would support the teaching of a selected topic. I decided to focus on the connection between community and art thinking that I would take pictures of Te Oro and the facilities. However once we headed into the heart of Glenn Innes I was more captivated by the phenomenal street art around every corner, the back alleys and random fields. For my class we could focus on the messages behind the art; what makes the difference between street art and tagging, focus on positive colours, images, and words and the purpose of the art. I will use this connection between art and their community for the learners to have a moment to be proud of their community. 

Friday, 15 April 2016

"Childhood is a small window of time to learn and develop at a pace which is right for each individual child" - Magda Gerber

This first term of my teaching career has been crazy, I've been pushing myself in so many directions, constantly reflecting, refining and trying to improve my teaching ability. One of my main focuses for next term is to cater to the students with higher ability in our class, sometimes they can be overlooked because they are no longer urgent to get above standard. However I believe we should still be continuing to accelerate these higher achievers instead of ticking the box that they are at standard and moving on. One of the tools we will be utilising to reinforce this continuing acceleration will be the fast finishers section of our class website that we have created. This will provide opportunity for learners who have finished their initial work before the rest of the class to maintain the work mind space. It will include activities on the iPad and with other materials that focuses on basic facts, spelling, blends and problem solving. The other aspect is a passion project which is a research topic of their choice that they will work on, with support initially but progress to working independently over time. We are aiming to develop their reading to learn ability and being able to gather ideas and information from text and video. Today I have spent creating the site to support this learning, it;s still under development but you can check it by clicking the picture above! Feel free to leave any feedback, I'm more than open to it being a continuous development. 

Friday, 8 April 2016

"Sharing student learning transforms meh to meaningful" - Unknown

During this first term my main focus has been so heavily set on ensuring that students are completing their work, which to me seems like basic foundations and a build up to "deeper learning". Maybe this mind set has meant that I haven't felt it a priority to make sure that I am regularly updating our blog. 

Student work such as handwriting and follow up reading activities hasn't been uploaded because I haven't deemed it exciting enough for an audience, it's simply too basic. 

What I realised today is that is probably the most restricting thing I could do as a teacher.  I need to give students opportunities for all their work to go on the blog, this will not only excite them but also give them a purpose for their work. 

This will support students that are inclined to rush their work, if they have an audience other than their normal teachers this could encourage them to slow down, take their time and take pride in their work.

The blog is not to show off their final 'good copy' of work but show the development and process of learning.

Basically from now our class blog is going to get a lot more busy! Keep up with the action here!

Friday, 1 April 2016

"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we create them" - Albert Einstein.

During todays digital immersion session we had the opportunity to collaborate to create a website as a team that can be used as a template to teach critical thinking in relation to a current event. I found creating the content for this website to be quite a struggle, I needed to ensure the critical thinking aspect but also remember the ability of my students. I have used a multimodal approach to my page so my learners can navigate freely without being disadvantaged by screeds of written text. I have also ensured that each component of this inquiry has been unpacked individually to lead up to a critical analysis of what materials Fijians schools school be made from. Check out what I have developed  here!

Friday, 25 March 2016

"Together may we give our children the roots to grow and the wings to fly" - Hooding S Cater

Last night I had my first experience of whānau conferences. Although it was raining and stormy outside we still had a solid turn out of parents that came to engage and be a part of their child's learning. It was a real eye opener for me to realise that this is a partnership with the parents and the school. It's not the teacher all alone pushing and challenging the student, but rather a collaboration between school and home. If there are strong relationship between whānau, learner and school then all parties involved are aware of the leaners goals and can work together in the same direction to achieve a common goal. This is the theory that we learn at university, but only once you experience it personally can relate it to your own learners and be able to implement the theory successfully for the benefit of my learners.  

Monday, 21 March 2016

"Nobody rises to low expectations" - Calvin Loyd

During this mornings literacy time we wrote a story about how we had made pancakes earlier. I worked with our target students so I could scaffold them through writing a sentence that makes sense and making sure we could identify all the words we were writing. I was being observed during this guided writing lesson, when I received feedback the main thing I realised was that I needed to make sure I was extending and accelerating our target group. If our expectation is for them to develop slowly then that is how they will continue to develop, however if we expect and give them opportunities to expand their mind then they will rise to meet these expectations. Therefore I need to ensure that during my lesson planning that I am not planning for the level the students are at, but instead continually moving them through to the next level, pushing their minds and challenging all students daily. 

Friday, 18 March 2016

"Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you." -Oprah Winfrey


This morning we started the day of a tour around Stonefields School during their break through day. Break through is normally on a friday and it gives students an opportunity to embrace and explore their difference passions. As we strolled through the school we saw a range of exciting passions the learners were pursuing including: kids researching how to sow, baking cupcakes, researching marine biology, analysing their volleyball skills and rehearsing over and over a dance to a beautiful Justine Biebs song! As I was walking I was trying to comprehend how this kind of development of passion could be implemented in my own classroom and school. We may not have the same facilities or resources as Stonefields however I am sure that by collaborating with my colleges we can come up with a way of developing the same, or similar, concept yet within our own school culture and in a way that works for our learners. Thanks Stonefileds for your inspiration!

Sunday, 13 March 2016

“When you make a choice, you change the future.” - Deepak Chopra

This quote from Deepak Chopra may seem extreme when put in the context of book choice, but I realised today my book selection had been based on the mindset "choose a cool book and then make a WALT to fit with the book". However when I started thinking about it, this concept was a backwards way of good book selection. Why would I choose a book with no purpose to begin with? Therefore when I went into the reading room today I had set concepts I was looking for within the books as opposed to selecting random books. I found this gave a deeper purpose to the guided reading for the week and consequently changed the future for this week!

Saturday, 12 March 2016

"There's more than one way to skin a cat" - Proverb

The above video is the product of our teams interpretation of Siegler's work during full day of university on a beautiful sunny saturday. We focused specifically on his theory that students stages can come in waves, sometimes they draw on knowledge from one strategy, the next time the will use a different strategy. One aspect we found difficult to portray in our DLO was that sometimes the students' strategies overlap and the learner can implement multiple strategies in an attempt to solve one problem. As educators we realised that we need to give students opportunities to explore the different strategies and not simply push them up the ladder so they can use 'the best strategy'.

Friday, 11 March 2016

“Education can be stifling, no question about it." - Sir Ken Robinson


This morning we took a quick adventure inside the mind of Sir Ken robinson. His ideas have been pushing boundaries in education for the past decade. I am especially interested in his theories surrounding the emphasis society places on math and literacies and the subjects such as dance and physical education get forgotten. We are still stuck in the mindset that learners need math, writing and reading to go to university so they are able to get a 'good job'. It's very easy to get caught teaching to the subjects that are tested heavily because that is what is researched and judged as successful teaching. However as a modern teacher I need to change my mind set to ensure that my education I am delivering to the learners is not stifling but opens up opportunities for students to be creative, display their passions and engage in a variety of exciting subjects at school. To do this I need to incorporate a range of subjects every day within my class not the standard daily meal of a main of math, reading and writing with a side of PE or the arts.