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, 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.