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.
A little about me...
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 March 2016
Monday, 21 March 2016
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
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
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
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
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.
Friday, 4 March 2016
Todays digital immersion session has been based around the notion of increasing the development of critical thinking especially in the junior school. I find this to be a particularly challenging idea in my situation, the middle writing sample is of a year two in my class who was unable to write any legible word after almost two years at school. My priority for him and many others in his situation in our class is to concentrate fully on the basics to establish a strong base of basic reading and writing before we start to engage them in critical thinking. However during todays session I realised critical thinking for these learners doesn't have to be a full deep analysis of a world issue. It could be as simple as a discussion focused around The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf. Asking stimulating questions such as: "What was the wolf meant to eat if he shouldn't eat the pigs?" "Do you think it is possible for a wolf to blow a house down?" "Is it okay that the pigs boiled the wolf?" and engaging learners to explain their answers. Instead of simply getting students to recite facts from the book. We need to start early training learners minds to think, not answer facts.