Tuesday, 28 January 2020

2020 - New Year, Big Changes

Kia ora everybody!

It is a brand new year and we have been working hard to create new and exciting learning opportunities here at Hornby High School. Particularly we have added in Wānanga time for our Years 7-9 students and I am excited to be the Learning Advisor for a great group of learners. In total, we have fourteen groups consisting of nearly 300 pupils, this allows us smaller class groups and the opportunity to really get to know our learners inside and out!

Wānanga means "to meet and discuss, deliberate and consider". This will be an opportunity to work alongside teachers and peers to support learning from all aspects; academic, pastoral, community involvement, passions and leadership opportunities for all year levels involved. You may have come across this blog if you are a new student to Bh Wānanga, if so, welcome! I am very excited to work with you during your time at Hornby High School. Below I have included my introductory letter for this year.

On this blog you will find posts about what we are doing throughout the year, some student learning, perhaps some of my teacher learning and examples of some of the activities we will be doing together as a class. I hope you will follow us along on our learning journey.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

A Place to Visit

Kamusta readers!

I have been dreaming about my next holiday and was curious where 7/8Al would go if they could have a special vacation. I have asked them to create a well-written blog post explaining where they want to go and WHY?

Things I am looking for at Year 7/8:
- a properly structured paragraph
- descriptive language in your writing
- blogging etiquette - title, introduction to the task, asking for feedback, tags etc.
- examples of WHY
- photos or videos to make your post interesting!

I have already had the chance to read some excellent pieces of writing. I really enjoyed looking at Callum's post on Jeju Island, Vann's blog about Italy and Nici's writing about Berlin. These are three awesome examples of Year 7/8 quality blog posts!

I invite you to have a look on their posts and leave them some positive, thoughtful or helpful feedback on their work.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

What I Want 7/8Al to Know About Me

Kia ora readers!

This term I have the special opportunity to teach 7/8Al for one hour each week! I am really excited about this opportunity as I have not had the chance to teach many of these students before. I love getting to know other learners in Year 7/8 and getting the experience to teach them. I know many of the Year 8's in Mrs Allan-Fletchers class as I have worked with some of them last year for Passion Projects (stone carving) or Business and Enterprise kete where we created projects for Market Day. There are a few boys who I have taken for basketball for the past two years and I have really enjoyed getting to know Vann, Lars and Axle through sport!

I have a few things that I want 7/8Al to know about me as a teacher and a person:

1) I really love blogging and I think it is a great way to share our ideas in a fun way while practicing our writing.

2) In my spare time I like to read and I always like to talk to students about new books! I previously worked for Scholastic Books and I have read many young adult titles.

3) I really like to award CARR stamps for students I see showing our school values. I know I am so proud of my students when they bring me back full CARR cards from other teachers, so I would like us all to do the same for Mrs Allan-Fletcher and make her proud!

4) My favourite food is ice cream, even though it's not the healthiest choice! I like ice cream on a hot summer's day but also cozying up in winter time to watch a movie with a big bowl of ice cream. I wonder, how do you think we can have an ice cream party this term?

5) I love travelling and have been to a lot of different places. I have travelled to Samoa, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Australia and all over New Zealand since I moved here in 2017. A place I would really like to visit is Bali and the Philippines. If you are from a different country, I would love to hear all about it!

6) I can teach and give instructions best when the students are self-managing and showing 'active listening' on the mat. I love to answer questions and help you if you are stuck by explaining the topic in a different way if you are confused; don't be afraid to ask for help!

I look forward to spending 1 hour a week with 7/8 Al and have asked them to write a piece to me on their blogs sharing more about themselves and what I should know as a teacher in their classroom!

Friday, 9 August 2019

Deputy Principal for the Day

Kia ora everyone!

In Year 7/8 we have a Hui each week where all of our Year 7/8 students come together to share their learning, sing waiata, hear important notices and messages, and best of all, we have a prize draw! You should be familiar with our PB4L (Positive Behaviour for Learning) CARR card process. Students are given a CARR card which they collect stamps on for showing our school values, Commitment, Achievement, Resilience and Respect. After the student completes a full card this is given to their form teacher to be put in the draw for Wednesday's Hui. Alongside that, there are incentives for the more cards that get filled in:

- 5 completed CARR cards (50 stamps) - CARR postcard mailed home
- 10 completed CARR cards (100 stamps) - $5 cafe voucher
- 20 completed CARR cards (200 stamps) - $10 voucher, either to Hornby Hub mall or school cafe
- increments of 10 onwards - $5 cafe voucher

Our Deputy Principal, Mr Scott does our CARR card draw, one from each form class each week. These students receive a $2 voucher to our cafe. Each term we also have a value of the month, where students can get a one-off ticket for showing that value. These go into a separate draw where students can win a $5 voucher each week. This is pulled from a combined kete of all the Year 7/8 classes.

If that wasn't enough, Mr Scott has generously gotten us some 'big token' prizes such as sports balls, movie vouchers, board games, books, headphones etc. where a prizewheel is spun and 1 student from Year 7/8 is chosen from ALL the collected CARR cards and values tickets for the whole team each week. On the prize wheel there is also a special spot called "Deputy Principal". The student who spins the wheel and lands on this prize gets to shadow Mr Scott for a few hours and help make changes and decisions for Year 7/8.

We were very lucky to have one of our Bh students, Jrae, selected to be Deputy Principal for the day. Mr Jrae worked with Mr Scott and student Hamid from Tz for the morning and helped make some very important decisions. As follows is a short breakdown of the day:

- formal meeting, where ties were checked, hot chocolate was drank and an action plan was made
- they did a sweep of the staffroom to make sure all the teachers were on task
- planned a 'farewell to Jblock' party leading up to leaving our old buildings prior to moving into the new kahui at the end of this term
- special rewards for Bh and Tz; lollies (bought by Mr Scott) and 20 minutes free time

I was really proud to see Jrae step into this role, with a HUGE smile on his face. He had the chance to ask his classmates what they would like to see, and I can tell he used their feedback in some of the decision making process... who doesn't love lollies and free time!?

Great work Mr Jrae, I hope you had a lot of fun being the Deputy Principal!!

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Community Impact Projects - It's Cool to Be Kind!

Kia ora everyone!

Hornby High School is in the midst of some very exciting curriculum changes and this year we have introduced Community Impact Projects (CIP). This allows students some choice to work on a project that interests and inspires them. For 3 periods on a Wednesday, staff collaborate with each other (and with the students!) to create engaging learning experiences that enhance or work alongside our local community.

In Term 2 I was lucky enough to lead a project called, "It's Cool to Be Kind!" and our group came up with the idea to create a colouring in competition for three of our local primary schools. I have shared below some of the highlights on a presentation created by Bryce (Bh), Tai (Bh), Tamani (Tz) and Nathan (Tz) who will be sharing what we have been up to at our Year 7/8 Hui tomorrow!

Myself and the other teachers involved with this project were very impressed by the collaboration we saw as we organized this event. Students volunteered to write sponsorship letters for prizes, deliver these letters in person, email schools and principals, create posters/DLOs to share our event to the community, design and create our colouring in sheets, vote on which one would be used for each group, photocopy and stuff envelopes with our colouring sheets and the list goes on! Last week we delivered prizes to the schools to be given to our winners!

Did you participate? Let me know in the comments below! We would love to hear some feedback about your experience partaking in this collaborative, student-led project. :)

Thanks to everyone involved at Hornby High School and those contributing primary schools who participated in our event! I look forward to sharing more of what we get up to in our CIP this term!

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

LCS | Staff Meeting 19 June

Kia ora everybody.

On 19 June our two e-Learning Coordinators Whaea Rowena Clemence and Miss Katie Tozer presented to our staff team about what Learn, Create, Share can look like in our classroom lessons. They provided us with some guidelines and reminded us about the infamous 'bus' we are on moving forward with our school's direction and Manaiakalani pedagogy. For example; we use Google Sites within our daily routines, we support students to complete at least 3 blog posts per week across their subjects and we leave comments on student blogs modelling "positive, thoughtful and helpful' criteria.

The session was run similarly to what we might do within our class; sharing the topic, engaging prior knowledge, short discussions, researching on our devices and working collaboratively with a partner to share our ideas and create a DLO. We also had the chance at the end to share feedback and what points we have taken away from the lesson (session). Overall, I felt that the session was a great learning opportunity, and I enjoyed the opportunity to be a 'student' in a LCS setting so I could get some perspective on how my students may feel during my lessons!

Our overarching topic was "Blackbirding" and the Pacific Slave Trade, which, by a show of hands, was not a topic that many staff members had much knowledge about, yet has a huge place and effect in the history in Aotearoa New Zealand. I was reminded of a time when I was in my first year at uni in Canada and we were discussing the underground railroad, which was used for African American slaves to escape to freedom from the oppressive United States. However, the plot twist at the end of the lesson was that in fact, the primary sources we were looking at were from Canadian Black perspective and those in slavery were in my home country. As a class, were shocked as we had thought this brutal time in history was solely an "American problem." It really changed my perspective on Canada and our history as a whole. This was the link to my prior knowledge.

We were to identify some possible resources we would use as credible sources to teach this topic to our students and create a fictional DLO that reflects what students could potentially learn. My interpretation of this instruction was to create a mock up DLO of what I would expect a student to produce, but it seemed that was not how most interpreted the instruction when we did our staff sharing. My partner Mr Nick Williams and I split up the work; he was to find academic sources on this topic (his strength as he has a better understanding of credible New Zealand sources than I), and I did the creative part by beginning the DLO. I chose to use Google Drawing to share our learning. We then collaborated and came up with some key questions that students might be able to do an inquiry about regarding the Pacific Slave Trade and Blackbirding.

I have attached our Google Drawing poster below as evidence of our work.

During our reflection time, Nick and I agreed on the following steps as to how we would provide accountability to our students completing this work. 

1) Put a timer on for students to complete the task within a set time frame, this allows focused work. We would roam, provide support or answer questions while also providing stamps on CARR cards for positive work habits. 

2) When the time was up, we would get students' attention or bring to a mat space (Year 7/8) and provide time for all students to share their partner work or DLOs to their blogs. We could monitor device use on Hapara. 

3) Students could show us their published blog once it is finished or on their way out to their next period. This could also be monitored on Hapara, or students filling out a shared doc with their blog links - this allows for easy access for peer comments/feedback next lesson. 

4) Teacher would comment on blogs before next session to provide feedback and take a more in depth look at the work which was completed for assessment purposes. 

Overall, I thought this was a great session led by our e-Learning Coordinators that gave specific and explicit examples of what Learn, Create, Share could look like within our classrooms, regardless of the subject area. Thank you Rowena and Katie for a valuable session!

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Term 2 Year 7/8 Dance Video

Kia ora everyone!

As well as teaching a wonderful Year 7/8 class, I also have the privilege to organize and run the Year 7/8 dance group. I picked up this activity last year for two terms and this year, we are still going strong with a lot of interest from our talented tamariki.

Each term Year 7/8 boys and girls have the opportunity to sign up for this activity. We practice for one hour each week during our Wednesday Community Impact Projects and CIP Day. I grew up competing in local dance competitions while I was living in Canada and have really missed it, so this is a great way to be active and get moving again!

This term we had a few interruptions to our schedule and students only squeezed in 3 practices before our big performance was upon us. We had some technical difficulties with our music and the sound, but our group showed a ton of Resilience and continued on... as we always say, "the show must go on!"

I look forward to some more dancing this term, maybe adding some more choreography to this routine, and creating a new routine for Term 3. Thank you to everyone who was part of the Year 7/8 dance group this term. You can read about their experiences on their individual learning blogs!