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!

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

CIP - Take Notice - Gratitude

This term in our CIP (Community Impact Projects), we have been looking at the idea of 'kindness'. Sh, Bh and Tz have done a variety of activities from making cards, to sharing our thoughts on Pink Shirt Day and anti-bullying. Last week we started to look at the 5 Ways to Wellbeing and how this ties into what we are learning about.

This week we are focusing on "Take Notice" and the simple idea that being grateful can help improve your wellbeing and overall happiness. When you are happier, scientists have proved that you can live longer, be healthier and more positive about your life.

Our students were challenged to create a poster to share 10 things they are grateful for. I have created a version on Piktochart to share as an example of what this might look like. These are 10 things that I am grateful for.

I hope you will take a look at some of our student's work on their individual learning blogs. You can find a link to each student in 7/8Bh on my side bar. I invite you to leave them a positive, thoughtful or helpful comment on their posters.

Reading Homework - Year 7/8

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Hornby High School Year 7/8 teachers are focussing on improving our student’s Literacy skills. Along with our teacher led Reading groups, we have two programmes that your child will be using, either Lexia Core5 or Reading Plus. Both programmes are online and accessible from any device with an internet connection.

For the best results on either of these programmes, students must be maintaining approximately 100 minutes a week of focused usage. Within our weekly timetable, students have at least 60 minutes scheduled on these programmes. We are asking that each week, students complete a minimum of 2 x 20 minute sessions at home for homework. This will ensure that time quotas are being met and we are confident that your child will begin to make even more progress with their Reading.

Students will have Monday to the following Monday to complete their 2 x 20 minute sessions, 7 full days. If homework is not complete, they will be expected to use Monday morning interval to complete their weekly total of 40 minutes under my guidance.

We understand that not everyone has access to their own device at home or internet connection. We invite students to complete their Reading homework after school at our Homework Club which is facilitated by 2 registered teachers. This is in the Learning Commons from 3:15-5 pm and students from any school are invited to attend.

With your support, I am sure we will see the gains and benefits that these reading programmes have to offer. Please do not hesitate to contact me at any time with questions or queries on your child’s progress.