Thursday, 1 June 2023

DFI Day 6 Reflection

Connected - Rangitāmiro what brings us together? Connected learners share. Digital has enabled us to keep in touch with others. Shared language enables us to make connections. Connections happen as a network when there are structures in place. 

Tuhi Mai Tuhi Atu Fiona Grant spearheads this for Manaiakalani. As a school that is part of Manaiakalani, we keep in touch with other schools in our cluster via our class and student blogs. My class leave comments for a bilingual class Room 4 at Otahuhu Primary School and the Tuatara Class up North. We try to leave blog comments on their posts fortnightly. It's been very cool to see learners connect via blogs.

Leading Learning using Google Sites - I've been using Google sites since my teaching career at Pt England School. However, there was a time when I didn't because at one school didn't use them - they used Hero. For me personally, I enjoy using sites with my learners. However, I feel that it's a bit of a mess at the moment. I need to tidy it up and make it better. I don't think my class site is visible on our school sites page.  I have also reflected on how I need to get feedback from my learners and what they think. I liked how Vicki said that there's a 3 click rule for learners to access the sites. Here is the link to my current class site (apologies my site has now changed).

In my class site my goals are to: 1). jazz up my buttons. I will change these when I take photos of my learners and stage it that way. 2) Fix up the navigation so my learners have 3 or less clicks to access their learning. 3). Make sure my slides and work I've created and shared is visible to visitors. I also added a very brief statement about myself and my picture at the bottom of my site so people know I am the kaiako (teacher) in this class site. I created a banner for my class site and changed it. I checked all my pages and checked the view. I tidied up my writing page for our spellathon. I've also changed the theme from the greeny blue to a charcoal grey. Here are some pictures of the changes that I've made.

I'm happy with the changes I've made to my site. I am going to design a form to gather some feedback from my learners about the class site and hopefully make some changes accordingly. I learned a few things from looking at other sites and hope to implement some of the changes on my class site. Here's some very kind feedback from a few students from my class.

Thursday, 25 May 2023

DFI Day 5 Reflection

Visible Learning. Making Teaching and Learning Visible. 
Can others see it? I often forget to make sure that my slides etc are all shared. What is visible to learners, whanau, teachers and colleagues?

People may have a mindset of not wanting others to see what they have planned or made online. However, since my teaching career started at Point England School, I've been very open with what I have planned and shared with others. I admit, not everything is perfect but I do look back and reflect to see what I need to change for next time. I welcome positive feedback and I don't mind others using what I've created. However, it would be nice for people to acknowledge others on their work.

What do I do to hook and engage my learners?

I remember when teaching at Point England School at the beginning of every term we would have our Immersion Assemblies. This would be a chance for teachers to share what the inquiry is through a short play, quiz, skit, dance, drama etc to hook learners into the topic. It was also a lot of fun for teachers but also great to see our learners faces light up!

Watching the Universal Design for Learning reminded me of trying to do things differently with my learners to capture engagement. For example: homework and how one sheet just doesn't cut the mustard. The video talked about how learners need lots of different modes to engage in learning. What works for one learner, doesn't always work for others. This has challenged me today. Can we change what we do to help engage our learners? Yes.

Creating a site for our learners. We were given a chance to look at some other examples of sites. I liked this one here. It had both English and Samoan activities on there. Here is another example for Matariki.

CyberSmart with Vicki reminded us about Smart Parents. Do parents know about their child's individual blogs? Do they know how to leave them a comment on their posts? I created a QR code for my learners blogs and shared this with parents.

Most of the day was spent working on creating Multi Modal resources in groups. I chose to go with Ocean Health with Amie. Here's my planning template.

The last part of the afternoon was spent creating a site around the theme of Ocean Health. Click here to see the site that I created. Here's a screenshot of what it looks like. I had a lot of fun making it. It was my first time using and making an image carousel and dividers. Now that I've started this site, I can't help but continue editing it. I'll share it with my learners to get their thoughts.

Thursday, 18 May 2023

DFI: Day 4 Reflection

Dorothy Burt spoke to us about "Sharing" today. Sharing has been done since the beginning of time. It's also about building relationships with others and getting to know people. The only thing that has changed is how it has been done as time has passed. Social media has heightened a form of sharing. Sharing requires an authentic audience. 

When I taught at Point England School, I'll always remember Mr Russell Burt (our tumuaki - principal) and how he encouraged the positive rather than the negative. Instead of anti-bullying (using the word bullying) as a school we encouraged the behaviour we wanted like: Kindness etc. I remember Max Jacobsen writing songs about kindness and how we sung them in our school assemblies.

There had to be a space for our learners to share. Manaiakalani went with blogging. I've been privileged to have been part of the blogging journey since the beginning when I taught at Point England School.

ChalknTalk with Amie talked about Google Forms. I thought I knew a lot about it but after listening to her today there's a lot more that I could be doing with forms especially in the classroom with my learners. I will try to do a better job with this and go back and look at the slides that were shared today. I created a google form for this purpose of DFI (see link here). 

However, I would really like to learn how to use google forms for spelling tests with my learners. I would prefer to use a ready-made template though. Donna also spoke to us about Escape Rooms using forms. Here is her example. How cool! I would be very interested in using this with my class too.

Google My Maps with Vicki. I remember my students learning this activity with Maria Krausse last year as part of our Manaiakalani Facilitation session. This is something that I could do with my class but I'm not confident. I'm still learning about how to use it effectively before I show my learners. Here is my example of what I created in Google My Maps. I just wanted to show my travel journey as an educator of the places and schools I worked at during my teaching career. I didn't include the schools that I have been a reliever at in the past.

Spreadsheets with Vicky was a Deep Dive and it was very full on and fast paced. But I managed to take down lots of notes and tricks of how to split cells and names etc and to add sums of columns which I thought was pretty cool and something that I could use in my classroom. My breakout session with David Clarke went well too. It was a bit advanced but it was very useful. I used to work with David's mum Jenni at Pt England School. David was Year 6 when I started at Point England School. He is now at Data Analyst and works for Manaiakalani. How cool!!

Hapara Hot Tip #3 with Donna was about how to view and manage our students blogs and comments.  I like how you can hover over the comments without having to click and open each comment.

Part of the session was "Creating with Sheets". I used this blog as an example to collect data from using Spreadsheets and created these graphs here. In 2020 Finau had published the most blog posts at a whopping 654. I suspect that this may have been due to our country going into lockdown. There were no posts in January due to the school holidays. And the most blog posts were published in the month of August. I wonder if this was due to the winter season. Here is the data that I have collected.

As a professional, I'm going to try and get better at using Spreadsheets to analyse data.
A couple of things from today that I could use with my learners are: using create, google forms for spelling, Google My Maps to incorporate Maths and Geography. I will also look at Smart Money from the CyberSmart snippets that Vicki shared.

Writing Quality Blog Posts comments was the last part of our day. Blog comments should be: positive, thoughtful and helpful. We covered quite a bit of this with Maria Krausse last year when she was our facilitator.
This week's session was very helpful and I've taken away so many ideas and things I need to do. I'm looking forward to next week.

Thursday, 11 May 2023

DFI Day 3: Media Reflection

Our 30 minutes session with Dorothy this morning was about Create - Hanga. This was about the concept of using Create to hook our learners into learning. It has challenged me to think about how I have planned for my learners in the classroom to create, to be curious and explore to create. I liked the following quotes:

I agreed with the idea that suggests 'Creativity is something people do'. Over the week, I will look at how I can carry out Create in my classroom? I've been thinking about provocations and STEAM lessons with my class.

I learned a lot from Louise about how to use Google slides. I liked how she shared about SlidesCarnival that has templates that are free for us to use. I'm going to use these for the slides that I create to share with my learners or if I have to do a presentation next time.

I also learned a lot of great ideas to use in Google drawing which Donna shared. I will go back to these slides and check out the links so I can use these with my learners in the class too.

Our main theme today is about Media. We talked and learned about YouTube. Being part of Manaiakalani, there are protocols for online learning. I've learned a lot today and there's lots that I would like to try out in my classroom with my learners. One is animations and the other is pick a path both using Google slides. This afternoon we were able to opt into the workshops to learn, create and share. I chose Pick a Path with Makaore. Here is what I created and I am still working on it. 

Please view my 'all about me' insert that I created today using google draw then downloading to a png in the right side bar.

Thursday, 4 May 2023

DFI Day 2 Workflow Reflection

Another day of learning. We use Hapara at Weymouth Primary School to help us as educators with our learners and their devices 1:1. I remember during our in-class Facilitator Support with Jeremy Ferguson last year and how he encouraged us as educators to use Hapara as a tool to support learners instead of a watchdog type application. I am quite confident using Hapara.

With Dorothy this morning she spoke to us about Ako - Learn. A question that she had in her presentation was: What does Learning look like in my school? And as a practitioner can I articulate this? At Weymouth Primary we have our Weymouth Way - We think, we help, we learn, we care. In Te Reo Maori it translates to: Ka whakaaro tatou, ka awhina tatou, ka ako tatou, ka awhina tatou. Our values: Respect and Honesty Te Whakakute me te Ngakaupono. Our vision is: Whaia te iti kahurangi which translate to Strive for the best. Dorothy also talked about: Recognise Effective Practice, Amplify Effective Practice and Turbo Effective Practice. 

A small part of the session was about Cybersmart and Smart Footprint. I take for granted that my learners know the expectations around this. I will go back to this and go through it again about "Digital Footprint".
Part of the session was to: create a meet in Google calendar. In pairs we had to share our screens with our buddies and record our meeting. In the meeting we shared a blog post from the Summer Learning Journey and had these reflective questions. 

Here is my screen recording from today:

What did I learn that could be used with my learners?
Carrying on from last week of the Reading Mileage activity. I did show my learners how to use tables in docs.
What did I learn that could improve my confidence, capability or workflow as a professional?
It has more been a refresher of what I have been learning and practicing in my classroom.

Thursday, 27 April 2023

DFI Core Business Day 1 Reflection

It is great to have been part of the Manaiakalani kaupapa from the beginning. When sharing, Dorothy reminded me of the origins and how far the project has come. 

A few things that I have learned from the session today are:

* Google Groups and an opportunity of how to use this in the classroom. This is new learning. I didn't realise that it was in the Google suite. The nine dots in the right hand corner that accesses the Google apps, I call the chocolate box with my learners. I am curious to find out how different is Google Groups to Spaces.

* Google Drive: the preview eye icon had disappeared from the top table. But after today, I had to change the grid layout to see it. We also had time to tidy up our Drive. Using the preview buttons helps to view docs in the drive without having to open them. I spent some time tidying up my Drive today. I need to keep on top of this. I also get my learners to tidy up their Google Drive at the end of every time.

* Google Docs: using docs to create posters. This was new learning for me. During the session one of our tasks was to create a poster using google docs. I liked how you could use a table to help keep all your work (writing, images) tidy and how you can hide the table lines. I will definitely be using (teaching) this with my learners. Here is my example that I am really proud of.

Wednesday, 29 March 2023

Pacific Project 2023

It's been a few years since I've posted to my professional blog. Today I feel inspired to do so with purpose and from a professional aspect. 

I had the pleasure of participating in a Professional Development for Pacific Project Manurewa Wayfinders. It was held at the Nathan Homestead in Manurewa and led by our Pacific RTLB cluster. Side note: I am now an educator of Year 6 at Weymouth Primary School and I am very grateful to be part of this initiative. 

The Fono started with prayer and a hymn. There was lots of discussion about: Pacific Engagement Strategies and how to come alongside other educators of non-Pacific descent and support them with some understanding of our Pacific culture. Discussion around: Le Vā (the space between us) and Fofola le Fala (unfurl the mat, so we may speak as equals). Some statistics from today and how the Pacific demographics in Auckland and New Zealand shows that the population is projected to grow quite significantly. The three aims of this project is: Effective Pedagogy, Strategies to engage with parents and to have access to more Pacific resources.

We talked about the Action Plan for Pacific Education (2020-2030). We shared about how we encourage and implement Pacific education in our schools. At Weymouth Primary School all cultures are valued and celebrated. During Pacific Language Weeks, teachers implement cultural activities in the classroom that integrate into all curriculum areas. For example, a literacy activity is to retell a legend from the Pacific Island. We also have special assemblies which our children perform in, speak, sing and share items with the whole school. Parents and families are also invited to come along and help celebrate too.

The discussion led into Tapasā. We talked with a buddy about where we were from and how our family came here to Aōtearoa, New Zealand. Our presenter talked about the Tapasā - Turu. Turu 1: Identities, language and culture. Turu 2: Collaborative and respectful relationships and professional behaviours and Turu 3: Effective Pedagogies for Pacific learners. The question was asked: How do you implement Tapasā in your school?

We talked about our values and for us Pacific people, values are very important. In the book Pacific educators speak: Valuing our values, there are nine. They are: service, respect, leadership, family, belonging, love, inclusion, reciprocal relationships and spirituality. At the end of the book there were four more values included. Our focus today was around 'Belonging'. 

It was great to be there, learn alongside and connect with other Pacific Educators from the Manurewa area. From the discussion and activities, it has given me a lot to think about in terms of my own practice, regularly reflect on: how I can help my Pacific learners in the classroom and make better connections and build relationships with Pacific families.