Teacher Only Day – 2/2/2017

Notes from T.O.D 

Student Outcomes from ERO

We looked at how Plimmerton School is currently meeting the ERO student outcome indicators and collaborated with all syndicates. We’re going to check in on this document throughout the year and see what areas we need to focus on (both independently as teachers and collaboratively as syndicates and whole school).






Andromeda – gamification


Whilst engaging in professional discussions about students’ lack of confidence in speaking in front of an audience (and with speeches creeping up in Term 4), another teacher and I decided to do a joint gamification unit. The idea was to create a world in which students had to imagine their surroundings which would engage and motivate them.

We decided on the name, Andromeda. It was a planet that was recently discovered and it was the year 2056. Students had landed there as Earth was no longer viable for life. Students worked collaboratively in groups chosen by the teachers and had to negotiate and solve problems presented to them each week. Every Friday, the groups would present their solution to their problem and the rest of the class would then be open to ask critical questions. The team would have to respond in a way to justify their solution.

I think this gamification unit was very successful as all students were 100% engaged and motivated. The students had to really think creatively about how they could use limited, imaginary resources to solve their problem and this has significantly improved both their discussions now, in Term 4, as well as their writing. I have noticed a huge improvement in their writing because students are more aware of having to justify and explain their thinking in words.

As this was my first gamification unit, I was following in the footsteps of the other teacher, who acted as a mentor to me. As a result, I was still getting my head around the unit as it was happening. If I were to do this gamification unit again, I’d ensure that I documented more of the writing students were doing in this unit. I’d think about how I could integrate more of my curriculum areas into the unit: reading, writing, and art. This would give the unit more meaning and would possibly motivate and engage students more.

Tātaiako PD with Gaye McDowell.

October 25th, 2016.

As a staff, we participated in a PD with Gaye McDowell where we unpacked each part of the Tātaiako framework.

In this session, we discussed what each section means to us as individuals and we were able to make connections with others on these aspects.

For me, I have realised through this discussion that I am already integrating all 5 cultural competencies in my everyday teaching practice.

We got into small groups and created an image out of sticks that represented our thoughts of each competency.

Visit to Island Bay School

During Term 3, Andy and I visited Island Bay School and had the chance to talk with some of the leaders there about their shift to a more modern learning environment with an afternoon in the Kaleidoscope Hub.

We saw some amazing initiatives which were in place in the year 5-6 class which relied a lot on students being able to manage themselves and take ownership of their learning themselves.

Andy and I have been in discussions since we came back about how we can implement some of these great initiatives into our own classes to really take the learning in our classes to the next level. We have begun collaboratively planning, together and along with our classes, to bring some new methods to our teaching in Term 4. Our practice will be more collaborative and will include almost a joint/shared teaching role between our two rooms.

We are going to try something new and see if it works well for our children or not (we’re really hoping it does work out). We’re aiming to increase the responsibility students have over their learning and really encourage them to be more autonomous and independent as they move throughout the senior school. We are also aiming to use more technology in our rooms to help students to become more digitally literate and to help prepare them for the ‘real world’ which is full of devices and collaboration.