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.



My Teaching Inquiry Part 2

Since the beginning of Term 2, I have implemented more writing targets/areas of exploration with my class for writing.

These have included:

  • Identifying areas of need for the students in writing (basic parts of speech)
  • Using the Chromebooks as much as possible for writing
  • Conducting a Google Form survey with the class to gauge interest and gain student voice.

You can see what I have been doing & my reflections on this document here.



Teaching Te Reo Maori

During Term 2, I taught the non-kapa haka group a Te Reo unit: Taku akomanga – my classroom.

To prepare for this, I looked at the motivation for my students – they weren’t interested in doing lots of book work, and I thought this wouldn’t be very engaging anyway. I used the He Reo Tupu Maori document as a guide to plan this unit and found engaging resources to help with this such as: flash cards to play games with (snap, go fish, memory), bingo cards.

I chose these activities because they’re highly motivating for students and knew they would be more likely to take the learning on board because of the engaging context.

My Teaching Inquiry

At the end of Term 1, 2016, I begun to narrow down my teaching inquiry from our PD along with the Hongoeka Syndicate.

Our syndicate focus is based on the question: What are the effects on performance and motivation when we use a digital online forum for writing? We are particularly interested in this as students seem to be struggling with writing – generating content and creating quality texts from a range of genres. Also, the motivation and engagement of students with their writing seems to be low and this is a concern for them as they begin to move into their senior education.

With Adi (my appraisal partner) and the Hongoeka syndicate, I created a Google Slide Presentation that shows the progress of my journey with my inquiry. You can view that here.

So far, my next step is to conduct the survey with my whole class to understand their current attitudes towards learning. This survey will include a handwriting sample (which I’ll use to compare with in Term 4) and asks students to describe how they feel about writing. The survey I used is this one.





Example of Maths planning

Here is an example of a maths weekly plan I used for Term 2, Week 3 of 2016. It shows the Achievement objectives I am working on, the groups, times, warm up activities, learning intentions, lesson sequence and reflections.

This shows that I have sufficient content knowledge of what I was teaching (ordering decimals and estimating the total value) and that  I was prepared for teaching and learning.

I reflected on each session and this informed my teaching for the next lesson in terms of what I taught, how I taught it and where each students’ thinking was at.