Oct 8, 2014

Student Choice,Student Voice: Facilitating Self Directed Learning

Click on link below for slideshow

Student Choice, Student Voice: Facilitating Self-Directed Learning


Why do it?
Fits with the managing self in NZ Curriculum
Fits with school's vision and values

How to start?
Started small with just one aspect 
Experimented with project based learning 
Choice of elearning tool. Let them explore before
E.g. Movie Maker, Powe Point, Photo story
Get them to come up with Pros & Cons PMIS on them  and revise their thinking 

Flexibility with seating
Set up computer stations
Choice of learning in groups, as individuals, buddies
Product choices for technology (built in background knowledge

Used Jackie Sharp (writing guru) ideas:
Allowed a choice of tools
Where they wanted to write
How they wanted to draft
Giant sheets of paper
Google docs
Recording your voice

Hard to manage so lots of different tick charts to manage so that everybody could have a fair turn on different device

Use Daily Five and adapt it:
Read to self
Read to someone
Work on words
Listen to reading
Work in writing (modified this to responding to reading)

Introduced choices in Inquiry Presentation methods:
Making models
Arranging the furniture
Kids arrange the furniture to how they want it 
Used de bono thinking hats to reflect on it after 2 weeks. Yellow/Black
Choices about where to work and who to work with unless they weren't making any learning progress

Maths Menu
Learning objective

Entree (basic skills - compulsory
Main Meal ( must have 1)

Dessert (voluntary)

Children plan their own programme for the week
Must do's
Can do's

Let the kids have input into a inquiry Planning negotiate as to what they want to focus on

Reflecting buddy to reflect on for the week and set goals for the week ahead. Check out 
The River of Learning video on Youtube

Goal Setting 
Smart Goals format
Learning buddies each term
Learning Conversations
Self Assessment based in research skills for inquiry

Social Agency
How can I use my learning to make a difference for someone else.

All kids have their own display space and be reflective on what to put up

Self and peer assessment

SOLO taxonomy
Study ladder

Choice still needs to be scaffolded
You need to be highly organised
Some children don't cope well with choice. Can use Evernote for this
Take time to build skills
 Give timelines and checkpoints
Check fir understanding
Students teach each other
Students teach teachers

Refine classroom spaces
Greater student involvement in assessment
Getting parents more involved



Click on the Presentation Link by Juliet Revell


To create authentic learning experiences in innovative, creative ways
They develop their literacy skills- skimming & scanning alongside the NZ Curriculum Key Competencies

What is it?
It's a moderated weekly chat for kids
7-8 questions on a variety of topics
Initially just get them to watch and just respond with a tweet 

From a simple tweet.3 years old.

Use your class to connect with others to see what they're tweeting

Tweetdeck: curates tweets 
Google plus

Things to think about when you get started?
Include your own handle
Check that the tweets represent you appropriately
Make sure you have a profile picture that represents you and is future focused for the long run 

Touchdown in Rotovegas!

Flipped Learning Using Google Apps

http://www.flippedlearning.org/cms/lib07/VA01923112/Centricity/Domain/46/FLIP_handout_FNL_Web.pdf - PDF about what Flipped Learning is

Researching, re-thinking and redesigning….. Keryn Davis
New Entrant classrooms in the re-making.

Mariehau primary wanted to rethink the way New Entrants began school.
Help to make children members of their new learning community.
Goal:  speeding up the belonging process
Scaffolding the link between ECE and School
What sparked it?
Teacher’s (Simone’s) son had a not had an ideal early childhood education experience until age 3 when he began KidsFirst Kindy.
He was really engaged there, got into projects he loved and wanted to be involved in.
He was taking his experiences from the real world into his play, eg. made a power station, 24 hour McDonalds.  He drew in others to join him and the teachers allowed him to use all sorts of equipment. 
He had very detailed understanding of the world.
Starting school changed things a lot, too much mat time and teacher talking, made the facilitator question her own NE teaching.
Her class was very controlled and quiet, but all driven by the teacher.  Focus on children conforming.  Knowing that this conforming was constraining her son she decided to get help to connect her NE practice more closely with ECE experiences.

……Which led to this research project.
·      How can we really respond to children’s interests and motivations?
·      What pedagogies of teachers encourage children’s thinking, creativity and inquiry in NE Class rooms?

They Developed Play as “Relating to Others” time:
·      Held 1st thing, as this is a hard time for lots of NE Children, separation anxiety.
·      A similar start to ECE day
·      Teach through KCs and dispositions
·      Lots of equipment out, building, sand tray, puzzles, art etc  All open ended, children decide how to use the equipment.
·      Children can engage in messy play and creativity as well as outside vigorous play.

Collaborative spaces- needed to be rethought
Collaborative teaching.
Place of Topic and Inquiry in NE classes – this has changed now in Social Time

They set up a design and create room for the older NE children.
Getting them to use higher-order thinking to organise, design, plan and make creations.  These older children are taking that next step.

This is still the early phase of this project.

What we’re finding:..(during Social Time)

The researchers have taken Day-Long observations of children at school: how engaged are they?  How content and happy?

  • ·      Children have developed strong sense of belonging
  • ·      No tears
  • ·      Children find their place faster
  • ·      Transitioning from play-based programme to more teacher instruction
  • ·      Children develop strong relationships quickly
  • ·      High level of happiness and well-being
  • ·      Engagement levels are high-the children are in the state of "flow"
  • ·      Children can show their competence in new ways
  • ·      Rich KC development
  • ·      Good socialization
  • ·      Agency
  • ·      Change in culture, student driven interests, children are being scientists.

They have play-based rooms and instructional rooms.
The children have freedom and choice for 2/3 of day
They have found that through offering choice, there is a good coverage of the curriculum.
Still have guided reading/writing programme.

Research is backing up this approach, having a positive start to school has a massive future impact on children’s education.

How do we plan for it?
Generic plan with KCs and purpose, using learning stories. PicCollage excellent for this.
These Learning Stories placed on Blog and walls.
Not so worried about tidiness and order.  Emphasis on allowing children to direct and drive the direction of their own inquiries.

Final Thought:
What would Vygotsky think of curriculums that cast play aside?

Go to this link to see Kerryn's blog:


Teaching Thinking: A Guide for the Perplexed - Yoram Harpaz


A Responsive Journey to Engage Learners in Year 5 & 6 Maths

Where did we start?
Use Teaching as Inquiry Model to start

Analysed PAT, GLOSS IKANS to find gaps in the areas of learning.
Used the Maths curriculum

Used the maths numeracy Progressions 

Fractions was deemed an area if need.

Teaching Inquiry
What will help our students?
Negotiated learning opt into workshops
Place themselves on the continuum if where they are
Reflective learning
Evaluating the process
Self assess their learning to move themselves to the next level ( up or down)
Learning both knowledge & Strategy
During workshops we could see wha the next steps were for students
Removed the language of by the end of stage .....that way to the end of year, this way they had better by in from students

What did we decide to do? 
*We changed the word Stage to ...end of year
*Kept the same language written in the curriculum document 
*Collated resources for each year level & compiled a resource book for each year level
*We put together a pre-test and a post-test using arbs.
Post test A & B so if they didn't pass the first they could re sit it in their own time when they thought they were ready

Created booklets for the workshops pulling together all the resources from their maths department to meet each of the learning intentions
E.g. Fractions: By the end of Year 4,5,6

Things to help in the classroom 
*Charts were drawn up for workshop sessions so students can refer to them when they need to encourage collaborative learning
*Step by step process

Learning Inquiry
Self management skills
Time management
Use of Showme to demonstrate their understanding is a follow up

Implications for future teaching
Explicit teaching
Kids knowing the continuum/skills
End of year 4,5,6 skills were glued into books. Got these signed off in workshops 
Did their own post test when they were ready not all at once,

What does it look like now?
Moved from end of year ...to levels now e.g. Level 1,2,3,4
They place themselves on the continuum of where they think they are
Also display the numpa sheets up with examples. So that the vocabulary is understood with examples.
Developed an assessment folder to where they mark off and highlight where the kids are at.
20 workshops 
10 workshops. 2 workshops per week. Redo week 4 week 8 . Teachers that did each workshop would highlight it if the child had met it. All up in one book.
The kids highlighted work to show evidence of how they met the learning intentions in their own workbooks. They also used must do's and Can do's are glued into their book
2 workshops
2 follow up activities
Basic facts
Create a timestables chart
Tailored programmes for special needs children

Can do the same for writing....using Asttle.

What next?
Experts to take a workshop
Do a KEpWL with each student at the start 
Putting the process up blank
Kids driving their own learning


Some examples of their resources:

Key Note 3 - Dr Katie Novak

Click below for the collaborative Google doc 

Dr Katie Novak is a Reading curriculum coordinator at both primary and secondary levels, a middle school writing teacher, and an independent 'Universal Design for Learning' x(UDL) consultant in the United States. With twelve years of classroom and university teaching experience and a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction, she designs and presents workshops nationally and internationally focusing on teacher implementation of UDL.
Throughout the past twelve years, Dr. Novak has received exemplary teaching evaluations at primary, secondary, college, and graduate levels. In 2013, she was selected by the Gates Foundation to attend the prestigious ECET2 (Elevating and Celebrating Excellence in Teachers and Teaching) conference and the National Teacher Voice convening; both celebrate the work of teacher leaders in the United States. She was also selected by the Teaching Channel to be featured in a series of videos highlighting teacher excellence. Her first book,UDL Now! was released in print and e-book editions in September 2013.
As a sought-after presenter, Dr. Novak inspires the teaching profession to embrace an innovative, standards-based practice through hands-on, engaging presentations. She is thrilled to come to New Zealand to share the universal message that UDL is best practice for every student in the world.

Something everyone might find interesting from Digi Lit

10 Top Tips to help with Digital Literacy:

1. To make meaning from Google -use search tools and change reading level
2. Image search -search by colour and also usage rights are important to filter
3. Be aware of other search tools other than google, junior children can have sites which help with the spelling 'quintura'
4. instaGrok -shows key notes, where you have been and creates quizzes 
5. Google Doc search (tools in research)
6. anyquestions.co.nz or many answers.co.nz - working alongside a librarian from 9am to 3pm, will not give the answer will direct children to pages
7. Digital NZ -using all media
8. Epic -a TKI resource (good for research Inquiry's), needs a login best for older kids
9. Mix and Mash, a competition to reuse past stories for new students
10. Ask new questions, make it something that they have never heard before

Lighting Up Rotorua, one device at a time...

Getting Ready For Another Full On Day of Learning...

Being An Effective Online Writer

Always wanted to be able to write a readable piece online? Or even one on paper? Here's how to keep your audience reading...

Chrissie Butler is a self professed story teller which leads to sharing her stories an interesting experience for her audience. As an audience member it is easy to listen to her in person but to turn these stories into readable pieces is another story (excuse the pun). 

Due to readers taking 3 seconds to scan a piece of text before deciding if they are to read it or not, as a result you don't have long to capture your perspective audiences attention. It has been researched and proven that majority of readers use a 'F' style of skimming and scanning, this 'F' style (which may sound interesting) is just a process where the audience read the titles, headings and picture before they commit to reading the whole article or story

With this in mind, what is important to remember with writing (which can be said in many different aspects of learning and life) is we all come to conclusions differently, so therefore how I do things is not the default for how everyone does things or processes things. With this in mind when comparing two pieces of work which are the same, what do you like about either text? What would you be more likely to read? These questions are important for students to answer when they are thinking about 'publishing' their works.

With these new thinkings in mind, I will be helping my students to:

- Use a direct headline or title, it doesn't have to be clever or funny. It does have to be on track and on task so that people get a clear picture about what is to come in the story (no false advertising here).

- Topic or summary sentence, are important, they set the pitch of the writing and give the readers more information these should be one line and to the point.

- Image labels (or cations for the pictures) for those who can't see the pictures or don't relate pictures to text this will give them more in depth knowledge of the writing.

- Heading levels use heading levels when formatting your titles and sub headings.

- Hyperlinks should have what you are going to read in the links title or should give the reading some idea about where this link is going to take you.

Where can I find out more information?:

passonable.wordpress.com - Chrissie Butlers blog