Saturday, 31 December 2016
2016 has been everything BUT normal! We had changes to the timetable weekly, family, new baby :) teacher's on leave and leaving, Papa's and a Mama passing - and in all this our kids stayed amazing! Stayed normal! Why??
We knew how and why - to 'So'o Tau'au'.
So'o tau'au is a Samoan saying that you typically hear in times of challenge. Families and elders will visit those in a time of trial to offer support, this statement will be made. Typically in our team we have sayings that help to embed our school wide korero. Rather than a growling - it's a prompt to re-focus using our korero - saying. This we carried through our learning spaces, in and out of the classroom - Te Reo, camps/field trips, tech@Tamaki College, testing, tuakana teina, visiting speakers, fundraisers, health talks and more!
Early in term 2 I shared this Samoan saying with our team during one of our morning karakia times. It became something we used year long along with all other korero. With all the changes that were expected and especially those that were not - this saying was one we held fast to.
Signing off for 2016 - I would like to wish all the students and teaching staff of Team 5 a fantastic festive season! Well done on another amazing year, you've all contributed to making this year one of positive difference.
Looking forward to what 2017 will bring - opportunity to again 'So'o Tau'au'.
Ia manuia lava le tausaga fou, faamanuia atu le Atua ia te outou uma.
Mrs Andrea Bakulich Tele'a
Simon says this about 'So'o Tau'au'
Sunday, 18 September 2016
Student led learning requires a different approach to how one speaks and hooks students into learning. Creating the atmosphere and environment where students feel welcome to share their perspective. Then taking the next step of validating perspectives by including it in the learn, create and share - further than the small group discussions.
The skills of allowing discussions to travel as well as curbing it in when needed has become a priority for me. Being careful to value the opinions by recording it somehow in the learning process. This has motivated the students so much more when going through the creating and sharing process.
The effort to promote student agency can consume a lot of time - however is very valid as it helps to embed the learning for the students much more than the normal teacher chosen and led process.
The students are participating in the learning actively with a clear understanding that their perspective is needed in the learn, then communicated in the create and sharing process.
Next step: discovering more ways to encourage the student voice and agency whilst getting through the requirements of the curriculum in preparation for year 9 and further.
Alo mai ia lou foe!
Monday, 4 July 2016
Monday, 6 June 2016
Just to remind you here's what I set out this term to investigate and provide support around for my learners. Group 1 Background. Higher order thinking to extend (focus on improving evaluation in Comp) using Solo model 12 kids reading at 14+. These students have reasonable demand on their time with the roles of student leadership for most. They are often called upon to be spokespersons for the school for a range of professionals that visit our school. They have a high standard of the key competencies which allows for good collaboration as well as independent achievement.
Challenge - area needing strengthening: Stuck on 'Evaluative' questioning and thought processes in probe tests. Ability to infer needs to be pushed further to make conclusions and summaries more easily. Action to support: Drawing conclusions across range of texts to prompt the thinking process further than the text in front of them. Adding also their own experience and knowledge.
Action: The texts I have selected have connections in ideas and themes. One example in particular I will share here was the reading of the entire journal, Level 3, June 2014. All 7 texts in this journal link to each other - some more obvious than others.
Here is the presentation the students needed to work through. Go to slides 5 - 8 in particular. This has the students evaluating and linking the texts they have read.
1. Children needed diagram/visual to begin to make links
2. The aide of the whiteboard with a similar layout was important to repeat the process
3. To embed the process the using of titles written on card and students making links this way - picking up titles and sharing themes worked well. See this in action here and here.
4. Provision of tools to capture their 'summary' or 'conclusion' of learning from across texts was a welcome aide BUT not necessary for some as they were happy to simply use text to communicate this.
Note to self:
a. A push for target audience next time may prompt a more robust use of different media to communicate?
b. Keep to themes and ideas rather than the big task of synthesising each article, this job became more distracting rather than supporting the focus.
c. How do I do this again AND promote vocabulary - felt this was a weak point of learning sequence.
Sunday, 10 April 2016
2016 brings us to another inquiry into my teaching and learning. My new focus:
How can I teach learners to make inferences or judgements from layers of meaning in a text?
Group 1 Background.
Higher order thinking to extend (focus on improving evaluation in Comp) using Solo model 12 kids reading at 14+. These students have reasonable demand on their time with the roles of student leadership for most. They are often called upon to be spokespersons for the school for a range of professionals that visit our school. They have a high standard of the key competencies which allows for good collaboration as well as independent achievement.
Challenge - area needing strengthening: Stuck on 'Evaluative' questioning and thought processes in probe tests. Ability to infer needs to be pushed further to make conclusions and summaries more easily.
Action to support: Drawing conclusions across range of texts to prompt the thinking process further than the text in front of them. Adding also their own experience and knowledge. Second group:
Group 2 Background: This group enjoy reading and at times seem bored with it. In discussions they can explain their thinking. When having to respond in writing, often it will seem the wrong way around when. Sequence to answering process is not correct.
Challenge: Making an inference or a judgement from layers of meaning in a text clearly. When testing they struggle with looking across text to make a clear conclusion or summary using sound judgement from what they could infer.
Action to support: A lot of 'So what?' questions. Encouragement of full sentences to respond. Opportunities to teach each other about - not simply teacher to student.
Group 3 Background: This group is one of the most enthusiastic. Often asking for the next piece before others.
Challenge: Word knowledge poor. This prompts a unclear response to text often and an inability to express their opinions verbally.
Action to support: work on linguistics...sounds/shapes of letters through to words, sentences, contexts. Lots and lots of talking about what we read BEFORE our written responses. A shift in focus for sharing to happen between the group more rather than student to teacher alone. Group 3 this term has shown improvement in understanding inferences through a more focused learning sequence around learning and then sharing - teaching each other. This culture of sharing and teaching one another has prompted a positive approach from this particular group to ensure all understand before moving on. An element of peer support has occurred. A short reminder weekly of how we can help one another with language and processes modelled by myself has supported this group better. Deliberate acknowledgement and praise of when this 'Learning and teaching talk' is heard and seen has been powerful.
All groups: have deliberate acts of teaching that 'Sell the text' and modelling of linking to other texts. The students are more enthusiastic about the learning and teaching around selected text when this hook has been made. This is important to do at all levels.
Term 2: I will continue with a focus on groups 2 and 3. I am hoping with group 1 that the demands on their time will lessen from outside class which will enable a more settled and prepared group of learners - ready to use the SOLO model in a real and meaningful way.