Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Manaiakalani Hui with Woolf Fisher Feb 21st - Selena and Cynthia

Possibilities for 2019 - 3 Tools to inspire improved practice:

2017 Case Studies

Includes a range of examples of good teaching practice - texts, tasks and time.

WF Observations

More examples of good teaching practice to learn from.

T-Shaped Literacy Skills - going wide and then deeper with a narrow focus

Task design is specifically focused on development of thinking at a deeper level. Take students wide by using a range of texts, rather than a single text. Then delve deeper into a text/texts using a range of tasks. 
I have begun to trial a simple version of this as part of my Literacy programme on my class site. This is set up as a reading challenge for the week. Group reading, with mixed ability groups, is used to support vocabulary and text understanding, as well as with tasks. Close reading of a group selected text, is used to scaffold learning for some students. Target students have alternative texts to support their learning. I am also using Shared Reading to support the topic, and the development of skills needed to complete tasks independently. Check it out on our fairly new class site :)

It has worked well for most students. The students that are just learning to use chrome books are well supported by others in their learning groups. I have a couple of students that are slightly overwhelmed by the site. I need to think how to cater better for their learning style and needs, in a way that is simpler in presentation, and easier for them to follow, one step at a time.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Manaiakalani Staff Meeting 15/10/18 with Venessa

Today we are reflecting on how we are using the LEARN, CREATE, SHARE pedagogy in our classroom. We each created a slide to share this with each other as part of a staff set of slides.
In my slide I shared Kea's work from Social Justice Week completed at the end of Term 3. The students were really proud of their learning, and what they had created. We laminated our work as posters to take home, and to display in our school office.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Digital Fluency Week 9

How the Digital Fluency Intensive has impacted on me

Involvement in the DFI means I now have a much clearer understanding of Manaiakalani kaupapa and
pedagogy, as well as how this fits into our school kaupapa and practice. I have learnt new digital skills,
especially with different Google apps, and had opportunity to connect the use of these tools to planned
learning opportunities for the students in my class. Having just inherited chromebooks for students
enabled me to immediately be able to put some of this learning into practice. This has been particularly
successful towards the end of the DFI as both the students and I have become more familiar with the
Chromebooks, and more fluent and confident in the use of some of the apps.
I did find the pace over the first couple of days quite fast. At that stage I felt I was developing
familiarity, rather than fluency. We then had a couple of days that moved at a much slower pace, and
I gained more confidence with apps. This was consolidated via use of some of these in my classroom
with my students.
The Learn, Create, Share pedagogy is now becoming a strong part of our school kaupapa, as we have
four teachers that have had professional learning input via DFI or the Pilot Teacher programme in
classrooms. Having that network of support at school is excellent. I have been able to share learning
and ideas with others back at school.
In addition, the network of teachers I have been working with as part of the DFI has had an impact
on my ongoing learning. The collaborative activities have been great, as has the blog sharing.

Particular impacts on my life, my practice, and my workflow

Google Keep is amazing! A must for every school leader! I use it for all sorts of things - professionally
and personally. I have shared it with a number of other people. I love the reminder/ notification part of
this app.
Setting up folders within Google Drive for my students to use right from the beginning was also helpful.
To start this properly at the beginning of the year, connected to Hapara and the Manaiakalani
Cyber-Smart Curriculum will be even better next year.

I feel like I still have so much to learn, so finding some way to keep the learning and network of
support going will be important. Any possibility of extra courses, or DFI Stage 2, would be great.
There is much benefit of getting together as a cohort to learn together and discuss what is working,
not working, problem solve, share ideas...

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Digital Fluency Week 8

I was disappointed to not be able to be a part of the Digital Fluency Week 8 experience at Waitangi. Reading people’s blogposts, and looking at all the online resources posted by Kerry, and others re-iterated the fact that you all had an awesome day, with lots of learning and inspiration. I really enjoyed reading everyone’s posts. Not quite as good as being there… but you have all contributed to my ongoing DFI learning with what you have shared. Many, many thanks for your honest and in-depth reflections. Ongoing dialogue with colleagues, in any form, is a vital part of our professional growth. I loved the creativity you all shared. I must confess, my personal favourite was Robyn "in flight" - every school leader needs super powers! 😉

What I learnt that increased my understanding of Manaiakalani kaupapa and pedagogy?

Manaiakalani pedagogy related to empowerment fits well with the vision, principles and values of our New Zealand Curriculum. “The New Zealand Curriculum is a clear statement of what we deem important in education. It takes as its starting point a vision of our young people as lifelong learners who are confident and creative, connected, and actively involved. It includes a clear set of principles on which to base curriculum decision making. It sets out values that are to be encouraged, modelled, and explored. It defines five key competencies that are critical to sustained learning and effective participation in society and that underline the emphasis on lifelong learning” – NZC Foreword, 2010.

Manaiakalani are talking about student agency when they talk about empowerment. Manaiakali chose to use the word empowered instead of agency, or student agency, because it was a word that people outside of education, especially families and whanau, could relate to.
I need to find ways to further empower my students with their learning. Being aware of the disadvantages some students have is important, but it is more important for us to see the potential in all of our students and ensure that diversity within our classroom teaching and learning experiences provides authentic opportunities for students to excel. We do need to value what our students bring – often this is not recognised or understood. Valuing what our students bring, and then enabling them to access and be part of a vibrant and authentic curriculum is all about empowerment while they are at school, and then as they transition into being active participants in their local, and global communities.

How has my understanding of Manaiakalani kaupapa and pedagogy:

·        Empowered me professionally with my teaching practice?

With the creation and development of my blog, I have an ongoing dialogue that reflects on my growth in my professional development, with a particular emphasis on links to the digital world and the change in my teaching practice within a digital classroom. Having my blog accessible to others provides me with scope for an audience whose comments can contribute to my ongoing learning and development.
The skills I have been learning, or enhancing, over the last 8 weeks have strengthened aspects of my classroom teaching and learning programme. My own familiarity and fluency with different Google apps is growing, and will continue to grow. The level of professional dialogue with colleagues from other schools, has also supported my professional growth.

·        Empowered me with new skills to use with my learners?

I have been trying lots of new things with my students. Inheriting some Chromebooks from other classrooms in our school has enabled increased scope to do this. Most of my students have access to a device which functions well enough to meet our beginning needs. Students have been able to share their learning with whanau, as well as with our school community at assembly. They are very proud of their new skills, and the work they have produced. Their written response work to Malala’s Magic Pencil, which was our shared text during Social Justice Week, was completed in Google Draw. Students used a range of graphic skills, as well as the Explore tool to access images and borders, to enhance their poster presentations. Printed copies will be displayed in our school foyer, and will be shared via our school face book page. I am hoping to have a class blog operational next term to share our work with a wider audience.

·        Empowered me personally?

I have been able to share apps and skills with others in my school. This always has a “feel good” factor. To be an “expert” explaining something to a professional colleague is always empowering – especially when one is not of the “digital native” generation!
I am inspired to learn more, and to continue my learning journey – I just need more days and time to do this!

Monday, 27 August 2018



SHARE Staff Meeting with Donna Yates, Manaiakalani

Simon Scott, the Deputy Principal at Hornby Primary School, reflects on his blogging journey with Manaiakalani.

What I learnt?
Simon started with a general classroom blog. After the first year, he moved into individual blogs. This was a natural transition for both him and the students, as they had become familiar and confident with the use of blogging.
Key to the transition into individual blogs, was the initial teaching of blog comment protocols with the students. Students follow three steps to write something positive, thoughtful and helpful. This strategy is outlined below.
What is the new strategy?
What are you thinking about trialing in your learning space?
Because my students do not have functioning individual blogs at this time, I will co-ordinate with one of the senior classroom teachers, so that my students can read a relevant student blog, and then use the template to make a blog comment. This could be incorporated into my Literacy programme as a learning station activity.
As well as the template, it will be important to provide some models of good comments posted on student blogs. In addition, early comments could be completed as shared writing, and then interactive writing with students that need practice before writing independently. This task will provide another authentic opportunity for short, quality pieces of writing, that will be achievable for all students in the class. It will also help to make the students more appreciative of blog comments when they start to use individual blogs for their learning journey.