Thursday, November 15, 2012

Teaching as Inquiry Reflections 2012

This year at my school we have been working on our teaching as inquiry with particular focus on Writing. Having just completed my reflections as part of our appraisal process I thought I would publish said reflections to my blog for others to read. Please feel free to comment and offer some suggestions for next year!

I have to say that being new to my school this year and completely new to the teaching as inquiry process I found it very stressful and time consuming to get my head around what it all entailed. At times I did not have a clue to what I needed to do! I definitely know that there will be some changes I will be making next year to make this a more streamlined part of my everyday classroom.

Inquiry and Appraisal Reflection

Key Areas of Growth

I see in myself growth in the following areas of my writing development.
  • A clearer idea for planning required to meet the needs of ESOL children & how to support/ follow up on the ESOL teacher’s lessons
  • More specific planning for writing groups (even in the senior classes)
  • Planning to incorporate other writing activities on a task board rotation system ------> it doesn’t always need to be writing in books to be incorporated into my writing programme
  • The need for variety in topics when writing, the same genre for a whole planning period gets boring quickly!
  • Using lots of examples of “good writing” helps children understand the framework for a genre or topic
  • Linking reading and writing “topics” and selecting hot topics ignites student interest for example: Explanations of Halloween -reading and learning about where Halloween originated from, then using this reading to write an explanation about it
  • Incorporating where possible the use of e-learning keeps students engaged - I would like to investigate the possibility of sharing our writing on a class blog next year
  • Using relevant Learning Intentions and Success Criteria - creating these with the group

Effectiveness of Inquiry

I felt that the inquiry process was not very effective for all of my target students. For various reasons some of my Inquiry students have not made a lot of progress over the year.

Reasons for this I think are; one of the students in particular have had a lot of absences throughout the year and this has made a big impact on his learning and progress. The same student was also picked up for ESOL mid way through the year which meant that instead of four days in the classroom for written language he was now only there for two, sometimes only one if he was absent. These reasons have hindered progress for this child over the year.

Having inquiry students working in different groups also made the process less effective, in that it made it a lot more difficult to see these students on the regular (and often) basis required for the inquiry. Because I was not clear on what the inquiry was all about, (being new to the school and having never been involved in a teaching as inquiry process before) I do not think that the way the students were chosen (or grouped) was the most effective way to run the inquiry in a busy, large classroom.

However, because all of my inquiry students were in different groups I think this was beneficial to the other students, as they were a part of the lessons I had planned to target the needs of the inquiry students.

Works in Progress

Some things I am still working on are;
  • Supporting ESOL students with high needs without them becoming completely dependent on having support in the classroom all of the time
  • Finding more relevant writing activities for my task board rotation - keeping these interesting
  • Keeping writing topics relevant and engaging so that students do not become bored of genre
  • Keeping learning intentions and success criteria relevant and specific to the needs of each group
  • Using assessment data more to help plan and implement a writing programme that caters to the needs of the class
  • Incorporating more generic skills and language activities to improve both areas

Next Steps 2013

Some steps I have identified for next year will be;
  • Use end of 2012/beginning of 2013 writing data to identify needs, possible groupings, specific learning intentions (mostly for generic skills needs)
  • Use this data to also find activities for my writing and possibly reading task board that will target specific gaps students have (language and generic skills activities)
  • Use e-learning to give writing authentic audience and context
  • Set up a class blog so that we can share our writing to an authentic audience
  • Use other class blogs to share examples of good writing by other students, with the class
  • Make use of the rich and authentic writing activities that are available through the use of e-learning and my personal learning network (PLN) for example; storybird, edmodo, writer’s club, writing prompts

ULearn12 - the next two days...

Well, I had very good intentions of blogging and reflecting on each day of #ulearn12 but alas, it is now mid-november and here I am writing my next post! I had created a whole new blog just for ulearn but as I left each day more overloaded than the last, it didn't last long. So, I transferred my original post to my original blog which I haven't posted to for a long while...a couple of years! Crikey!

Below I have embedded my wallwisher pages from each of the breakouts I went to. I learnt so much from so many people also passionate about ICT and e-learning. I feel fired up again!

ULearn12 - day 1

Today was the beginning of ULearn 2012, this time in Auckland. What a great day I had! After the opening keynote by Jason Ohler I went to Allanah King's workshop on "Creating a Personal Learning Network" fabulous except for the lack of internet which made it difficult to look at the tools Allanah was showing us.

After our scrummy lunch, I went to Jason Ohler's presentation on digital citizenship where I made my notes using ...I love that tool! So below are my notes on from his presentation. It has left with a lot to think about. I was able to relate to Jason said, and I realize that I now need to go back to school and have a conversation with my principal about digital citizenship and our students. How can we incorporate this into our curriculum? Definitely one to consider.

I am excited to see what tomorrow brings!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I am still breathing!

Its been a while since my last post...I feel like the long lost blogger! I have been recently wondering about classroom environments and what makes them a great place to be. So I decided to put some of my key ideas into a wordle...

Wordle: Untitled

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cluster Share Afternoon

What a great afternoon we had at the cluster share afternoon. It was fantastic to see the progress each school has made in the past 2 years! It awesome that every school presented in a different way -it kept things interesting and everyone focused! Rochelle and I presented a keynote with exemplars of all the ICT learning that has been going on throughout the year, across the school.

I really enjoyed seeing our journey as a cluster since the beginning of last year, I felt very proud to a part of the change that has been taking place across all the schools and in particular being a part of the changes at CBS.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

ULearn 2009

My trusty sidekick Rochelle and I have just completed presenting our breakout session called "Animate and Innovate Our Young Learners!" to an audience of about 20 at ULearn in Christchurch. It was fantastic, everyone was very enthusiastic about using 'I can animate' and 'Imovie' and could see the value of using this tool in their classrooms. We showed some examples of drawing animations (which was a digital recount of our class trip to MOTAT.) We also showed an example of using the image capture animation which is the series of photos (frames) that conveys movement through a series of tiny movements.

Everybody had a go at creating both types of animations, including exporting and importing into IMovie to finish off the editing process. We were quite pushed for time as we wanted to show and let everyone have a go at both types of animating.

It was fantastic and we got lots of great feedback!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Have been showing my class the fun you can have with so have created this one using my blog!
Wordle: My blog wordle