Nich Campbell (HOD English MHS) and I attended the e-asTTle Marking with Confidence Workshop in Blenheim yesterday. Wow! it was amazing. I progressed from knowing very little about the tool to really having an understanding of the tool's background, its purpose and how best to use it. The session allowed time for intensive discussion about R boundaries and gave plenty of tips for successful use of the tool. MHS will look to implement e-asTTle Writing at Year 9 in 2020 and Year 10 in 2021.
This link to a blog by Evaluation Associates provides some useful points to consider when choosing a writing prompt. Their website www.evaluate.co.nz also contains a number of useful e-asTTle resources. (see their resources tab).
Nich would like to take this opportunity to thank all Year 8 teachers and their management teams for administering the recent e-asTTle Reading test and the earlier e-asTTle Writing test. This data will be most useful as students transition to MHS. Reading data will be sent to schools very soon and the results of a review of this data gathering process will also be sent later this term.
Here at Ngatimoti School we have been discussing how to give quality feedback and feed forward. We completed the “Treasure Hunt” from “Being in Their Shoes” The three main questions students need to be able to answer are: Where am I going? How am I going? Where to next? These are the questions Impact Coaches ask three students at the end of a teaching observation.
We watched an interesting video clip of John Hattie talking about these questions. He also suggests some thinking is needed about what the student understands the feedback to mean. How clear is our feedback? Do the students understand it? Do they have time to put it into practise? Are teacher comments bringing about positive change for students?
Here is the video: John Hattie link: Types and Purposes of Feedback
Thursday 22nd August - the group met again today and enjoyed the mahi and conversation in the collaborative environment. We had to warm up our creative juices, and get the blood pumping around our bodies and brain with a copoerative game. What an interesting way for us all to work together. Whaea Donna, and whaea Emma joined us as well today. After ginger nuts and milo we had a korero about the values that each school has that guides the students and their learning and growth as individuals. Another way for us to share our creative talents and skills. Everyone in the group showed pride in these discussions, and conversations, feeling the importance of these values. It was very interesting to link the common threads and the values. During this korero we also thought and 'doodled' an image that one of the words might mean or signify to us. The sketches were shared, dated and collected. We are very excited about the beginnings of the design to represent us all.
Co-construction teaching strategies require a teacher to consistently allow students to be co-enquirers, raisers of questions, and evaluators of questions and answers. In a nutshell, students are given many opportunities during the day (aiming for more than 50% of the time) to discuss, share and build on one another's understanding of their ideas or questions in order to build a greater understanding. It's about the students discussing, learning and building their understanding together- it’s not the old model of teacher telling/lecturing ‘at’ students.
At Mapua, we have been exploring co-construction ideas and strategies in class. Simon and Heidi as our Within School teachers have been leading the way for staff to discuss, question and share ideas- about co-construction in a co-constructive way!
We have had some PD with Cognition, staff meetings and shared docs to help us build our understandings. We are finding it’s one of those things where the more you get into it, the more you realise there is to consider/understand/try. Staff and students alike are enjoying exploring this interactive and meaningful practice.
“It was really great to get together and discuss the varying approaches to co-construction and the different ways teachers approach it as a teaching strategy”. Pip Day Yr 7-8 Teacher Mapua School.
“We loved the practical activities being shared and discussed and found it helped us to further understand the concept of co-construction” Fiona Bibby-Smith New Entrant Teacher Mapua School
“We practiced co-construction as a staff team and then we shared our own co-construction teaching strategies” Amber Beech Year 3-4 Teacher Mapua School.
What’s Happening at Motueka High School?
On Monday 13th May the WSTs lead a whole staff PD session based on a series of statements around concepts from the RbL Profile. Working in cross departmental groups, staff had animated discussion around some of the statements; unpacking what they meant, agreeing or disagreeing with their intent, and sharing what things might look like in their classrooms. As well as clarifying terms and strategies, the session allowed staff to co-construct their own understandings of the profile in a more detailed way than previously.
Three MHS staff were accredited as Impact Coaches on 20th May. Congratulations to Lesley, Anthea and Vicki. Their hard work has paid off and next week they will observe the first teachers within their own classroom context; completing an observation tool and coaching conversation with each teacher.
Friday 31st May is Staff only Day at Motueka High School. The plan for the day is to spend the morning at Te Āwhina and the afternoon back at school. As well as experiencing the hospitality and tikanga at the marae, staff will practise the school haka and learn a new waiata before listening to speakers focusing on three, key, local stories. At the centre is Te Hekenga, the migration, and connected with this are Kaitiakitanga and Hokohokonga. Once back at school staff will meet in departments to create a sequence of lessons that incorporate one of the local stories into their subject area. These lessons will be used with Year 9 students in week seven – Local Stories Week at MHS.
UNPACKING THE RBL PROFILE
When we first looked at the RBL Profile there was a lot to take in. We asked ourselves, what did everything mean? How did it all fit together? It was quite overwhelming in the early stages. As we became more familiar with the vocabulary and the concepts in the profile we realised that there were a number of similarities to the work we had already started on DMIC (Developing Mathematical Inquiry Communities). With that connection apparent, we were away.
On our staff room wall we have a large visual display that incorporates a number of important understandings. It visually shows the connection with the DMIC work we are already doing. We have our voices tee shirt, the concepts and vocabulary from the RBL Profile, the concepts and vocabulary from DMIC and the key teacher capabilities needed for both. Staff and students see and discuss the display regularly so it underpins what we are trying to do.
Keeping the profile alive at Brooklyn School….
Putting a lens on the inquiry about building relationships to raise achievement within our School, the Brooklyn staff have had many conversations about the RbL profile. To keep this to the fore we have set up a wall of developments in our staff room which is constantly added to.
One work strand focuses on creating a family-like context for learning. We have carefully thought about our ‘voice,’ gathered from our school community, and have had discussions around how this is reflected in our school environment - ‘Ako - Together at Brooklyn’. This also means looking closely at how we collect data from our learners, snapshots and learning profiles, and the way we reject deficit thinking and are agentic in our conversations.
After attending the Co-construction PLD recently, our staff are evaluating how we use this teaching strategy within our own classrooms and how we can work together to build ‘mastery’ of strategies at different levels of the school.
The discussions and snapshots of our learners are continuing to help build the relationships with our Brooklyn students, which has lead us to have a close look at the GPILSEO model within our school context. At the heart of this is how we retain student engagement for learning, and how students would like to have their efforts celebrated. Lots more collegial conversations and gathering of student voice, to come!
Vicki and Amanda
He mauri tō te tangata,
he whakapapa tōna,
he mana motuhake.
Everyone has mana. Everyone has a whakapapa, a genealogy, a heritage and an identity that makes that person no more and no less important than the next person. When we learn to treat everyone with care and respect, there are fewer barriers to establishing and maintaining relationships. Address the issues and not the tangata.
This whakataukii sits at the base of our Motueka Kahui Ako. It seems we all acknowledge the value of relationships, particularly between teachers and students. We are now learning about the different ‘starting points’ these relationships need to be built from. The positive impact of the relationships we have with families and whanau, and with students, and our colleagues, is what should give us the best possible learning outcomes.
It is great to hear about the relationships developing between primary and secondary teachers. Our upcoming Professional Development with Cognition will give further opportunities for this. Coming on stream later this year, we hope to bring in an Early Childhood perspective. Te Whariki, the Early Childhood curriculum that most of our centres use, puts relationships as core business. It will be interesting to learn more from this perspective. We know that many of our ECE colleagues are looking forward to learning more about how we care for and teach the students as they continue their learning pathway.
Let’s continue to address any issues together, so that we can grow all of our teachers to be in that North East quadrant!
Ali and Grant