Weekly Update #09

5 April 2019

Rāmere, te 5 o Paenga- Whāwhā, 2019

Rōpū Tuhituhi / Writing Group

At last week’s leaders meeting we held our first moderation kōrero for writing. Teachers were well prepared having completed the initial assessments, either individually or in groups at their own school prior to our meeting. The LPF is not designed to be used for assessing only one piece of writing evidence, but rather collecting evidence from a variety of samples across the curriculum. Our moderation meeting is a good check-in to see if we have consistency. The ultimate aim of our moderation was to compare individual school judgements to then arrive at shared understandings, with informed agreement. We will continue to embed this practice each term, across all of our schools. Our results table shows the percentage of agreement in placement of students prior to, and after, our moderation meeting.

From the rich professional dialogue, robust discussion and conversations that took place we were able to closer align our decisions, though not for all samples.

Colleagues took part in a process of deconstructing, reconstructing and co-constructing knowledge and skills with a better understanding of the LPF. This process helps to enable teachers’ tacit knowledge of writing to be made more explicit. There is much potential to build new knowledge and teacher capability in these meetings so that students have improved outcomes. Sharing writing from across the curriculum also allows us to see purposes for writing involving more complex concepts and understandings.

Our term 2 moderation meeting is set for week 8, Thursday 20th June. Information will be shared early in term 2. Follow the link to the Term 1 writing moderation for full results on the Orewa Kāhui Ako website resources tab.

Rōpū Pāngarau/ Maths Group

Next term the maths group will start to look at the digital curriculum for 2020 and the best way that we could support each other with the implementation process. To get us going we have ordered a set of Digital Fluency Playing Cards We’ll let you know more once we’ve had a play with them.

Rōpū Taunaki Ako/ Learning Support Group

Ever wondered how you can describe anxiety? How can I help my students if they are feeling anxious or have an anxiety disorder (prolonged or high level anxiety)?

Anxiety can be crippling for day to day activity. It’s feeling a sense of no control, perhaps fear, nervousness and sense of expected trauma every day or even every moment.

Rōpū Te Reo Me Tikanga Māori

On 4 April we held our first Kāhui Ako hui on the Te Herenga Waka o Orewa marae. It was a productive day where we connected with each other, found out what makes individuals unique, and also shared ideas for making our cultural practice sustainable. If you’d like to know more we will have a full article in next week’s newsletter.

Coast says Kia kaha Christchurch: Hibiscusmatters

Our local paper ran an article based on the response several of our schools had to the atrocities committed on 15 March, 2019. For a link to the full article, please follow this link.

Ngaio pukapuka kōrero/ Professional Development

Linda Rubens, Sandy Blackburn and Madeleine Lockie attended professional development on the weekend and the reason we gave up time on a Saturday was because the theme was so topical. It was based on the strategies to use with Boys in Literacy. In a nutshell the facilitator left us with the view that we probably all share: The quality of education is based on the quality of relationships. Not one child is the same. And not every boy is the same. But in the age we live in, gender is no longer definitive. And we certainly need an inclusive education. An interesting idea was floated: in schools, boys are treated like defective girls. So we really need to make our classrooms more boy friendly. Another long held view is that writing will improve if students read more. And a simple rule to follow: boys will read if interested. So a good website to checkout is guysread.com

When teaching boys, instructions must be explicit. So it is better to be forthright with boys. Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind. Ambiguity brings disorder. And we always need to remember that we are not changing the world, but we can change our class, our boys. A good strategy to adopt is learning buddies. Instead of hands up, students can turn to their buddy and discuss questions. This helps with knowledge distribution.

And finally, in empowering boys, you could follow these strategies:

  1. Be approachable
  2. Let boys write about things, not feelings
  3. Don’t brand boys as reluctant writers if they are not captivated, yet
  4. Free them up away from their desks for short breaks (Age plus 10 minutes of sitting should be the norm)
  5. Boys thrive in structured environments

Perhaps it’s worth mentioning that these strategies are good for all students, regardless of age or gender.

Mindlab: Postgraduate Certificate in Digital and Collaborative Learning

Are you thinking of doing some post grad studies? Mindlab might be just for you. A flexible postgraduate qualification designed to develop capabilities and skills in response to a new generation of highly digital students. This qualification also provides highly relevant professional development for the Digital Technologies learning areas | Hangarau Matihiko tupuranga of the New Zealand curriculum.

Pānui ngaio/ Professional Reading

Teachers have a responsibility to set high expectations for their students, and to do this we should cater for a wide range of abilities and learning needs. It is also paramount that we affirm cultural diversity and promote inclusivity. And given the climate we live in, we should also be preparing students to be future focused and future ready. Of course, all students fit into these categories, and then some also have the added intersection with the priority learner definition. In this paper the author highlights the importance of a welcoming learning space for all students, but perhaps more importantly for priority learners for whom school has not always been their ‘happy place.’

To keep up to date, follow us on our Kāhui Ako website: orewakahuiako.com

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