#35 Weekly Update

Rāmere, te 20 o Whiringa-ā-rangi

Five Ways to Get the Most Out of Student Portfolios

The following information comes from John Spencer’s fantastic teaching website. The full article can be found in this link.

Student portfolio projects are a great way for students to own the assessment process in virtual and hybrid learning spaces.

The following are five ways to get the most out of student portfolio projects.

  1. Let students choose the platform. Some students might prefer a blog because of the ability to create multiple tags and to organise things topically and chronologically. A blog has the additional advantage of allowing comments. However, others might prefer a website for the clarity and simplicity it offers. Still, others might create a blog post and share their reflections as they go. In this case, the portfolio is more of an ongoing record rather than a summative assessment. The key thing is for students to decide on which platforms work best for them. This isn’t a “learning style” issue. Research has demonstrated that there is no such thing as a visual learner or auditory learner. Instead, this is about empowering students to select a style and approach that fits with their personal preferences.
  2. Encourage students to own the organisational structure. Students might organise things topically or chronologically. Or they might create a chronological portfolio that they break down into different categories, including best work, growth, and next steps. This process works well for secondary students but for primary students it might work best to create the organisational structure for the students at first.
  3. Have students reflect on both the learning process and the final products. While we tend to think of portfolios as a chance to demonstrate one’s best work, it’s also an opportunity to tell a story. Students can share examples of growth and improvement.
  4. Choose a variety of work. Students might include their best work, their favourite work, and the work that demonstrated the most growth. Another option might be for students to select key works from different weeks in the semester and use that as a way to explain their mastery and reflect on their growth.
  5. Don’t wait until the end of the year to start the portfolio process. Integrate the portfolio project into your unit plans. Carve out time on certain days to have students select work and create reflections. The goal should be to use portfolios as a part of the formative self-assessment process rather than waiting to do portfolios at the end of the year or the end of the semester.

Looking for some ideas for 2021 in Literacy?

Last Friday our Across School leaders took part in an Apple Education online PLD session with Jaqueline Harvey, an Australian author and teacher. Jacqueline has developed an interactive book series utilising digital learning for students. She looks for creative ways to engage learners in reading across the curriculum and by experiential learning.

Her recent publication of Alice Miranda in the Outback is a read aloud book pitched at students in years 3- 6. Many of her teaching resources could be developed for other books or extended for older students. Students can access her site through iPads or download as a PDF.

Follow the link here to her interactive website where teachers resources are shared that could be developed in your own literacy programmes.

Successes through a Covid Year

As teachers we are resourceful and always striving to find innovative ways to engage students – and this has never been more difficult than in this 2020 COVID year. However, through innovation, resourcefulness and resilience we have had many successes this year to be extremely proud of.

The Arts play a huge role in student engagement – tactile mediums, song and dance in particular, are calming and therapeutic and very useful to help transition students back into their classrooms.

Mau Rakau provides an opportunity for boys to gain mana, skills and confidence in a context unique to New Zealand. Their enthusiasm for mau rakau transfers to their attitude towards being back in the classroom. Teacher Aides have been invaluable as a support for students whether it is assisting within the classroom or cooking, gardening, constructing, signing – bringing out the best in our reluctant learners.

And finally – dog therapy! The power a small fluffy West Highland terrier has to help students re-engage and come back to school. The focus comes off the student thereby allowing them to gain confidence and become part of their class again.

Teachers can make an impact!

Orewa College Students visit Orewa Beach School

Linda arranged with Rhonda Beet to have an Orewa College tuakana-teina session held at Orewa Beach School. For the session, Josh Pinho, who is a year 8 teacher, took some of his class across to do a robotics lesson. This is the feedback we received from Rhonda:

“It was fabulous to have Josh Pinho and Felix Tucker in our classroom. The class thoroughly enjoyed coding and playing with Spheros. Helen Jury brought some Year 5 students from the senior syndicate and also observed. Staff here would be very keen to have a Kāhui Ako shared resource we could borrow.”

We will be sharing a document in next week’s newsletter where you can either list resources you have, or list resources you would like to trial. We will operate this along the lines of a Toy Library. This could help under resourced classrooms, or even help in a try-before-you-buy concept.

Wainui School Kapa Haka Performance and Whānau Hui

On Thursday/ Rāpare 19, Wainui School held an end of year kapa haka concert for their whānau and kura. Kaukapakapa School came along with their kapa haka group bus full of excited students to watch and perform.

Each syndicate from Wainui took turns to get up on stage and showcase the waiata and haka they have been working on and it showed how normalised kapa haka is at the kura. It was beautiful to see so many students taking part in kapa haka and for these students to be able to finally perform after having to cancel the Tū Māia Festival this year due to COVID-19.

Matua Jason Irvine worked with whāea Leeanne Wade to bring the event together at Wainui. Following the performance whānau were invited back to the staffroom for a kōrero and kai.

Well done Wainui School for the mahi you have put into te ao Māori with your tamariki and the effort they have made to include whānau on the day. Ka mau te wehi!

Kāhui Ako Meeting Dates for term 4

22 October: Meeting at Orewa College all ISLs

29 October: Maths/ Digital Curriculum Group PD Day

5 November: Meeting at Orewa College all ISLs

19 November: Meeting at Orewa College all ISLs

23 November: Writing Group PD Day

26 November: Final

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