Gilberthorpe school

Gilberthorpe school

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Another great Uru Manuka PLG

Manaiakalani Uru Manuka PLG 

It is always fantastic to meet with the leaders of learning each term. I get so many ideas out of the day and can't wait to come back and start implementing them. There are exciting things coming up for our cluster... 

We heard about a new apple classroom for devices in the junior school. This works on ipads like hapara works on chromebooks. I can think of so many benefits for this in the junior school with the ability to check in and see what students are on at any given time. I will be looking in to this over the next few weeks and talking to Rebecca about the potential it has. 

Another thing we learnt is that the filters have changed on google images. If you look up the top there is now an extra 's' https - s for secure. This means that the search is secure and that there is more privacy when searching the net. What this means for us is that it is more important than ever to ensure that students know how to be cyber smart because the filters do not work as well as they used to.  

There is an exciting new research out in the Canterbury community due to the behaviour that we are seeing - it is linked to the earthquakes. Some of the main ways to help support teachers and learning are to change the eating and playing times so that students are eating after they play. This means that they are having food for learning not using the energy during play time. An example of this is Rawhiti school. Their timetable 9-1030 learn 1030 play then 1050-11 eat 11-12 learn 12-1240 play then feed 1240-140 learning 140-2 play 2-3 learning. They are finding that students are focused and that the unwanted behaviours have stopped over the 6 weeks they have trailed it so far. Another bonus is no rubbish in the playground!!! 

We also discussed the PAT's and administration guidelines for sitting tests. We found that Google forms has a new feature that marks quizzes. We discussed making some cluster quizzes for reading to test multi choice - so that students get this before they do PAT. Side note: what a cool pre-test. 
We looked through a Template for recount writing - shared by Scott yr 9 & 10 and discussed how to write a recount using language features and scoring well on the rubric. Across the cluster we want our students to be successful. Teaching students about the ways of testing will help them to be successful.  

There is a cool online learning program which lets you earn apple teacher badges… Some great up skilling for junior teachers - you can do the test, interactive books to learn skills (use personal apple id). Once teachers have one badge they can move on to swift playground which is coding etc. Also, senior teachers will benefit from earning these - looks great on the CV! Here is the link  It is recommended that you use a personal account - that way you do not loose it if you change schools. 

Whanau Toolkits - Exciting opportunity for our families.  Mark Maddren is running these on Thursday 6 April at St Bernadette's 7:30am, 3:30pm, 5:30pm, 7:30pm. These sessions would be for around 30 caregivers to be manageable and would require a minimum of 10 pre registered for the toolkit to run.
Module 1: Kawa of Care and the Digital Immersion Learning Environment
This is an introductory course split into two parts.
Part One in this session covers all the physical features of the Chromebook. It also covers important aspects of The Kawa of Care and ways to practically apply the values of this document in the home.
Part Two is a basic introduction in accessing children’s work from relevant sites. In this session, parents will be shown a classroom site, a classroom blog and then a child's individual blog.
From here parents will be shown the difference between all three, how each site or/and blog may be relevant for different times and how to effectively use them as a means to engage with children’s learning, to to stay informed.
I will also include some support for commenting on blogs as well as answer any questions at the end of the session if required.
To help us get more parents signed up here is the registration form -

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Visiting Sockburn School

Following our Murray Gadd observation on Wednesday 22 February, Rebecca and I were welcomed for a visit to the Junior classrooms at Sockburn School. We were lucky to be there during their Literacy time and able to observe the implementation of their Action Stations and their Learning Coach and teaching groups in progress. 

They have a wonderful play based learning setup that I found so inspiring, particularly as it fits so well with my beliefs in the importance of play for younger students. It seemed easy to manage with the number and type of stations that they had set up and they shared how they plan for the stations together each week, with examples of their planning sheets as well. 

They began and ended each session with a variety of learning songs for alphabet, colours, rhymes etc. The children were engaged and learning by rote without even realising. 

Each station was set up with a visual prompt and a large number attached that represented the maximum number of students allowed at any one time at that station. Students opted into each station and were able to stay and play as long as they wanted. If they were called away for a reading/writing/maths group they could choose to leave their name there or remove their name and change to a new activity when they returned. They were able to swap activities at any time, provided there was enough space left in the group they wished to join. 

Students were able to choose from: 

Listening Post - headphones and stereo set up 
Quiet Space - couch and library corner 
Literacy - drawing activities for pencil control 
Fit Kit - Jumping outside with skipping ropes 
Tray Play - materials to pick up with scoops 
Role Play - family corner set up with kitchen/beds/dolls etc 
Fine Motor - threading beads onto pipe cleaners 
Creative - creating collage faces 
Snack Cafe - fruit and milk 
Science - Wonder table set up for exploring nature items 
Construction - Lego 
Maths (2 stations) - Snakes and Ladders game & Crocodile teeth counting game 
Inquiry - Puzzles 
Literacy - Reading hut 
Tech Ideas - iPads 

The activity headings stay there each week, but they change up the content in some or all as the weeks progress or they see a need develop in the students’ learning. 

I would love to see us take steps towards implementing some of these ideas when we enter our new learning space. Unfortunately we lack the space required to implement them now - hurry up new building! One of my favourite things about learning through play is that the children are pursuing their own interests and learning while having fun. I loved listening to some of the conversations that they were having - play based learning is fantastic for oral language development and social skills. I have had many years of experience with play based learning at the preschool level and have read so much about it at the school level but never seen it in action until now. I walked away thinking ‘This is how I would love to teach!’.