The day began with us looking at and analysing the data from the end of last year. Within the cluster there are some really positive things happening across all learning areas! The focus of the day was "What can we do to change teaching to have the most impact on students." It’s about fine tuning and making things more effective.
Here are the notes I took from the session:
Implications from the Data - how can we address it - affordances
- Engagement - interesting, purposeful, student choice is evident. High levels of “on taskness” - doing learning activities more of the time. Increased mileage of Writing - shown in data.
- Powerful conversations - more interactions, teacher knowledge of what students can do, extending opportunity for thinking by talking. Because of high engagement and complex tasks, teachers have more time to talk with and work with students. Students can give groups full focus because other students are on task.
- Complex tasks - learn- reading and writing from multiple places, more scaffolding tools, create- synthesis and evaluation through DLO , share - blogging, authentic audience.
- in-site and on-site support - scaffolds in & out, collaboration. As teachers we are better at scaffolding in than scaffolding out - we need to work on this.
- Connections and visibility - real audience, inform others about learning, visible teaching & learning, make a difference, purposeful
Students have to use key comps to be successful in Learn, Create, Share pedagogy. High focus on the first half of the curriculum.
Purpose of blog posts - we are sharing learning not sharing a finished product.
Purpose of a discussion - do students understand how to have a discussion? There is an uncomfortableness of not knowing something. Students need to understand process of learning and the purpose of discussing thoughts that are not finalised.
Feedback - Powerful Learning Conversations
Patterns of feedback - what we need to know - what our next steps are.
Data from classroom observations
Evaluative - e.g. “you have done a good job on this writing” Least effective form of feedback.
Descriptive - e.g. “I really like the way you began each paragraph ”
Generative - most of this was also evaluative e.g. “You have done well in... Next time it would be good to see… ” - most effective form of feedback
A lot of the descriptive and generative feedback is also evaluative. The data does not take out the behavioural feedback.
We discussed how this links to positive, thoughtful, helpful model of feedback on a blog - This is what we are teaching students but do we follow it as educators?
Page 57 - The power of feedback model
Feedback is not just what a teacher says to students. It is also what others may say or could be feedback from yourself.
Page 58 + 59 - as a task we were allocated a statement and then discussed and shared back
Importance of the success criteria to break down the goal and learning that has occurred. Students can use the criteria to give themselves feedback.
Transfer - near and far. e.g. Talking about problem + resolution as a goal - transfer from one narrative to another is problematic. Students struggle to transfer feedback across tasks. It is better to give feedback at a less specific task level so that it can be transferred to other situations. Teaching needs to allow for generalisation of the desired skills.
Praise the effort not the outcome. Otherwise there is a fixed mindset of what the criteria for being intelligent is.
Give feedback when the students have time to think it through and respond.
i.e. not before morning tea or at the end of a session.
Students need to be actively willing to change their mindset (not fixed) and make changes to make it better. All students have things to improve on.
Affordances of technology and Learn, Create, Share allows for increased opportunity for - face to face feedback, real time feedback, peer and self feedback.
Inquiry questions on giving feedback across the cluster
Google app that allows for aural feedback to be given - called talk and comment. Record the feedback so that the student can go back and listen to what is said. Audio record - use phones.
How to find answers to these inquiry questions - e.g. asking students how they would prefer the feedback - record, write notes etc. - could create questionnaire. Students who are being tracked could be used to discuss how they are interpreting the feedback. Observations of feedback - class. Teachers could record themselves giving feedback and analyse how effective it is.
The reason for the inquiry process: It is important to think about what you want to know and how you will find out before taking on an inquiry.
Patterns of collaboration (for students) - my work both using computer (review/feedback), my work discussion (face to face discussion FTF), our work - both using computer, our work discussion FTF.
What are the theories for more collaboration aiding student achievement?
Opportunities in digital space for collaboration -
gifting words - sharing vocabulary, children more likely to take risks when working with other students, use others strengths, key comps - collaboration is what is needed in todays world, quick access to feedback, breaking a task in to chunks, tui mai tui atu.
Cluster twitter - inquiry blog post, google plus community - join other cluster.
Are teachers capitalising on the affordances of technology for collaboration?
Depends on the school culture - the type of collaboration that is happening. What the students are seeing is how the classrooms are working.
Talk about text - affordances and collaboration
Reading + Writing across the curriculum
Opportunities for higher quality talk in classrooms.
We need to channel Discussions - the aim is to explore rather than ‘test’
To increase comprehension focus on dialogic not stratgey - have discussions where students talk about the ideas in the text.
Most students see talk as performance - won’t speak unless it is the right answer, this limits the discussion - Need to use I wonder, or I think… to explore ideas and thinking.
Properties of really good talk - less of the IRE format - Initiate, Respond, Evaluate - Higher level thinking is authentic and where the teacher does not know the answer but wants to explore the discussion. e.g. “Which character did you find the most powerful and why”. Wait time is given for students to respond. The text needs to be referred to in the discussion.
Texts used need to have a voice that motivates the students to have an opinion so that they can be an active participant in the talk. Students need to be using the text to support their ideas - the text is referred to and the students use it as a reference point.
There is a place for stratgey instruction, but there is also a place for using the stratgey to begin a discussion.
Why multiple texts
You do not have to have one of each - sometimes you have have two types with multiple texts.
Students need to be accessing their own texts - link to managing self and increased discussion around language. Ability to criticise texts and judge sources is crucial in a digital environment.
Scaffolding - can have toolbox at the top which breaks down vocab or video to support or re-written etc.
Really good resource for teacher - strategies for teachers to use to increase discussion
Inquiry questions for talk
International research shows that teachers find this really hard to change - amount of teacher talk vs. student talk.
We need to nurture talk to arrive at an understanding… Students at high schools are afraid to share ideas- most conversations are being led and moulded by teachers - allow students to give evidence about how their idea fits with the subject. There should be sometimes where discussions are allowed to take their course.
Digital Learning Objects
Digital learning artefact vs. Digital learning object - transformative nature of the task.
DLA - record of time/learning - finished - static - summative - finished product
DLO - focus on object of learning not a record of time, created, transformed - in producing the object students learning has deepened. Process of learning - extended abstract thinking - going further and making connections.
I left the day thinking about the inquiry and the variability between the classes - tapping in to where the teachers are making the most difference - what is powerful to the students learning? How do I use feedback? Am I giving students create tasks that are challenging there thinking? Are my discussions allowing students to think deeper?
It was such a great experience to be involved in the discussions in this group. There is a lot to think over.