Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Reflection on School Goal 1

Goal 1 Maori Achievement

To raise Maori student achievement and cultural visibility. 
That 85% of Maori students will achieve NCEA Level 2.

My NCEA DVC Level 2 class of 14 students has 31% Maori students in it. 
Last year, I had experimented with some of the tasks being done together in small groups. This was a successful experiment and I received some very good feedback from the students in regard to this.
Mahi tahi and manakitanga are elements that I started the year wanting to include a lot more of. They gave the students last year support and more confidence in their project work.

So far this year my Year 12 students have all joined the class Google Plus Community and have been doing elements of the first project,  AS91627, in small groups of two or three. They have been helping each other with the collection of information and it has been a "no man left behind" situation. They have then felt more confident when they have had to produce the individual evidence for the standard. This standard is almost complete at this point and I will feedback on the credit outcomes and what the students thought about it when they have finished.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Manaiakalani Class OnAir Lesson 3 - Making Design Elements in 3D in order to Describe Them

Direct Instruction
The students were introduced to the idea of using plasticine to visualise the design elements of their chosen designers in 3D.
They will then record themselves describing the form and how it applies to the style of their designer.

Lesson Topic :- Recognising design elements in the work of the chosen designer.
Year Group :-  11
Learning Outcome
To be able to recognise design elements in the work of their chosen designer and explain what these elements are.

Success Criteria
Using SOLO

Extended abstract
Make a plasticine form that visually identifies the design elements they can see in their architect’s work.
Make a plasticine form based on the design elements they can see in their architect’s work.
Describe the form that they have made in plasticine.
Describe the form that they have made in plasticine and clearly explain the link to their architect’s work in the analysis of the form they have made.
Evaluate the design element that they have looked at in plasticine and generalise how they have simplified it in their explanation.

Links with the New Zealand Curriculum

NCEA Level 1 - Curriculum Level 6

Outcome development and evaluation

Critically analyse their own and others’ outcomes to inform the development of ideas for feasible outcomes. Undertake ongoing experimentation and functional modelling, taking account of stakeholder feedback and trialling in the physical and social environments. Use the information gained to select, justify, and develop a final outcome. Evaluate this outcome’s fitness for purpose against the brief and justify the evaluation, using feedback from stakeholders.

  • Thinking - Looking at the work of their designer and understanding the elements that will represent form.
  • Using language, symbols, and texts - Representing design elements in simplified ways in 3D using plasticine.
  • Managing self - Staying on task with both the internet and plasticine there tempting them away!
  • Participating and contributing - sharing their idea sand work with the rest of the class.
  • Relating to others - responding well to others when they share their work.
Prior knowledge
The students have been collecting images and information about their chosen designer for a few weeks for the first project. They have a visual knowledge of their designer. They now need to start picking apart what they know.
Lesson Sequence

Session Outline
The students will be focussing on the word “FORM” and visualising how they see form in the work of their chosen designer in 3D by using plasticine. They will then record themselves describing their plasticine models and how they are connected to the design elements of theri designer.
Student Activity
Teacher Activity
  • Listen to teacher instructions.
  • Ask question if needed
  • Look at architect work on a Google image search and have these in front of them as they work.
  • Look for examples of “form” in their designer’s work.
  • Introducing how to use the plasticine to the whole class.
  • Making sure all the students have enough resources to make a start.
  • Helping / supporting where needed on a one to one or small group basis as the lesson progresses.
  • Uploading completed videos to the class community.
  • Focus on the word “form” - don’t add texture or pattern or any surface details.
  • Make the forms that they see in the images of buildings in plasticine.
  • Use the iPads to make a recording showing the plasticine forms.
  • Record their voices describing what their form looks like.
  • Explain how their form links to the design elements of their chosen architect.
  • Add the videos onto the class Google Plus Community so they can each see and hear each other’s recordings.
  • Offer feedback on the recordings if they feel that more could be added to the descriptions.

Modelling tools.
Next Steps
Next Lesson
More  work will be needed on this activity as it takes more than 1 session to complete this work.
Further in this project
The students will use the videos and photographs of these forms as the starting points for their seating designs.
Reflection and Analysis

What went well.

Lesson Content :- the students seemed to enjoy making the design element of form rather than just draw it. There was enough content even though it is quite a simple activity.

Lesson Pacing :- this task has taken a few lessons but this was panned for so it has not affected anything else.

Lesson Delivery :- I tried to keep the time down of me talking to them about the task altogether this time. I have done more one to one talking as they were working on their models.

Student Understanding :- some students made some  good, very simplified forms were being made which is exactly what I wanted them to get out of the exercise. Their ability to simplify down what they are seeing will help them to use this knowledge to design a different product with these forms as they are no longer seeing the forms as buildings.

Student Outcomes :- the descriptions videos are short but they have made the students think about their models and what is the main thing that they are seeing.

What still needs work.

Lesson Delivery :- I should have had a few pictures of buildings in front of me when I was demonstrating so I could have shown the students how I was getting the form I was making and what I was and was not including. This would have helped with the issues in understanding (next section)

Student Understanding :- some of the students did not get the idea that they were pulling out simple forms from the buildings and they made 3D plasticine models of whole buildings, sometimes with windows and everything.

Student Outcomes :- there is not examples from all of the students yet as the speed of completing the work was very slow in some cases. These students found it difficult to stay on task.

Other Comments.

This was quite successful as a task to analyse form. I could give the students a choice of videoing their work or photographing it and writing the descriptions for those who do not enjoy making a video about their work.
For those who have difficulties putting into words what they are seeing, it was good to see their understanding being shown by what they were making in 3D.

These are 4 brief examples of description videos produced by students about their models.

Friday, March 16, 2018

What am I leaning from AsTTLe marking PD?

I have had another short session of going through an exemplar from the AsTTle marking moderation that the English Department have been working through. I had help making my way through each section of an exemplar, seeing what level I thought it was for each of the sections and comparing it to the supplied examples for that particular level. We looked above and below to see where it was sitting.
While I am not doing this with the intention of ever being responsible for any ACTUAL AsTTle marking, it is proving a very valuable experience in understanding what criteria the students have to fulfil in their writing in order to gain a level.

How can I use what I am learning?

Ideas - We can discuss ideas for the topic as a whole class or in small teams before they start to write.  We can put all our ideas together on shared docs or drawings. This can then support the students in their individual writing that they have to do and make sure that they are covering a range of ideas in their work. I have been building a lot more team work into tasks recently so this will fit in well with what I have already started doing.
How this fits in with SOLO taxonomy? - this fits in the multistructural level where the students are using information from multiple sources.

Structure and language - most of the time, the writing styles that my students are doing are description, analysis and reflection. In SOLO, this takes us from multistructural to relational through to extended abstract, depending on the depth that they do it.
I need to give them a support structure to write to where they can lay out their ideas, show development of the ideas and give reasons why. Some of the ideas that I got from my visit to Robyn's class will help here. Link to blog post about this here.
Guiding them to start with an introduction and end with a conclusion.

Organisation - Giving them a structure to write to to provide an organisation will help them get their thoughts in a meaningful order. Using some of my SOLO thinking charts will be a starting point here for my own planning but I need to make topic specific support material for the students to use. The more they use structures like this in their projects, they will get more used to writing this way as a normal thing. Guiding them to use paragraphs to layout their ideas so what they are saying is clear.

Vocabulary - I have been working on building more activities around subject specific vocabulary and I will continue with this as a high priority. The students need to hear and use the words on a regular basis if they are to get used to using them in their work.

Sentence structure - Having exemplars for them to read will be helpful here so they can see how to construct what they are saying and how to say it. I can get the project exemplars for them to look at from the NZQA website. This will keep it in the same context as they are working. We can also use the peer checking ideas that I saw being used in Robyn's classroom.
Going through exercises together to describe and analyse other products will help them to practice before doing this in their own projects.

Punctuation - The main punctuation that my students will use is the basic ones - full stops, capital letters, question marks, quotation marks, commas etc. Peer marking will help this as will ongoing feedback from the teacher as the project is progressing. These are things that can be corrected as the project goes along so it is not left till the end.

Spelling - My students get the choice of writing in their sketchbooks or typing up on the chrome books, so spelling is very dependent on these two things at the moment. The auto underline / correction of Google Docs is helpful when online. more use of the subject specific terms will get them used to spelling them. Having them available / viewable on the classroom walls will help too.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Explanation Writing - Analysis of Structure.

Today I was lucky to get the chance to visit Panmure Bridge School, where Mrs Robyn Anderson +Robyn Anderson  was taking her class of Year 7 students through a literacy task.

To get ready for the activity, the students were moving the furniture around. They have obviously done this before and are used to the set up.
They have been given a print out of a piece of writing. They all have their own. 
They are all placed so they can see the screen with the instructions on it.

Explanation Writing
They are going to focus on what they did correctly. They are only looking at the good stuff. Robyn says that it is her job to pick out the bits that need work and to help them with those parts.
Learning intention
To structure and write an explanation that tells your reader what you need them to know.

Notes from observing the lesson

The class say all the words really quickly to get used to the sound of them.
They are then asked which words they already know. What are they. Linking to what they already know. Where will they find the words in writing. Which parts of writing will they find the specific writing elements?
Tell your partner one thing that they don’t know from the list. Does anyone want to share one with the whole class? The teacher goes over these and explains what they mean.

The class then say the words to each other again really fast.
The teacher goes over / reminds the students what the writing task was that they have already done and they are going to analyze today.
She goes over what some of the students covered in their writing - what content they had included.
They then read their own explanation.
All the tasks are done in small chunks at a time so they can follow and learn the sequence and the skills.

One by one - the items are gone through. TIIC - this is written under their work and they are going to check these things off. Robyn explained to the students that this TIIC idea was one that she took from Mr Rob Wiseman  from Point England School in one of his Class OnAir lessons.

If they have got any of these things they are at the “practicing” stage and will improve but the teacher doesn’t need to start form the beginning with that element.
Now they swap with a partner and they check each other’s work and do double ticks on the TIIC list.
Information - the bulk of the information - needs paragraph structures. This was the most tricky part, so they work with a partner to pick out these elements.
They work on the printed out work with highlighter pens for each of the structural elements in the information.
The class work in pairs while the teacher goes round and helps individually where needed. Some need more support with these elements than others.
They are looking at their own work and working out which are the writing areas that they need to work on.
The class look at their own work first, so they can see the value of their own work. Then they look at the exemplars from TKI and they compare their work to the examples. This then helps to group them into what is needed to be focused on.
Good work /  samples are highlighted and read out by the teacher. Cue, embarrassed student!!.... Smiling though.
Work with their partner to talk about what they are finding in their own writing. They then tell the whole class.
This focus lesson is on the structure - the deeper features, and not worrying about the surface features, like spelling.
They have their class DLO on the class site and they navigate to the exemplars in pairs so they can work together.
Robyn explains the TKI exemplars to the students so they know they are the levels for all students in New Zealand that they are comparing their own work to. They are looking at the exemplars from the lowest upwards and seeing if they can work out which one best matches what theirs looks like.
Their teacher wants them to see where they are at for themselves and that they write the same as students throughout the country. She is trying to build self efficacy and self confidence. She is trying to break down the “I can’t do” barriers. Using “you have got” language and not “you haven’t got”.. or “you must have”.

The plan for this class to move forward is to look at the surface features next to clean up the writing. They will again work in teams of two to do this.

How can I apply what I learned today?

  • We already look at each other’s design work in the class Google Plus community, so can I get them used to looking at each other’s written work together in pairs?
  • I can get the exemplars from the NZQA website for them to use. I will have to pick out the sections that we need and seperate them as their exemplars are whole projects not individual elements.
  • I can showcase the framework and structure visually around the room for them to refer to when they need.
  • I can supply them with the support structure that they need to use for their writing.
  • I can print their written work for them so they can highlight relevant sections to focus on.
  • The students can assess themselves against the exemplars to see where they are sitting. They can then plan for improvement themselves too.
Thank you once again to Robyn for letting me come and steal / borrow / use / share ideas with her.
Sharing is good!

Monday, March 12, 2018