29/02/2016 – TEACHING AS INQUIRY PROCESS

Today we had a meeting with Tamara and Pete about the Teaching as Inquiry Process. We completed a jigsaw puzzle exercise around the spiral of inquiry. The different pieces covered where:

  • Scanning
  • Focusing
  • Developing
  • New Professional Learning
  • Taking Action
  • Checking

Reporting back is well summarised in the following document.

Key understandings:

  • Keep your inquiry small and focussed on a few priority learner
  • Do not try to solve/address ALL issues or concerns, again focus in on one area
  • Maintain a holistic approach in all areas, be careful to take in all considerations/influences when analysing data or completing testing etc.
  • It is important to take on a collaborative approach to teaching as inquiry

Next steps:

– Begin to narrow down my own teaching as inquiry beginning by identifying my small group of priority learners.

Research:

(2014) H. Timperly, L. Kaser & J. Halbert. A framework for transforming learning in schools: Innovation and the spiral of inquiry. Centre for Strategic Education Seminar Series Paper No. 234, April 2014

 

Criteria this relates to:

Practicing Teacher Criteria 

1 – Establish and maintain effective professional relationships focused on the learning and well-being of akonga.,
2 – Demonstrate commitment to promoting the well-being of all akonga.,
4 – Demonstrate commitment to on-going professional learning and development of personal professional practice.,
6 – Conceptualise, plan and implement an appropriate learning programme.,

Cultral Competencies 

4 – Tangata Whenuatanga – Affirming Māori learners as Māori. Providing contexts for learning where the language, identity and culture of Māori learners and their whānau are affirmed.,
5 – Ako – Taking responsibility for their own learning and that of Māori learners.,

Code of Ethics 

2 – Justice – to share power and prevent the abuse of power,
3 – Responsible care – to do good and minimise harm to others,

Key Competencies

1 – Key Competencies – Managing Self,
3 – Key Competencies – Thinking

08/12/16 – SLH WEBINAR – MAKING SENSE OF WHAT WE SEE

What: Interactive webinar about making sense of our observations and using them to make inferences.

How science works: https://beta.sciencelearn.org.nz/embeds/50-how-science-works

Mystery box interactive: https://beta.sciencelearn.org.nz/resources/430-observation-and-the-mystery-box

New activity: https://beta.sciencelearn.org.nz/resources/1400-observation-learning-to-see

Observation activity – Image on site is here; https://beta.sciencelearn.org.nz/images/391-red-tide

What is the difference between observation and inference? A way of gathering background knowledge. Interest and how much they know. Give students time and practice about what they are doing. Build on curiosity.

The Hub has a number of teacher resources on alternative conceptions that students might hold: https://beta.sciencelearn.org.nz/?search=true&query=alternative+conceptions

An example of a teacher using a simple activity to shift a student’s understanding of science. http://sciencelearn.org.nz/Teacher-Ideas/Hubs-in-Action/Phenomenally-great-information

Optical illusions – everyone can interpret and see information etc in a slightly different way. Do you see what I see? Test this with a tool – realise that they are straight lines.

Awareness test – look out for cyclists https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5YvyDlmz9o

https://nz.pinterest.com/nzsciencelearn/observation-in-science/

So what?

How can I use this in the new curriculum for next year?

What activities are appropriate for level 3/4?

Now what?

Explore the resources at a greater depth and implement it.

Criteria this relates to:
Practicing Teacher Criteria
5 – Show leadership that contributes to effective teaching and learning,
6 – Conceptualise, plan and implement an appropriate learning programme.,
8 – Demonstrate in practice their knowledge and understanding of how akonga learn,
Code of Ethics 
3 – Responsible care – to do good and minimise harm to others,
Key Competencies
4 – Key Competencies – Participating and Contributing

2 COMMENTS

Annie Bowker said:

Thanks Veronica for joining up for this webinar at such a mayhem time of year. I think that some of these activities would be useful for science capabilities and SOLO. Perhaps even as tracking assessment. I just wish we had more time to explore the Hub. Annie

– 09/12/2016

Peter Fowler said:

Hi Vernonica. Sound like an interesting session. Will be interested to hear how it goes next year when you give some of these things a try.

Cheers

Pete

– 12/12/2016

03/11/16 – SUMMARY: SIR PAUL CALLAGHAN SCIENCE ACADEMY

Participating in the Sir Paul Callaghan Science Academy has been incredibly valuable in advancing my knowledge in what it means to teach good science to students and why it is incredibly important. What largely impacted me was teaching science for citizenship. That teaching our ākonga the skills to think like scientist and will enable them to engage critically with the world around them. This is very important in today’s society where we are constantly surrounded to media and advertising that is often conflicting or attempting to seduce us into their way of thinking. The ability to think and act like a scientist is also important in order to adapt to our every changing world and to open doors for innovation and problem solving. I believe this has powerful potential to impact society and the future of Aotearoa in a very positive way. Is the science curriculum doing this?

The academy also broke down the science in the NZC and provided effective and powerful ways of teaching science using the science capabilities –

  • gather and interpret data
  • use evidence
  • critique evidence
  • interpret representations and
  • engage with science

and the 5E’s

  • engage,
  • explore,
  • explain,
  • elaborate
  • and evaluate.

This has been the most valuable PD I have every been on.

I have attached my notes from the conference which go further into the many ideas presented.

Criteria this relates to:
Practicing Teacher Criteria 
2 – Demonstrate commitment to promoting the well-being of all akonga.,
4 – Demonstrate commitment to on-going professional learning and development of personal professional practice.,
5 – Show leadership that contributes to effective teaching and learning,
6 – Conceptualise, plan and implement an appropriate learning programme.,
Cultural Competencies
1 – Wānanga – Participating with learners and communities in robust dialogue for the benefit of Māori learners’ achievement.,
5 – Ako – Taking responsibility for their own learning and that of Māori learners.,
Code of Ethics
3 – Responsible care – to do good and minimise harm to others,
4 – Truth – to be honest with others and self,
Key Competencies
1 – Key Competencies – Managing Self,
2 – Key Competencies – Relating to Others,
3 – Key Competencies – Thinking,
4 – Key Competencies – Participating and Contributing

2 COMMENTS

Annie Bowker said:

I am so glad that finally, someone from Cobham has been able to attend. I also note the focus on Science Capabilities that is something that has not been looked at by Cobham staff- only self via TRCC Science Conference and working with Science advisors at the early stages of this component of the NZC. As we know thinking and working like a scientist is a life skill and it is hoped that this conference and our EOSecology thinking will bring our Cobham students into closer relationships, share experiences and be aware of the many opportunities for careers connected to science. Hopefully, with your new curriculum content, tudents will gain greater awareness of the way science has such a place in our world. Thanks for appreciating and valuing this opportunity to attend the Academy and to then apply what you experienced to Cobham. Annie

– 03/11/2016

Peter Fowler said:

Hi Ronnie. Pleased to hear that your participation in the Sir Paul Callaghan Science Academy has been a worthwhile experience for you. It is great that you have used some of your learning from the Academy to inform out programmes here at Cobham. Keep up the great work. Cheers Pete

– 14/11/2016

03/11/16 – SIR PETER CALLAGHAN SCIENCE ACADEMY DAY ONE

What?

PD for science – the Sir Paul Callaghan Science Academy

So what?

– Emotional engagement is fundamental to learning, is this prevalent in the current curriculum? Use more narratives/story telling. Socio-science – solve community problems etc.

– Are science tech and classroom science reinforcing each other? Are students making connections?

– Not to criticise the way we are thinking but to realised that we can mould the way we are working. Do not call it a fixed mindset. How do I think about science and what it is? Furthermore what correct and incorrect stereotypes do staff and students have about science?

Now what?

– Reflect on how I was taught science and how it has influenced my understanding of what it is. Ask myself what I think a scientist looks like and should be able to do. Make sure that I mould my understanding to be correct so that I pass this on to students.

– Establish a lesson for students where they explore what science is, how scientists think and what they do to contribute to society. In a way ‘re-educate’ students on their concept of science and make sure we are all on the same page. (To make sure that I build up the right idea on what a scientist does I am to be sure to do some reading around the area, discuss with other science educators and perhaps survey other staff.)

Criteria this relates to:
Practicing Teacher Criteria
2 – Demonstrate commitment to promoting the well-being of all akonga.,
5 – Show leadership that contributes to effective teaching and learning,
6 – Conceptualise, plan and implement an appropriate learning programme.,
Cultural Competencies 
5 – Ako – Taking responsibility for their own learning and that of Māori learners.,
Code of Ethics
3 – Responsible care – to do good and minimise harm to others,
Key Competencies
3 – Key Competencies – Thinking

1 COMMENT

Annie Bowker said:

How I love what you are thinking. Scientists are often stereotyped and as we know the teaching of science was based on text book and with little opportunity to test the theory or experience for yourself working like a scientist. I’d love you to meet Julia Aitken for Australia and how she changed science in a rural NSW high school. To build what a scientist actually does is just how we hope our Living Lab will go- we can bring in scientists from all areas. I think we endeavor to bring out the ‘ awe and wonder’ but we still have to transfer this from the lab to the classroom.

– 03/11/2016

03/11/16 – TERM 4 WEEK 3

Highlights/challenges

– This week was the beginning of the final cycle in technology. It is both exciting and challenging meeting the new students. In order to build a good rapport with students quickly say my mihi and share a bit about myself, making connections and finding common ground. As the year has gone on I have become much more confident in doing this with the students and I enjoy being able to find commonality between us. When good relationships are established quickly I have noticed that engagement is much higher and classroom management is easier. I also find that the students are much more comfortable in the classroom and are willing to take risks. For some classes, this takes a bit longer than others. This could be an area to explore for the year 7’s in 2017. I look forward to seeing how already having a relationship with the 2017 Yr 8’s will impact the learning environment.

– I trialed some new lessons for the year 8’s around acids and bases and letting them explore in the lab. This freedom to explore really increases engagement and gets them thinking like scientists rather than following a list of instructions. It also helps break down the stereotype that there is always a ‘wrong’ and ‘right’ answer in science. Rather the thinking should be that whatever you observe happens as a result of your actions and scientists need to make connections between what they did and what they observed.

– I completed my self-appraisal. This has been great for giving me an opportunity to reflect on my classroom and find areas which I want to work on.

Next Steps

– Trial other lessons with the year 8’s – Air Rockets, Bunsen Burners/Combustion.

– Looking into Science Roadshow lessons and use the 5E’s and Science Capabilities.

– Put some thought into what works best as the first lesson for yr7’s and 8’s in order to ‘set the stage’ for science technology and to build effective relationships with ākonga.

Personal goals this relates to:
School Wide Goal 2016 – Cobham teachers and leaders will use the Tātaiako competencies of wānanga, whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, tangata whenuatanga and ako to ensure their teaching/leadership behaviours and practice are about knowing, respecting and working successfully with Māori learners, whānau and iwi.
Criteria this relates to:
Practicing Teacher Criteria
2 – Demonstrate commitment to promoting the well-being of all akonga.,
3 – Demonstrate commitment to bicultural partnership in Aotearoa New Zealand.,
6 – Conceptualise, plan and implement an appropriate learning programme.,
Cultrual Competencies
2 – Whanaungatanga – Actively engaging in respectful working relationships with Māori learners, parents and whānau, hapū, iwi and the Māori Community.,
3 – Manaakitanga – Showing integrity, sincerity, and respect towards Māori beliefs, languages and culture.,
Code of Ethics
2 – Justice – to share power and prevent the abuse of power,
3 – Responsible care – to do good and minimise harm to others,
Key Competencies
2 – Key Competencies – Relating to Others

2 COMMENTS

Ann Lane said:

You are making great gains in all areas. I admire the way you are self assessing and reflecting on your daily practice.

Technology is also closely related in that trialling is part of the process. Making mistakes is part of the learning and often there is not a right or wrong answer.

Looking at the variables is important and working out why things have turned out the way they have is part of the process.

– 03/11/2016

Annie Bowker said:

I have no doubt that you are reflecting and evaluating as to what works best for learners and I congratulate you as a PRT to be focussed not just on your lessons but the way you seek to build relationships . You are constantly reviewing the programme and your implementation of the science lab lessons. I note that you have planned to allow year 8 students to have more ownership of their learning and that you have observed the increase in engagement. This observation is worth thinking about for 2017. Can year 7 get a lab licence and once this is achieved have more ownership and self direction around what they are investigating.

– 03/11/2016

06/09/16 – TERM 3 WEEK 6

Highlights

– Cultural festival performance. It was an incredible feeling seeing the Kapa Haka group perform at the Cultural Festival – both Raegan and I were very very proud of all of the students. It was so rewarding to see all their hard work and ours come to fruition in such an energetic and enjoyable performance. We have received so much great feedback from parents from their achievements which are great to hear.

– Getting feedback from my students. As this week marked the end of tech cycle 4 and the beginning of tech cycle 5 I sent out a google form to get some feedback from the students. I also got some of the groups to give written feedback in class. It was great to hear what the students had to say – both feedback and feedforward. I really like to hear their opinion and always aim to make the changes that they suggest (within reason of course!). Here is a link to the surveys. Yr 8. Yr 7. The downside is that just under half of the students from each year level have responded.

– Feedback about the use of A3 SOLO sheets. I was able to ask the students in my survey if they preferred using the SOLO sheets or the booklets. Of those who completed the survey almost all of them preferred the booklets – 10/14 in fact. Though this may not be an accurate representation. Perhaps I should only focus on getting more thorough feedback from a focus group. This would be something to look at doing for the cycle 5 tech group. It would also be worth adding into the survey a section asking them to justify their answer.

– Having John Key visit the classroom. It was exciting for both the students and myself to have John Key come through the science classroom and see what we were doing.

– One big highlight that I am becoming more and more aware of as the year goes on is that teaching every student in the school really helps with whanaungatanga or building relationships and feeling part of the school community. I feel very privileged that I can walk through the school and know most of the students by name, have a real conversation with them that builds on the relationship we already have and be greeted by many of the students. It also helps when I take on extracurricular activities such as sport or Kapa Haka as I already have a positive relationship with many of the students which is key to behaviour management and setting up a positive and successful learning environment. It is also a great feeling walking into any classroom at the school and seeing familiar faces! This is important because as a tech teacher you can feel a bit separated from the rest of the classrooms/homerooms.

Challenges

Feedback forms. The issue I found with this is that just under half of the students from each year level have completed the form. This means that I may not have a true representation of what the students think about my teaching and science tech. Perhaps next time I need to send out the form a week before the final week to make sure that it is completed before they leave for the next rotation. I have sent an email to the classroom teachers of this rotation to ask them to remind them about the form but they already are very busy and I completely understand if it is not their priority.

Both a challenge and a highlight

Starting a new tech cycle. Firstly this is a challenge for two reasons. One – I am often a bit sad to see some of the groups go as you begin to really get to know them and how the class operates – their strengths and weaknesses and what works for them and what doesn’t. By this time you have also built some great relationships with the class and this really helps the flow of the lessons. Two – it is challenging to get to know all the new students and their names and quickly form a connection with them. The highlights that come from this, however, is that as this is the 5th time I have done this year it is becoming easier and easier. I am finding that my confidence has grown a lot and I am able to establish positive working relationships with the classrooms quite quickly. I am also getting very good at learning names fast! 🙂

Next week

Hail articles for Marae Trip and Kapa Haka

– Review SOLO entry slips completed by all the new classes

– Analyse results from google survey

– Begin reports for cycle 4 classes

Personal goals this relates to:
To implement 2016 Technology Inquiry: How does the use of SOLO engage priority and target students in assessing themselves. ,
School Wide Goal 2016 – Cobham teachers and leaders will use the Tātaiako competencies of wānanga, whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, tangata whenuatanga and ako to ensure their teaching/leadership behaviours and practice are about knowing, respecting and working successfully with Māori learners, whānau and iwi.,
Inquiry: How does the use of SOLO in Science Tech help improve the delivery of curriculum and student outcomes?
Criteria this relates to:
Practicing Teacher Criteria 
2 – Demonstrate commitment to promoting the well-being of all akonga.,
3 – Demonstrate commitment to bicultural partnership in Aotearoa New Zealand.,
4 – Demonstrate commitment to on-going professional learning and development of personal professional practice.,
6 – Conceptualise, plan and implement an appropriate learning programme.,
10 – Work effectively within the bicultural context of Aotearoa New Zealand,
12 – Use critical inquiry and problem-solving effectively in their professional practice,
Cultural Competencies
1 – Wānanga – Participating with learners and communities in robust dialogue for the benefit of Māori learners’ achievement.,
2 – Whanaungatanga – Actively engaging in respectful working relationships with Māori learners, parents and whānau, hapū, iwi and the Māori Community.,
3 – Manaakitanga – Showing integrity, sincerity and respect towards Māori beliefs, languages and culture.,
4 – Tangata Whenuatanga – Affirming Māori learners as Māori. Providing contexts for learning where the language, identity and culture of Māori learners and their whānau are affirmed.,
5 – Ako – Taking responsibility for their own learning and that of Māori learners.,
Code of Ethics 
2 – Justice – to share power and prevent the abuse of power,
4 – Truth – to be honest with others and self

2 COMMENTS

Annie Bowker said:

Thanks Ronnie for continuing to demonstrate above and beyond commitment to our students and your own on going professional learning and practice. By being honest in your reflection about the challenges you have had recently and particularly the survey and the findings. When use of SOLO is the Technology Inquiry I guess this makes this even more challenging. Do you think it maybe because in science the SOLO rubric is taking them to the limit of thinking based on their at times introduction to the science idea and understanding? I find that sometimes when we are ‘ pushing’ students out of their comfort zone they choose to want to revert back to what they feel safe using and doing.

Looks like you have another busy week ahead and good luck for Tuesday night with your kapa haka group. Annie

– 06/09/2016

Peter Fowler said:

Hi Ronnie. Another thoughtful post. Lots of highlights for you in science but also in the extra curricula activities you are associated with. You have reason to be very proud of the kapa haka performance. I’m biased of course, but I thought the Cobham items were the highlight of the show. I would be interested in catching up with you sometime soon to talk about the A3 SOLO sheets and how they are going. Keep up the great work. Cheers Pete

– 09/09/2016

28/08/16 – TERM 3 WEEK 5

Highlights:

– PCT Workshop 2 (see notes from the day here). Though it was a bit repetitive this was a good refresher. I found it helpful to be able to share ideas and experiences with other beginning teachers from other schools. I learnt about some helpful resources and have been inspired to complete my inquiry.

– Using the SOLO visual organisers for the Yr 7 experiments. This has been very successful and I have received some great verbal feedback from students that they prefer using these over the booklets. However, printing these for every experiment will get costly and time-consuming – plus I will be left with heaps of A3 sheets to keep? mark? etc. Perhaps there is a possibility here to make a digital one? Or maybe it isn’t required for each experiment?

– Marae Trip on Wednesday. Although it has been quite a challenge for me to plan this trip and I felt a lot of responsibility was put on my shoulders to pull this off I am really proud of myself for doing so. It was amazing to see our ākonga learning about the māori culture – at the marae. It really hit home to me how valuable contextual learning is and how much more engaging it is for our students. Having the tour around the Kaiapoi Pa was definitely a highlight. Talking to some of the students afterward they really enjoyed their time. Many of them had never been to a marae before so this was a very special and unique experience for them. I have asked some students to email me with a few sentences about their experiences so that we can generate a Hail article from it.

– All my lessons this week have been fantastic as I have really developed some great relationships with my classes (we are now in the final week of this tech cycle).

– Tech Angels has been going really well! We are getting some of the students to be contributors to Hail so that they can write articles for their classroom.

Challenges:

– Some of the behaviour on the marae was less than desirable – especially towards the end of the day. Two of the students were particularly challenging and were not always respectful towards their peers and staff members. Myself and another teacher who joined me on the trip tried to manage this as best as we could. I did have high expectations and sometimes I wonder if this is unreasonable?

– Balancing teaching with extra-curricular. I am spending a lot of my release time doing things for Kapa Haka, the marae trip, and ICT so I do feel that my time spent on planning for my teaching and getting things done for my registration (readings, reflections, inquiry etc.) has been a little neglected. In saying that I felt I had some fantastic lessons this week.

Next Week:

– Kapa Haka : Cultural festival rehearsal on Tuesday and the final performance Thursday night

– John Key visiting my classroom Wednesday afternoon

– Observation on Monday – 11:50am

– New tech cycle starting on Thursday – get feedback from students about my teaching

– Write Hail article for Marae Trip

– Get written feedback from the students about using the SOLO sheets

Personal goals this relates to:
School Wide Goal 2016 – Cobham teachers and leaders will use the Tātaiako competencies of wānanga, whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, tangata whenuatanga and ako to ensure their teaching/leadership behaviours and practice are about knowing, respecting and working successfully with Māori learners, whānau and iwi.,
Inquiry: How does the use of SOLO in Science Tech help improve the delivery of curriculum and student outcomes?
Criteria this relates to:
Practicing Teacher Criteria 
1 – Establish and maintain effective professional relationships focused on the learning and well-being of akonga.,
3 – Demonstrate commitment to bicultural partnership in Aotearoa New Zealand.,
4 – Demonstrate commitment to on-going professional learning and development of personal professional practice.,
6 – Conceptualise, plan and implement an appropriate learning programme.,
10 – Work effectively within the bicultural context of Aotearoa New Zealand,
12 – Use critical inquiry and problem-solving effectively in their professional practice,
Cultural Competencies
2 – Whanaungatanga – Actively engaging in respectful working relationships with Māori learners, parents and whānau, hapū, iwi and the Māori Community.,
3 – Manaakitanga – Showing integrity, sincerity, and respect towards Māori beliefs, languages and culture.,
4 – Tangata Whenuatanga – Affirming Māori learners as Māori. Providing contexts for learning where the language, identity and culture of Māori learners and their whānau are affirmed.,
Code of Ethics
3 – Responsible care – to do good and minimise harm to others,
Key Competencies
4 – Key Competencies – Participating and Contributing

3 COMMENTS

Tamara Bell said:

Kia ora Veronica, I was not surprised to read your reflection today as I couldn’t agree more with you with the additional workload and responsibility you have had added to you this term. I myself have been concerned you have more than you should in regards to major responsibilities and I say that with the upmost respect, because I would never have let you take them on if I didn’t think you could and wanted to do it. That being said, you are a 1st year teacher (an amazing one at that) and developing and growing your teaching practice should always be your first priority this year.

So congratulations on pulling together a fantastic marae trip, on your hard work preparing our Kapahaka for their major performance this term and for all your leadership in Tech Angels and Hail. Now it is time for you to prioritise and accept help…think about the things you need to do vs they things you want to do. We can also discuss the load you have taken on – it is above and beyond what I expect any first year to be responsible for and you have exceeded my expectations but sharing the workload & re-distributing tasks is another way to grow the skills and knowledge of others. One of the hardest things lessons to learn for teachers is about managing their workload carefully and how to pull back when things pile up! I am more than happy to support you here so lets chat and make a plan for next best steps.

– 28/08/2016

Peter Fowler said:

Hi Ronnie. Yes I agree with all that Tamara has written. You can be very proud of your contribution to activities outside of the classroom. It requires commitment, thoughtful organisation and time allocation. Well done for stepping up and taking on the responsibility. That being, said as Tamara has mentioned, it is important that you don’t feel too overloaded and that there are things we can do to help when you feel you have too much on. Thanks for you ongoing enthusiasm and willingness to contribute. Cheers Pete

– 29/08/2016

Annie Bowker said:

Hi Ronnie I am in awe of what you are achieving as a year one. Wearing my science hat I have no doubt that you can feel proud of the lessons that you are planning and implementing in the lab and that you are acknowledging the benefits of using SOLO. I agree if there was a way to make these digital then you are on the way to having lab outcomes as part of an e-portfolio. Is the use of SOLO making assessment tracking any easier for you? I think that maybe you don’t need SOLO evidence for every lesson. If there is a big idea, science concept then could you choose one at the end of the sequence of lessons to use SOLO? Perhaps there is an opportunity for a class SOLO outcome rather than individual.

Please ask if you need help to juggle all you are doing. You shared with me how you were now planning to do appraisal connector updates on a regular basis- this is just another example of evidence of how professionally you manage all that you have involved yourself in. Cobham is indeed fortunate to have you on the team.

– 29/08/2016