Twitter Chat

Following on from my early Twitter post called ‘Twitter; ongoing learning” I have become active in using Twitter. I have increase the number of pages or people that I am
following and I am finding Twitter a valuable source for ideas and activities. An example of my increased involvement is on Tuesday night I was part of a chat which was organised by two of my classmates from University for BT teachers in NZ. This chat can be seen here
I contributed a number of answers and it was helpful hearing the perspectives of other students and structures in other Schools. To the right is an example of the questions asked. I think that Twitter is a valuable platform which I will continue to use. twitter-caht

Formal Observation 15/9


Above is the feedback I received from my formal HOD observation lesson. Something that I could have improved on is how to deal with students who are coming in late from assemblies. I somewhat rectified this by adding more detail to the overview of the lesson on the board alongside the learning intention.

I showed an interesting clip on contraception but it would have been more effective if I had found out the prior learning of the students first and then, explained the purpose of the video more and asked students for responses.

A positive was that my instructions were brief but clear and I also had them up on the screen for the students to refer to. I also moved around the room very well, asking the students questions to check their progress but also to make them think further. By doing this I was able to keep the students accountable for their work and check on work completion. Another thing which was a positive was that on the board I had a visual countdown of how much time they had remaining. I started at “15” and wrote all the way down to 1. This meant that the students were more focused with their research and there was a stronger sense of urgency.

Ako Level

Department Meeting 7/9

Today’s PD  we  begun with a discussion about what we have learned in PE and Sports Team which lead into a discussion and a review of of our Year 9 & 10 PE programmes. The answers from the members of the Department can be seen below.

Following from this we looked at ‘different modes of assessment’ which can be seen to the right of the image below. We then identified modes of assessment which we wanted to know more about as indicated by the ticks. This is helpful for my teaching as it was useful to consider different forms of assessment and how evidence of learning can look different to traditional or current ways of doing things. I then tried an example for myself; I decided to draw pictures such as like the “7-days” activity called “This is my picture” where kids explain the picture that they have drawn. Similarly, I commentated what the images and drawings that I included meant using a voiceover. I found this to be meaningful and engaging because, in the process of translating the buzz words to images and thinking how to draw them it made me think more deeply about the topic. This style of assessment would suit a visual or verbal type learned.

Following from this we had a small quiz on the purpose of the Junior PE units that we currently teach. This related to the revamp of Ako Orewa around the questions of the learning process, environment and tools & skills that enhance learning. For teachers it was useful to reflect on our own knowledge of the purpose and intent of each Unit. In this activity, I found that I was easily able to explain the purpose of each unit. The challenge now and furthering from this is whether or not I have communicated this with my students and if they could answer what they are learning and why.

Once we had done this we looked at the current Units we do in PE and how we could create themes for the Term. It was mentioned that we need the input and voice of the students to inform us in this planning so, I volunteered to create a Google Form which we can use to hear the point of view of students eg what they enjoy, how they learn best, what they have found difficult and so forth. I will create this form and share it with the other teachers so that any tweeking we make is based on the needs and feedback from students.

Being an Associate 101 (Department Meeting 29/8)

At today’s Department Meeting, I led a section of the meeting on “Being an Associate 101.” For this, I passed on insights of a 1st year teacher and my experiences of what makes a good Associate Teacher (AT). I also asked previous student-teachers who had been at Orewa College and my classmates who had  graduated at the same time as me to what they had found helpful/unhelpful. The purpose of this was to improve the experiences of student-teachers at Orewa College and remind experienced teachers of what it is like to be a student-teacher so they can help them develop and learn as upcoming professionals.

In my final Google Slides presentation we made a Checklist for Associate Teachers in which all the members of the department contributed.This will be used in the future for Associate teachers to make sure that they are prepared for their student-teachers and also, so that they are enabling the best experience for them. checklist

Speaking with my colleagues they have found this checklist to be useful. Associates within my Department have since gone through School protocols, provided photos off Kamar and have been included in Junior marking and moderation. The student-teachers have benefited from this as they are able to more quickly build rapport with students by using names and it is preparing them for being a beginning teacher.

PENZ New Graduate Mentoring Programme

On the 3rd of July, I attended the PENZ New Graduate Mentoring Programme. This was a helpful half-day of learning. A number of new graduate teachers in their first or second year teachers me to discuss issues and get advice from experienced teachers.

The topics and overview of the day can be seen below;

Schedule for the 1 Day PD Session: Enhancing Graduate Teacher’s Tool Box

Time Frame Session
12.00-12.30  Arrive at Manurewa High.

Introductions & Whakawhanaungatanga.

1 12.30-1.30

(60 mins)

 Surviving your first 6 months and onto the rest of the year:

1.    how to use your planner

2.    behaviour management

3.    setting expectations

4.    teacher registration & portfolio

2 1.30-2.30

(60 mins)

 Marking & Moderating NCEA:

1.    how to mark internal assessments

2.    external & internal moderation

3.    creating/modifying standards

2.30-3.00  Afternoon Tea (supplied)
3 3.00-3.45

(45 mins)

 Culturally Responsive & Relational Pedagogy:

1.    What is it?

2.    Working with home: parent, teacher interviews, calling home, school counsellors etc

4 3.45-4.30pm

(45 mins)

 Using Feedback to enhance practice:

1.    using technology

2.    teacher rubrics

3.    student feedback forms

4.    video analysis

5 4.30-5pm

(30 mins)

 Creating support networks:

1.    What are our group’s needs?

2.    Where to from here?

The notes that I took from the workshop are shown below.

The key things that I will take away from this workshop is to model the behaviour that I want my students to demonstrate and to always have high expectations. It was also helpful being reminded that as a teacher we need to maintain professional distance from our students. This was put like this; “I’m not here to be your friend, I am your teacher. ” Moving forward  I will also work-on praising positive behaviour rather than focusing on the negatives.

3 july


Assessment for Learning

As part of a school-initiative I have been involved with an Assessment for Learning programme with Cheryl Harvey from Team Solutions, Auckland University. This has involved numerous meetings with Cheryl and other beginner teachers discussing assessment for learning, assessment literacy, using student achievement data and teaching as an inquiry.

From this, I have been reflective on my practice and how I can do more inquiry based learning with my students. As a result of these meetings, I have made sure that I have been including learning intentions and differentiated success criteria every lesson. This has been a helpful outcome from these meetings.

I have attached my feedback from Cheryl OC Joanna PAC May 2016

Google Classroom

As my professional development, I have begun using Google Classroom with my Year 11 Health Class.

I have found this to be a useful platform for a number of reasons. I am able to instantly share files, questions, youtube links or assignments with the class. I can embed Google Docs into a post and assign a copy for each student. I find this helpful because, I am able to monitor the work of the students as they write. Also, students are able to refer back to useful resources and lessons we have used in class. I find that Google Classroom is straight-forward and easy to access.

Another way that I have used Google Classroom is for an internal assessment. I assigned each student a copy of their assignment and they worked on this in class. The advantages of this is that the students could ‘turn in’ their assignment at the end of the lesson and I could see who had submitted or not submitted. I find this beneficial as I can easily share with the other Health teacher for moderation and all the documents are stored electronically.

For my next unit, the students are writing action plans for goal-setting and they are doing ongoing blog entries. I can access their Google docs and I will leave comments and feedback for the students. I am also able to checkpoint the students and that they are keeping up to date with the work. The advantage of Google Classrooms is accessibility.

I have also assisted another teacher to use Google Drive and we share a folder to coordinate our classes. In this folder, there are NZQA exemplars and resources and a live Google Doc in which we put our teaching lessons and activities.

So far, I have found Google Classroom and Drive to be useful tools for collaboration, accessibility and feedback.

Critical thinking in Health

As I was reading, an article caught my attention. It was titled; “Campaign for gay characters in Frozen 2 continues.” I proceeded to click the article and read that there was a social media campaign based on the slogan #giveelseaagirlfriend. This was the perfect springboard for a lesson with my Yr 10 Health class on the topic of Sexuality.

I decided to do a critical thinking lesson around whether or not Disney should have a gay princess. I knew that this topic would cause controversy and a range of opinions. I therefore introduced my lesson around the idea of “diversity is intelligence” and that listening to different perspectives and opinions as well as challenging your own beliefs is a necessary and helpful tool. I made sure that I emphasised the importance of different opinions and looking at issues from numerous persepctives. With this in mind, I asked my class to be open-minded to other’s thinking and respect differences.

After some prior history, looking at historical revolutions and considering events in history. I wrote on the board “Disney should have a gay princess.” Around the room, I placed signs saying “strongly agree, agree, meh, disagree and strongly disagree.” I asked students to think about their gut instinct to the statement and move to the label which was closest to their opinion. At the label or different station I asked students to write down on small pieces of paper what their thinking was that lead them to their position. The reason that I did this was that it allowed students who are more sensitive to still have an opinion despite confidence-issues to voice it. These are the questions I asked my students; “Write down a sentence or two explaining your thinking and why you have moved to that spot. What has influenced your thinking? What was it based on?” At this point, I moved around the room and had small-sided conversations with students, asking them open questions and challenging their viewpoints further. 

Continuing from this, I asked my students to share with someone nearby them at the same label why they had placed themselves there and what their reasoning was. This was the starting opportunity to hear different opinions and perspectives. From here, I asked to hear from the different parts of the room, the responses of the people. As those at the “strongly agree” section of the room begun answering, hand shot up around the room with counter-argument. As students answered, I was careful to listen to what they had said and then summarise their answers. I think this was important so that students felt that their opinions were validated and valued. I made sure that I gave opportunity for every part of the room to share their responses and opinions.

As the discussion was occurring, I could see students scrawling down further arguments and discussion points. It was remarkable to see students have their assumptions challenged and look at their own viewpoints critically. One student from the “disagree” section raised a very relevant point. She said; “I disagree because, I don’t think that Disney movies, for kids should be focused on relationships, regardless of the type.” This was a powerful statement and received agreement from across the room. A second student built on this saying that the theme of Disney movies shouldn’t be on relationships anyway but about fun, family and adventure. This is an example of students thinking critically about relevant, everyday subjects.

I think that this lesson demonstrates a sensitivity to student’s needs and allowed them a platform to express and hear opinions. I was pleased with the way that students responded and how students saw the value of empathy and the tolerance for difference. I think the lesson was also meaningful because it was relevant to their lives and something that they could grasp. I felt the lesson was successful as I could see but how well the students were respecting each other, listening and responding with thoughtfulness that they were engaged. As, I was clearing the board to leave, I had numerous students walk past me saying; “thank you Miss, this is such an important topic to talk about!”

The idea for the lesson came from a Department Meeting in which we talked about the use of continuum and challenging assumptions. It was a useful tool to learn about and be able to put into practice.



Health Education Visit to MAGS

On the 10th of March the HOD of Health and I went to Mt Albert Grammar School to learn about their Senior Health Programme.

A useful tool that we learned about was Google Classrooms. I will follow this and present it to the other HPE staff on a Wednesday PD session. The way that MAGS uses Google Classrooms is to check ongoing student work. Google classrooms allows the teacher to see when the work was last accessed and edited. Also, feedback can be written as a comment straight onto the document. When the internal needs to be handed in it can be exported to Turnitin. The benefits of this system are that the work is on one platform and does not require chasing up work  or losing paper. This is something that we will look at trailing for Health Education at Orewa College.
More uses

Following up on this discussions with the other Health Teachers, I will develop and the Level 1 Health 1.3 Unit. This includes checking NZQA Clarification documents and collating all the resources.

Other things that I learned  was around giving student-choice in their research topics. This is particularly relevant for Senior Health. A suggested way that this is done is to teach half/half. One half is introducing three possible research topics and teaching the content and structure for about 1-2 weeks each .Then, the students are able to choose one of the three topics that interests them the most and spend the other half of the time for the nit researching and writing their reports.

Discursive vs Traditional Learning:

During our Department meeting we discussed the differences between a Discursive and Traditional Classroom. The key differences are that learning is not just a transfer of knowledge (traditional) but, that there is differentiation and there is opportunity for students to pursue and explore their own interests.

We further explored this concept of teaching  by writing on whiteboards in pairs and then discussing it as a Department. As a Department we are looking to differentiate learning so that the higher end students are extended and all students are working at their own level .

The Discursive.JPGDiscursive 2