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 https://twitter.com/_NZBTchat?lang=en
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.
In PE this term we have developed a new Movement Unit. This has included some of the existing content such as rakau, gymnastics and dance but with additional topics such as parkour. This had a focus on safety and the students were responsible for looking after themselves.We made QR codes which we printed as posted and placed around the gym and which sent the students to a Youtube channel on Parkour. The students scanned the QR code, watched a stunt and then, attempted them. This way, students could work at their own pace and personalise their own learning. The focus and emphasis was strongly on responsibility, safety and working within your limits.
We did a number of lessons on each movement category and then, the students could select a movement category or a combination to create a 1 minute performance for the final assessment.This is an example of student-centered, project-based learning. The groups within the classes did a number of different styles based on their strengths and what interested them. Each student could make decisions about their final performance, including how they worked and what they created. The group below did a combination of bollywood and gymnastics.
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.
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.
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.
For my Year 10 Health class in Term 3, we are doing “Teenage Issues.” I saw this as an opportunity to co-construct a half-unit with my class. Half the Unit is finding out and doing some activities about teenage issues and then, selecting one and doing an investigation and presentation into it. The reason that I wanted the opinion and input from the students is to make the class most relevant to them rather than, what I thought was topical.
The first activity that I got the class to do was to just brainstorm “teenage issues.” They wrote their brainstorms and lists on the whiteboards. I then, asked the students to pick one of the issues that “stood out” to them and individually write “what it is” and “what the effects of it is.” All the students folded their paper in half and then we shuffled them. We sat in a circle and each girl read out one of the issues. After hearing each student’s issues the girls created a “top 4.” From the “top 4” the students then, wrote questions about “what they want to know.”
From here, I collated the questions which has effectively made the learning intentions for the next 4 lessons. My purpose of doing this was to give some ownership to the students and make the relevant to them.
I will ask the students at the end of the unit how this affected their interest, learning and engagement in the subject.
At the PENZ Conference I attended a workshop hosted by Harko Brown. In this workshop I participated in a number of tag and chase games which were traditional Maori games.Then, I made a manu out of harakeke with another teacher. This shows a positive attitude towards Maori culture and history.
One of the most memorable warm-ups we did was when we had to run with someone else, with arms linked. This required a lot of co-operation and trust with our partners. This game is one that I will use in my teaching in the future. I will introduce it as a traditional Maori game and include some teaching around the concept of “running together.” This is a simple and effective way to acknowledge the bi cultural nature of New Zealand and show the importance of Maori culture.
Once we had completed making the harakeke manu we connected it to a long stick and attached a ribbon. We then challenged other pairs in a tag-game. The aim was to get the ribbon trailing you stick to touch the other person’s body. This activity required minimal equipment and it was very enjoyable using natural resources.
This workshop will inform my future teaching by including some Maori warm-ups with Maori language and values as well as, considering how to use natural resources such as harakeke to create equipment for movement activities.
Today I completed a “how are things going” conversation with my HOD. In this conversation we discussed the positives or what is going well, the minuses or difficult things, interesting points and suggestions for moving forward.
In my positives, I discussed that I thought that I was fitting well into the culture of the School and that I am making a conscious to build relationships with staff members beyond the PE department. I also mentioned that I am working to be very student-centered and that I am enjoying the engaged and critical discussions from this. I also thought a positive was that I am delivering high quality, innovative lessons and I am challenging myself by working outside of my comfort zone.
Minuses were having to gain in-depth understanding of all the Achievement Standards in a short-time period. Marking and moderation has been new territory and this has taken some getting used to. I have learned and developed a sound routine to help with this; I download the clarifications, exemplars and criteria well before the Unit. This is beneficial because I know well in advance where the learning needs to be and what level . This helps improve my teaching as I am more clear in my mind of where the students are heading.
Interesting points was the balance between student-centered and teacher-centered. For example, after having numerous individual conversations with students, discussing the process and careful questioning, I am still unsure how much following-up needs to be done by me and how much is student responsibility. Related to this conversation we discussed the different groups within a class setting (Photo 2). For example, there are the “Brains Trust” which are the students who are self-motivated and able to work independently. With these students they more likely only need spot-checks and shorter conversations. Then, there are the “struggle-street” students who are not as independent and need more directive guidance. We discussed how these students need check-points and more frequent follow-ups. This was a helpful discussion around how to manage and monitor students who would easily fall behind.
The final point of our conversation was around “suggestions” and how to continue learning as a teacher. We discussed how teachers can become territorial and experience a sense of judgement if they are observed by other teachers. Instead, we discussed how observing other teachers past “becoming a teacher” can help inform and improve our own practices and that it should be ongoing. As a result of this conversation, I will be formally observed by other members of the PE department but also, I will observe teachers in other subject areas. I think it is valuable to look at how other departments are doing things and get ideas from other areas of the School. I am going to observe an innovative English teacher and also a teacher in the Yr 7&8 area. I think this will help my teaching to get new ideas, freshen my practice and to continue learning as a teacher .
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
My Year 11 Health students are working on an Interpersonal Skills Unit. For this, students need to know, apply and evaluate the different problem-solving models. Rather than do role-playing and scenarios and have students work through the models, I decided to do something different.
I begun the lesson by explaining to the students that there were 3 models of Problem-Solving that they needed to know. I explained to the class that they needed to use the words that I had written on a portable whiteboard and create a flow-chart to explain “Who owns the problem,” give an example and decide what problem-solving model to use. This meant that they had to process the information around the models and apply it in a different way to show their understanding.
Students worked in small groups and each were given a piece of chalk to create their flow-chart. I had the portable whiteboard as a reference point. While moving around the groups I asked things such as; “When figuring out what model to use, what do you need to know first?” and “If you own the problem, what model do you use?”
Key words students were given:
I found this to be an effective lesson because in order for the students to be able to create the flow-chart they were having to gather, process and apply the information. I encouraged students to take responsibility for their own learning and prompted them through open-questioning. Also, the students enjoyed working in a different context and in a large, open environment. The students responded well to the activity and once we returned to the class, the students were able to correctly answer and relate the different problem-solving skills.
Outcome of the lesson:
As part of my ongoing learning this year, I have signed up to Twitter. I will use this as a platform to learn new, integration of technology in Education and to input new ideas to my own pedagogy and innovation. I am following a number of Physical Educators from across the world and also, tweeters who specialise in technology in education.
A post that I recently read was titled “The Technology Revolution in Physical Education.” The author of this post shares about how technology can revolutionise PE . An app that I learned about in this blog post was called “Team Shake.” This app allows you to randomly select teams in PE. As a result of reading this blog, I downloaded a similar app called “Team Pick.” This allows me to randomly select teams instantly without previous traditional methods of picking “Captains” which can be humiliating and degrading to students with lesser abilities. I have loaded all my classes onto the app and I am able to select the number of groups/teams that I need. I am also able to rate students on their ability and create mixed-ability groups which is more inclusive of different abilities.