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.
For this term I have been focusing on a few areas to improve my teaching, including feed-forward, catering to different learning styles and balancing individual and group work.
An area that I have been focusing on improving with my teaching is on giving feedforward to my students while they are doing this. I have done this in both my Senior Classes. For Level 1 Health, the students were completing a goal-setting unit. I created the task as a Google Doc and I accessed them frequently to give feed-forward. I commented on their work asking questions and suggesting things to improve. The student would then view these comments and clicked ‘resolved’ when they fixed their work. This was helpful for me to be able to checkpoint students and keep them accountable for their work but also, it helps to raise student achievement. Likewise, for my Level 1 PE, I have been putting comments on their summarise for performance improvement. I have found that using Google docs allows me to keep students more accountable for their work as I can see what edits they have made and when they last modified their docs. The feed-forward is also valuable so students understand how to improve their quality of work.
Another thing that I have been modifying in my teaching is how I use devices and if I make students complete work on them. I know that using ipads can be difficult if changing between windows or applications. With this in mind, I have created a compromise with my classes. I create a google doc for each individual student but, I give them an option of how they want to complete their work; they can either type straight into the doc or they can write their answers using felt-tip pens and paper. They then have to take a photo and insert it into the answer space. I have found this to be quite successful. A lot of students choose to type straight onto the doc however, a large number choose to use pens and paper. I have found that this choice has improved the work completion of the students because of the choice and ease of using pen and paper.
I have also been considering the balance between group and individual work within my classes and, how my students learn best. With this in mind, I usually use some youtube clips for visual or auditory learners and a group-task and an individual task. I am becoming increasingly considerate of who completes the work in group-task and who relaxes and rides on the diligence of others. To fix this I make sure that groups are only ever 3-4 or sometimes pairs to make sure that students are engaging with the material. I also move around and monitor work by asking “what are you contributing to the group” to make sure students are helping. I have found this to have increased the productivity of all group members. Alongside some groupwork I have also focused on doing individual work for students so they don’t have to be interacting all the time. For example, in today’s lesson I started with a expert group task in which students had to find out about a different method of contraception. They then had to present it to the class. The students then completed an individual task (or as a small group if they did it quietly). The reason for this is so that the students were able to process the information for themselves.
Something that I have done with my classes is to get them to ‘unpack the standard.’ For this I give students the Achievement Standards and they have to find the key words and differences between each levels. I find that this is more meaningful for the students to understand what they need to do to achieve. We then discuss it and clarify any confusion. I could expand on this by giving students levels of the work and getting them to mark or guess what grade they think it deserves, using the information from the AS. In small tasks or activities I am trying to work on having different levels within the tasks so students can work on what they are working at.
Something that I would like to try more of is differentiated seating plans. This might mean seating the students in ares of the room that they are at the same stage at. For example, students that have completed an introduction, another group that haven’t started or a group that is up to the conclusions. As a teacher this will allow me to focus my attention on the needs of those small groups.
Today, at lunchtime I attended the Orewa College Wearable Arts Competition in the Arts & Events Centre. I was very impressed by the effort and design that the students had put into each garment. It was very student-centered with the student MC’s, designers, models and back-stage help.
I feel like it was important to attend this event and support my students who were involved in this. I can have conversations with these students that I teach about their involvement in WOW.
The full Orewa College Wearable Arts 2016 video can be seen here.
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.
For my Appraisal Meeting #2 we discussed new goals for Term 3 which I have also written in my Google Slides All About Me.
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.
In this morning’s PD we had discussions around what we are doing as teachers to help our students achieve. A particular challenge was around students who have not achieved well in the past, have low confidence or sense of success.
The topic was; “What are we doing?” where we challenged assumptions about teachers and that all students should be getting the same experiences in each class. We considered why is it that parents request certain parents and if the parent happens to be a teacher why is it that they manipulate their son or daughter’s timetable to be with different teachers.
We started off by looking at an image and the assumptions around this image (Slide 5). We then used a “cause, assumption, effect” (slide 6) to identify our assumptions, why they exist and what the implications of it are. This is a very useful tool which can be used in Health & PE classes to trigger critical thinking and to get students to challenge their own assumptions. I also think that images are an effective way to engage students as it appeals to visual learners and can promote creativity. This is a tool and strategy which I will use moving forward in my classes.
A very useful discussion that we had was around the different groups of students that we have in our classes. We broke these into 3 groups “the Battlers,” “Group 2” and “the Brains Trust.” We then brainstormed the different characteristics of these groups (Slides 14 – 18) and how we could reach their needs in the class. It was personally challenging and I found it useful to reflect on which groups I place emphasis on. I was reminded that for some students an “Achieved” is their “excellence” and that they come to class with the expectation that they will fail as they have not experienced much success at School. I think a strategy for this group is breaking the students down into manageable chunks for these students and maintaining high expecations of them and not disregarding them as “not achieved” students.
From this discussion, I will closely monitor and be aware of the students who have low expectations of themselves and try encourage them to believe in themselves more.
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.