Friday, 12 February 2016

Congratulations to our PBS summer bloggers!

In January Woolf Fisher ran their 'Summer Learning Journey' challenge to encourage our senior students to keep blogging during the summer break. Each blogger went on an adventure with Curious Kiwi as they used their smart searching skills to take them around the world, completing daily challenges that helped them learn new facts about each country they visited. A huge thank you to the wonderful Rachel and her team of bloggers gave them great feedback every time they published a new blog post. All students who took part were awarded their certificates and prizes at assembly today from Rachel. Congratulations to you all. You made us very proud!

Our PBS summer bloggers

 Congratulations Daniel PBS Top Blogger!

       Congratulations Sajiha and Zeba PBS 2nd place!


Congratulations AJ and Alex PBS 3rd place

Saturday, 6 February 2016

New Year, New Room, New Learning!

What a great start to our 2016 learning journey! This year I am an MDTA mentor teacher which means I have the privilege of team teaching for the year with Chelsea Donaldson, a PRT in the 2016 intake for the Manaiakalani Digital Teacher's Academy. You can follow Chelsea's learning journey here.

We began our new journey in a brand new learning space. The big change for me this year is the move from a single cell classroom to an ILE (Innovative Learning Environment). The challenges to date has been planning for a much larger number of learners and getting used to being part of a much larger room. New for me this year is to have five sibling pairs in the same room. I look forward to seeing how they grow in their learning within the same space. Will they gravitate to one another or will they escape to separate sides of the room?

On Friday Chelsea and I were able to join the staff of Tamaki College and the staff of Glenbrae School on their SOLO Taxonomy training day. Pam Hook delivered the best professional development that I have been to in a long time. We are both very excited to see how SOLO makes a difference to 2016's learning journey as we work towards changing the way our learner's see their learning. Our challenge is to help our learners move away from a fixed mindset and move towards a growth mindset.

It was very powerful to see the potential links that collaborative training can afford. When our Year 8's transition to Year 9 at the end of the year they will take the addition of understanding how SOLO can help move their learning to the next level. Beginning Year 9 with this knowledge already in their kete will be just one of the ways we will have worked collaboratively to strengthen the links between the schools.

Friday, 5 February 2016

SOLO PD with Pam Hook

Seriously one of the best professional development days I have been a part of! This is a snapshot of my learning today.

The Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes

The move to next step in SOLO is clear as you only need to do one thing differently
  • prestructural - no idea
  • unistructural - just starting 1 idea
  • multistructural - many ideas
  • relational - connected ideas
  • extended abstract - connections to wider world

Learners have the facts but teachers must teach strategies to help chn makes links (eg: say why, put in a timeline, compare...) to lead to deeper connections with learning - critical friends will help here. Learning tasks need to slowly scaffold a path to deeper thinking and alignment - What is the PK needed to make connections and build deeper u/st?

What SOLO can do:
Does not label learners - focuses only on the LO as you can shift up or down the levels
Changes the way learners see school and what they think about learning. Below is an example of fixed mindset. Change comes when chn say ‘I got this outcome because I used XXXX strategy…’ - links with strategy and ideas

Q: Why did you get that outcome?
A1: Luck with success or failure linked to whether or not T likes them not effort put into strategy connection
A2: Fixed ability mindset… ‘I’m not good at…’/ ‘ my mates will laugh at me…’
A3: Fixed mindset of labelled smart kids… T have told them they’re bright and not because they made connections to the learning - promotes reluctance to put effort in / blame T / “boring”

Fixed mindset - afraid to fail/ can get upset if no connection
Growth mindset - willing to try as they know its not about the it’s about the learning

Ideas, Connections and where you take them:
Can use hand signs to help kids make connections and allows learners to show u/st. Learners can use metalanguage:             
              1. What am I doing?
           2. What do I need to do next? - look at SOLO
           3. How well is it going?

Tasks can be designed at one level as differentiation comes from outcome via SOLO rubric
eg: Describe a cat
  • prestructural - not able to describe cat
  • unistructural - has a tail with right angle bends
  • multistructural - mangy fur, rib cage showing, tail bent… (is just a list)
  • relational - connected ideas… mangy fur, rib cage showing, tail bent… because it had been trapped and was fretting
  • extended abstract - connections to wider world… (reimagine/evaluate) the best thing for this cat is to take it to the SPCA for euthanization because it has been killing all the protected birds

Hexagons - generator
Allows you to visually see links as cards are manipulated into tessellations.
  • Write anything you would like to see discussed (eg: photo, diagram, quote, idea…)
  • Team up with a buddy gives you the list of ideas (multi) when links are made...this goes with this because (relational) what was this all about(extended)...aim to form a tessellation by connecting - collaborating/negotiating - linking - reimagining.

Practical eg:
Eg: List everything about morning tea… link/grp hexagons… why do they link? (Could write reason on post-its). Make statements ‘the most important thing about morning tea is….because...

Our example emerging below.

Could use for narrative, inquiry, group wk, problem solving, strategy comparisons, leadership, school values, text sequence, paragraph writing, growth mindset, research/facts, maths language,  writing plan scaffold, experiments.

Teacher could pre-write headings and learners write links on each hexagon them manipulate into groups to show relationships/connections - then make overall statement eg: influences result in… Another eg. is to put images around a central image and ask learners to find the links.

                                         Image sourced from here

SOLO means effort and strategy will get you there by adding ideas, connecting ideas and extending ideas… leads to shifts in learning and deeper connections

Can you do… (sports, acting etc…) functioning knowledge = doing stuff eg: Key comps/behaviour management - self evaluation on rubric promotes agency by seeing things through different levels of outcome

  • Prestructural = I have no idea how to XXX… - don’t listen
  • Unistructural = yes I can XXX because I following a recipe/have an eg etc… - sometimes listen but I forget
  • Multistructural = I can do it but I don’t know how/why so I often make mistakes then I can’t fix it so sometimes I ‘cheat’ and get an eg pre-made XXX - mostly listen
  • Relational = I know how and why I can XXX - I listen when others are talking
  • Extended abstract = I will try and do XXX in a different way (mix it up a bit) that works for others - collaboration often needed as you invite help from others - I am a role model to others and encourage those who are not listening to listen

Strategies on rubric = supports given to move learners along eg - look at … talk to a buddy… use the...

Can you describe… (talkers etc…) - declarative knowledge = talking about stuff - brings all learners together
  • Unistructural: define, identify, do simple, procedural
  • Multistructural: Define, describe, list, do algorithm, combine
  • Relational: ‘because, why’  formulate questions, compare/contrast, explain causes, sequence, classify, analyse -part/whole, relate,analogy, apply
  • Extended Abstract: ‘double because’ evaluate, theorise, generalise, predict, create, imagine, hypothesise, reflect

Use the HOT maps to help learners see/ust the strategy. Pinterest has many examples of the maps in action. SOLO Maps give kids the academic language they need to succeed at school - could use sentence frames to scaffold learners thinking. HOT maps help learners plan own research journey - helps with thinking - gives an overview as to how you might get the knowledge - don't have to use all generated LI’s

Cognitive load more challenging when asking learners to recall, connect and adapt...then becomes overwhelming. As learners move through stages learners want answers but also want to know why (R) then analyse taking different perspectives into consideration (EA). Engagement doesn't mean necessarily mean achievement!

The visual maps and other resources to support the use of SOLO in the classroom can be found on the link to Pam's site at the top of this post.