The spiral of inquiry.

Last year we were given the reading: ‘The spiral of inquiry’ (Timperly, Kaser & Halbert) by our LwDT coordinator. I put it in a safe place. This worked, until I moved classrooms. It’s new ‘safe place’ is secure from me, something I’m sure everyone can agree with.

Regardless, after searching online and in my house, it finally popped up in ‘The Pond‘ (a NZ site established for educators to share resources etc). It is similar to, but different from the VLN – (virtual learning network).

This is an excellent reading, one that really clarified my understanding of the teacher as inquiry process (and one I need to keep revisiting – hence the blog). The biggest wrinkle I have had with the process is the sole emphasis on the priority learners. This is definately essential (and what my inquiries are focussed on). I can understand this better now. My biggest stumbling block initially was that this ‘inquiry thing’ seemed to put a roadblock between me doing my broader learning and readings. I have passed this, and perhaps better understand how the

I’ve been thinking a lot about the marginal middles – those that aren’t performing at their peak, but are just far enough inside the bubble to miss out on the detailed focus of these inquiries. I would love to do an investigation around this.

All quiet on the writing front…almost

I sit here a very excited teacher. My writing lesson not only worked, but it worked well! I was thrilled with the quality of the writing produced.

What changed?

I used a planning template (Sheena Cameron & Louise Dempsey – The Writing Book), and spent a writing lesson teaching children how to fill these out. Shockingly, I then insisted that they use this planning the following day to do their writing. Finally I got them to peer-assess each other (although that’s another whole story  and lesson to be taught).

All of this is fairly basic pedagogy. I am excited because it has actually pulled together  – something I haven’t achieved in the past when teaching writing in this way.

I am continuing recount writing according to the model established by one of teachers in the team-teaching situation I work in. She of course did an awesome job, so it was really easy to pick up on and work with.

Using annotations to inform an understanding of achievement standards

Using annotations to inform an understanding of achievement standards. Adie & Willis  Assessment Matters 6: 2014

“In practice, rather than being transparent, standards without exemplification can be quite opaque.” p.113

The article was written and based on work with year 6 & year 2 classroom teachers in Queensland, Australia.

  • Annotating exemplars prior to teaching enables better clarity of what to focus teaching on.
  • Use exemplars allows you to overcome assessment differences.
  • Annotate to develop a shared understanding for planning.
  • Create an exemplar and annotate to show aspects of importance.
  • Get students to annotate their own exemplars.
  • After discussion compare your annotations to National exemplars – reveal the variance in expectation.
  • Doing annotations as part of the process clarifies evidence for each standard.

Implications

  • Backward mapping: start with the assessment task when planning. This also helps clarify what evidence will look like.
  • Create a task which students will have to match their work to a criteria or criteria to a supplied exemplar
  • Create portfolios to guide moderations.
  • This can help when justifying decisions to parents.

Use of annotation – i.e. writing down rather than just talking – can help you focus on what to teach and learn and to identify specific examples of what you say a student can do.

Teacher registration: evidence and cultural competencies.

With a major change coming to the way the NZ Teachers Council is set up and running, there is going to be a much greater need for ‘evidence.’ Part of me thinks: great – more paperwork. But the other parts think this makes sense. We are pushing the ‘professionalism’ aspect, and with that comes the ‘a’ word: accountability. We live in the age of accountability.

That’s my warm up! Today’s in-school PLD was on teacher registration – looking at evidence and Tataitoko cultural competences. We did a jigsaw exercise which forced us to examine these (and the parts of the registered teacher’s criteria) in close detail. I need to go back and reread those when my brain is not so full.

Part of the meeting was considering what that evidence will look like, and we will revisit this in a few weeks. I have begun investigating some different methods using the VLN. The teacher’s council website is quite good. I found this example of tags that could be used and this really good TKI site which has some examples.  Continue reading