MLE: the current ‘it’ word (well, anagram actually) in NZ education

We are looking at team teaching for next year. It is an exciting prospect, without a doubt! I’ve been asked to present the pedagogy behind it at a meeting we were to have tomorrow (postponed now). Regardless I’ve begun putting information together.

A generic reflection before I put together the presentation: I have been left whirling.

Whilst a lot of the Ministry of Education information highlights the physical environment and the need for modern pedagogy, it has taken some wading to find out details of what that pedagogy is. I certainly have not compiled a complete list by any means.

Across all the discussions a common thread seems to be coming through:

  • More student agency
  • Team-teaching: collaborate, collaborate, collaborate
  • Offering choice on how to learn.
  • Updating the environment to support student learning.

I am in mixed mindset about this. I am excited because of the possibilities and concerned that the MLE will become the pretty shell for visitors, but that actual change in pedagogy won’t happen. I’ve seen it so often with tech: something with such potential yet so limited in its use because teachers are unnerved by it. It becomes a window dressing.

We are called to change our practice, but time has shown over and over again that we don’t. I do tend to err on the side of caution when predicting positive outcomes.

So what how will pedagogy be improved? What changes in the profession are occurring that will result in significant change to daily teaching pedagogy?

When I look at my practice: what could be slotted into a classroom of the sixties or the eighties or the nineties? What couldn’t? Is my practice simply dressed up pedagogy of the nineties? How can this be quantified? What data can be collected to support this?

Mish mash: inquiry update and reflections on tech use!

It’s been a crazy term with the school production (which was awesome) and everything else we managed to squeeze in. Sometimes it feels as though one is trying to squeeze in reading and writing and maths! I’m looking forward to getting back to a proper routine next term as post-production everyone was tired. We had a week of decent learning. I generally planned for better learning this week, but it just didn’t happen. I knew what this term would be like ahead of time, so I won’t beat myself up for it, but I would hardly describe it as  a term of modelled effective practice!

Oh well. Back to reflections.

My inquiry has largely centred around a couple of students. With the paired writing this term we I haven’t done a lot of teaching of those students. I have noted though that they have both made a tremendous overall improvement with their writing.

One has successfully managed to overcome the ‘I don’t know what to write’ barrier, which is fantastic. The other regularly uses finger-spaces when writing independently and writes many more recognisable words.

At this point the goal will be to maintain and build upon their progress. For one that will mean lots and lots of writing. For the other it will mean continued development of essential list words. Upon retesting I have noted that there has been quite limited progress over the year in that area. I have another student I will now focus on in the context of spelling particularly, as the level of writing is not what I want. In some ways this is a plus because it will make the student eligible for support they weren’t eligible for previously, but it will be a blow to the student’s self-esteem.

I have written a more detailed summary of adaptations, but this remains in a private google doc shared within my present workplace for privacy reasons.

My next inquiry: spelling (a mini inquiry)/ inquiry into PLD I am taking.

Next steps: Review progress in five weeks of current inquiry. Develop plan for spelling inquiry. Begin with spelling programme review.

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Tech use

I have used tech to a mediocre level this term. I keep getting stuck at a relatively low level on the SAMR model. I know how to use it to a deeper level, but keep not doing it.

Something I consistently struggle with is the work-home balance. I have erred on the side of home this year because of the various events that have been going on. I am now paying the catch-up price.

Regardless, the children have learnt. Perhaps I need to set up an inquiry into my IT practice to ensure I actually alter it. We shall see.

Settle-petal or your brain will explode (but the world won’t)

Settle petal. A phrase I use far too often when someone needs to calm down. Right now is a personal ‘settle-petal’ moment. 

I have a heap of new learning which I wish to implement in my classroom. I have just made a substantial change to my classroom programme in writing. I should be content with that but am not (and can see areas of tweaking to be done within writing). 

I want to try the flipped classroom model for maths and writing and reading. I honestly think that I am taking on too much in my approach to this. 

Consequently I am going to begin the flipped classroom thing for maths. I have decided that I need to limit it to one group initially or it will become something unmanageable. I will also try having a student film the maths lesson so that it can be viewed again during the independent session. 

Let’s rewind. What do the students need? What will best suit their learning needs? Continue reading