Monday, 29 February 2016

Getting into my 2016 Teaching Inquiry

This year my inquiry focus is into how I can use formative practice in reading to track how teaching strategies are working - with a focus on Gwyneth Phillips prompts in guided sessions. I will observe my colleagues to see how they use the different prompts for each level, so that I can then use these appropriately in my reading groups. As I use these prompts, I will observe and reflect on how the children engage with the text and use different strategies to read increasingly difficult text.

To get started this year, I got my hands on some resources and bound a reference book for the prompts at each reading stage. I have observed a colleague using the Magenta prompts and have started using these in my own reading groups. Over the term, I will take time to continue observing and then using the strategies I have seen in my own reading teaching.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Celebrating a few certificates!

I was very fortunate this weekend to be able to join in a First Aid course with St John. We covered CPR, bleeding, seizures, fractures and dislocations, and choking. Hoping I never have to use this knowledge, but glad to have some of this knowledge under my belt!

This weekend I have also become the proud owner of a Level 1 Google Certified Educator badge and certificate!

Friday, 26 February 2016

A recipe for a divine Collaboration Cake!

Collaboration Cake is one of my all-time favourites as the flavours have the ability to bring a whole group of people together. Each ingredient is essential in ensuring it rises into a light and fluffy cake. As with all recipes practise makes perfect and spices and additional ingredients can be added - some may enhance the taste others may be less successful. So bring your teaching team together with this recipe base and start experimenting!

Friday, 19 February 2016

Spreading the word about GOOGLE spreadSHEETS!

Using Google Sheets in your teaching opens up endless possibilities with how you can organise your teaching and learning. In our class we plan all our lessons on Google Sheets and have embedded this onto our class site for the whole world to see! A major benefit of this is that I as a teacher can quickly edit and add on tasks for the students, and the students can independently bring down their learning each day through the links I have embedded.

Today I was lucky enough to see how Google Sheets can be used to monitor learning progressions - a Google Sheet had been created for individual students where the learning intentions for that subject and stage were listed (additional sheets can be added for each stage). When the student thought they had achieved a particular learning intention they provided a link to the evidence on the sheet and highlighted the intention blue. The teacher could then confirm whether the evidence was sufficient, and if it was would highlight it green. Through this process a visual working document was created, where it could easily be identified what would need to be learnt next.

Here is the example I was shown of how it could look:

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Making your drive through Google Drive an enjoyable one!

How smooth is your drive through Google Drive? Have you been mislead down a bumpy track making your class suffer from endless car sickness as you navigate your way around?

Here are a few tips for an enjoyable drive:
  1. Make learning visible - Ensure students are able to access their learning without having to request permissions. Having students wait around for you to make the learning accessible can lead to students losing focus in the lesson and valuable class time being wasted.
  2. Organise your files and documents - There is nothing more frustrating than having to spend hours trying to search various keywords to locate the long lost documents you created in the past. Make a yearly file with clearly label files within this main file - two minutes making files at the start of the year will save hours of sorting in your well earned holidays.
  3. Managing permissions  - Manage your permissions wisely so the right people can view the right "stuff". Make sure your teaching is visible, whilst ensuring confidential documents are secure.
  4. Moving and copying files/documents - Before you go dragging files into your drive make sure you know the SHIFT>Z rule. By using this command, it avoids removing the file from its original location (where others may also be accessing the file) and simply adds an alias to your drive.