Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Reporting




Is there something that I need to change?
In our 2014 ERO report it was found that Pukerua Bay School was not reporting to the National Standards adequately.

“During the review it was identified that reporting to parents did not explicitly show a student's progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards…”
Pukerua Bay School ERO report - 24/02/2015

At this time teachers were reporting to parents using sample books. This a collection of samples of children’s work that were glued into a scrap book.

Prior to National Standards, this was a personalised way to communicate student progress to parents. Many parents treated the sample book as Taonga and appreciated the hand-written samples and pictures of children’s work.

As National Standards were implemented, the sample books evolved and took a national standards focus. Layers of achievement data and teacher speak were added to the work samples. As well as the other curriculum areas. The books became very labour intensive and were very time consuming for teachers.

When ERO viewed the sample books they found that the National Standards information was not clear. They failed to comply with “clear reporting” guidelines, hence the recommendation in the report.
PTC Prof Learning (inquiry to improve)


What do I need to learn?


At this point we needed to learn the different reporting options that were available to us. We looked at different school reporting structures from a variety of schools and then looked at what our student management system (Edge) could produce for us. At this point Edge was largely being used as an attendance tool and we had not explored the reporting and achievement aspects of this tool.
PTC Prof Learning (inquiry to improve)

What do I need to focus on?

Given that this was a reporting structure for our whanau, we decided to shift our focus to the whanau. To do this we circulated an Edge generated report and sought feedback from the whanau.

PTC - Professional Relationships
PTC Prof Learning (inquiry to improve)

What happened?

Overall, results from the consultation showed that the families felt that the reports were too narrow by focusing on national standards. Parents made comments that the were ‘narrow’ and they would rather know if their children were happy and if they were behaving appropriately.

Is there something that I need to change?


Given the feedback we realised that we needed to change the reporting approach. Although they were compliant from a national standards point of view, they were a huge change from the sample books that the parents were used to.
As a staff we decided that we needed a model that would meet both needs.
PTCs Professional Relationships
PTC Prof Learning (inquiry to improve)

What do I need to learn?

We went back to the Student Management system to see if there was a reporting format that enabled more of a personalised approach. Unfortunately the programme was limited and Edge did not have the flexibility to produce the kind of reporting mechanism that would suit our needs.
PTC Prof Learning (inquiry to improve)

What do I need to focus on?

We then focused on producing a personalised report that valued student voice, authentic learning, areas of passion and Key competencies. We were concerned around our special needs students and wanted them to receive a report that spoke to their strengths rather than just National Standards. We also had to be sure that we were reporting to the national standards.

Here is an example of the report. We used photographs of the children (not clip art as shown in this example. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1IJKgHd8KpBFl2mRGkLm3xPKnTv_i1x4FtN4IKc0eR_k/edit?usp=sharing
PTC Prof Learning (inquiry to improve)
PTC Learning focused culture (respect inclusion empathy)

What happened?

We received very positive feedback from parents:
Great to get ‘new look’ reports today - they are clean and clear and beautifully set out, and modern!”
“Well done. The school is in very good hands if all the students had such positive, personal comments on their reports from their principal”

PTCs Professional Relationships
PTC Prof Learning (inquiry to improve)

Is there something that I need to change?


Teachers found that we were in the same problem with having to double handle data (in the same way that we did with the sample books). We were also over testing the children and teachers were finding that we spent more time testing and less time teaching.
There continued to be issues around moderation and if our OTJs were consistent and suggestions from the MOE and STA to explore the PaCT tool. The article here was quite compelling for the direction that we wanted our school to go in, in terms of testing:

“Conference-goers heard that over the three years the school has been using PaCT they have been able to completely replace the old summative assessment (testing) tools with the new framework. It was important for teachers to establish the credibility of the PaCT framework for themselves, and become confident using it, so implementation had meant running their traditional assessments in parallel until it became obvious that the results of both systems were coming out the same. Teachers are now confident enough of their ability to assess progress and achievement directly from student work using the PaCT that they have now discontinued test-based assessment altogether… http://www.nzsta.org.nz/media/460859/160721-conference-3-pact.pdf
PTC Prof Learning (inquiry to improve)

What do I need to learn?

In term 4 of 2016 we used PaCT to moderate our reading, writing, and maths data. We did not report this to parents but held staff PLD meeting to upskill on the Learning Progressions and find suitable evidence to make PaCT judgements. We had previously had PLD with Gillian Kissling who had taken us through the Learning Progressions in the Maths context.
We moderated writing like we have always done but used the PaCT illustrations instead of the exemplars.

We were also using SeeSaw as a way to gather and curate learning evidence. See saw is a digital portfolio. Teachers can post pictures, videos, artwork, and writing to the student’s See Saw account and their parents will get an alert via email, or on their mobile phone. The senior management team loaded all of the PaCT indicators onto SeeSaw so that teachers could tag the PaCT indicators to SeeSaw.  Two of our staff members became SeeSaw ambassadors and delivered See Sea PLD to the staff.


We worked with NZCER to look at ways in which the PaCT tool could show progress and automatically populate ‘parent’ reports with Next Steps (based on the learning progressions).

We made the decision to report to parents using the PACT tool for our mid-year reports
2017.
PTC Prof Learning (inquiry to improve)

What do I need to focus on?

I was aware that parents would find the PaCT reports quite different to the personalised reports that they had received in the previous year. I spent a lot of time communicating this through Facebook and the School newsletter. I also reiterated the importance of seesaw and how this is where the broader curriculum and key competencies were housed.
PTCs Professional Relationships
PTC Prof Learning (inquiry to improve)

What happened?

Parents and Whanau were very disappointed with the narrow nature of the PaCT report.
I held an information evening after the reports had gone home. When taking through the PaCT families could see the enormous amount of work that had gone into the PaCT report - however it does not look like this on paper. They were reassured that this was only the interim report and that we will use the personalised model again at the end of the year.

PTCs Professional Relationships
PTC Prof Learning (inquiry to improve)

Is there something that I need to change?

My next step is to see the progress that NZCER are making with the PaCT. Ideally we would like to be able to personalise the PaCT tool and be able to add photos, and comments to the parent report. We would also like to see the graphs on one page so that the reports were more attractive…

To be continued!

Saturday, 22 July 2017

CS4PD - Digital Technologies Hangarau Matihiko

In the term break I went to the University of Canterbury to do some learning about the Digital Technologies Hangarau Matihiko curriculum.


This was an intense five days of learning starting first with Primary School context. By Wednesday we were joined by our secondary colleagues.

There has been some angst in the media about the Digital Technologies Hangarau Matihiko curriculum.
Why is it a stand alone curriculum?
What is the purpose?
It's missing the point! (She said missing the point)
It's just big business taking over the world. Did you know that Bill Gates (and everyone in silicon valley) does not let their kids go on computers! [cue Edna Krabappel] "Will somebody please think of the children?!"

And while I am always are keen starter to jump onto the Big Business Conspiracies Bandwagon, I need to also work in the best interests of my students. And no, I haven't sold out. I still want them to be able think critically, be grounded in their culture, be compassionate and resilient human beings, avoid unnecessary student debt, and live a happy life with their future families. But robbing them of the opportunity to access the largest growing (and hardest-to-find-workers-with-the-skills) industry in our country is not okay - especially when this is based on the "common" sense.

I do understand that there are some concerns about the Digital Technologies Hangarau Matihiko curriculum. Some that came out for me:
  1. Five and Six year olds should be playing and developing the key competencies (as opposed to formal instruction that requires complex cognition - reading, writing, maths) - let alone be doing computer science
  2. we can't afford to resource a digital curriculum out of our operations grants
  3. our teachers have not had the PLD to implement the curriculum
  4. increase workload for time-poor teachers in an already crowded curriculum
So we need to turn these threats into opportunities:


Opportunity number 1. Use the Digital Technologies Hangarau Matihiko curriculum as an opportunity to implement a Learning through play environment in year 0-2 classrooms and demand that because of this National Standards have no place in our primary schools for our under 7s

Opportunity number 2. Use the Digital Technologies Hangarau Matihiko curriculum as an opportunity to lobby and demand for an increase in our operations grants. 

Opportunity number 3. Use the Digital Technologies Hangarau Matihiko curriculum as an opportunity to demand and lobby for increased PLD funds and increased staffing during the implementation phase.

Opportunity number 4. Use the Digital Technologies Hangarau Matihiko curriculum as an opportunity to integrate the Arts, Languages, and PE/Health back into primary schools. 
One of many examples that you can find on CS Unplugged 2 (see below)

How can we demand and lobby for such things? 
Go to the roadshows, be active in the consultation and shaping of this curriculum. https://education.govt.nz/assets/Documents/Ministry/consultations/DT-consultation/DT-HM-Workshop-Schedule.pdf 
Be active also in the Interpretation of this curriculum - it could go both ways - let's make it the right way...


Lesson activities

  1. Brainstorm as a class all the different fitness exercises you could have in your programming language.
    Cartoon kids exercising
    Ideas to get you started include:
    • Running on the spot
    • Star jumps
    • Ski jumps
    • Balancing bean bags on your head
  2. Work in your groups draw on each of the cards. You should design:
    • A "GO" card to show the start of the program
    • 4 cards, each with a different exercise depicted on it
    • A card with that depicts how you should finish. Ideas could be:
      • Strike a pose
      • Sit with your arms crossed
      • Stand as straight as you can
  3. Now place your cards in a row with the GO card first, then with each picture and how you should finish last. (There should be no numbers to indicate how many times you should do the exercise - that will come later.)
  4. Each group goes around and tries to work out what each of the cards mean from the other groups.
  5. Come together and discuss what was the same and for which cards you had to “learn” because you weren’t sure what it was?
  6. This is the same with computer programming languages. You can learn to program with different languages, and some things seem similar in a new language, while other things you have to learn as it isn’t clear how to use a particular command.
  7. Now put out 6 whiteboards and the hula hoop like this:
    6 whiteboards arranged around and in hula hoop
  8. Have one group put their Go card on the first whiteboard
    6 whiteboards arranged around and in hula hoop
  9. Now have them put their exercises cards out on the whiteboards shown. Explain that whatever is in the hula hoop will be repeated (it's a loop!)
    6 whiteboards arranged around and in hula hoop
  10. We need to set the parameters. A parameter tells us how long to do something or how many times to do something. Here we know to Go, To do star jumps (but not how many), to do ski jumps (but not how many), to catch a bean bag (but not how many) and that we should repeat the ski jumps and catch a bean bag, (but not how many times)!
    6 whiteboards arranged around and in hula hoop
  11. With your whiteboard pens, write in the number of times each exercise should be done. (Encourage the students to choose realistic numbers; the number on the hula hoop multiplies the ones inside.) For the exercises in the hula hoop, you need to repeat both of them how many times? (In the example, the sequence of 10 ski jumps and 5 catches is repeated 3 times, so it would be 10 ski, 5 catch, 10 ski, 5 catch, 10 ski, 5 catch).
  12. The last piece of programming is to show how we will end when we have finished our fitness app workout.
    6 whiteboards arranged around and in hula hoop
  13. Now we have built up our fitness app, it’s time to test it. The Programmer watches to see if everyone is doing it correctly. The Tester is looking for if there are any numbers to change or if the activities need further instructions. When the Tester says “Go” start following your fitness app.
  14. The Programmer asks the Tester if they saw anything they thought could be changed or improved?

Applying what we have just learnt

Getting the sequence right for programming is very important. If any detail is missing then your program won’t run how you expected it. A loop in programming is when you repeat the instructions inside of it, until a certain condition is met (in this case each exercise is completed a certain number of times). A loop can get a lot of instructions to happen with a relatively short program.

Lesson reflection

  • Discuss all the areas where you needed to collaborate together. What skills did you need to apply when discussing what should be programmed.
  • Do you think this is a way you could set up fitness for your class?
  • Do you have ideas for writing different fitness programs this way?
Throughout the lessons there are links to computational thinking. Below we've noted some general links that apply to this content.
Teaching computational thinking through CSUnplugged activities supports students to learn how to describe a problem, identify what are the important details they need to solve this problem, and break it down into small, logical steps so that they can then create a process which solves the problem, and then evaluate this process. These skills are transferable to any other curriculum area, but are particularly relevant to developing digital systems and solving problems using the capabilities of computers.
These Computational Thinking concepts are all connected to each other and support each other, but it’s important to note that not all aspects of Computational Thinking happen in every unit or lesson. We’ve highlighted the important connections for you to observe your students in action. For more background information on what our definition of Computational Thinking see our notes about computational thinking.


Saturday, 15 July 2017

Transitioning to the New Standards

This post is to enable me to transition to the New Standards.

The document that informed this post can be found at https://educationcouncil.org.nz/content/our-code-our-standards

From now on I will be using the highlighted labels

Matrix aligning Standards for Teaching Profession with the Practising Teaching Criteria





Standards for the Teaching Profession
(Our Standards)
Practising Teacher Criteria (PTC)
Te Tiriti o Waitangi partnership
BLOG LABEL:
Te Tiriti o Waitangi partnership 

Demonstrate commitment to tangata whenuatanga and Tiriti o Waitangi partnership in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Demonstrate commitment to bicultural partnership in Aotearoa New Zealand
Work effectively within the bicultural context of Aotearoa New Zealand
Professional learning
BLOG LABEL:
Prof Learning (inquiry to improve)

Use inquiry, collaborative problem-solving and professional learning to improve professional capability to impact on the learning and achievement of all learners.
Use critical inquiry and problem solving effectively in their professional practice
Establish and maintain effective professional relationships focussed on the learning and well-being of all ākonga
Demonstrate commitment to ongoing professional learning and development of personal professional practice
Show leadership that contributes to effective teaching and learning
Analyse and appropriately use assessment information which has been gathered formally and informally
Professional relationships
BLOG LABEL:
Professional Relationships

Establish and maintain professional relationships and behaviours focused on the learning and wellbeing of each learner.
Demonstrate commitment to bicultural partnership in Aotearoa New Zealand
Establish and maintain effective professional relationships focussed on the learning and well-being of all ākonga
Demonstrate commitment to promoting the well-being of all ākonga
Demonstrate in practice their knowledge and understanding of how ākonga learn
Respond effectively to the diverse language and cultural experiences, and the varied strengths, interests and needs of individuals and groups of ākonga
Learning-focused culture
BLOG LABEL:
Learning focused culture (respect inclusion empathy)

Develop a culture that is focused on learning, and is characterised by respect, inclusion, empathy, collaboration and safety.

Demonstrate commitment to promoting the well-being of all ākonga
Promote a collaborative inclusive and supportive learning environment
Respond effectively to the diverse language and cultural experiences, and the varied strengths, interests and needs of individuals and groups of ākonga
Design for learning
BLOG LABEL: 
Design for learning

Design learning based on curriculum and pedagogical knowledge, assessment information and an understanding of each learner’s strengths, interests, needs, identities, languages and cultures.
Conceptualise, plan and implement an appropriate learning programme
Demonstrate in practice their knowledge and understanding of how ākonga learn
Work effectively within the bicultural context of Aotearoa New Zealand
Respond effectively to the diverse language and cultural experiences, and the varied strengths, interests and needs of individuals and groups of ākonga
Analyse and appropriately use assessment information which has been gathered formally and informally Use critical inquiry and problem solving effectively in their professional practice
Teaching
BLOG LABEL:
Teaching (To progress learning)

Teach and respond to learners in a knowledgeable and adaptive way to progress their learning at an appropriate depth and pace.
Conceptualise, plan and implement an appropriate learning programme
Demonstrate in practice their knowledge and understanding of how ākonga learn
Analyse and appropriately use assessment information which has been gathered formally and informally Use critical inquiry and problem solving effectively in their professional practice
Demonstrate commitment to ongoing professional learning and development of personal professional practice
Use critical inquiry and problem solving effectively in their professional practice

Reporting

Is there something that I need to change? In our 2014 ERO report it was found that Pukerua Bay School was not reporting to the Nat...