I am a class teacher for Year Four and five students and a team leader for the middle school. My class and I are a part of the Manaiakalani Google ClassOnAir.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Changing Ways of Education

We had Home School Partnership this week and we were asked to show how Digital Learning environment helped students to engage and learn better. For this purpose each team had to share examples of learning from their classes. I am in Kia Toa team and here is an example of 'Learn Create, Share with my parents at Home School Partnership.

This lesson was a bit of self directed learning. Students had to make a rocket that could fly and they were given straw and paper as suggested in the 'LEARN' column of the plan. This led them to search on the net and find out the best way possible to make a rocket. This involved a lot of reading, listening to and understanding of articles on the net. Some chose to go on You tube to find out if it was possible to make a rocket out of straw and paper. Then students had to make a rocket and this is the CREATE bit of the plan. Finally they had to share how they had made their rocket using a medium of their choice. Some students opted to make a movie and others wanted to make a presentation. click on the links below to have a look.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Getting them Motivated

Maths has become one of the favourite subjects of my students. They are happy to do Maths for a whole block and this is because they have experienced success in this subject. Maths is like addiction. Once you get it, you want to do more. However I have a few students who are not so good at Maths and feel a little bit discouraged because they are not the first ones to solve the problem. I needed to somehow get them motivated to solve problems. So I got this group on the mat for the whole block and started by what they could do. Our topic of discussion was Fractions.
We have been asked to start with a big problem which always got these students confused... so to get them going I started with very easy problems so that they could get motivated. The problems that I gave them were as easy as...
"Show me quarter of 8"
Students worked in groups and were given white boards and play dough to show their working out.
slowly they got what was meant by quarter and sixths and eighths...

Then I gave them the hard problems that I would normally launch to the whole class. The question that I gave is...

Everyone in the group got it.  This group further went on to make their own problems and not only shared them with the class to solve but also helped those who got an incorrect answer.

And they chose not to use equipment any more.

                                                                What a delight!!

                                                            MY REFLECTION

Sometimes it is important to show students what they can do to build up their self esteem.
I am a very happy teacher to see my students intrinsically motivated. Harder problems may throw a spanner in the wheels!

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

PD On ipad

IMG_0301 (1) from Tamaki Primary on Vimeo.

At Toolkits today I learnt how to make a movie on i pad.
I really liked the Pd because I can see how this could benefit my class. It is a great way to engage students in

  • Narrating their story.
  • Promoting speaking for students who do not like to speak in front of the whole class.
  • Sequencing the story.
  • prep work before writing.
  • Sharing real stories with class mates.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

The Right kind of Praise

As I was looking at my target groups these holidays I realised that students who had not shown improvement were not convinced that they could do better if they tried, inspite of my compelling converstaions like “Maths could be fun once you learnt how to solve the problems.” I had heard them say things like
“ Maths is hard.”  “ I can’t do it!” or “I don’t like it, it is boring”. Now I know that this sounds like a reasonable concern for a child considering something new, but to me it is a huge red flag. It means that at least with regards to some tasks, my students had fixed mindset.

Carol Dweck is the author of Mindset: The new Psychology of Success. Dweck teaches that there are two general mindsets when it comes to any area of our lives. There is the fixed mindset, which says, “Here I am. I sure hope I’m good enough,” and there is the growth mindset, which says, “I can figure it out and learn to do it if I really want to.”
Dweck explains the power of the growth mindset and the harm of the fixed mindset
The fixed mindset comes from believing that our abilities and talents are a natural part of us. If this is true, then there is a good reason to compare yourself to others and when you aren’t as successful as you wanted to be or you fail at something, it means you are not enough.  This is a lie by the way. It’s your fixed mind trying to trick you like your mind sometimes does.
On the other hand, the growth mindset recognizes that we all have things that come more easily and things that are harder, but in the end everything takes some degree of practice to become proficient, and the outcome is a direct result of your amassed knowledge and mastery of a skill.This means that when you fail at something, it’s because you didn’t do enough or haven’t learned it yet. It’s not about you. It’s only about your effort or ability, which can be cultivated to ultimately get any result you want.
A fixed mindset is common for smart, gifted, or talented kids because the child is often praised for his or her results and for how easily he or she achieved them. This can feel amazing and build a lot of confidence for the child at first, but it creates feelings of entitlement and when someone else outdoes them, then it shows up very ugly.
A growth mindset is most commonly the result of being praised for your effort and encouraged to work hard, make mistakes, and not avoid failure.
When we tell our kids:
You did awesome on that test! You’re so smart!
You got an A without even studying? Nice going!
Here is what our kids hear:
If I don’t score well on my test, I’m not smart.
If I have to study, then I’m not very smart.
Instead, let’s try some of these:
I’m really excited about how you’re stretching yourself to learn more and doing harder things all the time!
That picture has so many beautiful colors! Tell me about them.
You put so much hard work and thought into this essay! It really makes me understand about your country better.
Notice when you say things to yourself such as: I really can’t cook. Instead tell yourself, cooking is a skill I haven’t put the time and effort into mastering.
I know practicing this in class will require effort and so I have to say:
“I haven’t put in much effort in mastering feedback that will promote growth mindset in my students.”
This is my personal professional goal for next Term and I believe that it will help change the way my students think about their learning.