Every Friday when I hear the stats of people who did or did not complete their Interlead - it annoys me - because we've been given that time to get it done. Slightly hypocritical this time because I didn't get it done this morning, and am now doing it this afternoon, Period 5 - when I'm calm and reflective.
This morning - planning to write in the staffroom - my favourite place to work where it's usually quiet - nice big circle table where I can spread all of my marking and stuff out - I didn't get to writing because I began talking with my awesome mate Clare about our eLearning meeting on Thursday.
Such an awesome meeting. I haven't had time to sit down and blog about it yet so am using this five minutes procrastination break from marking to do so. Really awesome to see just how much experience and tech revolution warriors we have at Heights. It is awesome because for a lot of last year I felt like I was alone. I got really involved with Twitter and my PLN outside of school because they were talking about things that I'm passionate about: learning and sharing ideas. I'm hoping that as part of this committee we'll be sharing ideas more and more and learning from each other. I'm super excited about the PLC's and the fact that we're building a more collaborative staff who share and bounce ideas off of each other. Being aware of who I have around me, to aspire to be more like, to be aware of in terms of the way I talk and how I want to stay positive about my students - despite the things I hear from others. That I want to stay true to who I am and how I teach and that being part of this eLearning Committee will not only help our school so that I can give back from the differing professional development sessions I soak up - but also to enable me and my students to continue teaching and learning in a less restrictive manner.
Now that our Google Site is set up and I know the quick work-arounds for doing bits and pieces on it - it doesn't take as long to add to. I add to it as I go - just as I would with my students and printing out handouts and resources. I still do resources and printed ones too - but just tend to put them online more often. Students seem to like the fact that they can take what they want - see how I've done it and recreate it their way. For my more needs based students - there are individualised options and possibilities available.
I'd like to completely flip my class. I still want to. But realising and remembering to be patient is hard. Because I still need to learn a few things... like screencasting and how to enable our students to have access at home so that it's equitable. The EXCEL stuff is exciting - but it's not here yet. Patience for me right now, is the key.
It's hard though when I'm so immersed in my amazing PLNand the professional development I invest in myself... because the world is a-moving and I want to keep evolving my teaching practice - to try and stay with the trends but also maintain consistency for my students. For them - I need to be the best teacher I can be.
Giving students the link to our class site on paper the other day was a brilliant idea because for ages they kept typing in the wrong shortened link and it was super frustrating as I'd have to go to each student to fix their link. So much easier - longer though - to type in the full site address: https://sites.google.com/a/whhs.school.nz/evolving-at-heights/
My assumption is that eventually - when the kids have access - they will have a simpler way to get onto the site as they can just go through their GAFE portal and find the site that way as each student could access each site depending on the privacy and sharing permissions...
Anyway - haven't even talked about my inquiry students...
Y11 - Student 1 has begun to develop a growth mindset. WIN.
Student 2 has understood how to analyse the essay questions and can break them down by herself. WIN.
Student 3 hasn't been in class for a while... need to find out what's up with him.
Student 4 has continued to perservere and is beginning to break from her fixed mindset...
Y12 Pink -
Student 1 has broken free from his funk and is back to his relaxed "I love English" frame of mind
Student 2 is still working on her understanding of the text and needs to finish the book!
Student 3 has shown that he is able to work well with me despite previous issues. Remains polite and focussed on his work.
Student 4 has shown that she is able to do work on her own and is learning to take constructive criticism without thinking it's targeting her ability or taking the offensive.
Y12 Yellow -
Student 1 continues to muck around with his written work but works well in discussions and provides really on point insights.
Student 2 has shown really strong leadership and has developed an indepth analysis of the text. I missed having him in class on Tuesday this week when we talked about pre-conceived notions around the issue of prejudice - but as a whole the class did well in their unpacking of the terminology for 'The Blind Side'
Student 3 has shown that she is able to refocus on her own work and seems to be in a happier state of mind - particularly after our chat last week.
Student 4 continues to insist on watching 'Inception' rather than TBS - and sits there the majority of the time pretending he's doing the work.
Student 5 finally came to me to tell me what's been bugging him. He has decided to move away from the noisy boys at the back who keep distracting him and here's hoping he focusses a bit better now. I asked him to come back here at lunch for the English tutorial session with some of the other Y12 kids - but he didn't come back.. Will have to follow up wit him tomorrow and make it more simple.
Y10 English -
Student 1 continues to show leadership and can be called on to help others at a moment's notice. It's been a pleasure seeing him progress over the past year and a half!!
Student 2 continues to be disruptive - continuing to reign him in and refocus his attention onto his work rather than distracting the rest of the class. Talked with him again about wearing his hat in class, took it off of him at one point and then sat down yesterday to discuss his immature behaviours. The majority of the class don't laugh at him anymore which is good. We're finally getting somewhere! He has good and annoying days...
Student 3 enjoys word games - need him to finish his work though... he will really struggle next year if he doesn't complete his assessments on time.
Student 4 has shown persistence again and again. SO SO proud of her. She changed her work at least four times over the last few weeks - with my Socratic questioning and implying that she still had a few bits and pieces to finish. Her finished static image is BRILLIANT.
Y10 Social Studies -
Student 1 continues to seek praise for her work.. she is a strong and solid worker - developing her work again and again showing her depth of knowledge..
Student 2 worked really well in our group discussion about Sustainability and Migration this week. He is showing participation skills more and more.
Student 3 has shown that she is a positive influence with the rest of the class. Using Class Dojo today as points giver - has continued to prove that she has a strong connection - fair and equitable I might add - with the rest of the class
Student 4 has improved his work ethic which has been good to see and is always quick to ask whether his persistance and work ethic deserves Dojo points :) Today was particularly hilarious as I kept searching for a particular answer and he finally said "Egypt!" really loudly - still not what I was going for but we all laughed and talked about the fact that the oil at present that was having sustainable issues was to do with it's impact with marine life and the wider communities.
Student 5 did NO work today. Has been told he isn't sitting with Student 4 anymore and must sit at the front. Not good enough! Just because he isn't on daily report anymore doesn't mean that he can slack off.
Great session on #EngChatNZ last night about developing more cross-curricular learning and assessment programmes and the #dojochatANZ run by @GeekyAusTeacher was awesome - around GAFE and Collaboration. Will add the Storified links later.
On Tuesday night we had two PLD sessions after the eLearning meeting - NZSL basics and Nathan Mikaere Wallis' talk at JPC around Brain Development. Was really cool being at both of these sessions with people from school. It's nice because we're able to talk about it later and share our on-going learning.
Looking forward to #EducampHB next Saturday, the Rotary Conference this weekend, #edchatNZ tonight and meeting Jenna from Class Dojo on the 29th! :)