Friday, 26 February 2016

Let's get our learners thinking and reflecting critically!

Today we looked deeply into collaborative pedagogies. This was introduced by a discussion of the Paideia method and how it can be used to develop our learners critical thinking within the classroom. When learning about this method, I felt challenged to engage learners in a learning discussion without me, the teacher, initiating and mediating it. It was important for us to realise that this process will not happen over night. Over time, use of the Paideia method will give our learners the confidence and chance to use their voice and listen to their peers. The fact that this method links nicely with the New Zealand curriculum key competencies resonates strongly with me. What better way to develop the ability of learners to think, use language, symbols and texts, manage self; relate to others; and participate and contribute?

So what does collaborative pedagogies have to do with the Paideia method? I am in an extremely exciting teaching situation where I am co-teaching in an open learning space alongside my mentor teacher and two other experienced teachers. To me, collaborative pedagogies involve co-teaching, and therefore give us the confidence and ability to develop learning experiences for our learners which may have previously been seen as impossible. That is, we can make the impossible possible! Just as us teachers are collaborating, we want to give our learners the skills to collaborate as well in a critical way. 

Today, +Ashley Schellingerhout, +Clarelle Davies and I collaborated, looking at how we could excite our learners into thinking critically in years 3 to 6. This is what we came up with:

Friday, 19 February 2016


Today, I have been made more aware of the ongoing collaboration between numerous people, from a variety of areas of expertise in our community, which has been required to develop the framework of 'Learn-Create-Share', which our students use in the classroom, and which we use in our professional development. You can learn more about the 'Learn-Create-Share' framework, from Dorothy, here!

I have created this diagrammatic reflection on some of our learning from our PLG today (click on it to enlarge it). Through this reflection, I aimed to represent the connections between new digital skills we learn, and the 'Learn-Create-Share' pedagogy which our teaching practice is based on. Each new skill we learn can be added to a developing collection of skills. These combine and work in unison to provide our learners with engaging learning experiences to engage them in their learning through learning, creating and sharing.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Digital Immersion Reflection

Finishing the first day of digital immersion in our Professional Learning Group (PLG) has left me feeling so much more confident in using google apps for education in the classroom and for my professional development.

I created this diagrammatic reflection which focuses on the need for learning to be open and visible for learners and their whānau. What is the point in having our learners learn behind 'locked doors', where they cannot share their work or be proud of what they are learning?

  • Having an 'open-door policy' to learning means there is a world-wide audience for our learners, which provides so much more authenticity than a piece of work just being handed in within the classroom.
  • By making learning accessible and visible, learning is now possible far beyond the four walls of the school buildings. Students can continue to learn outside of the restrictive school-hours. 
  • 'Whanaungatanga' is all about the importance of relationships for "Māori learners achieving educational success as Māori" (Tātaiako, Ministry of Education, 2011, p5). An essential reason for learning being visible is to ensure whānau have the ability to be connected and fully involved in the leaning of their tamariki. This relationship is essential to ensure our tamariki can accelerate and get the most out of their learning.

Monday, 1 February 2016


Togetherness. Support. Challenge. Goals. Strive.

These are a handful of the many words which have been rushing through my head as we prepare for Tuesday 2 February 2016 - day 1, term 1 - at Pt England School! I learned the idea of consciously thinking of words that associate with a current experience/situation, a year ago whilst on a three week Outward Bound Course. We had to think of a word to encourage us through a particular challenge and write it in vivid on our forearms. This acted as a constant (and permanent) support throughout this task, as well as challenging, yet exciting tasks that would inevitably follow. This simple technique has been high in my thoughts over the last couple of weeks. I haven't got to the point where I have graffitied my arm, but my imagination is frequently stamping it there!