It was so amazing to have my first working group of the year. The best way I have found to share a message is by working with others to bring our experiences and grow together. So a part of my inquiry this year is to create a working group that will hopefully grow organically as the time goes on. I have a general layout for each session which happens every two weeks but we will go with the needs and passions of the group as well! It was so amazing to start with CBT today and I have linked the slides and resources into my workshop section on my blog: Linked here
I believe the more the know about our brain and its processes the more we are equipped for dealing with all the hats teachers are required to put on throughout one day. By understanding that people come to a conversation with their thoughts based on their experiences we can help understand different perspectives. It was so great to spend the session talking about our own experiences and I feel the more we discuss our beliefs we may feel like we are consolidating our current thinking as teachers but also and possibly more importantly growing ourselves as well.
I have retweeted Kristin Wiens so many times!! She is the guru of visuals and I love how she creates for adults and children so we can be on the same page! Check her out on Twitter!
These are two great reads that may start to get you thinking about how we can use assessment to continually inform our practice instead of only at the end as a test. Also, 'weaving a coherent curriculum' allows you to reflect on what a truly interwoven curriculum may look like. What is the teacher's role and what are the learners doing?
Outcomes are not just a factor from teaching
‘Proven’ approaches works if you have the same students every year
Look at MCDonald ‘making sense of an uncertain craft - widely uncertain triangle - look at snap chat - teachers feel different on different days
Its not given its not determined, adapting yourself as a teacher to your students
PAKURANGA TEACHING AS INQUIRY
It is a professional learning journey that encourages teachers to challenge their learning and adapt their practise
We can be blinkered by our past experiences and our beliefs
Which students are being advantaged and disadvantaged in my lessons
Spiral of inquiry
Student interview - what makes an effective teacher?
‘Knowing they have confidence in me.’
‘Not doing the same boring thing’
‘Treat everyone the same’
‘Teachers care about me and it gives me a confidence boost’
‘We are teaching them and they are teaching us'
INTERNATIONAL INSTITUE OF EDUCATION
INSTITUTE FOR EFFECTIVE EDUCATION
Vivian Robinson - Dealing with problem solving in schools
- Vivian talks about dealing with problems in schools and leaders going from 'problem' to 'solution' straight away without even thinking about the analysis of the problem. E.g the inquiry process into what caused the problem, who does the problem have an impact on.
Karl Popper - All life is problem solving
Adaptive expertise - it could be inquiring into a strategy or it could be into a mindset
‘Touchstone’ - did it lead to me sharing something new that leads to something better?
It was great to see how my inquiry can fit into the goals of the Manaiakalani Inquiries- Building Language as the tool of meaning making and the tool of empowerment for learners to take ownership of their own learning.
Lanuage in a abundance - including reading more in our learning Highten the aquistianal potential
1 step - I need to receive
2 - I need to try out
‘Gifting’ children with the language v extracting
Flourishing learning potential through - Planning Preparing Providing
Planning to provide the children with new language because if we model the language they can use - it builds a bank of language for the learners to access and this increases their potential. With Creativity being an essential part to stimulate the children's interests and motivation to lean. We thought about the importance of planning for creative opportunities in a range of different ways so it allows for all learners to find their passions eg whole body, digital, making with their hands or feet.
We are learning as a community - you are not one learning from me (the teacher) you are learning from each other.
Elasticity of the Brain - fluidly and flicker throughout
Brains develop from right to left
The prefrontal cortex
This helps with planning
If your going to label anything then label strengths
Some children and others have ‘stuck brains’
‘Its like being on a fishing trip trying to see what bait we should use’
Most powerful way is verbal feedback ‘ I noticed…. ‘ ‘ I like the way you are…… your next step could be …..’ VALIDATION
‘ Power of positive’
Teach the concept before asking questions
If you have limited time increase the visual
Humans remember gestures more than anything else
Repetition / note making teach children to make notes
Memory hang - Andrew fuller
Importance of Empowerment
Since I have been looking at the importance of building a language for learning and developing individual plans for each child. I have become very interested in how the brain works and how this can help my understanding of each learner on a personal level. So I was lucky to have been able to go to a conference with Nathan Wallis and Andrew Fuller - who gave great insights into the learning brain. Here are my notes from the day:
These are bullet points that explain this model but there is a link in the photo to help shed more light on it;
1 - Brain stem - 'Survival Brain' both 1 and 2 are known as the reptilian brain
2. Mid Brain/ cerebellum - responsible for movement etc
3. Limbic System - Emotions
4. Frontal lobe - Literacy, Numeracy, Empathy
5. Parietal Lobe - visualising language that is spoken to you
Electricity in the centre of the neocons
Information is carried in the neutron pathways ‘ use it or loose it ‘
If you don’t know something you just haven’t generated the neuron pathway to know it
Synaptic connection ‘aww moment’ we have to find out what creates it
Not all neurons stay in your Brain forever - it uses milen. The more we repeat the new learning, the more the pathway gets covered in milen and the more the new learning gets cemented in our memory.
Nothing sets off the neutron pathways than human faces
Digital learning works as well as face to face building on the relationships that you start on top to face to face learning.
Making connections - means you are linking in their network of motor neurone - already having dispositions. So the more we link the children's learning to their passions/ things they are interested in the better their understanding.
Don't destroy the Love of leaning - in brain number 3
Gifted children is a thing
The make up for people can be genetics - hypocampus
Success breeds success
Endorphins allows children to learn if they are in survive mode (cortisol) you can not take in more information starts from evolution
Top 3 release the endorphins -
BRAIN NUMBER 2 NEEDS A RHYTHMIC PATTERN
Cortisol prevents a pathway from creating to make the child know not to do something - if you are learning with cortisol then you are breaking the pathway e.g. shouting makes it harder to learn or the word ‘don’t use ‘ we should do it ….’
Cognitive training in the parietal lobe - repeating saying what you want and describe the behaviour you want to see e.g. ‘sit down on the chair’ instead of ‘go to the seat and do not do that’
Poutama - its like a staircase - need opportunities to practise learning
As a team we have been building our knowledge around what we think agency is and pulling together all the different ideas of the hubs, looking at common phrases and coming up with a shared definition of Agency.
Agency is….the power and capacity to affect change in my world.
So we brought the teachers together and we decided to share this definition but we also wanted them to see that as a school we were already doing so many things to get the children to become agentic and our Graduate Profile had lots of ways that encouraged agentic learning.
So we gave the teachers time to reflect on what they had chosen to focus on as their Inquiry and make connections to build agency into this. We wanted to plant the seed of what agency is and allow them to see that it is not something new we are just looking for them to have a deeper understanding of agency and plan for it intentionally within their hubs.
During the meeting we realised there were some staff who had wonderings and thinkings about this. So, we arranged meetings to support and discuss this further and build teacher voice to reflect on when we meet as a team to discuss how we can support Agency across the school even more.
As part of the Agency Team we wanted to share our practises and get other teachers starting to think about how they can get their learners to be more agentic.
St Patrick's Day celebrations were in full flight this morning, hence the sprinkle of green on us!
We have had many teachers, especially in the Junior school, finding it difficult to see how their learners can be agentic as they thought it had to be children independently doing everything. However, during my session we talked about children becoming agentic as a journey, there are steps that the children will take throughout their education and we are continually creating stimulating environments for them to achieve.
My background has always been Early Years and this year I chose to go up to the big scary world of the Seniors. When making the choice to move up the thing I thought I was going to miss the most was all the 'fun' eg dressing up as a princess, putting on different voices and most of all using my resources to interact with the learners because I would have to pretend to be cool. To my surprise, and this is what I shared with the teachers, seniors still love all this. I remember when on a training day in the U.K. a successful Headteacher said to me 'teaching in the Early Years will prepare you for teaching in all the years.' And I didn't realise what she meant until now. In order to get 3-7 year olds engaged you need to make your teaching visible, interactive and stimulating or else they won't even look at you. But I think just because the older kids are more disciplined we can forget they need all of this as well but it just might look a bit different. It's safe to say, once I started to get the dress up box out and use Superheroes in their learning they were loving it, and it also meant I didn't have to pretend to be as cool as I thought because I think they were seeing right through that act.
'Visible learning is teachers seeing learning through the eyes of their students and students seeing themselves as their own teachers.' - John Hattie
I illustrated how I have been continually refining my visible resources and how it is crucial to build a language for learning through interactive teaching as part of the early stages in the journey of agency. Eventually we want the children independently noticing how their choices have impacts on their overall future. Therefore, building the children's self awareness and ability to reflect are the stepping stones to this. It was great to share this with colleagues and they have been requesting that I share these resources so they can use them in their teaching, juniors and seniors alike.
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'Tsunami of change about to hit our shore, which I believe will totally transform the way we look at education'
So, I decided to find out a little bit more about me as a leader and a learner before I started thinking about my teaching. Not loosing my spark of madness was one of the tips I was given - great start I think! After taking the 16 personalities test and the CLARA test I found lots of things that related to me and some..... I wasn't too sure.
'Campaigners tend to see life as a big, complex puzzle where everything is connected, through a prism of emotion, compassion and mysticism, and are always looking for a deeper meaning.'
From my results I agree with this statement and I hope these qualities will help me with my Inquiry into Leaner Agency. I want to solve different ways to tap into my learner's thinking and help them go from surface level thinking to developing and leading deeper meaning.
So the CLARA tool showed me that I have a lot of Hope, Optimism and Sense making as strengths but I need to work on my Collaboration and Creativity. Hmmm, when I first saw these results I actually thought they did not reflect me as I thought I was quiet creative in my teaching but when I read the results I started to connect with the picture.
'You probably feel freer at some times and in some places than you do in others to ‘let your imagination off the leash.' Reflect on what makes it appropriate and safe to be Creative in your place of learning.'
I would agree with this, I have been working on putting my ideas forward to others as I feel very safe in my teaching to be creative but showing this in front of others, sometimes I feel restricted so I will continue to develop this and TRY to start 'Letting answers come to me in the moment, rather than only looking things up.'
Although we do not know what the future holds I feel we have to attempt to understand what qualities and skills will be needed/desired to be successful adults: creative, risk takers who can self regulate and adapt to a changing environment (with confidence or resilience?). - That's my thoughts anyways. Helping children to accept and understand what ‘comfortable with being uncomfortable so you are prepared for anything’ means.