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Showing posts from 2016

2017 for Visarts at HHS

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More messing around with the limitations of google draw than real planning... 

ULEARN 2016 - 5 - 7 October; What I Gained

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ULEARN is pretty massive. I had never been, and only had the GAFE summit held in Christchurch to compare it to. The reason I got to go was because of Spark - MIT 2016. Again thanks so much for that opportunity.

It was substantially bigger than GAFE (I think) and they feed you very, very well. 1800 teachers attended this year and my first observation was of observing the local College students obligingly and efficiently organise the registrations of those 1800 teachers who are a) not good at following basic instructions and b) are crammed into a seemingly small foyer, with coffee nearby, not able to get to it til the registration was done at 8 in the morning...The students were awesome and moving through the teachers more quickly than the front desk. 

My key takeaways would be too many for one post. I am distilling it down to my top 10

From Andrew Ford of Sebel who presented a non-sales pitched presentation on how to effectively manage in an ILE/MLE space, using research and design thinki…

ULEARN 2016

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Thank you Spark and MIT for this opportunity.


 notes accompanying the slides:

Slide 1 - Tēnā Koutou Katoa Ko Kaiterau tōku Māunga Ko Waikōau tōku awa No Kaikoura ahau Ko Annette rāua ko Paul Bourke ōku mātua Ko Rowena Clemence tōku ingoa

Slide 2 - He Kaiako Te Huruhuru Ao o Horomaka Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Welcome to my presentation as a Visual Arts teacher at Hornby High School in Christchurch. 

Slide 3 - We have new tools requiring new pedagogy that allows learning to happen ubiquitously, rewindably. Teachers dream of facilitating learning rather than ramming knowledge down throats to be regurgitated later. We have an opportunity for self-efficacy.

Slide 4 - ‘Why’? Woolf Fisher data from 2016 highlights the problem we knew we already had with writing. 72% of our new entrants into year 7 are below or well below the national standards in writing. The problem is not the ‘dumbness’ of our kids, as they are not.

Slide 5 - It is the skill-set to break up…

Genius Hour

Collaboration in PLD at work. Shared google doc with notes a few staff took simultaneously during our PD with Caroline From Christ's College on how she runs Genius Hour. Awesome session;
Contributions from:
Joanne Clark
Ben Carter
Sarah Richardson
Rowena Clemence




Trouble Shooting

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7BK - my main class for trialling SPARK - MIT initiatives are just lovely. They tolerate and buy into me trying new things out on a very regular basis. AND they tell me they love Art. What more can I hope for :-)

Going week to week, sending out mass copies of google drawings to be completed by the class is messy and confusing. Particularly when we are enrolling new students all the time who are not necessarily added to your Hapara class lists...

I lost my phone again. And my keys (not new). And my head doing this. I had messed around in workspace and then decided not to use it. Now it can be made public and now that I am steadily confusing myself with what is sent and what is not, I have come to the realisation, it is the cleanest and most effective way to get their literacy work out to the class.

Their Hapara drive looked like this:

 Which was my fault....

We were all confused and only got about 20 minutes of practical art work done in a lesson...that is not fun. I persisted with this…

Hornby High School Kapahaka

"It's just an excuse to get out of class..."

Not a student, but a former teacher. The prospect of students coming out of a timetabled class for Kapahaka practice.

"I don't think it is fair that they miss one of our classes and we lose that time, they are usually the most behind"

It is not the most accurate quote, but it is a sentiment expressed often when, as a dean a few years ago, I was the space between the rock and the hard place in soothing fears and hurts over the school attempting to get some traction in setting up Kapahaka as a culture here. Unsuccessfully, I might add. In both respects.

The key word here being 'they'.  Us and them, you and me, management vs school vs students vs Māori students. When fear is a factor, the 'other' becomes a significant stumbling block, ignorance outweighs compassion and common sense. All we end up seeing and being, is a part of a divisive and negative culture.

So I joined the Kapahaka practice. It is t…

Random Thoughts

As I hung the washing on a freezing Canterbury morning (-4), I couldn't help thinking of further steps:
- How to see this through a te reo lens - we have a bi-lingual unit, there is a minimal requirement for how that is handled in te reo. I know that my having they year 7 and 8 bi-lingual class once a week helps diminish the time spent doing this.
- Dropping back further to level 2 of the visual arts curriculum - knowing how this is already handled at a primary school level would be beneficial, particularly a collaborative environment.
- Not forgetting how SOLO fits in.

"Write That Essay" PLD day notes

Our focus is writing and based on the Woolf Fisher data we received on Wednesday, That is pretty much what it should be.




There were a lot of useful tips and tricks that we can implement starting Monday, and we will. Blog posts are about to change for our senior students.

Language Accessibility Again

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From this,




to this...








This does work, but, man, the language is hard in the CI and UC strands for them. A lot of repetition is needed. And some definitions still need tweaking.

Not all of the words are straight from the curriculum statements. In each strand I have included words I teach to, and have taught to. For example 'Tache' in PK.

Next steps; 
- Starting at a level below what I think they are
- Building up a cache of language google drawings that they 'get' quickly and can start to show some fluency in,
- Applying the words to their own and others pieces of Art pieces and building a communal bank.
- Making this accessible to other teachers to start using and add to.
- Measuring student's performance from starting to finishing and within curriculum work over the year. Using self-assessment as well as teacher based assessment.
- How does this link into SOLO and how I am re-structuring units of work around Learn, Create, Share.
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Google slide for developing a unit of work with the students

Working on systemising how we break down the units so that the students can relate it back to their analysis on google drawings of each strand based on examples of work.

The idea being that we create and discuss the unit and it is added to as students experiences and understanding unravels in that first lesson. Will be seeing how it goes this coming week.

My notes from a research paper on leadership for learning

These are my notes from an article that I chose to summarise for my study group on developing a positive professional development culture in a school. We are all researching and developing our own PLD experience (using MKO for mine) and this in particular resonated with me in regards to how success or the lack of, can happen. The term 'paraprofessionals' was new for me. I like how that goes such a long way to explain how we place value in these roles and how that can ultimately determine our success. 

Making the Language Real and Accessable

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Talking myself around in circles. The plan here is to make something that students can use to create their own DLO's. This is why I haven't bothered with Quizlet or Kahoots. They are engaging, accessible, and relatively easy to use. However, I want the children to be able to make something that they can digitally keep and refer back to. Without the language. I have some hesitation is continuing to use google draw, I don't want to come out of this one trick pony. But I do see it suiting my needs here.

I envisage crating a bank of language that is specific to each curriculum level, each curriculum strand. Flash cards/definitions that can then be applied to one art image or piece of documentation in making art. Students can then have their image surrounded by 4 to 10 different card, different colours as strands never sit neatly as one task per strand.

google drawing card for analysis and why it didnt work

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Language. If you don't have it, you can't apply it. Interestingly, as I explained the concepts, it clicked into place, but I still had to keep doing this and in the ned, I really just made  a bunch of kids "repeat after me..."

What I have I learned?
1) they are clever enough there is not deficit with their intellect.
2) It doesn't matter if you are clever, if no one has exposed you to the language to express it
3) All of this correlates to our data on writing.



Shikobi tells me it was alright, but why were my words so confusing?













Next steps:
Go back to language base, and develop it based on breaking down and analysing the curriculum levels. This will be an interesting exercise as I don't think it has been done. If so, there are no easily available resources on it. How would a general teacher expected to cover all subjects at junior levels be expected to manage this? Not cool, TKI!

I used to use flash card, which worked (i love organising things by colour) but wer…

Solo updated posters/steps for Visual Arts Hornby High School

7 BK SPARK MIT trial with google drawing 'cards'

Learning outcome; Understanding the Visual Arts strands at Level 3 of the NZCObjectives:
- To be able to recognise explicitly what is required in meeting each strand
- To be able to figure out what is potentially missing in a piece of work within each strand
- To be able to negotiate their own strengths and weaknesses in their own work based on this breakdown of understanding

What we want to achieve because of this:
- A bank of resources that demonstrate understanding of each strand, within potentially the same piece of work
- To be able to differentiate not only between curriculum levels, but also between a low, mid and high standard in each curriculum level
- To be have an open, accessible and collaborative bank of student work that can be used in self-assessing, comparison and idea gathering for other teachers and students beyond Hornby.

What I have so far:
Level 3 Practical Knowledge;

We used a piece of work from another class that was incomplete, but clearly demonstrated this stra…

SPARK - MIT trial

7 Bk's Class blog.

This is a class I have hardly seen and they cannot keep up with the programme we had initially planned on because of that. Interruptions will continue unfortunately, so I am going to work with them as a trial class.

I will post up the results of this after Thursday

SOLO in Art

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This is our take on SOLO with Visual Arts. It fits cleanly with our base assessment scale, with the expectations of NCEA in visual Arts at level 1 - 3 and as a way to enable good clear scaffolding for students to achieve at higher levels too.





What I Am Going To Try; Google Draw

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Click on this link for the original Google Draw file

I think this is at the substitution level as it is. What happens to that information they create with these is how it becomes redefined and modified.

Breaking it down into low, mid and high of a curriculum level is really what is happening on the google sheet that I have already worked on with the students.



This as a do now - 1 - 2 curriculum strands from students work so far, or work done previously that I know they can manage. All the answers are ones that my current Year 7 and 8 students could provide based on the work we have completed this term. They know what Tache is, and they can identify all of those elements.

We teach the vocab using flash cards anyway, so just making sure they are available or even developing them into google drawings as well, would help.

Getting the students to 'bank' these in a file somewhere is the next step and relating it back to SOLO for Visual Arts.

What Is My Innovation?

Trying to get to the point where students can identify what they are doing and why they are doing it. But also being brave enough to share how they are doing, without fear

Have I explicitly taught the strands? No. Is this a mistake? Possibly.

I consistently address that fear of people seeing whether or not the students are 'good enough'. I am so caught up with my junior classes teaching in the limited time that we have, that unpacking the strands, can be something that gets put 'away'.

SOLO - we did this once! We had extensive PLD on it and then it fell away with the numerous other commitments we have. I am wondering how I explicitly re-introduce this and link to this as well as make those strands more obvious, student owned. When I took on SOLO in Art, I added in an extra step. When SOLO is related to NCEA 'achieved', 'merit' and 'excellence', multi-structural comes out as 'achieved'. I feel that is inaccurate at level one NCEA. So we a…

SAMR - Not a Hierarchy

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Above the line and below the line is often how it is referred as, but as soon as you do that, it becomes something that has a finish - when you get to redefinition, you can go no further until someone invents a new app...

This approach negates the fact that there is good teaching and bad teaching, good learning, bad learning with or without technology. Sometimes a substitution task is the most appropriate for the learner in front of you. Sometimes you move from redefining a task back down to substituting a section of it with a google doc, for good reason; the best for the learner's needs at the time.

While what we want is for students to be determining their own learning, that is not always possible, nor what we need at the time. The idea that if we are teaching to the needs, and students are learning what the need to know, we are moving above and below the line all the time.


Student self assessment - Qualitative Data gathering using google sheets

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Spark - MIT have given me the opportunity to explore and figure out a way of developing a way with my students to unpack the curriculum in Visual Arts for themselves. In order to do this successfully, (shoutout Tania Coutts for help with this) I need them to be able to not only self assess, which they do anyway, but to be public and brave about it.

Google sheets is essentially 'live'. 'Protected sheets and ranges' means that I can have multiple editors and lock them down to only what I want them to be able to edit. Qualitative data is significant in understanding how students are managing that top end of the curriculum.

This is where we are at with all of our junior classes. Because it is all of them (13 classes in all) it is a bit of a Himalayan trek to get it all done.


This is a screen shot from one class who are incomplete so far.
Each student can only access their own row. It is colour coded and is my marking schedule anyway for the class, with alterations made to …

Spark MIT 2016 first day of Professional Learning here in Auckland

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Today I am at the Spark Headquarters here in central Auckland. 







We have had fantastic coffee, wonderful food and are awed by the amazing design of the building internally.
And then we had to go back to our actual reason for being here; what is the PROBLEM. This was a struggle as at times, it is easy to jump ahead to solutions for a problem you have a gut feeling about. But, have you checked yourself? Do you have enough to keep an inquiry going for a whole year? It occurred to me after I finished the process with the fellow Spark MIT recipients, that I had not done what I preach to my senior students to do, well enough; know your concept/theme (in this case problem) so well, that you always have a base of knowledge to go back to when you get stuck or require a new direction. So that is what I am doing.
Assess, Critique, Extend - Learn, Create, Share Visual Arts Junior Curriculum Levels

The problem: We have the potential for a culture of excellence within Visual Arts at Hornby High School …

MIT Manaiakalani Innovative Teacher's Scholarship 2016

This is something I applied for in 2015 as something to address in imbalance that exists in getting talented, priority learner Art students through into NCEA with as much confidence in the written/analytical strands of the curriculum, as well as handling the visual/technique based strands.

I want to create an online exemplar forum of student work that is live and demonstrates the curriculum at the junior levels as low mid and high. we are moving to reporting to our community along these lines, as a lot of schools already do, and even using NCEA terminology of Achieved, Merit and Excellence within each level. Years' 9 and 10 are my target group at the moment.

Writing and literacy is a major focus for our school and this inquiry I have planned addresses that focus in Art as well as working at making digital learning opportunities ubiquitous and moving critique and self-assessment into the modification and redefinition phase of SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefini…