Sunday, March 30, 2014

Reflecting and Reporting

This week I was suddenly closer to 60 than 50! It only seems like the other day that I was only half way to 60. For time to have gone so fast I must be having one hell of a lot of fun!

The day itself was a true pleasure. Staff thought they would dress up as me.

The two things that alarmed me about this was that they had this stuff in their wardrobes and that they thought they were dressing up as me - they just wore a random combination of bad taste clothes!

I was really blown away when the whole school ambushed me in the cafe and sung Happy Birthday and launched balloons they had been secretly blowing up.

On the slightly more serious side birthdays are a time to be reflective - one of our important Hobsonville Habits that make up our dispositional curriculum. A lot of our staff regularly blog (check them out on the sidebar) which is a great way to model being reflective. The courageous aspect of them being reflective is that they choose a tool that is open and public. By their very actions they are further deprivatising the practice of teaching and making teaching even more visible - something all teachers need to be embracing.

Right now teachers throughout NZ are writing reports for their students. They are spending hours ticking boxes, compiling grades and writing comments for learners they may not yet really know. Hours are being spent proof-reading and correcting, compiling and printing and issuing to parents, in many cases 3-4 weeks after they are written.

How many teachers are taking the opportunity to report on their own performance, effort, progress and achievement, let alone publishing their reports for anyone to see. Recent posts from Steve, Ros and Sally have them doing that exactly. Sally makes comments about herself against each of the Hobsonville Habits while Ros asks the questions of herself that coaches are currently asking of their learners in preparation for their IEMs.

We are reporting to our parents as well. Once a fortnight Learning Coaches send a brief email to parents on their child's learning goals and how well they are going towards achieving them.

As well, last Tuesday evening we held a parent workshop, as part of our reporting to them where we had a 80% turnout. Parents met in their child's learning community and rotated through 4 kitchen table workshops on Big Projects, Specialised Learning Modules, Learning Dispositions and Learning Hubs - the key elements of our curriculum.

Parents participating in curriculum workshops
In 2 weeks time parents will be invited in by their children to have a 30 minute conference with them, supported by their Learning Coach, where they will discuss this term's learning and what their goals are for next term. Seems like effective and valuable reporting to me.

The neat thing is that we don't confine ourselves to just reporting on ourselves! Check out Claire's post on her report on the Minister.

Wandering around during the week I am still impressed with the high levels of engagement I am seeing throughout the building. Through a range of different modules and contexts students have been engaging with the big concept of Identity in ways that are linking the important Learning Areas of the NZC.

Liz ensuring students use the NZ Engineering Standards in their work!

Composing and performing music to express Identity

Visualising our pepeha - our community's identity!
I pinch myself that we have only had 8 weeks yet students are talking about their stages of learning in relation to our Learning Design Model - they know when they are Exploring, Making Sense, Focusing, Generating, Testing, Refining and Sharing. One student told me that she was involved in a process of 'Ideation' in her attempt to make sense and enable her to focus within her project!

They are also engaging actively with the Hobsonville Habits and knowing which Habit they are displaying and which ones they need to strengthen.

Visualising the examples of when habits being displayed
And right in the mix is the fantastic Big Project element of our curriculum. Check out Sarah's post on this part of our curriculum and view the YouTube clip which puts the Big Project element right in the Big Picture.

As a said in my last post the Professional Learning we do as a staff each Friday morning is a highlight. This week was no exception. Di, in a brief but powerful workshop, linked our Learning Design Model to the writing of Learning Objectives which made me embarrassed when I realised the poor quality of my Learning Objectives in the past. This was an epiphany for me. ut wait! There was more! Lisa lept to her feet and with a very messy drawing clearly explained the way in which higher order thinking is scaffolded both with a lesson and across a whole module.

Fridays are such a buzz after these sessions.

I was rapt with my cycling shoes and gloves for my birthday but this note that was encased in a balloon and delivered to me by a student took my breath away.
This will do as my report card for the meantime.

1 comment:

Mrs Holloway said...

I loved the comments in your birthday balloon. Well deserved. I am really enjoying reading your blog each time Maurie!
Marion Holloway