Tuesday, September 22, 2015

We value life long learning!

Our Special Characters Leaders organised a fantastic Values Assembly this morning. This is the presentation. They made a video interviewing students to see how they felt about learning.

Great job - thank you to the Leaders and Mrs Marston for the work you have done putting this together.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Fantastic Writing

Here is some fabulous writing created by Millie in Room 8 - Great job Millie. I know Millie would love some feedback.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

What are Modern Learning Practices?

As you know education has changed a lot over the years and change continues to happen. There are some very exciting changes happening in all areas and education is just one of those.  

You may have heard or not heard about an Education philosophy being used in many schools around New Zealand ' Modern Learning Environments and Modern Learning Practices. Today begin a series of posts that will try to explain these and show where OLA fits in all of this.

Watch this video to hear Dr David Parsons, Associate Professor, Massey University explains the need to teach higher level thinking skills and develop key competencies using technology to prepare students for the 21st century.


Teaching for 21st century learners from CORE Ministry Video on Vimeo.

Modern Learning Environment (MLE)- this is as it states, all about the area we work in, in some of the new schools and those recently repaired a modern learning environment has been built. This area is usually large and has less structured furniture and in many cases two or three teachers and children work in the same space. This is not what is happening at OLA - don't fear - we are not knocking out our walls!

Modern Learning Practices - (MLP) This is about the teacher and the students. MLP have been around for a while now and for a few years our professional development as teachers has been around researching, training and building our professional education knowledge to ensure as we teach your child, children in the 21st century, that we are in fact using the tools and processes that are going to set them up for success in the future.
Recent research has shown as digital technologies are everywhere now that we need to ensure that when children are at school that they continue to be engaged, motivated and valued in their place of work.

We continue to read a lot of education based research that clearly shows that if we involve our children in the ownership of their learning, give them a voice and encourage their input - the outcome is positive engaged, motivated students and improved results.

MLP - In a connected world enables learners to drive their learning - Think about the where, how, what and who!

MLP is about relationships, culture and best practice - just changing the space will not create real MLP - thinking about the pedagogy (art of teaching) , our school vision and the learners in our school will make it happen!

Amanda Campbell Jo Earl

Monday, August 24, 2015

Commenting on a blog...

The children in Room 7 were charged with the task of creating a video to teach people how to comment on a blog. Enda and Luc have done a great job of this video and I know you will all enjoy it as well as learn how to comment.

Take the time to go through the student individual blogs and make a comment - the students would love to have some feedback!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Re-imagine the "Book Report"

The Book Report with a Difference

The book report was called Book in a....(something).  Students had to bring their report in a container that reflected something about their book. Then they had to find 10-20 vocabulary words that they thought were challenging to test the class on in their presentation.  As well they had to find 10 items that could go in their container that also related to the book that they could talk about.  Lastly,​​ they had to come up with some questions for the audience that would allow them to link real life experience with situations or events that happened in the book. 

Great job Maia! Your container was amazing and your report on Awful Auntie written by David Walliams was presented well!

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Ultimate Marsupial

The Ultimate Marsupial

Josh M shared this with me last week - he has constructed this in Google Draw. I just loved it and thought it would be great to share with you all. Josh had the background animated but I haven't been able to publish this with the animation working. I still thought it needed to be shared - Great work, Josh!


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Year 5-8 Open Day

1:1 at OLA ... Our journey so far

Today we held an open day for parents to come in and see the teaching and learning programmes in Year 5 - 8.

We are really proud of the programmes that are in place and excited to share the learning. We are very thankful for the support we have received from the Greater Christchurch Schools Network which has afforded this opportunity to our school community and we are very thankful to our parent community for getting in behind us and supporting this project. I have tried to capture the essence of today's presentation in this post for those of you who were unable to make it. 


What has changed?

- All our Year 5 - 8 students have a a google account under the domain name ola.school.nz  they all have logins to their very own google drive.
- Students are using GAFE (Google apps for Education) - google docs, sheets, slides, forms...etc 
- all work is stored in the cloud.
- teachers use Hapara teacher Dashboard to manage all the files (this is like being able to peer into your child's desk and look at all their books from your laptop - a great tool).
- students can collaborate more easily on documents and get peer feedback or feedback from their teachers on work as they are completing it.
- Flipped classrooms - we are exploring ways of using flipped learning in our rooms. Students receive a link to a video clip about lessons that will take place in the next week. They get to watch the video and have the benefit of knowing what it is they are learning prior to the lesson. The teacher then will offer the lesson - some students may decide they don't need to go to the workshop/ lesson as they feel they have a good understanding of the concept - others may want a little more reinforcement and will attend the session. At all times this is monitored and guided by the teacher as facilitator of learning.
- Collaborative teaching - we are exploring other modern learning practices such as collaborative teaching where teachers work together in different ways to meet the needs of the students in the classes. As we learn more about this we will keep you informed.
- We are trying to increase Learner Agency (students having more control and choice over their learning) as research tells us that an increase in Learner Agency leads to higher student engagement.

What hasn't changed?

- Our passion for teaching and learning. We have  teachers working in our classes who are extremely passionate about teaching and learning using digital technologies. I feel privileged to work alongside them. 
- We still teach Reading, Writing and Maths in flexible groups. This will not change - teachers will still continue to facilitate learning in this way. 
- We are still using Maths books - this is working well.
- We still teach handwriting and formation of letters up until Year 4.


How will it work for next Year's year 5 students as they move into classes with student who are already way down the track with learning using GAFE tools?
We are ensuring that all 2015 year 4 students have had experience using google drive by the end of 2015. They all have logins now and are becoming adept at using these.

Handwriting? We still teach handwriting and letter formation up until Year 4. Year 5 -8 students do use pen and paper from time to time.

Screen Time? We monitor screen time. Students are not working on screens all day long. No computers at morning tea and lunch time. This won't change. Students work with teachers in flexible groups and this is not always on screens.

There will always be other questions and we are more than happy to try to answer them - take a leap and leave a comment - we are keen to hear from you!