Monday, August 28, 2017

HUI - Sharing

Sharing Our Inquiries

What a great afternoon of sharing and learning.
I was so impressed with the creative ways the COL teachers displayed their Inquiries - Well done team.

I realised that I need to be talking more to my colleagues about alternative assessments that may give a more detailed picture of our students with additional needs. I was surprised by the number of teachers who were unaware of any other assessments to  possibly use on students who failed the mainstream assessments.

I  have exciting work ahead!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Numbers Talk

Oral Language and a rich vocabulary 
- the key to successful learning.

The Numbers really do matter!

Reading mileage and Reading at home really does stack up!

As a teacher we need to find ways to create links and build language - this will help achievement in all curriculum areas.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Language development and Reading Comprehension

Are your students struggling with reading comprehension ?  
Do they have the language skills and vocabulary to answer the comprehension questions during reading?

We need to be offering our students opportunity and stimulation to help their Oral language development.

We need to teach the language and the skills of comprehension.

Gail Arriola-Bagayas  our speech therapist at Sommerville has shared this fabulous resources that makes it very  clear about the developmental steps in understanding questions.
Check the great ideas in this handout.

Sometimes we need to unpack the learning goals.

Please get in touch with me if i can help with your reading programmes or helping develop your students comprehension skills. 

Book time with Donna 

Verbal reasoning -  the big picture.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Maths Assessment Progressions

Maths Assessment Progressions at Sommerville.

The Sommerville Maths curriculum team have created this overview of maths assessments.
Students at Sommerville who often can not be assessment using mainstream maths assessment are assessed against P levels. This is a series of leveled progression indicators. P 1 to P 7 are below  the Emergent maths levels.
As our students reach these  P level progression indicators we move them onto Mainstream assessments eg JAM and Gloss.

Sommerville Special school uses a fabulous maths resources called Numicon
Numicon has an assessment system that matches this maths resource.
Numicon is a distinctive multi-sensory approach to children's mathematical learning that emphasises three key aspects of doing mathematics:
  • communicating mathematically
  • exploring relationships
  • solving problems in everyday life experiences (generalising)

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Differentiating our Assessments in Literacy

Literacy Assessments at Sommerville.

Sommerville Literacy assessment

As part of my on going Inquiry into using appropriate assessments
Will using fine-grained assessments improve teacher capacity for setting appropriate goals for students who fail to register on standardised tests?

I have put together a overview of assessments we are currently using at Sommerville to help us establish exactly what our students know and inform how we set appropriate learning targets and goals for the students next steps.
The teachers at Sommerville now have a range assessment to chose from . It is important that the assessments used give the teacher as much information as possible not just a pass or fail!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Oral Language a crucial element.

Starting primary school is an enormous transition in a young child’s life. Children need to find their place in a new social and learning environment. Entering this new environment with Speech Language Communication Needs can have long-term impact on a child. Children may struggle to make friends, to learn, and to be themselves as part of their new  school community.

It is expected that when a child starts primary school, they will be able to understand much of what is said, express themselves clearly, share their feelings and make their needs known.
In many ways our ability to communicate  can define us, sometimes it is away we are judged and measured by others and the means by which we form our relationships. Children starting school with speech, language and communication needs may struggle with many aspect of communication and they can become withdrawn or present with challenging behaviour within the school environment.

Some children may not be able to understand the words being spoken to them. When their teacher tells the class what they need to do, or explains a new idea or concept, these children may struggle to understand what is being said. Having an appropriate vocabulary is essential for  learning, however learning vocabulary has been identified as one of the most significant difficulties for some children.

As teachers we need to scaffold the learning for our students. Offer multiple opportunities to learn new vocabulary, and practice it regularly. We need to help make connections and use visuals to help cement the new learning.
How much of our day is spent developing our children's language?  Low language levels impact all other curriculum areas.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Grit - I think I can , I will keep going until I do it!

During the Manaiakalani Leaders PLD today there was a discussion around setting clear expectations and setting goals for our students .

I am a firm believer in the principle 'if you think you can - then you can' and also if ' people I trust believe in me and think I can then I will '.

It reminded me of the TED talk I had
Listened to.

Worth a watch and some thoughts

Let's build some Grit in our learners .

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Inclusive School Curriculum - A Curriculum for ALL !

NZC- A Curriculum for all.
Framework for an Inclusive School Curriculum.

This framework embodies the key elements of an inclusive school curriculum that together ensure progress and achievement for all students.

"The New Zealand Curriculum is a clear statement of what we deem important in education. It takes as its starting point a vision of our young people as lifelong learners who are confident and creative, connected, and actively involved."
The New Zealand Curriculum, 2007, page 4

A flexible framework

"The New Zealand Curriculum, together with the Qualifications Framework, gives schools the flexibility to design and deliver programmes that will engage all students and offer them appropriate learning pathways."
The New Zealand Curriculum, 2007, page 41

The New Zealand Curriculum supports schools to ensure that teaching and learning are effective and engaging for all. When teaching, learning, and assessment recognise and respond to the unique differences of individuals, all students can learn.
The New Zealand Curriculum is not prescriptive. Its learning areas provide a flexible foundation for exploring, evaluating, integrating, and enhancing knowledge. Its key competencies, which capture learning capabilities and dispositions, strengthen the learning areas by supporting students to value curiosity, thinking, self-management, perseverance, collaboration, and caring for others.