Noelene Dunn's Blog
These are my reflections on teaching and learning in a secondary school.
Thursday, 20 July 2017
Do Learners Respond favourably to Google Calendar?
Google calendars are one of the many ways that we promote visible teaching and learning at our college. The use of basic coding (if I can do it, anyone can...... trust me......) is used to hyperlink resources and learning activities so that learning is one click away and can be accessed at any time giving learners the flexibility to:
 backtrack to either complete missed work or to reinforce learning
 plan ahead if they will not be at school
 access learning whether they are at school or home.
Learners struggle to make this excuse "I don't know what to do" feasible because Calendars are learnerfriendly and easy to use.
Thursday, 29 June 2017
Whanaungatanga
Of my 6 Maori learners
I had contacted whanau (family) earlier in the year about the lack of progress and that is where the conversation ended, so I had to come up with a better plan if I wanted to see a change. My recent conversation with whanau was more explicit. For students to get NCEA L1 they need 80 credits of which there are 10 Literacy credits and 10 Numeracy credits. Without numeracy, a student cannot get NCEAL1, so I encouraged parents to help me, help their child by encouraging their child to attend afterschool study classes. 2 of my parents responded to my request, but only 1 was favourable, so out of the blue this week, one of my little treasures turned up and worked on their maths for just over an hour.
I contacted their mum with an update that afternoon to say "thank you for helping me help your child".
Mum was thrilled for 2 reasons
1. Their child's renewed interest in learning and
2.........................................wait for it......................................that she gets to have a relationship with her child's teacher (whanaungatanga).
 2 have sat an assessment and gained credits
 4 have not sat any maths assessments
 5 have at least passed 1 assessment in another subject
 1 has not passed any assessments in any subject
I had contacted whanau (family) earlier in the year about the lack of progress and that is where the conversation ended, so I had to come up with a better plan if I wanted to see a change. My recent conversation with whanau was more explicit. For students to get NCEA L1 they need 80 credits of which there are 10 Literacy credits and 10 Numeracy credits. Without numeracy, a student cannot get NCEAL1, so I encouraged parents to help me, help their child by encouraging their child to attend afterschool study classes. 2 of my parents responded to my request, but only 1 was favourable, so out of the blue this week, one of my little treasures turned up and worked on their maths for just over an hour.
I contacted their mum with an update that afternoon to say "thank you for helping me help your child".
Mum was thrilled for 2 reasons
1. Their child's renewed interest in learning and
2.........................................wait for it......................................that she gets to have a relationship with her child's teacher (whanaungatanga).
Thursday, 8 June 2017
Monitor and adjust
"There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction." –John F. Kennedy
To avoid complacency, a few key moves were trialled to improve learner commitment and raise academic achievement.
The table below outlines the achievement criteria, in "student speak", for the Number Achievement Standard worth 4 numeracy credits.
To avoid complacency, a few key moves were trialled to improve learner commitment and raise academic achievement.
The table below outlines the achievement criteria, in "student speak", for the Number Achievement Standard worth 4 numeracy credits.
Number  Internal 4 credits  Numeracy
 
Fraction, Decimal, Percent, Integers, Ratio, Rounding (in context)
 
ACHIEVED

any 3

MERIT

Answer the question

EXCELLENCE

Provide reasonable alternative answers

Literacy Strategy:

Chunking

Teaching Strategy

Association:
Look for the Fraction, Decimal Percent or Integer, link it to a number and a keyword(s).
For ratio, find the relationship between numbers.
Statement Working Answer
(what are you finding) (+, , x, ) (solution with units)

Action

Learners had to
READ what was in the table
EXPLAIN using prior knowledge what Fraction, Decimal, Percent,
Integers, Ratio and Rounding meant to them and an example was done collaboratively.
Integers and Ratio seemed the least familiar, so that was the start to our whole class discussion.

Literacy Strategy
“Chunking”

The literacy strategy "Chunking" had an unusual meaning for some, like
throwing numbers together......as in chucking, so Chunking was explained as having a plate full of food where we had 2 options:
option 1  stuff as much as we can into our mouths until we choke/get sick OR
option 2  take bitesized pieces of food, chew and swallow slowly before taking another bite.
So chunking took on a new meaning for learners in maths. It meant reading the contextual question slowly and highlighting bitesized pieces of important information

Teaching Strategy
“Association”

Find the Fraction, Decimal, Percent, Integer or Ratio, link it to another number and to a keyword(s). That number becomes part of your working and the keyword(s) become your statement.

Thursday, 1 June 2017
Bitter pill to swallow
Today was our Level 1 maths exam where a total of 7 credits were up for grabs, 4 for Statistics and 3 for Linear Algebra.
25% of my priority Maori learners sat an assessment
25% were absent
50% showed up without a device.
After an intense week of revision, 75% of the learners were not prepared for success  what a bitter pill to swallow.
25% of my priority Maori learners sat an assessment
25% were absent
50% showed up without a device.
After an intense week of revision, 75% of the learners were not prepared for success  what a bitter pill to swallow.
Wednesday, 31 May 2017
Light bulb moment
Professor Graeme Aitken shared 3 things for learner success at our Manaiakalani PLG today:
Enjoyment of learning, Confidence and Achievement
I had a light bulb moment ......I am so FOCUSED on Maori achievement in my 1104MAT class, that I have overlooked the enjoyment/fun factor for learning that is needed to build learner confidence which will subsequently lead to achievement. With increased confidence, I am certain that learners will attempt more set tasks which will better prepare them for summative assessments and thus reduce our high level of learners who are not sitting assessments.
Enjoyment of learning, Confidence and Achievement
Baby steps
Our Maori achievement data shows a slight reduction from Term 1 to midterm 2 of students who Did Not Sit (DNS) the Linear Algebra assessment.
AS 91029

% Maori
Term 1

% Maori
Term 2

N

90%  DNS

75%  DNS

A

10%

25%

M

0%

0%

E

0%

0%

Achievement criteria in studentfriendly language were revisited in conjunction with explicit literacy and teaching strategies as shown below
Algebra  Internal 3 credits  Numeracy
 
ACHIEVED

Form equations, Solve equations (line graph), Substitute

MERIT

Interpret data (in context)

EXCELLENCE

Create and solve your own equation

Literacy Strategy:

3 Level Guide
Achieved  Read on the line
Merit  Read between the lines
Excellence  Read beyond the lines

Teaching Strategy

Forming equations: Look for secret words: each, every, single, one, per; that number gets the letter
Solving equations: =sum(
Interpreting tables: Colour code cheapest prices

The table below shows an increase in Maori Achievement from 10% to 38% and a reduction in students not sitting assessments from 90% to 62%.
AS 91029

% Maori
Term 1

% Maori
mid Term 2

% Maori after Term 2 exam

N

90%  DNS

75%  DNS

62%  DNS

A

10%

25%

38%

M

0%

0%

0%

E

0%

0%

0%

The Maori National Decile Equivalent (%) for Not achieved for this standard is 17.8%. We still have a way to go to get students confident enough to attempt assessment tasks.
Wednesday, 17 May 2017
Whanau support
Our recent analysis of data from 1 May showed that 42% of our year 11Maori learners and 87% of 1104MAT Maori learners have zero maths credits. Giving 1104MAT learners an opportunity to set maths specific Goals on day 1 of term 2 seems to have had limited effect on a few learners, so I stepped up the intervention and contacted whanau today asking for their support to encourage learners to attend maths study classes after school. 50% of our whanau immediately agreed to support their children. Now we just need learners to show up.
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