Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Worth the wait

What a GREAT day.........
One of my priority learners has gained their first, of hopefully many credits in maths today. So what has attributed to this success?

Teacher action
Student action/reaction
Goal setting activity
Goals set with actions needed for success
Minimal shift in effort and engagement
Achievement objectives from the NZ curriculum written in "student speak".
Sense of ownership of the learning as objectives were clear
Slight improvement in effort and engagement
Use of the “Chunking” literacy strategy
Evidence of “Chunking” was visible for each activity where the learner took contextual tasks of up to 15 lines long and condensed it into 5 bite-sized chunks.
Engagement increased and more work was being attempted but it was insufficient for NCEA L1
Shared a learning strategy called “Association”
Learner looked for a fraction, decimal and percent, linked it to another number and then linked it all to a statement (what they were finding)
The learner’s thought process was clear, but there was still a lack of evidential sufficiency for NCEA L1 (learner did not believe in their ability)
Communication with whanau about how best we could both support the learner for success with NCEA L1
Learner realised that he needed to take more responsibility for his learning as both teacher and whanau had great faith in him.
Learner efficacy improved as the quality and quantity of work met the requirements for NCEA L1
Constant reinforcement of my belief in his ability
Learner had his eye on the prize, attempted and completed all set tasks, tracked his progress on the class tracking sheet and turned up to after-school study classes
Learner gained 4 credits in maths

Thursday, 10 August 2017

And then there were 4.....

From 9 Maori learners at the start of the year, down to 4 in term 3. A recent change in circumstance, has resulted in one of my learners being transferred to another school. It is a sad day as this learner was blossoming, gained much confidence in maths and was the highest Maori academic achiever in this class.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Making a shift

One of my five Maori learners has met our school credit protocol. The sharing, discussing and analysis of achievement data with my learners on a regular basis has not had the desired effect as learners are well aware that they are not achieving across all 5 learning areas. I have failed in my attempt to use data to shift academic achievement. What now?

I will now shift my focus (although still share and discuss data with learners) to build student efficacy and get learners to believe in their ability as much as I do. Building efficacy will be done quite deliberately and explicitly and learners will be aware that this will be our focus for the remainder of the year.

Our plan of attack will be:
- discuss subject-specific terminology in an introductory lesson
- provide more choice of activities for the day
- implement focused literacy strategies for the standard being taught
- use learner interest to complement contextual learning
- buddy up peers to hold each other accountable

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Does confidence breed success?

Trends across all learning areas show that NCEA Level 1 Maori learners are underperforming and not meeting the 4 credit per subject per term protocol.

43% of our NCEA L1 Maori learners across all 5 maths classes have 0 credits to date, 67% are in my class.
Nine NCEA Level 1 Maori learners were on my roll at the start of the year: I now have 5.

Learner 1
0/40 credits across all 5 subjects by July
0% attendance
Transferred to another maths class in term 3

Learner   2
0/40 credits across all 5 subjects by July
Enrolled in alternative education

Learner  3
3/40 credits across all 5 subjects by July (0 in maths)
15% attendance
Late enrolment in term 1
Left midway through term 2

Learner 4
4/40 credits across all 5 subjects by July (0 in maths)
71% attendance
Late enrolment in term 1

Learner 5
4/40 credits across all 5 subjects by July (0 in maths)
85% attendance
Relocated with family mid-term 2

Learner 6
92% attendance
8/40 credits across all 5 subjects by July (0 in maths)

Learner 7
69% attendance
14/40 credits across all 5 subjects by July (0 in maths)
Stood down for 3 days

Learner 8
58% attendance
15/40 credits across all 5 subjects by July (3 in maths)

Learner 9
80% attendance
Exceeded the 40 credits protocol with 51 credits across all 5 subjects by July (7 in maths)
Stood down for 2 weeks

Learners were aware of their achievement or lack thereof, so building efficacy is our next focus so that confidence can breed success.

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 use this excuse "I don't know what to do" feasible because Calendars are learner-friendly and easy to use.

Friday, 7 July 2017


There was a general consensus that learners did not like maths and neither did their older siblings or whanau when they were at school.

None of the learners met the college’s termly credit protocol of 4 credits per subject per term.

Learners showed a lack of confidence verbalising prior knowledge and could not articulate the support that they needed for success.

A template was created outlining
Achievement criteria in “student speak”, Literacy strategies and Teaching strategies

Learners became more fluent and explicit when seeking assistance/support and the use of  literacy strategies seemed to build learner confidence as they were engaging more with their learning with regard to quality and quantity. Mathematical thinking was more visible and students responded more favourably to written and verbal feedback as they managed their learning. A few learners however still struggled to settle into a routine.

Various responses from whanau were;

“I have tried talking to my child and her response to after-school classes is not favourable”, “I don’t know what else to do, my child does not listen to me”, “Thank you for your support, I will have a chat with my child” and “Thank you for letting me know, it is good to know that my child has a caring teacher”.

Despite learners engaging more with their learning only 1 was confident enough to sit the final assessment at the end of term 2. Building learner confidence and efficacy will be our next step.

Thursday, 29 June 2017


Of my 6 Maori learners

  • 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 after-school 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).

Worth the wait

What a GREAT day......... One of my priority learners has gained their first, of hopefully many credits in maths today. So what has attribu...