Saturday, 30 November 2013

Week 7 - what a week


Making progress this last week towards finalising Curriculum Courses, BIG Projects and getting ready for Orientation Day.

It is good to get into some detailed planning of Modules and Spins. The following  is what I will be involved with teaching Term 1 next year, all based on "Idetinty":


  • Small Module - (Jill and I) - Kiwi Icons, Mathematics and Technology (DVC)
  • Spin - 3D Selfie (3D representation of self), Hard Materials Technology
  • Spin - Branding (2D representation of self), Digital and DVC Technology
  • Spin - Family Tree (2D or/and 3D representation of family history) Digital, DVC or/and Hard Materials Technology.
NOTE:  DVC - Design and Visual Communication.

The great thing about the above modules is that in each Module or Spin a different discipline of the Curriculum Area Technology is being covered, therefore different skills. Students will be able to opt into whichever most interests them.



Lea, along with others, has been working on the organisation of the Orientation Day for this coming Monday. 100+ foundation students and parents will be introduced to HPSS tomorrow.  One of the Hub activities for students, in their communities, will be to produce a leaf (outlining details of themselves) for the tree below.



I have had had a fairly creative week, this week, producing the tree above for 15 Hubs, the CRIME SCENE board below (Pete's idea) and the BIG Projects man at the bottom of this page. 

The board below was part of the Partnerships, BIG Projects presentation that Sarah and the team introduced on Wednesday. The board was used as a demonstration of what a 'Kick Off' for BIG Projects could look like. Sarah, Pete and Bryce roll played a scenario to get group members to think about the real issue of no rubbish bins at HPSS next year. The mock project was called BIN THINKING. The 'Kick Off' was followed with a 'Planning' session of how to resolve this issue. Our team - Pete, Martin, Bryce and myself acted as the Guides for the group of students (HPSS staff in this scenario).



From this session we gained lots of feedback around what changes we need to make to the student and teachers planning sheets for BIG Projects. We also identified what we need to work on for the follow up presentation this coming week. I will be presenting the stage 'Action' and what this will look like in the BIG Projects process, on Thursday.



The BIG Projects man drawn at a large scale below. These will be used for the exhibition for parents of students working during orientation day tomorrow.




Thursday and Friday was spent at the Scil workshop. The ideas presented reaffirmed what we have been working on at HPSS but also prompted ideas to apply to Modules, Spins and Big Projects. One is that I am going to set up a Google Site or Weebly Website. On this site I will include artwork specifically for Design and Visual Communication to support all Technology disciplines. I will produce this artwork myself. E.g. every time I demonstrate instrumental drawing, sketching or rendering to students I will video myself and then upload to the website. A resource that will be built on with time. Students can then refresh their skills at anytime needed. 


Mainly, the Scil days cemented my understanding of the tools available for teachers and students to use.


Saturday, 23 November 2013

Week 6 already


During Wed, Thurs and Fri of Week 6, time was spent as a whole staff on Restorative Practices. A lot of information was condensed into these days. It was quite timely as Tuesday we worked on Curriculum Planning. It is always good to have a few days to let ideas settle before finalising the details this coming week. 

A varied week as we, the Newbies, also worked with Julia on Monday discussing and explaining our Hermann Brain Dominant Instrument. We looked at how we could use this knowledge with our students to extend them.

The basis of Whole Brain® Thinking and all Herrmann International learning modules, the HBDI® teaches you how to communicate with those who think the same as you and those who think differently than you. Once an individual understands his or her thinking style preferences, the door is open to improved teamwork, leadership, customer relationships, creativity, problem solving, and other aspects of personal and interpersonal development.





It was no surprise that I was pretty much even in the green, blue and yellow quadrants. What did surprise me was that most of the staff were dominant in the yellow, red quadrants. OR maybe I was not that surprised. Which brings us to Tuesday.


PLANNING, PLANNING, PLANNING................
Each Term over the next two years will be planned around a theme. The Concepts and Contexts which relate to the theme Identity, for each Curriculum area, are used as the basis for our planning. The orange post-its represent the area Technology, green - The Arts, yellow - Science, red - Mathematics, white - Social Sciences, blue - P.E. and Health. 


Within our planning groups (each of the three groups having an even mix of Curriculum Areas) we worked out who would be in the Big Modules, Small Modules, Spin-offs and ARs (Active Recreation).

I have been allocated to doing a Small Module with Jill (integrating Technology and Maths) and 3 spins (ICT -Information Technology, Hard Materials Technology and DVC - Design and Visual Communication) and 1 AR (netball). My main concern was that I should have been contributing more to the Modules but after talking to Di and Lisa it became apparent that similar situations had occurred in the other groups. E.g. Identity was not naturally a leading theme for the Curriculum Area Technology. However, in Term 2 or 3 when we do Space & Place and Systems & Organisations the area Technology will best fit into the Big Module. 

This upcoming week we are introducing BIG Projects to the rest of the HPSS staff. As someone who has taught for 10 to 12 years and has always done project briefs with students, I am comfortable with the nature of this method of teaching and learning but others may not be. This facilitation, means that students may make decisions that lead them in different directions. The phrase I have heard used frequently at HPSS to describe facilitating project work is "just in time teaching". 

The following is a page The Big Project Team have been working on. Further alterations still need to be made to the Checkpoints Table and the What / How / Why / When / Who prompting questions. This page has been designed as a way to help teachers next year when they are facilitating BIG Projects.



Pete came up for the idea below and I sketched it up. Visually the diagram explains the facilitation of project work.



Saturday, 16 November 2013

Week 5 - Projects




The highlights this week have been planning BIG projects with Sarah, Martin, Bryce and Pete. Working as a group does take time as everyone has a lot to contribute. At times it does feel like we are going round in circles BUT more ideas do come from this collaborative environment and our own understanding is more thorough. Ideas are presented that otherwise would not have been thought of individually. Martin described the process we are working through as Forming, Storming, Norming and then Performing which is demonstrated with the group work we are doing. The planning below exemplifies our group working through an identified situation as if we were a cohort of students. 





Below is the document developed, from the above planning, for students to use as part of their BIG projects. This is just a snippet of what we have achieved this week.




On Wednesday we had a whole staff day out as a group for Discovery Day. We started the day at the National Library, splitting into two groups to participate in a design activity. Our group was lead by Di. One thing she commented on is that research shows that 'Designer's' feel comfortable in a state of flux or uncertainty. This is quite relevant when referring back to the discussions we have had as a good related to the planning we have done towards the induction of staff to BIG Projects.

The afternoon of Discovery Day we visited THE MIND LAB, which has been open only 8 weeks. We worked in groups of three to program and race robots. A range of skills across different Curriculum areas can be gained from this type of activity. 

The Mind Lab is a specialist digital technologies lab teaching hands-on, practical classes and courses in animation, programming, game development, robotics, science technology and film for students aged 4 - 14 years.

Check it out - http://themindlab.com


To finish off the week a resourceful, innovative design idea below:


Saturday, 9 November 2013

Week Four / Start of Week 5



End of Week 4 / Start of Week 5 already. This last week was varied with progress made on Strategies for Maori and Pasifika Achievement, HBDI Profile Testing, Setting Goals and Feedback, Powerful Partnerships and BIG Projects. Finishing the week with a visit to Marina View Primary School. 

Stategies for Maori and Pasifika Achievement:



Addressing Maori achievement is an area I will need to improve my knowledge, although I have 7 years experience working alongside Pasifika students.

Setting Goals and Feedback:
After completing the workshops with Megan on Setting Goals and the types and levels of feedback I thought that the most effective feedback in my experience as a student was while at University. At Design School we did not have exams but formal critiques at the beginning, middle and end of the project work. We also gained weekly informal feedback during the projects. Projects were the completion of Design Briefs which took an entire Semester. The formal critiques required each student to present design boards, mock-ups and models to a panel of three lecturers and the cohort of students completing the paper. Critical feedback was always given which was daunting but was also invaluable to the next step in the process.

Powerful Partnerships and BIG Projects:
As a group (lead by Sarah) Martin, Bryce, Pete and myself have spent the majority of the week working towards planning the structures around partnerships with the community and the Big Projects that students will work on each term. Term 1 next year students will produce a representation for a Hobsonville Habit. As a group this week we spent time working on the Principles, Practices and SWOT analysis for Partnerships and Projects. 
Danielle explained the website students would be using to show evidence of their progress. We also started to think about the planning we need to do and decisions that need to be made in conduction with the LTL's (Learning Team Leaders) and the SLL's (Specialised Learning Leaders).

Kick Start / Plan / Action / Showtime / Final Look
Sarah had the idea to produce a student website for the BIG Projects as a place students can record and demonstrate evidence of their process and progress. Danielle has designed and produced the website that students can use. She shared this with us on Thursday. Danielle has designed a great system that is very user friendly. Alongside Sarah and Danielle I have been working on the logos for this site. Work in progress shown below:


Marina View School Visit:
Sally, Cindy, Martin and myself visited Marina View Primary. Which was a great visit. It started to cement all the planning that we have been doing. I was pretty impressed with how many interests the students have and how capable they appeared. This just means that we will have the opportunity to extend them even further. 
Extra Curricular interests: Hockey, Cricket, Basketball, Badminton, Netball, Soccer, Achery, Dance, Singing, Piano, Guitar, Orchestra, Bands, Kapa Haka, Marina View T.V.

Subject interests: Maths, Science, Technology, Languages (French, Japanese, Spanish, Chinese, Food Technology, Art), Business Project

                            

Looking back over Week 4 I realise how much has been achieved in a small space of time.










  

Friday, 1 November 2013

Week 3 - Development


Even though this week was only 4 days it was packed with content related to the Curriculum and Hubs at Hobsonville Point Secondary School. Wednesday I was overwhelmed with information related to the Curriculum which started to sink in Thursday and Friday. This may have been due to the lightened mood on Thursday where most of us dressed up for Halloween.


A discussion between myself and Di on Wednesday afternoon helped to cement understanding and resolve some of the queries or questions I had around the bigger picture with regards to content covered, to a senior level, within the Curriculum. The diagram below represents our discussion and helps to define the progression from Year 9 to Year 13 at Hobsonville Point Secondary School.


On Thursday, in 4 groups, we started an exercise looking at the quadrants - Stategic, Innovative, Relational and Metacognitive. Each group came up with an activity for the following day which would help exemplify each of the quadrants. These activities have been pooled together to use with our hubs next year. The image below came from the quadrant Innovative where we were separated into two groups. Group 1 was given the same activity as Group 2 but far more restrictions (e.g. size of wheels, trolley etc). The activity exemplified incredibly well the outcomes from a different approach taken when presenting the task. 


Last post I commented on how my HPSS experience so far felt like a combination of the Amazing Race and The Block. Well on Friday afternoon we literally took part in a Masterchef Challenge. Ahhhh was my first thought as I am a hopeless cook. Luckily I had Georgi and Jill on my team to demonstrate what needed to be done to produce a gourmet platter. 
Amazing food produced below.