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MrsB30's discussion posts

  • MrsB30 17 Dec 2015 2:59pm () in The Lie of the Land in 2015

    Thanks for sharing that article, it was a good read! What I like about the GROWTH coaching model is anyone can be a coach and you don't have to be an expert in the area of the coachee's goal. As a coach, I want to jump in and fix people's problems (especially if it's around ICT!) but this model is all about giving the coachee a voice to set their own path for achieving their goals. When being coached, the framework helps give accountability for the goals you are setting.

  • MrsB30 29 Nov 2015 8:15am () in Sharing Resources

    Blendspace is a great place to put digital resources together for students to use, as is Symbaloo. I would be happy to share what I have created but also Blendspace has a good gallery where you can search for resources teachers have already made. 

  • MrsB30 29 Nov 2015 8:14am () in Sharing Resources

    This looks great but it's password protected - how to you go about getting the password?

  • MrsB30 24 Nov 2015 9:08am () in Part 2 - The Realities of Teacher Inquiry

    Previous post >>>>> Part 1 The Lie of the Land in 2015 


    We participated in our final PLC (professional learning community) for 2015 last week and the feedback was mostly positive. The realities of my teacher inquiry was that I'd chosen to link in to my Research and Community Informed Practice paper through the Mind Lab. Although it was an area I was really interested in (growth mindset) I didn't feel like I have done a lot of 'inquiring' in to how it effects my own personal teaching. We have been inquiring into, and implementing the ideas behind growth mindset as a whole school. It's had some really pleasing results but it's definitely an area I want to continue exploring. If you would like to see our journey so far, you can view the Reflective Portfolio I did with a colleague of mine. The great thing about the Spiral of Inquiry (Timperley et al, 2014) is that the inquiry doesn't need to stop because the school year has. We have been encouraged to keep delving in to these areas if we haven't completed our inquiry.


    Another area I started to inquire in to was how I could bring coding in to our school. I decided the best place to start was in my own class, so that I had practical advice for the rest of our staff. I felt one sticking point though was we didn't have enough devices for it to be successful. I was of the belief that the students in my class would need 1:1 devices. I approached my principal to see if we could purchase more devices and it turned in to the perfect opportunity for a coaching session. We used the GROWTH coaching model to find out the best way forward. I realised I still had a lot to find out in regards to what programmes I would use, what device they would work on and how I would overcome the challenge of students in my class who weren't interested in coding. It meant I had a good plan on how to get started without needing to go and purchase a class set of laptops! I also decided I needed to try things out with the devices I had to see if it was even something my class was interested in.


    I booked every spare device we had on a weekly basis and used the Google CS First resources to teach game design through Scratch. After the first session, I realised my students liked to work collaboratively on these projects so 1:1 devices weren't necessary. It was also a perfect opportunity to build the growth mindset of many of my students. It wasn't easy and I wasn't any more knowledgeable in the area than them. I learnt I needed to stay one step ahead by watching the instruction videos the day before so I could answer their questions BUT I didn't want to be the expert. Instead I kept referring to the students who were picking it up quicker and began using them as support. We did game design every week and I can honestly say all my students enjoyed it and felt successful by the end of Term 3. I am not inquiring in to how I can get other classes to pick up coding and have a go with their students. I am promoting the Hour of Code, which will run from the 7th-13th December. I also ran a coding session for Enrichment Day, using Pixel Press Floors app on the ipad. Several students took this back to their own classes and started teaching them how to use it. We also have some volunteers on board to set up a Code Club in the school next year.



    How about other teachers? How have their inquiries gone? We had a great sharing session last week in our staff learning time. I shared my inquiry in to growth mindset with a few different teachers and then listened to other staff share on their inquiries. There was a teacher who inquired in to how accelerated learning can help our target learners, as opposed to remediation. Another teacher shared her success at overhauling her spelling programme. I am due to observe the two teachers I have been coaching soon so I will update on their inquiries in my next post!

  • MrsB30 06 Oct 2015 10:51am () in Upgrading Teacher Laptops / Issues with TELA

    Hi Carol

    I had to make the same decision at the beginning of the year when 5 of our laptops needed replacing. The year before one of our teachers used one of our student Macbook Airs while hers was being repaired. One big thing she noticed was the lack of RAM and it was always out of space and therefore very slow. She was a teacher who used iMovie a lot and had a lot of photos. Based on this, I made the decision to upgrade to the Macbook Pros. I did discuss the pros and cons of both with our principal and we did toy with the idea of buying different ones for different teachers (as some do you iMovie etc more often) but in the end, it was decided to just go with the pros for everyone. We haven't been disappointed! 

  • MrsB30 18 Sep 2015 9:13am () in The Lie of the Land in 2015

    This year has opened many doors for me. I have taken on a few different roles, some new and some not. I am in my second full year of being a team leader. I lead a wonderful team of 3 teachers plus I share my classroom with another teacher - I teach R17 Monday-Wednesday and she takes them Thursday and Friday. The three other teachers in my team (we are four classes, ranging from Year 2-Year 6) all come with their own unique set of skills and passions. My teaching buddy has a set of skills that complement mine so R17 is getting a truly well-rounded journey of learning this year. 

    So why do I only teach my class three days a week?

    I am released every Thursday for team leader responsibilities. Sometimes this time is used for doing 'stuff' for my team. Other times it's working on projects with my fellow team leaders. At times I also release other teachers so they can work with their strategy teams. I really enjoy being a team leader. I enjoy conversing with the leadership team in our 7:30am Thursday morning meeting. I enjoy supporting my team and growing their capacities as leaders. We all take turns to lead portions of our team meeting. Last term one of my team members led our inquiry - it was her area of expertise and she did a brilliant job. Leadership in my school is about giving everyone a chance to 'lead' and allowing teachers to step up where they can. 


    I lead the YOLO community. This is our logo, designed by a Year 4 student

    I am released on a Friday to support the running of ICT in my school. We have an 'ICT Fix-It Form' the teachers fill in to identify any technical troubles they may be having. That's always my first port of call on a Friday. I also work alongside our IT guy, who comes in on a Friday to help me with the things I am still learning to do (imaging computers, sorting servers, typing in terminal commands...I'm hoping to get these things one day!!) One thing we set up this year was our Year 5/6 Digi Club and we have trained them to support classes with minor technical issues. I thought with me only being out once a week, teachers might not want to wait that long for the magic 'fix'. It's been slow on the uptake though - teachers still rely on me or our ICT guy to solve their problems. Reminders of 'the digi club kids can help' are dropped in to conversations regularly.

    Where do my passions lie?

    With all things digital. I also co-lead the Digital Collaboration strategy team and we work together to make using digital tools seamless for our staff and students. We set up 'Digi Challenges' which gives clear instructions on how to use an app or website to support learning. We coordinate the 'Blog of the Week' and classes that are announced as winners at our Monday morning assembly are given the Digi Duck and get to chose next weeks winner. It's about encouraging classes to keep their blogs up-to-date and to consider content over pretty backgrounds and whizz-bang gadgets. My strategy team colleague and I are three-quarters of the way through the Mind Lab's postgraduate certificate in digital and collaborative learning. It's been challenging going back to study and finding time to complete assignments, but I have learnt so much and it's also been a nice reminder that I am on the right track to support 21st century learners.


    Blog badge sent out to our Blog of the Week winners

    Through my assignments for the Mind Lab and from what I have learnt, it has helped me decide my focus for my teacher inquiry. We use the GROWTH coaching model to support one another through our inquiries. I am lucky to have been trained as a coach and I am coaching three staff members. Their inquiries range from finding ways to encourage reluctant writers to developing fine motor skills programmes for our diverse needs students. My own inquiry is around the impact of teaching growth mindset to our primary-aged students.  Our entire staff (caretaker included!) saw Carol Dweck speak about growth mindset at the beginning of the year. Her research inspired us to make growth mindset, and the language around it, a focus for our school. I have just completed a reflective presentation about how it's going and where to next as part of my Mind Lab assessments. It's really gaining momentum in our school and you will here our students talking about their 'struggles' and the things they can't do...YET!!

    So the lie of the land is looking pretty good so far this year and I'm ready to see what's on the horizon for next term and 2016!



    L-R: Green Light Guy and Red Light Girl remind us to think positively; Presenting growth mindset at assembly using a Star Wars reference (the force=growth mindset); a student writes about the importance of not giving up.


    Also see >>> Part 2 - The Realities of Teacher Inquiry

  • MrsB30 28 Aug 2015 8:41am () in Is there a Sumdog for Writing?

    Sumdog does have a writing section but you have to pay for it (not much though) Have you looked at Night Zookeeper? Also paid but you can use it free through the 100 word challenge, which is fabulous resource for helping students increase their writing output. For younger students you can try the five sentence challenge. Another one is Boom writer - something I have looked at briefly but not in depth yet.

  • MrsB30 31 Jul 2015 12:27pm () in An Enabling e-Learning forum: Coding, digital literacy or a new kind of language?

    That sounds great. Would be a good starting point having a set time to get something to happen!

  • MrsB30 30 Jul 2015 2:36pm () in An Enabling e-Learning forum: Coding, digital literacy or a new kind of language?

    I am going to start coding this term with my Year 3-4 class. It's something I have been interested in for a while but a bit nervous to try because I don't know a lot about it myself. However I have realised there is a wealth of resources available and that it's going to be OK to learn alongside my students. Our inquiry concept for term 3 is design so we will be 'designing' our own computer games. I am going to introduce code to my class using the hour of code resources (code.org) and then we will be starting off by using Pixel Press 'Floors' which is an iPad app. We are not a 1:1 school and currently only have 1 iPad per class so I am looking at a way I can get more devices but may have to explore other resources, such as Tynker, Gamefroot and Scratch, as we do have more desktop computers and a few laptops. Also the Google CS First resources look really cool (http://www.cs-first.com/) I'd love to hear from anyone else who's tried coding with this age group! Planning to get stuck in next week!

  • MrsB30 24 Jul 2015 8:37am () in Year 1 Maths-Developing Maths Vocabulary

    Have you looked at the Maths Dictionary - http://www.amathsdictionaryforkids.com/ It's quite interactive. Would need support with Year 1's, but could be a starting point?