January 2013

School begins again tomorrow and I'm looking forward to it. Our syndicate has four classes now, years 6-8. It's very exciting to be working with a bigger team, not just myself and one other as there is a wealth of experience there to bounce ideas off. Class beginning with 27 students. Have created a Google site to store all our course work. Can't wait to see how that is received.


December 2012

Nearly at the end of the year, kids weary, I'm tired and mostly, I can still get a laugh out of them. Year 8's are more than ready for College and the year 7's are already asking questions about how things will change next year, new tools to be using etc.

There are big changes afoot next year. New extension groups, more opportunities for our kids to showcase their skills and new formats for the students to publish their work, can't wait...

Overall, a great year. Targets have nearly been met with many students showing that the 1-1 programme is a great way to go.

June 2012

Half way through the year and the class has climbed to 30. A great class with the students potential very evident. There is a group of boys who are very competitive and their Maths scores are excellent.

New novels have made a good impact on the students and their discussions are very interesting.

Financial Lit is going well and they are due to launch their business next term.

It's been a great year so far, the possibilities are endless...

January 2012

Another year is about to begin, 27 students in the class. It's going to an interesting year. i have a new teacher working with me and he's excited and on board with digital learning, I'm very excited about this year.

Only a small number of year 8 students, so year 7's will probably be more involved this year.


September 2011

A few weeks ago, I was lucky to be part of an ibus tour around schools in Auckland, Bay of Plenty and the Waikato with Stuart Hale. it was an incredible experience to witness the fantastic and creative work that is being done in schools across the board (high to low decile.) It is a great way to measure what we are doing ourselves and to gain some great ideas to utilise in my own class and school. One big tool that will be of great use is Google Dashboard. If you haven't checked it out yet, have a look.



May 2011

Classes are different, we all know that. But I'm pleased to say that after 15 weeks of the year, I've finally got my class and the vibe where I want it to be...a long time. What I'm getting at, is that sometimes you need to battle through the hard times and be very firm about expectations. The tools we have, the web 2.0 tools, are making a considerable difference. When I took them away, I was effectively shooting myself in the foot! The fabulous tools are back and so is my sanity. Class up to 32.


March 2011

Half way through the term and I'm blown away by how hectic it's been. This new class has been a bit of a challenge at times, but things are improving. Reluctant learners are coming on board, routines are established and I'm thinking things will continue to improve.

Just had three way conferences with parents this week and parents seem to like the process. Students have identified goals with me, based on assessments, so we can have a focus through to June.

What always gets me is that many parents still want to see a piece of paper to monitor their child's homework. Our students do follow on work that consolidates their current learning on their laptops. To this end I have found studyladder.com, I can set numeracy and literacy activities that back up our learning - students love it. It will be interesting to see the June assessment data.

Class back to 30.

February.2011

The year has started, and 28 kids quickly turned into 31. It's very apparent that the new students to our school and the year 7 students are not confident where their ICT skills are concerned. I expected it, but it still surprises me. The year 8 students are mostly more advanced this year than last years, telling me that the range of tools that I introduced them to last year, has had spin off affects in skills and knowledge about the language of ICT. I'm very pleased that we set aside the first three days to make accounts, learn about gmail and google tools and set up wikis. Not rushing this process was a good move I think.

2011 school year is coming up quickly.

Each day over these holidays, I've looked at what Diigo has to offer and saving what I find useful. There is so much in the way of Web 2.0 Tools to choose from, what makes one better than another? What I've decided is to begin with Google tools, Evernote, Twitter, Skype and wikispaces.

2010 Comes to an End ...

One more week to go and I reflect on this past year. I’ve had a really great class and have loved the side by side learning that goes on. I’ve learnt an important lesson. Students grow in confidence as they teach me and other students about new tools found. Not rocket science, but for some reason, very noticeable this year.

When asked to reflect on the year, loads of positive things were mentioned. The one negative was that I moved them onto new tools too quickly. With the aim of keeping students engaged and excited, I avidly looked for something new to share with them each week. Will need to be more mindful of that next year.

I’m already looking forward to next year. New year 7’s and watching how the year 8’s step up to their leadership roles.