Friday, 27 May 2016


I am currently sitting in a room of likeminded educators listening to Dr Reuben Puentedura (the creator of the SAMR model.

Watch this space...

Monday, 23 May 2016

Helping parents comment on blogs

Hi everyone. I've found that a few families have had issues commenting on my class blog. I've updated my settings and made a quick screencastify that shows them how to comment on a blog. I have posted this to my class blog for all to access.

In this screencastify you will also see a 'robot' prompt pop up prior to publishing the comment. This could be a little tricky for parents to navigate. So I modelled what to do by running through the commenting process with my class (I did this by browsing 'incognito') Now they can help anyone who may come across this at home (this can be seen at the end of my screencastify).
Setoga Class: Week 4: How to comment on a blog: Hi everyone.  Welcome back to another exciting week of learning in Setoga class.  This is a brief screencastify that shows you how to commen...

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

A time to refect...

Throughout term one I encouraged student reflection using a range of approaches.  Some examples are reflection dice, socrative quick questions and the exit ticktets, learning conferences with my students, posing reflective questions during group work, think alouds etc.

However I felt that is was starting to become slightly monotonous.  More of a chore than an active state of critical thinking to improve learning outcomes. So what did I do?  I switched it up and turned to my new buddy Screencastify (sometimes pronounced Screencastifly - so cute!).  However, I didn't come up with this idea by myself.  It was one of my students who had decided to record himself reflecting on the self-assessment of his writing.  He said it 'helped him to feel good and that it would be evidence for Miss Fortes if she doesn't think that he has self-asssessed because some people just make it colourful and pretty but don't know why'

Cue in Screencastify.  We have started using screencastify to assist us as a reflective tool where they would record themselves reflecting on a particular task and paste it into their document.  This allowed them to revisit their reflections, gave me an insight to what they understood and still found tricky as well as helping others who weren't sure what to do.

Prior to recording their ideas the student's were asked to write their reflections.  The differentiated aspect to this task was that my students who struggled to type their ideas were only required to record them orally.  Yes to some 'typing and recording orally' may seem pointless, a double up and a waste of time. However writing their reflections helped them keep track of what they were saying.  As some students read out their reflections their auto response was to explain some vague points they had identified only from reading it aloud.  Boom!  Reflecting on learning whilst reflecting in the moment.

Here is a snippet of how it looked in a document.

Monday, 16 May 2016

SparkMIT Reflection on my inquiry

Firstly my apologies for neglecting to post regularly about my inquiry journey.  I will add a few screenshots of the innovations I have tried so far (I have given myself until the end of Wednesday to do this).  I'm super excited about sharing these snippets of my journey so we can see the progress in real time and I can get some feedback or tips from everyone else.  Why I didn't think of this earlier is a mystery!  Actually I did think about it, I just haven't done it.  Second time lucky.

Another successful day with the SparkMIT crew.  We discussed the SAMR model and how it relates to our inquiries as well as sharing the progress we have made so far.

Quick recap
My innovation is a resource site that students could go to, to develop their vocabulary skills thus improving comprehension and fluency in reading.  My target group is Year 4 and 5 Samoan students but the innovation is purposed to serve all learners far and wide.

To acclerate learning in reading.  It will have student and teacher made resources purposed to develop vocabulary and evaluation of a text.  Data from reading assessments (probe) has highlighted these are areas of need.   Students will be creating resources as research shows the learning experience is enhanced when it occurs between students ie students learn more effectively from each other.  What better way to engage our aiga [family] than to have their own child's voice, pictures and learning in video form?  I would love to hear if you have any other suggestions for aiga engagement.

Three key students have transferred away from my school. They were students who had entered into a digital classroom directly from Samoa.  Even though they have left, it has been a great reminder that my innovation will be a resource for all students to access.'

I added a new page to my class site focussing on the digital literacy aspect of 'metaliteracy' . This was a trial where I was going to add screencastifies created by students and myself.  They would be serve as 'go to' video that help students and parents understand how to use their chromebooks and apps, hopefully building vocabulary around our devices.  This was a challenge because of time.  I also became preoccupied with adding a voice over to my class site.

Time.. time..... time!

Successes... Challenging Successes
Power of conversation.  Discussing my innovation with colleagues and getting feedback from them has been fantastic.  With my digital literacy page a colleague reminded me about the importance of the 'why'.  Making sure that the videos explained why we use such apps or chromebooks.  How they help us on our learn, create, share journey.   At present the videos are basic step by step instructions.
I am a Term 2 flyer.  This time last year is I was panicked, believed students shouldn't blog until Year 5 and running substitution tasks day in and day out.  By the end of the year I had been accepted to participate as part of the SparkMIT group, had a fully fledged class site that was being used as a model, presented my own toolkit and had a class of Year 3/4 students with their own individual blogs. So with this in mind, I have a really positive outlook on Term 2.

Where to next?
I really want my innovation to be easily adapted into everyday planning.  There are so many innovative ideas I came across at the GAFE summit but finding the time to impliment them has been diffiuclt.  With this in mind, I want to streamline my innovation to work alongside the teacher.  I hope to do this by making it responsive to reading texts.  For example finding a way to enable my innovation to develop vocabulary, comprehension and fluency based on articles sourced from Kiwi Kids News.  These articles are free to access and have a generally wide range of engaging topics.