Monday, 16 March 2015

Some thinking...

Here are just some notes recording where I am in my professional inquiry at the moment:

  • Recreated Venn diagram - reworked an old one, hasn’t been tested on kids yet

  • have not tweaked this terms rubric, but will keep SOLO in mind when creating next terms one
  • a lot of time spent on skills based tasks/help for students across Teams 1-4
  • busy with extn kids and time is limited because of other commitments e.g. videoconferencing, MTV creation for ambassadors, trip to Maritime Museum - impacts on time as students need to complete tasks for rubric to be marked on time.
  • important for me to settle into new role as Creative Space/GATE teacher, so have not spent as much time as planned on integrating SOLO into programme.
  • mindful that SOLO will be introduced more specifically as a thinking tool early in Term 2 with extension students.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

SOLO - Now it makes sense!

Just recently as part of our staff PD, we were given an introduction to SOLO from one of our APs Juanita Garden. I gained a deeper understanding of what SOLO was and how it applied in a classroom setting. We were given clear examples of how a students level of thinking could move from simple (Prestructural/Unistructural) to more complex (Relational/Extended Abstract).

Here's a link to the slide show that Juanita shared with us.

Making Sense of SOLO

Some of the ideas that arose from the PD discussions was that scaffolding was essential and that the simpler ideas/levels of thinking (e.g. knowledge of basic facts) was just as important as the deeper/complex levels of thinking. You can't have one without the other, as the simpler ideas are necessary building blocks towards higher cognitive thinking and understanding. Plus our students need more opportunities to articulate their thinking, and richer tasks to extend and challenge them.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Inquiry 2015

My inquiry focus this year is:

How to scaffold learning to extend higher order thinking and ‘quality creating’ in tasks?

Why am I interested in pursuing this line of inquiry?

Earlier this year Rebecca Jesson from the Woolf Fisher Research Centre posed an interesting question at a staff meeting at Tamaki College. She questioned how teachers of Year 7 & 8 students were going to extend their high achieving students even further to better prepare them for college. End of year results indicated that although our students continued to make gains, they were actually falling further behind in terms of keeping up with National Standards at each year level. 

So what am I going to do about this?

I am interested in developing higher cognitive engagement and higher order thinking. In order to do that I am inquiring into my own practice in respect of high cognitive engagement and the integration and effective utilisation of digital learning. My new role in the Creative Space class has provided an opportunity for me to work with our 'gifted and talented' (Extension) students. My goal is to provide specific learning opportunities to help enhance and raise the levels of achievement for our gifted and talented students.

How will I go about doing this?

1) Explore SOLO Taxonomy model.
2) Research how SOLO can be integrated effectively into an extension programme.
3) Make modifications to rubrics for tasks to encourage 'quality creating'.
4) Ensure that learning tasks are visible on the Creative Space site.
5) Ensure that students understanding about specific learning intentions/outcomes are clear.