Thursday, 12 October 2017

ULearn 2017 - Day 2: SPARK MIT Presentation

On Day 2 of ULearn 2017 our SPARK MIT group presented at ULearn in Hamilton at the Claudelands event centre. Dorothy Burt had already set up the main presentation which appeared on a gigantic screen. We were given a briefing about the order of our presentations and a quick reminder that the audience would be given time to ask questions after every speaker. Each presentation would be delivered in the style of an ignite talk which meant that we would have 20 slides at 20 seconds each.

I was first up after Dorothy's presentation. I was confident that my presentation would be ok because I had already delivered much of the same information earlier at the Manaiakalani Hui. The main focus of my inquiry was about my experience with the use of the Paideia Seminars and my Year 5 & 6 Extension group. My goal was to use the Paideia method to improve critical thinking skills.

At the end of my presentation the floor was opened to the audience to ask questions. One of the questions asked was 'Why did you decide to use the Paideia method with your students?' My answer referred to the fact that we have many Maori and Pacific Island students at our school and that developing oral language skills was a key skill that needed to be developed amongst our students. Another question was 'How did I assess the students using SOLO?' In my reply I talked about the fact that the Paideia seminars were videoed so that I could analyse the footage and what the students said. I could then plot the answers according to the types of responses that the students had. This determined where the students sat on the SOLO framework in regards to their level of thinking.

After my presentation and question and answer session, the other SPARK MIT teachers delivered their presentations. Each of them spoke about their inquiries and findings which were all quite impressive. Angela was the only other teacher from Pt England, Dot and Hinerau were from Tamaki College, Troy was from Papakura College, Kelsey was from a cluster in Christchurch and Alicia was from a cluster in Northland.

Overall I think that the SPARK MIT group of 2017 did a great job. We all connected well with each other and enjoyed our ULearn experience. Thanks to SPARK and Manaiakalani for supporting us and for providing us with this experience. I am also really grateful to the help, guidance and support that I received from Anne Sinclair throughout my inquiry this year.

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