Monday, September 18, 2017

Using Cospaces for writing

This is a free interactive way of motivating learners for writing. I have been using this as a starting point and also for sharing. For the learners that I have been working with they have recreated their favourite part of a book so show the learning. Within their worlds they are able to embed writing, photos and audio. This allows them to insert their learning when creating their worlds. This will allow the player to experience the learning that they have had. 

To use Cospaces all you need is a laptop or an ipad. Ipads are the best way to play with cospaces so the player can move around. 

Below is a writing lesson that you will be able to do with your learners to get them started on Cospaces. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Sharing at Manaiakalani Hui

Last week I presented my Inquiry at the Manaiakalani Annual Hui. This was a great opportunity to share what I have been working on and how it has been going. I had so many positive comments and questions about how I have achieved and set up my learning. 
The highlights for everyone that I heard was the way I presented my inquiry. I presented not only on the poster board but in virtual reality using a free program called Cospaces. The basis of my inquiry was to provide experiences in which motivates and encourages learners. So for my presentation I wanted it to be an experience. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Design for Real Learning - Digging a Hole

For our integrated Novel Study we are looking at the book 'Holes' by Louis Sachar. To get into the mind of 'Stanley', the main character, and to see why the author was describing the way he was we decided to dig a hole.

This was going deeper into the mind and feelings about the idea of why digging a hole and how this has changed Stanley over the course of the book. My hope is that when we write about it going forward the learners would have a deeper context to connect ideas to.

When looking at designing a Real Learning Experience you need to think about "Why". Why are we doing this? It's not the experience that brings out the learning, but what the experience is going to do for the learning. Our "why" was to understand the change in the main character and analyse the authors purpose. Getting to experience what the character experience helps give more understanding to what the character is going through.

Things to remember:
- why are you doing the experience?
- what learning having you done before?
- how are you going to go deeper after?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Reinventing Sharing

The most common way that the learners that I have share their learning is using Google Slides. This is an easy way to share learning that they have created but when 30 learners are doing the same way each time it gets a little bit repetitive. I gave my learners a challenge, they can share their learning anyway they wanted for our latest piece of writing.

We have been integrating reading and writing with our novel study. We are reading the book Holes by Louis Sachar. When a few of my boys asked if they can present their writing with a movie I said sure, but they have to get the writing completed first.

The learning intentions we have been focusing on over the last two weeks are:

They used slides to organise their information.

This plan informed their content for their video

Monday, July 31, 2017

Engaging Writing Session - Moment in time

Design for Real learning

I wanted to engage the learners in their writing. Give them an interesting experience so that they can think more deeply about their writing. We were focusing on descriptive language, but I also wanted to build some resilience with the learners. Since I have high achieving writers they have always been very good at writing so they have experienced a lot of failure or finding this difficult. I wanted an activity that they will have to use resilience and determination to accomplish.


This is a mixture between tightrope walking and trampolining. There is no way anyone can succeed at this without resilience. You fall more than you succeed.

Useable Link - Make a copy

Success Criteria

Success Criteria
Ensuring that learners are able to clearly state how they are successful and what they can do to improve on their learning is, in my mind, extremely powerful. Part of my next steps were to create visual success criteria that learners are able to connect with. Here is my attempt: 

I have used SOLO and the Stonefields Learning Process to support this. 

Using this template - think about what your minimal expectation is that should be the unistructural. Each step up should develop in complexity and understand. Going from surface to deep understanding of the task. Here is a video to explain it: 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Term 3 - challenge and barrier

What is going on
Term 3 has started and I have hit a barrier with my inquiry. I was going to adapt my focus from motivating high achieving boys who are reluctant writers, as I have made great shift with this and my target learners have become more motivated and they are making great shift, to using the success I have had and branching it out to focusing on the low achieving boys.

The Barrier/Challenge
The way my hub has divided the writers for the majority of the year is to have our reading group and writing group the same. This is so we can integrate our literacy. As a hub this is the best way for us going forward. Being in a collaborative learning space we have to be flexible and make sure that we are doing what is best for the learners and the hub as a whole. This means my writing group is mainly year 6 and high achieving writers. This means that my focus to low achieving boys, which are mainly year 5, wont work.

Tweak my focus

Below are the latest eAsttle results for my new writing group.

Focus: How does using design for real learning experiences and the use of explicit visual success criteria and feedback impact on shift with writing achievement in year 6 boys and high achieving writers?

Next Steps
- Create and Design visual success criteria: This can be displays, rubrics, check lists, etc.
- Design DRL experiences in which learners will engage learners.
- Create purposeful ways for sharing of writing.