Jul 17, 2016

Mindlab - literature review/discussion

Lots reading on mindfulness and growth mindset over the last few days relating to our research question:

What impact does growth mindset have on students achievement?
I think over the last bit of reading we need to add mindfulness to our research question. there seems to be a direct correlation between the two and thinking forward to my teacher inquiry it would be good to include mindfulness into this research. 

What impact does growth mindset and mindfulness have on students achievement?
I am not convinced that all mindsets can be changed if they are deep seated over many years but i may be persuaded to consider that teaching mindfulness could create a growth mindset in young people that they may carry on into their future lives.
I, myself have a fixed mindset with regard to teaching maths.  This is deep seated from a young age [refer to DCL1 and DCL2], while it has improved over the years and the mindset occasionally relaxes the fixed mindset overrides it often as it is so deep seated. The moment i am questioned on my teaching on maths, the moment someone comes in on a maths lesson, the moment someone questions my planning or teaching or grading in maths the fixed mindset comes right back and the stress and chip is retained. I don't believe this will ever change; we as teachers are constantly being judged by communities, by students, by parents, by management, by colleagues by media....therefore if our mindset is tentatively fixed we will always revert back to this as a coping mechanism. We all drop back to most learned behaviour.


Jun 5, 2016

Mindlab Session 13 - Inquiry Learning

e-Learning tools and implementation strategies are there to support our teaching and learning not to replace it

Laingholm's Inquiry model - workable for the independent inquirers as well as the students who still require guided and modeled learning

Inquiry moving from Knowledge to Understanding
needs to be:
  • relevant to them and their world
  • hook them in from the get go
  • could be an event that needs to happen
  • provocative statement
  • or a real-life challenge that effects them
  • Observe
  • Wonder & Ponder
  • Investigate
  • Conclude
 Involve me and I will understand...

Constructivist: ask questions, investigate solutions,  gather information and create new knowledge, discuss discoveries and experiences, reflect on new knowledge - not teacher directed
evaluate information

Teacher is the facilitator not the provider
open ended questions
activate prior knowledge
discuss questions and research knowledge gathering
present and reflect

May 29, 2016

Mindlab Session 12 -Design Thinking

Design Thinking:
Research, finding patterns and connections, design principles, make tangible, test and evaluate, iterate relentlessly eg fitness trackers in USA for children - https://vimeo.com/90355541


Defining the problem would be beneficial for understanding what the specific problem is. By defining the problem you are able to identify the underlying issue. If you are unable to define the specific problem, the ideating/prototype stages will not help to solve the problem. You need to define who the stakeholders are; ie know who the problem/solution will affect.

Defining is an important part of Teaching as Inquiry process.

Ideating : Is there enough time spent on this phase?

- Variety of solutions
- Can be as crazy as you want
- Team = finding a solution
- Opens your mind
- An idea may be a solution for something else later
- Takes out the leader (issue?)

Austin's Butterfly - try and try and again, careful advice to make it better, perseverance  https://vimeo.com/38247060 the eyes of a scientist
a great one to share with children - for learning from constructive criticism and trying again

Mindlab Session 11 - Agile Functionality

Agile Manifesto rewritten for schools:
Learner/facilitator collaboration over assessment requirements
Responding to change over following a plan
Teaching practices over curriculum documentation
Meaningful learning over measurement of learning

Agile Leadership - the best can get better
What can stay the same?
What needs to be removed?
What can be tweaked?
What needs to be radically redesigned?
get better all the time is the sign of an AGILE leader

Is our school working in an AGILE fashion??? No I don't think so - we are always pushing and pulling  in different directions prime example being our current situation the school playground replacement.
Committee of parents - no communication to staff
Community Facebook page - no actual targets
school staff and children wanting to do something but not being allowed to with consultation

Trello - I can definitely see the benefits for using Trello in the classroom and in meetings to help make work smarter smarter.... already started one for our inquiry projects into developing ideas for getting money for our school playground

May 22, 2016

Mindlab Session 10 - crowd sourcing and entrepreneurship

Market Share - board game - played for an hour and half with group http://www.marketshare.co.nz/
great game of purchasing small businesses and working up the ladder
uses money, percentages, bonuses, accounting etc
not sure how it would work with 9 - 11 year olds - quite complex and needs lots of math knowledge such as working our percentages of money, also lots of looking at different things - booklet to sheet to board.
however we thoroughly enjoyed the experience and didn't want it to stop

Crowd sourcing - lots of benefits here for children to work with - giving something for something is a focus. although our video was for the givealittle page I need to look into crowd sourcing for gaining some momentum for raising funds for our school playground

Pledge me - what reward? Advertise your business on our Facebook page?

Innocentive.com solve our problem for us

Zooinverse - people powered research  

May 15, 2016

Mindlab week 9 - engagement

Student Agency - what it is?


Success is about what you value...teaching the whole child - progress and achievement is a product of this…success

Success is PONO - to be true, honest, genuine and sincere
Life-long learners

Kahoot - a quiz online, interactive, need numerous devices, children love but engagement can be for the fun factor rather than the learning factor - even with teachers there was talking while explanations were being given so few were actually listening to answers. Could be good for children setting tasks for team mates - questioning skills etc

Taiye Selasi - ted talks don't ask me where I'm from?
Rituals - wake up, play kitchen scramble and sims, shower, breakfast go
Relationships - coffee and colleagues at school first task, breakfast every Wednesday without fail - saving grace, family Skye's monthly, friends on vibes
Restrictions - restrictions on house prices, affordability, family abroad, school far away, teaching profession and Mindlab assignments and reading

May 8, 2016

Challenge Accepted! Guantlet Run with

Mindlab Session 8 - evloving education

‘The five whys’ is a technique from the Toyota Production System in the 1950s. “by repeating why five times, the nature of the problem as well as its solution becomes clear.”
Taiichi, O. (1988). Toyota production system: beyond large-scale production. Portland, Or: Productivity Press.

TED TALK - Ramsey
1. CUROSITY comes first - little people always ask 'why?'because it develops their curiosity - they don't just take things on face value, asking questions is how they learn new stuff. We think we should definitely be fostering curiosity at a young age to ensure they become life long learners. Curiosity builds 21st C skills and key competencies
2. Embrace the MESS - some of our best learning comes from the messy stuff, provides opportunities for uninterrupted learning, relative to time/situation/place, but we should all learn to let go a little bit more and be a bit more relaxed with 'mess
3. Practice REFLECTION - real learning is solidified when we allow time for adequate reflection, when we question what we did and why we did it.

We think this is a cool way of thinking about how we should be teaching and learning, its about exciting our learners to want to learn.

Scary reading the Principals letter - we have all worked for principals like that - the authoritarian kind. 
We all decided we would include lots of advice on PD options for staff, start small with some classes to work out the kinks, team up experts with novices, consult the community first, leave plenty of time to implement

Mind-mapping and brainstorming software:

Mindomo [ipad app]

Apr 26, 2016

Mindlab session 7 - twitter, blended learning and leadership

Edpuzzle.com - add comments and questions, trim video, add questions, add audio
Can retrieve answers to questions and know who is logged in 
Nice little online piece of software - easy to use, like the additions of adding audio and asking Q's during the videos set 

Blendspace - can be blended for students and teachers
Make it for filming skills for staff 
used previously, children like it, a little time consuming to see and select enough to fill 6 spots 
gets faster as its used

Todaysmeet.com - online meeting and discussion space

Reignited my Twitter life - always been a listener to various people: @Queen_UK [humour],
@JeremyClarkson [humour], @ICT_MrP [education], @leecrockett [education], @kjinquiry [education], @julianclary [humour], @1stanwalker [music], @adamlambert [music] - listened for many years to these guys - so much so their tweets get sent as text messages so I never miss one of theirs, lost my online interaction with Twitter sometime ago...reigniting my twitter life again after today's session
Distributed leadership:
All people able to lead in diff ways
Enabling distributed leadership via digital technologies
Opportunity for you to lead - provide better feedback, provide better support, provide creativity, PD
leaders lead from where they are at
Collective intelligence - crowds solve problems

Samr - goal is not redefinition all the time
Never a set way all the time
Provides opportunities for creativity 
Values diversity - wicked problem - how do we value diversity 
Broad visions
Inquiry cycle 
Systems change
No idea how to do that - trust to try and see what will happen

Apr 19, 2016

Mindlab session 6 - Growth Mindset/Connected learning/Leadership styles

If our students don't start learning how to learn - we could be in trouble - in the words of John Connor in Terminator 2 - " The future's not set. There's no fate but what we make for ourselves.""....and isn't that the truth!
We as teachers and them as students have no idea what the future holds - things have changed so much in the last 10 years...children we taught 10 years ago are facing a really different reality than we taught in.
We need to prepare our students to be active learners.
To be collaborators.
To be communicators.
To be problem solvers.
To be flexible.
To be thinkers.
To be creative.
To be innovative.

Is the child engaged and is he/she learning.  Create a need to know in the child. Learning experiences around the needing to know.
we have forgotten the learner and passion for learning due to targets, attainment and National Standards.
Its a work that can fail and is always in progress.
Reconnecting education to opportunity.

In my school connected learning means: having a shared focus but having the opportunities to be creative and explore outside the realms of regular education programmes.

Growth mindset - do we show mistakes, failure in our classrooms
Do we foster 'not yet', making mistakes is ok etc -
ClassDojo - growth Mindset series

Piktochart - demo

Apr 18, 2016

Mindlab session 5 - Makey Makey, coding

Introduction to coding for some people. While it was introduced as starting children straight into scratch - I personally have found that using Code.org as a foundation for coding is much more worth while. Ch'n use code.org to learn the basics of coding and how instructions work together to make things happen on the screen. This is a good foundation before throwing them into scratch where they need an understanding of how code works in order to make the cat move.

Time probably also needs to be given to students to experiment with the sounds and sprites before creating anything - much the same as investigating sounds and transitions using movie software.

Introducing the Makey Makey board into scratch after some lengthy experience using the programme.


Cheaper versions of the Makey Makey can be found at http://aliexpress.com/

First hand try at using a Makey Makey board.
Great session with our group relearning how circuits work and creating a magical musical instrument using the Makey Makey and cables. We created instruments using card and aluminum foil and even play doh.
Looking at their website it seems you can make an instrument out of almost anything - even bananas!

a beat box creation

a musical triangle

a magical drumkit

a very clever Anzac creation, each poppy told a bit of the Anzac story and the last post music

the Makey Makey board

magical cymbals

use of aluminum foil and playdoh and card

Mindlab Session 4 - Evidence based Learning and Stop-motion

Evidence based learning:


It's not just using data on students to affect teaching.

Brain Gym is not effective...

What is graphical evidence..?

Skills need to be the priority.

Mar 28, 2016

Mindlab Session 3 - pre and post

Assignment 1 - Slowly stressing away about the first assignment - what to do what to do
Seems to be a large amount of confusion about what is expected here.

My initial thinking is it has to be math related as this is my weakest area and has been for many many years. Maths is generally uninteresting for me and the children - how can I shed my shoulder chip and make it interesting for my students. Am thinking project based is the way to go - this is the only bit of maths that ever interested me as a child - making it real. Thinking this should be my angle.

Set up my first google forms survey for the class/syndicate to complete - it's a practice really to see how the forms work and how easy it is to collate and see the results from 4 classes.

Aurasma - cool but what is the point? Is it educationally valid?

Seems to be that Aurasma is slightly different to QR codes in that it overlays in 3D rather than just a link to another website - so the theory is you can overlay flat instructions with something else more interesting to engage the students.
Augmented reality - I think it makes the learning richer if you can interact with the material being delivered rather than just shown something. Learning Shakespere as a youngster reading the plays it was extremely hard to understand - seeing a play made it easier, visiting where Shakespeare lived made it more 'real' being able to interact with the characters in augmented reality would make it memorable! Much like the guys who invented and created the Mindcraft view of Gallipoli - much more interactive and creates a higher user interest level.

[Tues] slowly gathering ideas for assignment - started a Mindomo after making mini notes in phone at 2.29am and 4.33am [the joy of stress]


Aurasma - can be very effective with overlays of work - still not completely convinced that QR codes work just as well just less aesthetically pleasing. I am pretty sure QR codes will open a word doc that you can then work on. Must test this theory.
Would have liked them to show how Google Cardboard can be educationally useful rather than just a cool tool to play with.
At least the session gave much more clarity on the assignment...I think

Some great ideas using the SAMR model - loved viewing and commenting on them. Struggling over this assignment still

Mar 20, 2016

Mindlab Session 2 - pre work & post thinking/problem solving

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZEZTyxSl3g    Grant Lichtman
Change is hard...it can be done but it is difficult in some schools, uncomfortable and challenging.
Schools and classes need chances to make mistakes, innovate and create [Class Dojo Mindset]. Great learning comes from experiences not changing from maths brain to science brain to writing brain.
Dams - school managers and Ministry directives - content rather than context.
Look at possibilities outside the classroom, outside the school...
Teach into the unknown - we don't know what the future holds.
Not 21st century skills but TIME LESS skills. Self-evolving learners. We need to be self-evolving institutions
Prepare students for THEIR future not our past.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=075aWDdZUlM  Differences between tools for entertaining and tools for engaging. How do we engage children in the class to collaborate, create and design.

An animated video to show creativity for children - stepping out of the box and collaborating. Going above and beyond.

There are two lasting bequests we can give our children. One is roots. The other is WINGS. 
Hodding Carter Jr

Innovative teaching and learning methods
ITL surveys  and research by Microsoft

John Hatties 8 Mindframes for teachers

Redited video from in-class action - demonstrating a 21st Century Skill related short film.
We had limited time to plan and film our project in class. About 10 minutes was wasted playing with iMovie on an iPhone and trying to work out how to make the trailer aspect work - we found that whatever we did it cut off the tops of all our videos. Therefore we went to using straight iMovie but ran out of time for the subtitles and titles to fully show our film/ideas - so I reedited and added them.

In post thinking about this task - I think I have come up with a solution to this filming issue we had ......we needed to film it on the phone using landscape instead of portrait and then iMovie will be able to handle the footage....well that's my thinking anyway, lets see next time.

Mar 18, 2016

Mindlab - Session 1 reflection on What is Knowledge & self as a Leader

Mindlab - Session 1 - Reflection & How I was a leader in the collaborative task [18/3/16 5am]

 An interesting session meeting the new people from the Mindlab course.

What is knowledge?
A great question to get some serious discussion on.
Our group decided knowledge was a combination of a number of things:
new learning from information, from experiences, from culture, from growing up, from making mistakes etc

We discussed the neurons in the brain growing as our knowledge grows. As we learn new things through different experiences in life new neurons can be made and make connections with old neurons. Sometimes the neurons become stronger with the new knowledge. Sometimes the neurons fade and dwindle due to the new knowledge [see note below] - our knowledge is always growing and developing as we experience new things and meet new people.

I suggested that Neurons and pathways can be redefined due to our focus in life e.g. we can teach our neurons to fade..to create new pathways as our knowledge changes. For example - a smoker can learn through new knowledge that it is not as beneficial as they once thought. They may have convinced themselves that smoking is good and necessary but through advice from family, friends, doctors, health issues, books etc we can learn that smoking is of no benefit - it takes will power and strength to create new pathways and knowledge to learn that smoking isn't ok...new neurons are created to make a new knowledge pathway that redefines our behaviour towards smoking in order to create a new knowledge/learning of being a non-smoker.

Our group had to SHOW knowledge using playdoh...Ana created a knowledge tree with new leaves and branches growing every time. Kusum and I created the right and left brain with different neurons coming off it and making connections and then making new pathways.

Colleen filmed our groups representation of knowledge. She was relearning how to edit and film our 1 minute movie using an app on her iPad. I decided to take a step back on filming as I have done some of this in the past with children and for myself. This part turned into a supportive role when Colleen needed help finding solutions to problems with editing on the iPad. During the filming I stepped up quickly to the speaking role on camera. I am a born show off when it comes to filming and often the assertive Goat in me takes over instantly. This part I need to be more reflective [and sheep like] on and allow others to step forward first...and I need to encourage others to step forward rather than being my assertive self and springing up to the plate before others get a chance to get a look in. https://youtu.be/zfJng34eqW0

It'll be interesting to ask children the question....What is knowledge? and What is the purpose off Education? Worth considering with my class after camp.

Having just made this into a PAGE on blogger...I have now discovered the difference between PAGES and POSTS - Mindlab stuff needs to be posts but for the purpose of submitting for assessment if necessary I will copy and paste to a page so that all the posts can be saved, printed etc together.

How is the purpose of education view able in my class? The purpose of education is develop new pathways and knowledge. It's about learning new skills and improving your knowledge in different ways and styles. A variety of styles is employed in my room in the hope that different children begin to learn and retain information in different ways and are encouraged to learn new knowledge and skills. New opportunities and experiences are given in a variety of ways. Children are encouraged to share experiences, but I need to focus on encouraging the less assertive class members to share learning, ideas and experiences. We use a variety of learning tools including computers, iPads and occasionally iPhones or iPods. We have experimented with Google Glass - not sure how this improves learning yet.

With a view to the first assignment...I need to attempt to spice up my maths programme with more technology based learning - it's the area of the curriculum that is the least spicy and least interesting due to my own lack of confidence in it.