Session 1 Morning PD Aligning class work and assessment at Y9 & 10

Professional Development SessionsTerm 3 2015

Languages Department Orewa College

Session 1

OBJECTIVE; To decide on a specific format for student work that suits our department for Middle School students.  NB Students need a system that allows them to store notes, classroom activities, and publish assessment tasks with video footage.

PD reading to be done before session:

Margaret Murray to demonstrate Showbie by getting us all to create and submit a document to her beforehand.

Digital options for submitting work for Middle School – Showbie, Youtube, Dropbox, Blogs, Wikispaces, Google Docs, CBB or other eBooks.

Paper options: Notebook provided by dept – kept in class? Ownership?

Notebook provided by student

What works in terms of:


Feedback/feed forward

Providing students coherent notes they can use for revision

Motivating students towards a positive digital footprint

Ease of use for both teacher/students

Ensuring editing process is recorded

Minutes Term 4 Language department

Hui start 0820                                                                        Agenda: See above

Present – OL, WL, Btn, My, Sko , TLR                                     Apologies- No apologies

Minutes  – Singa Broughton

Note taking

  • Do we need notes where students can access any topic on the Internet now?
  • What is the best format/platform/app, to use now that we are digital?
  • Should a note- taking book go on stationery list?
  • Could we begin each term with a mini task requiring students to create a [language] folder on their device for notes?
  • Where is the best place to keep notes ie: device or notebook and  the theoretical advantages and disadvantages
  • Students taking photos of teachers whiteboard notes

Had to leave the Note taking discussion to allow time for the next topic on the Agenda

Showbie: Margaret Murray

  • initial problems occured on iPad with a ‘Teacher’ trying to join the class as a Student but was solved
  • A general feeling is that Showbie has similar functions to other platforms such as GoogleDocs but seems to be a lot more personalised
  • Showbie has the capability to  embed videos but we ran out of time to pursue the comparisons between showbie and blogs such as WordPress


Hui ended  – 9 am BUT,  we feel as a department that we didnt  really acchieve what we wanted in the short amount of time… The Department feels  a whole day Department meeting would be more beneficial…

HOD Report on Morning PD #1 Languages Department

A       Notetaking in general

Teachers found readings useful and they sparked off a good discussion on what is note taking, what notes a student might need in languages, note taking skills and their relevance in today’s digital classroom and the latest research on best practice involving learning and notation.

  1. Some notes are useful – verbs, grammar structures, words that come up in class, explanations given by teacher, and in particular, the processing that goes on when students transfer information from one format to another, or put things in their own words, decided us. This is an important aspect of learning not linked to creating, but to memory and processing – the preliminary stages.
  2. Students generally find the time needed to open ipad/laptop, login, wait for Pages to load, or login again to Ultranet and navigate to the appropriate class and folder, or open a search engine and search for the information a poor investment, and resist doing it, so they don’t revisit important information repeatedly as they need to.
  3. Although they need filing skills on their devices, note taking by hand can be a useful adjunct to their digital environment – another tool for our toolbox.
  4. Gillian had trialled with Y9 and Sorrel with Y10 a notebook system last term, with success.

Conclusion: As a department we will consider issuing small 3B1 notebooks to each student in Y9/10 and direct them to process gathered material to produce effective notes. Students who continue a language at  y10will be reissued with these notebooks the following year as a personal revision device.  This is to be revisited at next dept meeting after we have had a time to explore Showbie and evernote  as an option.  If this is a successful initiative in 2016, we will add it to stationery lists for 2017.  Estimated cost at .05c per student @approx 500 students = $25

B          Aligning assessment and note/coursework options for Languages Dept

Showbie, Edublogs were the only two that we had time to discuss. Margaret showcased Showbie, getting us to join a class and we all explored the possibilities.  With Showbie students can join a class and have an individualised folder, like Dropbox, but more visible and therefore more like a virtual class.  Students can submit images, written or video tasks using iPads – not so easy with laptops. Teachers can annotate the work in color for feedback and add voice commentary. We ran out of time to effectively compare options and come to a conclusion.

Conclusion: We would have needed at least 3 hours to effectively compare the two main options and come to a decision as to which suited student, teacher needs and aligned with school goals best.

Literacy Credits

This year I initiated a campaign for literacy credits which is currently being managed by a group of Spanish language teachers. We have worked to research this issue to compare it with overseas trends, to set up meetings and liaise with universities, in particular Canterbury and Auckland, contacted ILEP and NZALT and met with their leaders. Some of the teachers involved are: Carlos Junca; Catherine Attwood; Helen Magasiva; Julia Crawley; Laytee George; Maria Blanco Blanco; Marjorie Juhel; Rosa Guevara; Elena Prado

Currently the issue is being taken forward by NZALT and Catherine Attwood has been asked to join NZALT and become part of  working group to bring this issue to the attention of the MOE during teh NZQA review of languages curriculum early next year.

I have asked to take a less committed view due to personal health issues. My opening email is below with some of the follow up emails.

Sent: Friday, 8 May 2015 5:21 PM
Subject: [ELENZA] no literacy credits for studying language
I would like to bring up the subject of the lack of  literacy credits for senior language NCEA standards in NZ with the Ministry and am keen to know other language teacher’s thoughts on this subject.
Literacy credits are currently offered in subjects such as Drama, Economics, Health & PE, Mathematics, Music, Horticulture, and Te Reo yet not to students who read and write in another language.  In addition, it seems patently unreasonable and hypocritical to not offer literacy credits for learning a second language, when students studying Te Reo Maori (as a second language) are being awarded them for similar assessments.
The argument may have been that native speakers could gain literacy credits through language standards, providing a false picture of their English abilities.  This is an unsubstantiated argument, in particular with regard to the number of literacy credits students are required to provide for course entry, as it would be impossible to get all or even most of these through one or two NCEA language assessments.  In addition, the number of students studying their own language for NCEA credits is negligible, compared to the number of English speaking senior students studying a second language who are being denied literacy credits for becoming more literate through studying language.
With second  language student numbers at an all-time low in new Zealand, it is time the MOE started supporting its own curriculum, where it has placed learning languages as a core strand.  One positive thing we could do is provide literacy credits for students who earn them by studying literature, writing, reading and gaining insights into the functioning of their own language during their second language study.
I look forward to hearing other’s  thoughts on the matter.
Sorrel O’Leary
Ms S O’leary MA, DipTch.
Acting HOD International Languages
Spanish Coordinator
Orewa College
No hay un paso gigante que lo hace. Es una gran cantidad de pequeños pasos.
mailto:ELENZA@LISTSERV.REDIRIS.ES] On Behalf Of Elena Prado
Sent: Saturday, 9 May 2015 2:43 p.m.
Subject: Re: [ELENZA] no literacy credits for studying language
I am glad Sorrel that you have brought up the topic to our attention.
Vocational Pathways is already having a negative impact in students choosing languages as it offers very little credits to target language learners.
In relation to literacy credits something has to be done soon, otherwise students will start seeing no value in target languages learning.
I understand that teaching and learning languages has now a strong focus in communicative purpose however, there is a need to re-evaluate the role of language translation as it has a strong relationship with literacy and it is an important source of employment.
I know of the existence of Google translate but we all know by now that a serious translation job will always require a person behind it who has earned some literacy credits… hopefully.
Translating abstract thinking, literature, poetry, etc., will always require a high level of literacy.
Having a new NCEA standard in where students have to face a translation task of 3 different types of texts, topics level related and from target language to English, could be the way to go.
Maybe without use of resources, it could be one way to acknowledge how target language learning enriches and extend literacy in students and earn them credits.
Or it could be a research project, text resources in target language and then a translation to English, without the use of resources such as dictionaries or else.
Just a thought.
¡¡¡Vivan los idiomas!!
Hello all
I have been chatting to ESOL and English HODs and have discovered some misconceptions about literacy credits.  Firstly, literacy is taken (without stating it anywhere) to mean literacy in English. It appears to have come about as a university initiative.   Secondly, apparently there are no Level 2 literacy credits as such. Students must gain 10 literacy credits at level 1 to gain level 1 NCEA.  Students must gain a further 10 literacy credits at either Level 2 or 3 for university entrance.
This has a bearing on our situation, as we will need to present a strong case for credits at all three levels of language study.
Another argument could be based on the type of answers the new ‘NCEA marking schedule’ for languages is asking from students. Before (I am talking about 3 years ago) it used to be pretty much a translation of the text (listening/reading) to get Excellence whereas now, it is more an interpretation and well explained perspectives and inferences to sit safely in the E category. Anyone who sees the examples of E/M answers in the NCEA webpage will see that this requires a better level of literacy.
Just a thought.
Regarding what is happening in other English speaking countries, it is rather hard to compare the NZ system for University entries to other systems. In England students are required to complete GCSE before going to Uni and some states in Australia have a system based on percentages of all students’ results . So far I haven’t heard of literacy/numeracy credits for University entry.
Deb Ward suggests the following:

The Review and Maintenance Programme (RAMP) will be one of our best ways to have feedback.

This year it is underway for Mathematics and Statistics and Science learning areas. Languages is

on the timeline for the start of 2016. Further information can be found


How can we as teachers have a say in this process? Feeding back through NZALT and your own

language associations is the most important step to take as they then talk directly to MOE.

There is a lot of support for your points from teachers and feeding this voice back is very

important so thank you for raising this in such a clear and concise manner.

 I don’t remember having word of this conference in Wellington, and the first site I tried on looking for information, was The Office of Ethnic Affairs, which I have also never heard of,  and it denied me access.  This conference was apparently a government initiative from this Office aimed at developing policy around languages and language learning, see:

It may be this Office which is also driving the intercultural standards development initiative, which was being researched last year (a standard or standards based on intercultural competency)

Mentoring other teachers

This year I mentored a Spanish language teacher, taking her through the process of planning


In term 2 Caroline Watson of Kingway School in Orewa requested a day with me as part of her school’s out and about program.  She spent the day observing classes and I shared a number of online resources with her by email after her visit.

Yuki Seko is a first year teacher working in Japanese as LTR the second half of 2015 and I am mentoring him as HOD of languages.  I have assisted him with set up and our discipline program, and am helping him with Kamar, Language Perfect, any technology issues and NCEA. We are working together to administer ACL tests online this term and I will be helping him to prepare school examinations for week 6.

RTC appraisal template for Languages 2015

RTC Evidence ExampleLuciaJu

RTC Evidence OC Langs 2015 This is a template based on the exemplar above which provides good basis for appraising against registered teacher criteria, which includes reflective questions and school expectations.  These expectations may need to be adapted to comply with specific OC school goals, but are comprehensive, as are the ways presented in which teachers may fulfill the criteria.

This would be a good starting point for teachers in our department for appraisal. The completed document could be uploaded to your blog, with evidence to support each aspect then curated in appropriate entries.

Appraisal PD with Jan Hill 2015

PD with Jan Hill Appraisal

Why appraise teachers who are performing well every year?

How to effectively measure performance? 5min walk throughs? Student evaluations? All need to be done better- walk throughs should be WEEKLY, student evaluations should be online not in class, Points system? What Criteria? – several ‘ bundles’ of evidence – TAI/walk throughs/PD evidence/ These NEED TO BE ALIGNED and supported by school; needs to be an ongoing pathway Coach for TAI, HOD for RTC, Students for practice documentation of value added is the crux – need to show have taken learners from a-c not necessarily more merit/excellence


RTC 2010 (is in PD file ?)

Individual responsibility

Collection of evidence


TAI focus

Attestation (4 salary) vs appraisal vs competency – should same evidence be used for all Prior appraisal was done to teachers, now looking at joint responsibility


NBWLA RTC 10 requires integration of maori tanga into teaching – see Matariki y9/10 incorporate solar system lesson; and turangawaewae; using vowel sound similarities; using the Maori Spanish family the Panioras with immigration unit.

School culture needs to be open to learning TAI good start


Evaluative capability – What does good looks like at OC – job description Manaaki rubrics, AKO matrix, student and peer evaluations 5 min walk through – clear criteria tell you what good looks like,  curriculum documents, school charter, ERO, student achievement, (I think enthusiastic students, students who can express something they have learnt,)


goals need to be specific rather than broad, as do criteria – how will you know you have achieved goal? –


Keep and document COMPELLING evidence only – what am I doing, who will be my focus students? A group within the class, a whole class, and what will be the measure Pre-test and post test Video yourself, analyze and write up Ask two students for feedback on an activity or on a new approach you have tried. Record them on your cell phone and write up one thing From top down it has become an integrated approach where teachers are documenting what they are/should be doing TAI should be looking at Retention from y9 to y10 through ??differentiation / focus on individuals ?? Using stations?? Do some reading ( strategies qalready tried- TBL, different topics, overseas trip) Build ongoing appraisal into departmental meetings – come prepared to discuss your progress, share the latest additions to your portfolio of evidence – stop at end for time to record what you have learnt from dept discussion, what feeds back into your practice or TIA Ask, What’s your data telling you? What is your student feedback telling you?

Select specific about bundles to provide evidence


#3/10 each unit has a component which reflects this ( use maori in letters home to maori parents; use Maori salutations and thanks in emails routinely; my learnin has been a gap radula accumulation of how the language functions; use Maori cultural components in units of teaching to reference Aotearoa against new cultural referents; what is the impact on student learning? How does your focus group show this? How do you measure it? Ask students what they thought of this element in the unit? Did it lead to greater understanding for them?

Outcomes are paramount

Sources of evidence : achievement data, student work examples, student feed back, observations, including running commentaries done by peers ( come in and write all I say in five ten minutes), videos, sound track; feedback from students and parents, photos of before and after, peers, unit plans, year plans, surveys, dept meeting minutes, record feedback on Show is orally, professional dialogue. ALL WITHIN AN ACTION INQUIRY

3 general categories – observations, discussions, documents – to provide a range of triangulated sources which includes peers, students and self Curation of evidence – ease of understanding for anyone else



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