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.

ILEP Scholarship Salamanca 2015

This year I was awarded the ILEP immersion scholarship for two weeks study at the historic university of Salamanca in Spain.  This scholarship requires participants to cover their own airfare, which being high season, and with insurance requires a personal financial investment of $4,000.  As opportunities to speak and hear the language are limited in New Zealand, I believe it is essential for us, as teachers of ELE, to make this personal investment to maintain our content knowledge, both linguistically and culturally.  The link below gives some details of the program and some images show the experience this year. Although the language aspect was disappointing (family homestay limited, no oral program at my level, grammar review rather than extension) overall the experience was interesting.  However, it was certainly not worthwhile PD in terms of cost benefit,  as it didn’t extend my language skills in the areas needed for more effective teaching.  In particular, it was a pity that the program, unlike previous Salamanca scholarships, no longer is pedagogically based, with teachers of ELE from all over the world participating, but is now part of international courses run for profit from the University largely for foreign students.  As with Mexico, I focused on cultural aspects to share with students rather than language, although I will be reflecting on the grammar as it was very old school, with lists of when to use what tense  for eg,rather than the more modern global approach.

IMG_1557 IMG_1564 IMG_1647 IMG_1692 IMG_1699 IMG_1733 IMG_1803 IMG_1855 IMG_1868 IMG_1871 IMG_6963 IMG_6978

Core trends most applicable to my languages classes are Learning Agency, where I continue to try to offer student choice of content or presentation; new approaches to assessment where Task Based Learning approaches, which provide students with immediate chances to repeat and improve on a task based on formative feedback are increasingly used in our courses; and of course global connectedness as I strive to connect students to the wider Spanish speaking community through letter and video exchange, the MOE School to School exchange with Chile and different teacher’s action plans which include creating language learner communities.

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



Enviado desde mi iPad

Differentiation via cultural learningDia d

Students create maps of Spain and Skeletons for Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos celebration.
A successful scholarship student takes part in a STANZA Spanish debating competition at King’s College.
Bringing flamenco into the classroom gives all students a non threatening cultural experience where they can participate at their own level.
CIMG0010 (2)
Making pinatas allows Year 10 students creative expression while exploring a cultural aspect of Mexico. The focus in our couses is consistently to have students create cultural objects to share with families – Spanish calendars, Mexican alebrijes or pinatas, food in class.
la foto 2
Alebrijes made by students 2014

Calaveras DiadelosMuertosY9_14 IMG_6672 la foto 1 Cubing Strategy


RAFT_Jigsaw centers_K12_97

Six Ways to Tier a Lesson

I continue to explore ways to differentiate content abd assessment for students, but

increasingly am of the opinion that well designed activities and assessments allow

students ample ability to achieve at different levels according to their interests,

abilities and inclinations. Our goals now are to encourage more students towards

excellence through differentiation, while catering for different learning styles, interests and aspirations in learning languages.

Spain 2015

In a continued attempt to improve fluency and understanding of the content I teach I applied for the ILEP scholarship to study in Salamanca for two weeks in July 2015 and was awarded this in March.  Under the program teachers pay for their airfare and are hosted for two weeks of intensive language study at the university of Salamanca.  Airfares cost over $3000 at this time of year, so together with the $10,000 spent in Mexico and the $10,000 cost of my Masters degree, it is an expensive business. However, with limited opportunities to retain fluency and continue learning here, the Salamanca scholarship is an excellent professional development opportunity.


salamanca1-large puente_romano_salmanca_t3700374.jpg_1306973099 images


Mexico 2013

In 2013 I was awarded a second opportunity to participate in the MOE teacher immersion program and provided a job and host in Pachuca Mexico for 5 months. Although far from ideal in terms of immersion, as I was teaching English full time at a prep school and university, I made the best of the opportunity with independent study. I kept a blog of everything I did while in Mexico, and through the experience I gained a lot of cultural insights and understandings, and managed to improve some aspects of fluency and confidence in speaking.