Welcome to my blog! I'm Karen Belt, a teacher and leader of digital learning, working at Lynmore Primary School in Rotorua, New Zealand. I'm teaching in a Year 2 class using iPads to engage and motivate learners and improve student achievement. This blog documents my teaching journey and my learning processes with iPads in the classroom. I've proud of having been a member of the inaugural Manaiakalani Digital Teaching Academy(MDTA) program and last year a Spark Manaiakalani Innovative Teacher (MIT) and Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir teacher.

Monday, 31 October 2016

Sharing gems and collaborating on the problem solving

Image result for collaborationToday in our inquiry groups we had an opportunity to share some gems from our inquiry as well as discuss things we might be struggling with and brainstorm some ideas.  It was an amazing session and we had teachers from different areas and year levels to contribute to the discussion.  Some of the things we discussed and shared included:

  • Samoan Proverb: ‘Ia teu le VĂ¥’ Va is the space between, the between-ness, not empty space, not space that separates but space that relates, that holds separate entities and things together in the unity-in all, the space that is context, giving meaning to things. A well known Samoan expression is ‘Ia teu le va’, cherish/nurse/care for the va, the relationships. This is crucial in communal cultures that value group, unity, and more than the individual person/creature/ thing in terms of group, in terms of va, relationships.” Albert Wendt - respecting the same between us and the learner or group of learners and keeping this at the forefront of our practice, particularly when dealing with difficult situations
  • creating a culture for your space - as well as creating this culture, make sure the learners feel ownership of the culture and also you, as the teacher, take ownership of the culture also.  Reaffirm the culture frequently
  • ensure the learners know why they are doing an activity/task a certain way - at times you need to explicitly teach it, or teach the 'why' behind it
  • feedback is important but needs to be manageable and sustainable - one suggestion was to give written feedback fortnightly on a cycle, to support the verbal/oral feedback in the classroom
  • understand your learners and use extrinsic motivators (eg Class Dojo) to achieve desired behaviours - where possible make these visible but as unobtrusive as possible

While some of the things we discussed today seem "obvious" its great to hear other teachers' opinions  and hear some new ways of doing things to try in my own classroom.  Its great to have an opportunity to discuss things openly, particularly at a time of the year which can be more difficult and time pressures continue to intrude.

1 comment :

  1. Understanding your learners and giving them ownership of learning. I am not a teacher but can sense that you are a good one.