Sunday, 20 September 2015

"A-la-la" - Singing the Praises of the Accelerated Literacy in Learning Programme

Author's own photo.
Our teachers call it "A-la-la" - probably to discern the abbreviation from the word "all," which can beconfusing in a conversation:

"Are you doing ALL today?"
"Can we have a meeting to discuss ALL?"

Four of our staff went to the impact day on Friday, for which we were asked to be prepared to share our progress and our learnings.

All (!) day, we engaged in positive idea making and discussion with our group and our peers about where to next.  These were some of our thoughts for going forward with our whole staff in 2016, :

  • We need to sell the programme to our staff.  At the moment they see it as an add on with the idea of a "teaching inquiry" as extra work.  This means a teacher only day or part of, to share the positive experiences and learnings of the current team, ideas for trialling, and feedback about success in the form of data and student voice.  A full day is preferable, as we can get them practising some ideas and looking at some readings.  The structure has to include input and activity on the part of the participants though...
  • We need to think about the structure of our curriculum groups and the way we present professional learning development. Professional Learning Groups (PLG) need to be smaller.  One suggestion was to have groups of three with a certain amount of choice for how they are formed (awareness that we don't want people excluded through this).  In order to diminish the exclusivity of geographic teams, they could be formed around learning needs or styles.  For example, the group I went away with all use Google docs and digital tools to share learning. It's a toughie...
  • These groups would share laerning oround a number of learning areas that are identified on the strategic plan: ALL, maths, science, PB4L, digital technologies and problem based learning.  Teachers would support each other with peer "noticings" or modelling to support each other's needs.
  • Learning Centre meetings (LC) would still meet but to discuss more pastoral matters.
  • The ALL funding for Year 3 would be used to support these visits to and from staff within the school.  We need to share best practice and our own capacity.
This is only a starting list.  Our group is determined that the ALL programme is worth singing about and ensuring its success for all learners: students and teachers.  It is a great model, which starts with an early adopter trial before moving into a larger group and only then to the whole school over a three year period. 

Sunshining Our Learning - A Day in the Eastern Bay

Well done Jeanette Murphy - I love educators who take a risk, who say, "I have to be the change or make the change I want," not wait for "someone else to do it."

Alex Le Long and I took off last Saturday morning , to Apanui School, an hour away in Whakatane, to see that keen educators, hungry for learning, are everywhere.

Besides a Chromecast prize (wow!) I took away great ideas for learning:

  •  I want to visit Tarawera High School to see how they run their PB4L programme, MANA.  Thanks Sam Gibson and Julian Reid.
  • Thanks Sam Hamilton and Kat Gilbert-Tunny for inspiring me to go further with Google dashboard. 
  • Excellent ideas from Jeanette for making this a fun day.